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Link Between Sleep Apnea and Peripheral Neuropathy


Senior Member
Hello, My neurologist recently diagnosed me with severe Idiopathic Axonal Polyneuropathy after my rheumatologist and GP had tested me for every possible cause.

Ever since becoming ill 33 years ago with ME/CFS (brought on by an acute case of Epstein Barr Virus) my legs have "vibrated" (parathesia) and I would often wake up either choking or gasping. None of the many doctors and specialists I've seen over the decades even thought to check for Sleep Apnea until last year. Bingo!

I've been on CPAP for a year and a half now and every time I wake up in the night with my legs "vibrating" my sleep report the next morning shows a lengthy apnea event that took place at that time.

My doctors say my PN is Idiopathic, and unfortunately the nerve damage is now permanent and continues to progress. I use a cane and have to check for foot injuries daily. But I suspect the cause was initially due to years of chronic hypoxia from Sleep Apnea. This article appears to bear out that distinct possibility.

"Peripheral Neuropathy in Sleep Apnea- A Tissue Marker of the Severity of Nocturnal Desaturation"