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Doctor insights on: Lose Weight With Narcolepsy

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Is it possible for people with narcolepsy to lose weight? If so then is the weight loss as fast as normal people?

Is it possible for people with narcolepsy to lose weight? If so then is the weight loss as fast as normal people?

Yes: While some people with narcolepsy can have a problem being overweight, they should not have much more problem losing weight compared to those without the condition. Because narcolepsy can make you very sleepy and tired, there can be a problem having enough time or energy to exercise. As with anyone else, a healthy diet can help. See your doctor if you have specific concerns. ...Read more

Lose Weight (Definition)

Many people resolve to lose weight in the New Year for different reasons. For those who are overweight or obese, there are many health benefits to losing weight. It can help decrease your chances of developing diseases including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, and even certain types of cancer. Low-calorie diets combined with increased physical activity are thought to be most effective long term. The healthiest weight loss regimen, therefore, is one that consists of making lifestyle changes that incorporate a balanced diet ...Read more


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I have narcolepsy, was taking concerta then stopped for 2mths and gained a lot of weight, started back on provigil, will it help me lose some weight?

I have narcolepsy, was taking concerta then stopped for 2mths and gained a lot of weight, started back on provigil, will it help me lose some weight?

Wieght Neutral: Though loss/reduced appetite has been reported with Provigil studies do not show many changes in weight. But since it improves wakefulness, thus increase physical activity while awake helps with weight loss. Also reduce overall caloric intake, reduce portion size, increase veggies/fruits intake. Report any anxiety, depression, rash. Take care. ...Read more

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I have narcolepsy, cataplexy, sleep apnea, and depression and I weigh right at 300 pounds I can not seem to lose any weight any advice would be great?

I have narcolepsy, cataplexy, sleep apnea, and depression and I weigh right at 300 pounds I can not seem to lose any weight any advice would be great?

FATIGUE WITH OSA: Provigil is cheaper and better tolerated than Nuvigil.Also, adderal/Ritalin/Starttera can help. Start a gluten free diet Wholeapproach.com gut bliss.com. If CPAP/BIPAP is poorly tolerated seek ENT CONSULT for UPP/ vs Hyoid suspension. ALSO, FOCUS ON WEIGHT LOSS. TOPAMAX (topiramate) IS effective FOR. RLS AND WEIGHT LOSS. ...Read more

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I take ritalin (methylphenidate) 20mg 3times/day for narcolepsy and I've noticed that I lose track of time too much. Will a higher dosage help? If not what could?

I take ritalin (methylphenidate) 20mg 3times/day for narcolepsy and I've noticed that I lose track of time too much.  Will a higher dosage help?  If not what could?

Not possible 2 say: You have to go back and discuss your treatment with the doctor who prescribed it to you. Be safe, don't increase your treatment on your own. Thank you. ...Read more

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Severe narcolepsy (no cataplexy) and recent findings of pmdd not mdd. Stims help but lose effectiveness. Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) dn work. Super fit but bad apathy?

Severe narcolepsy (no cataplexy) and recent findings of pmdd not mdd. Stims help but lose effectiveness. Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) dn work. Super fit but bad apathy?

Unusual?? Hmm!: Unusual for the meds used in narcolepsy to develop tolerance or tachyphylaxis, and much of what you describe involves psychiatric symptomatology. Believe you should first see a psychiatrist, and also, get an overnight sleep study. I am not convinced that your diagnosis is complete. ...Read more

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Which medications work best for narcolepsy?

Which medications work best for narcolepsy?

Two Meds: The two main medications used today to treat narcolepsy include xyrem (sodium oxybate) which is very helpful for treating cataplexy and excessive day time sleepiness and nuvigil/provigil which is used to promote wakefullness. The current "standard of care" is to give these medications together (xyrem at night and Nuvigil by day. Other medications are used but these are the current standard. ...Read more

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Does narcolepsy affect a person's personality?

Does narcolepsy affect a person's personality?

Not known to: Narcolepsy causes acute onset of drowsiness and sleep. There are medications that can help. It is not known to cause personality changes. It is a major inconvenience and problems may result from that. All the best. ...Read more

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How common is it for somebody to get narcolepsy?

How common is it for somebody to get narcolepsy?

It depends: The answer depends on what population you are talking about. In the us, narcolepsy is estimated to affect 1 in 2000 people. It is much more common in japan, very rare in israel. ...Read more

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What are the less common symptoms of narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy: They can include seeing dreamlike images upon falling asleep or upon awakening, sleep paralysis upon falling asleep or upon awakening, or experiencing colorful/vivid dreaming. ...Read more

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Which type of medication is used to treat narcolepsy?

Variety: We usually prescribe wake promoting against such as mode finial and armodafinil, stimulants such as ritalin (methylphenidate). Recently, new developments allow us to improve the sleep of narcolepsy patients by using gammahydroxybutyrate at night. ...Read more

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Can you tell me how I could know if I have narcolepsy?

Excessive Sleppiness: The key for narcolepsy or any sleep disorder is excessive daytime sleepiness, and is usually diagnosed via a sleep study. ...Read more

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Funny how a diagnosis doesn't mean much till you have it. What is narcolepsy?

Chronic condition: Narcolepsy is a chronic medical condition caused by the loss of a chemical in the brain (orexin/hypocretin). The symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness, vivid dreams, sleep paralysis, and sometimes the brief loss of muscle tone (cataplexy). A sleep study can make the diagnosis. See your doctor if concerned as there are treatments. www.wakeupnarcolepsy.org is a good source of information. ...Read more

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Permanent cure for narcolepsy?

Not yet: There are powerful medications available to make to symptoms of narcolepsy tolerable. A sleep specialist can help you. We hope in the near future to have hypocretin modifying medications available. Trials are currently underway. Ultimately, stem cell therapy may be the cure for the disease. ...Read more

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Can jet lag be as severe as narcolepsy?

Can jet lag be as severe as narcolepsy?

Perhaps: For some people, perhaps the severity can be the same, at least for a short time. A difference between these could be that jet lag recovers, while narcolepsy persists.

You may find some questions to your sleep medicine questions answered here:

http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/narcolepsy/glossary ...Read more

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Are narcolepsy & gulf war syndrome related?

Hard to answer: I can't say no but also can't say yes. There are a lot of things that are unknown about the cause of each. It is clear that narcolepsy is relatively uncommon but that there are patients that have been diagnosed with gws and also have narcolepsy. More studying needs to be done on each condition separately and those that have both. ...Read more

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Can I get narcolepsy or you're born with it?

Acquired : Narcolepsy develops usually around teenager years and is felt to be acquired. We don't know the exact mechanism, but some type on immunological event might trigger it. It is very rare to be born with narcolepsy. ...Read more

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What are the effects of provigil on narcolepsy?

What are the effects of provigil on narcolepsy?

Wakefulness: Modafinil is classified as a somnolytic, and promotes alertness and wakefulness through selective activation of wake and sleep centers in the central nervous system. The fda has approved its use in nacrolepsy, adjunctive treatment of excessive daytime sleepiness associated with obstructive sleep apnea, and shift-work sleep disorder. Off-label, it's used for adhd and adjectively for depression. ...Read more

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Is narcolepsy a genetically inherited medical problem?

Is narcolepsy a genetically inherited medical problem?

Yes for Some People: Most patients with narcolepsy with cataplexy have a genetic marker called hla dqb1*0602. However, many people without narcolepsy also this same marker. As such, simply having the marker is not sufficient to cause the condition. The current thought is that in narcolepsy an infection triggers the immune system to attack cells in the brain which secrete a chemical (orexin) needed to keep you awake. ...Read more

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How long does a person sleep at one time with narcolepsy?

It varies: There is no particular nap length. People with narcolepsy however often feel refreshed for several hours after a nap. People with central nervous system hypersomnia on the other hand do not feel refreshed after a nap. ...Read more

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How many hours does someone with narcolepsy need to sleep?

How many hours does someone with narcolepsy need to sleep?

Not specific: Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder causing daytime hyper somnolence. Even if you were successful in getting stable uninterrupted 8 hrs of sleep, you would likely still have daytime sleep attacks if not treated. ...Read more

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How long after first episode of narcolepsy appear cataplexy?

How long after first episode of narcolepsy appear cataplexy?

Depends: Approximately 30% of narcoleptics do not experience cataplexy, making the diagnosis of narcolepsy a bit more difficult. Have you seen a neurology sleep specialist and undergone a sleep study? If not, see your physician in order to discuss your symptoms. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/narcolepsy/detail_narcolepsy.htm, http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/slpst/ ...Read more

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Are you born with narcolepsy or can you get it later in life?

Not born with it: Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that usually develops over the teenage years. It is likely autoimmune related. There are rare situations when narcolepsy occurs in multiple sclerosis, trauma or brain tumor. Narcolepsy is caused in most patients by a "hypocretin" deficiency in the hypothalamus. ...Read more

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Hey docs, I am wondering if I have narcolepsy, what will I need to check?

Hey docs, I am wondering if I have narcolepsy, what will I need to check?

See below: It is a clinical diagnosis, although sometimes lab tests can help. If you are having excessive daytime sleepiness, hallucinations when waking up or falling asleep, cataplexy (episode of muscle weakness without loss of awareness that is usually triggered by emotions), and/or sleep paralysis or even other symptoms, it can be narcolepsy. So if you do, see a sleep doctor to be evaluated ; treated. ...Read more

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What types of employment would a person that suffers from narcolepsy and cataplexy apply for?

Almost Anything : A patient with narcolepsy can do anything they want. There are a few reasonable restrictions: operating heavy maschines, professional driving, operating an airplane, surveillance jobs... ...Read more

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Can cataplexy occur without narcolepsy? And is it possible for it to regress to no episodes at all?

Complex: Cataplexy is part of narcolepsy, which also may or may not include daytime sleep attacks, sleep paralysis, vivid nitemares, but there may be only parts of the syndrome, and the full tetrad is not always present. Cataplexy without the sleep attacks would be unusual but not unheard-of, but get an eeg, just to be sure these are not actually seizures instead. ...Read more

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Been on provigil for narcolepsy for 10yrs are then any studies for possible problems with long term use?

Unlikely: Most patients on Provigil do very well without any long-term problems. Always prudent to periodically check liver fnctns and blood count just in case, but unlikely any issues. Also, positive is fact that tolerance with Provigil is rather uncommon, so doseage can stay stable. ...Read more

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Does narcolepsy and cataplexy usually get worse over time? Is rapid change in severity over 12 months normal?

Does narcolepsy and cataplexy usually get worse over time?  Is rapid change in severity over 12 months normal?

It slowly progresses: Both narcolepsy and cataplexy gradually worsen over decades. Rapid change is likely some other factor; consider a repeat overnight sleep study to rule out coexisting sleep apnea, restless legs, poor sleep efficiency, or other causes of unrestful sleep. General tips: daytime naps, regular sleep-wake cycle, good sleep hygiene, routine activity during daytime, aerobic exercise, and sunlight exposure. ...Read more

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Some reports say narcoleptic a have problems with memory, thinking, and attention. Does narcolepsy the condition itself cause these?

Not directly: Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder, and the intense episodes of drowsiness interfere with focus and concentration, with secondary cognitive issues which can reverse with effective therapy, such as modafanil, ritalin, (methylphenidate) or Nuvigil. ...Read more

Dr. Michelle Zetoony
287 doctors shared insights

Narcolepsy (Definition)

A condition characterized by extreme sleepiness every few hours during the day and frequent, unexpected sleep attacks. This sleep disorder is believed to be caused by a decrease in a protein in the brain. There is no cure for narcolepsy, but its ...Read more