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Narcolepsy & a Cardiovascular Co-morbidities

I have recently discovered that Narcolepsy, more specifically the typical lifestyle adopted by those with narcolepsy, indirectly increases the risks of heart issues.
The primary lifestyle or behavior that many Narcoleptics adopt to cope with side effects and survive is eating significantly less. Since, we all know, that when you eat you will have to sleep shortly after (if not immediately after), and because of how inconvenient this is, we tend to stop eating during the day. Particularly, if you have a full time job, and you can’t afford to provoke a sleep attack by eating breakfast or lunch.
This behavior weakens our metabolism and prevents the development of “good fats” which then snowballs into a whole host of issues with varying levels of severity.
I have always worried issues would stem form my abnormal eating habits, but I was shocked to discover just how dangerous this “survival technique” can be. I’m now scheduling with a cardiologist to go over my heart health and address some new symptoms related to that.

Has anyone else dealt with this? Heart issues, worsening circulation, or cardiovascular co-morbidities in general? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  1. Hi . I am glad to hear you are being proactive and getting a thorough evaluation from a cardiaologist. Many studies show that people with narcolepsy are at higher risk for cardiac issues, especially high blood pressure. Here is an article that discusses it: I can see how the usual eating habits would have an impact on cardiac health. I am guessing irregular sleep patterns and stress affect the heart as well. We are not medical experts, but it seems to me you are doing exactly the right thing. Regular cardiac checkups along with exercise and healthy food choices are probably the best ways to prevent damage. I hope others will chime in. Let us know how your appointment goes if you don't mind. Best of all wishes. - Lori (Team Member)

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