What Should I Do If I Think I Have Narcolepsy?

How do I know if I have narcolepsy?

SymptomsExcessive daytime sleepiness.

People with narcolepsy fall asleep without warning, anywhere, anytime.

Sudden loss of muscle tone.

Sleep paralysis.

Changes in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

Hallucinations..

Can you self diagnose narcolepsy?

One helpful self-assessment tool for recognizing sleepiness is the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). You can measure your daytime sleepiness using a printed version of the ESS (PDF) or the online version of this screening tool.

What happens when Narcolepsy is untreated?

When left untreated, narcolepsy can be socially disabling and isolating. It often leads to the onset of depression. Type 2 diabetes mellitus may occur more often in people with narcolepsy.

Does caffeine help narcolepsy?

Consider your caffeine use. Some people with narcolepsy find coffee or other caffeinated beverages helpful to staying awake. For others, coffee is ineffective, or, in combination with stimulant medications, it can cause jitteriness, diarrhea, anxiety, or a racing heart.

Does narcolepsy cause weight gain?

People with narcolepsy are not only excessively sleepy, but they are also prone to gaining weight. In fact, narcoleptic patients will often pack on pounds even as they eat considerably less than your average person.

Is narcolepsy a disability?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not recognize narcolepsy as a medical condition that automatically qualifies you for disability benefits. Therefore, you must provide a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment that provides evidence of your disorder and how it affects your ability to work.

Is it possible to have mild narcolepsy?

Type 2 narcolepsy (previously termed narcolepsy without cataplexy). People with this condition experience excessive daytime sleepiness but usually do not have muscle weakness triggered by emotions. They usually also have less severe symptoms and have normal levels of the brain hormone hypocretin.

What does a narcoleptic attack feel like?

Other symptoms of a narcoleptic attack include the following: Cataplexy: Sudden loss of muscle tone that makes you unable to move. Hallucinations: Unreal sensations that are perceived as real. Sleep paralysis: Total paralysis just before falling asleep or just after waking up.

Are narcoleptics always tired?

Narcolepsy is more than just feeling ultra tired. It’s actually a chronic brain disorder. People with narcolepsy have poorly regulated sleep-wake cycles, so they experience sudden and involuntary attacks of daytime sleepiness—whether for a few seconds or minutes—and often aren’t able to resist the urge to sleep.

How long does narcolepsy last?

It can be dangerous if the person falls asleep while operating machinery or driving. Sleep attacks usually last between 10 and 30 minutes although they may be much shorter or as long as 2 hours.

Is Narcolepsy considered a rare disease?

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the natural cycles of sleeping and waking. It is characterized by excessive sleepiness during the day. This rare disease affects 2–5 out of every 10,000 people (1).

Does stress make narcolepsy worse?

It’s believed that this hereditary deficiency, along with an immune system that attacks healthy cells, contributes to narcolepsy. Other factors, such as stress, exposure to toxins, and infection, also may play a role.

What can narcolepsy be mistaken for?

Other sleep disorders that cause daytime sleepiness are often mistaken for narcolepsy. These include sleep apnea, circadian rhythm sleep disorders and restless legs syndrome. Medical conditions, mental health disorders and use of certain medications or substances can also cause symptoms similar to narcolepsy.

Is narcolepsy a mental illness?

However, narcolepsy is frequently misdiagnosed initially as a psychiatric condition, contributing to the protracted time to accurate diagnosis and treatment. Narcolepsy is a disabling neurodegenerative condition that carries a high risk for development of social and occupational dysfunction.

Does narcolepsy make it hard to wake up?

The disorder also may cause muscle weakness. Most people who have narcolepsy have trouble sleeping at night. Some people who have the disorder fall asleep suddenly, even if they’re in the middle of talking, eating, or another activity.

What is Type 2 narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy type 2 (narcolepsy without cataplexy) is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and abnormal manifestations of REM sleep on polysomnography and multiple sleep latency testing.

What are the five signs of narcolepsy?

There are 5 main symptoms of narcolepsy, referred to by the acronym CHESS (Cataplexy, Hallucinations, Excessive daytime sleepiness, Sleep paralysis, Sleep disruption). While all patients with narcolepsy experience excessive daytime sleepiness, they may not experience all 5 symptoms.

Can you drive if you have narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy and driving If you’re diagnosed with narcolepsy, it may affect your ability to drive. Stop driving immediately and inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). You’ll need to complete a medical questionnaire so your individual circumstances can be assessed.