How Serious Is 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 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.

What happens if narcolepsy goes 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.

What is the main cause of narcolepsy?

Many cases of narcolepsy are thought to be caused by a lack of a brain chemical called hypocretin (also known as orexin), which regulates sleep. The deficiency is thought to be the result of the immune system mistakenly attacking parts of the brain that produce hypocretin.

Can you just develop narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy is a lifelong problem, but it does not usually worsen as the person ages. Symptoms can partially improve over time, but they will never disappear completely. The most typical symptoms are excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, sleep paralysis, and hallucinations.

Is Narcolepsy considered 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.

How do you fix narcolepsy?

TreatmentStimulants. Drugs that stimulate the central nervous system are the primary treatment to help people with narcolepsy stay awake during the day. … Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). … Tricyclic antidepressants. … Sodium oxybate (Xyrem).

What can narcolepsy be mistaken for?

Narcolepsy is often misdiagnosed as other conditions that can have similar symptoms, including: Depression. Anxiety. Other psychologic/psychiatric disorders.

Does narcolepsy lead to dementia?

It is not known how many people who experience REM disorder may develop diseases such as Parkinson’s or dementia. A corresponding editorial noted there is no evidence that narcolepsy, with or without REM disorder, will later lead to neurodegenerative disorders.

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.

Does caffeine affect 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.

What foods help narcolepsy?

Understand the Science Between Carbs and Narcolepsy In fact, a small study in Neurology found that the protein-heavy Atkins diet improved narcolepsy symptoms by 18%.

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 narcolepsy affect your heart?

Psychostimulants and anticataplectic medications were found to increase blood pressure and heart rate. Symptoms of narcolepsy type 1 (NT1) include excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy, and loss of hypocretin neurons can lead to abnormalities in autonomic and cardiovascular regulation.

Can a person with narcolepsy work?

Having narcolepsy does not necessarily stop someone from doing the job they want, but there are some issues which can affect work. Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder, the effect of which is that the part of the brain that controls sleep and wakefulness does not function as it should.