Narcolepsy is a chronic, neurological sleep disorder that is a constant source of drama in the lives of over three million people in the world today. This drama is not intentional, far from it. The situations that may arise due to the symptoms of narcolepsy can leave a person feeling unsure of where they stand in life.
Narcolepsy Mild Symptoms
Medical attention and therapy in the home and workplace can often lessen strong symptoms of narcolepsy, making them mild symptoms of narcolepsy. There are many different ways to test and be certain of how mild or advanced the narcolepsy has become, and the treatments that should be used depending on the form of narcolepsy.
- Problems with school work
- Problems sustaining a proper relationship
- Sustaining a quality of life outside of their personal space environment
- Certain physical impairments
With every symptom that occurs with mild narcolepsy there is a treatment offered and available that can either be suggested by a physician, therapist, or even done by the patient with the narcolepsy. Certain treatments can be a form of life style change, diet, exercise, and even medicine.
Medication for Mild Narcolepsy Symptoms
Some of the medication that is prescribed for narcolepsy also treats mild forms of depression. Even with the medication and availability of physicians that treat narcolepsy, there is not a definitive cause behind why certain people experience this and why others do not. There are around three million people with narcolepsy.
Cataplexy is a symptom of narcolepsy where the brains protein hypocretin-1 is deficient, having narcolepsy that is coupled with cataplexy can also lead to misdiagnosis and then treatment would become incorrect. Cataplexy is not helped by the stimulants that are popular with narcolepsy. This process of diagnosing and misdiagnosing narcolepsy with cataplexy has been the bane of most physicians practices, because there are many different signs of narcolepsy that are similar to psychological disorders like that of say epilepsy, and bi-polar disorder.
- Adderall this medication is also used to treat attention deficit disorder, as well as Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The highest dosage for Adderall is 60 milligrams.
- Methylphenidate this medication is also used to treat a.d.d. and a.d.h.d. the highest recommended dosage is also 60 milligrams.
- The methylphenidate improves the scores on standardized tests but does not improve the levels of health control. Adderall will keep a person and stimulate he system to where the patient will be more active and less prone to fall asleep while doing tasks.
With these symptoms being characterized and better diagnosed it is making it easier for physicians to diagnose narcolepsy more effectively, but not one hundred percent. The tests that are performed to diagnose narcolepsy, have come a long way in the 21st century, now physicians can tell if a mood disorder along with a sleep disorder such as insomnia, is narcolepsy or a different health issue to diagnose.
Recognizing the Symptoms
Recognizing the mild narcolepsy symptoms can start at the early age of 15 and sometimes even earlier than that, there is an increased anxiety rate, mild depression, and urges to sleep at all times, no matter what the activity is. If feeling tired all the time then that is most likely not narcolepsy this could be a form of sleep apnea or insomnia.
Sleep paralysis is another sign of narcolepsy this happens when falling asleep or waking up, the body goes into a state of extreme relaxation, and will not move and the person cannot respond to questions because they cannot speak, because of the sleep paralysis.
Narcolepsy can also cause hallucinations, at any random moment. Not only can the hallucinations affect the sight but it can also affect the other senses hearing, taste, smell, and even touch.
The hallucinations seem so real that they can affect reading, writing, sexual activities, eating food, or drinking, even listening to a favorite song. These are all signs of narcolepsy with cataplexy; to diagnose narcolepsy without cataplexy requires a completely different system and method of diagnosis.
Narcolepsy without cataplexy is primarily diagnosed when extreme sleepiness occurs for more than three day a week for longer than three months, and nine hours of sleep throughout the day. With this being the primary symptoms of narcolepsy without cataplexy, it becomes harder to diagnose, for people that have night jobs and require them to stay awake all night.
Also narcolepsy without cataplexy, gives off the symptoms of extreme fatigue, and restless leg syndrome, because the leg feels tingly and the urge to move becomes over powering but when sleep paralysis hits the urge cannot be met because the body will not move.
Besides medication to treat narcolepsy, there are different things that can help:
- keeping a regular sleep schedule
- stay away from alcohol
- no smoking
- relaxing activities
- staying stress free
All of these changes can greatly help with narcolepsy and gaining control over the urges that takes place in the body. Another thing that will help with narcolepsy is regular exercise and a good balanced diet that goes along with certain life styles. Caffeine is another thing to stay away from if narcolepsy has been diagnosed.
Some of the safety precautions that should be taken are:
- While driving always have another person in case of an episode
- do not cook without someone being in the house
Support groups even help with copping with narcolepsy, and all of the symptoms that go along with the disorder. Having strong emotional reactions, even laughing can cause a narcoleptic attack.
Most people with narcolepsy have a tendency to become isolated, and have a label of being lazy and uncommitted. That is because that not a lot of people are aware of the problems that narcolepsy can cause and a majority of the population find narcolepsy a funny and unconventional means of a joke. In the world population over one percent has narcolepsy and less than that is diagnosed yearly. Most diagnosis that should have been classified as narcolepsy is diagnosed as depression, a.d.d., a.d.h.d., and even bi polar disorder. So to get a proper diagnosis, explain every symptom, and occurrence to your physician, and go through a sleep study.