CPAP Gas Problem - Aerophagia?

by Mel
(Ft Lauderdale)

I get a tremendous amount of gas every morning from my CPAP machine, so much so that I do not want to continue using it.


Neither the company I got the machine from nor my doctor has heard of this complaint before.

Do you have any solutions to my problem?

Answer


CPAP Gas AerophagiaYou are likely experiencing aerophagia - the swallowing of air - while using the CPAP during sleep.

People with sleep apnea commonly name this problem CPAP gas.

You may be relieved to know that CPAP gas is common for people new to CPAP. Over 52% of patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and CPAP experience symptoms of aerophagia(1).

The discomfort associated with the aerophagia, including stomach pain, belching, bloating, flatulence, low appetite, can result in avoiding CPAP therapy.

In this page you'll learn:

  • Why do you have gas in your stomach while using the CPAP machine,

  • How to prevent and treat the CPAP gas.

What is Aerophagia?


Aerophagia in OSA patients is a complication that appears during CPAP therapy, in which some air is entering the esophagus and stomach rather than the lungs(2).

Symptoms and Side Effects of Aerophagia


When the pressurized air from CPAP enters the stomach, common complaints can appear:

  • gastric distension or bloating (1).

  • flatulence (passing wind or farting),

  • belching (burping),

  • stomach pain (severe pain in rare cases),

  • vomiting (rare cases)

  • gastric insufflation (very rare - the risk exists in patients with COPD and Pulmonary Edema) (3).

Causes of Aerophagia


Why Does Your CPAP Gives You Gas?


Still Tired With CPAPNothing is more distressing than waking up with a bloated stomach and starting to fart and burp all day.

You know that aerophagia started when you began the CPAP therapy. You also know that many other CPAP users don't have this problem. So why do you get gas with CPAP while others don't?

The main belief is that if you have weak esophagus muscles, then the esophagus won't close properly and the CPAP air will enter your stomach.

The anatomy of the esophagus, especially the lower end, is fairly complex. Science discovered that two esophageal sphincters may contribute to CPAP gas in stomach:

  • upper esophageal sphincter (UES) - is a bundle of muscles at the top of the esophagus. It prevents the food to go down the trachea (the channel where air goes to the lungs)

  • lower esophageal sphincter (LES) - muscles at the low end of the esophagus, that keep the stomach content going upwards.(4)


    • So, which esophageal sphincter has weak tone in CPAP induced aerophagia?

      There are still debates on this matter, but the recent studies suggest that the upper esophageal tone, rather than the LES, is the one that causes the CPAP gas(1).

      In their study, the scientists observed that UES barrier pressure decreases during sleep (particularly during slow wave sleep), making it more easily to being breached by CPAP pressure, in a dose dependant manner (5).

      Once the air passes the UES and enters the esophagus, the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes (as a natural reflex), encouraging the air to enter the stomach.

      Why Does UES Opens During My Sleep?


      Scientists found a link between GER (gastroesophageal reflux) and aerophagia in obstructive apnea patients (1).

      In their study, 57% of people with CPAP aerophagia also had GER symptoms.

      The other patients in the study already had GER symptoms from other causes.

      The results show that CPAP aerophagia is associated with GERD and GERD medication use.
      Ask your doctor if you have risk factors for GERD, especially hiatal hernia.

      GERD is also common in patients with sleep breathing disorders, occurring in 54% to 76% of patients (6).The reasons are not fully understood.

      One explanation is that OSA causes decreased intrathoracic pressure during apneic episodes. It also causing increased arousals and decreased sleep efficiency which results in LES relaxation (7).

      Also, the swallowing is more frequent within 30 seconds before GER events, which also can permit the air to enter (8).

      I hope now you start to understand why GERD combined with low UES tone is causing aerophagia in people with OSA.

      Treatment for CPAP Aerophagia



      Let's start with the good news: for many of us, CPAP-induced aerophagia seems to disappear over time.

      Perhaps the esophageal muscles gradually strengthen with nightly "resistance workouts" introduced by Positive Air Pressure therapy.

      The bad news: there are no scientific data to show how to best manage CPAP induced aerophagia. The only medication which was proven to prevent lower esophageal sphincter relaxation is Baclofen (9).

      Auto-adjusting CPAP machines showed improvements in aerophagia treatment. However, data needs to be collected to prove that using the APAP or BiPAP machines can decrease aerophagia.

      The Best Way to Prevent Aerophagia



      The best way to prevent aerophagia is to increase the UES tone or the UES pressure during sleep.

      There are simple exercises, developed by Dr.Reza Shaker, which is to strengthen the UES muscles, and to improve dysphagia, hiatal hernia and GERD (9).

      Here is a video that explains how to do Shaker exercises with a device:



      This video shows how to practice Shaker exercises without a device:



      Lowering CPAP Pressure or Using APAP Machines



      Some CPAP patients who suffer from intolerable aerophagia usually solve this problem by having their physician lower their air pressure and/or change PAP machine type.

      For many, an APAP will help with aerophagia simply by reducing the mean airway pressure.

      For others, BiPAP or C-Flex, which reduce exhalation pressure (EPAP) seems to be in order.

      Using Anti-bloating Tablets


      Unfortunately, anti-gas or anti-bloating tablets will not help with CPAP-induced aerophagia, although other contributing gastronomical sources of gas may be helped by these medicines.

      However, Gas-X can ease the pain in some patients.

      Other Methods to Improve CPAP Aerophagia



      Some strategies can help such as:

      • Using your CPAP machine's ramp button,

      • Sleeping at an inclined position,

      • Avoiding food and beverages late in the day.

      • Not eating less than 2 hours before bedtime.

      • Use an acid reducer (if you don't already).

      • Keep Gas-x Tablets in your nightstand for those nights when you wake up with a problem. It does seem to help bring those bubbles up. You need to sit up take a Gas-X, and stay upright for a few minutes until the air comes up.

      • Keep Pepto-Bismol in your nightstand for final back-up if you continue to be uncomfortable. But read the instructions carefully about how LONG you can take them.

      Experimentation with sleeping position may help prevent the CPAP gas:



      As always, consult with your physician if you notice any new or unusual symptoms when starting CPAP, including discomfort.

      Good luck, Mel! I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back.

      Remy Thierry
      Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide




      References:


      1. Symptoms of aerophagia are common in patients on CPAP therapy and are related to the presence of nighttime GER (Kelly Shepherd, Ph.D)
      2. Aerophagia and GERD in Patients using Continuous Positive Airway Pressure: A Preliminary Observation (Watson NF)
      3. CPAP in the Treatment of Pulmonary Edema & COPD By James F. Goss, MHA, MICP and Jonathan Zygowiec, BS, EMT-I, EMD
      4. http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/picture-of-the-esophagus
      5. Modulation of upper and lower esophageal sphincter tone during sleep
      6. GER in patients with sleep apnea syndrome.Graf KI, Karaus M, Heinemann S, Körber S, Dorow P, Hampel KEZ Gastroenterol. 1995 Dec; 33(12):689-93.)
      7. Ing AJNgu MCBreslin AB Obstructive sleep apnea and GER. Am J Med. 2000;108(suppl 4A)120S- 125S
      8. Kerr PShoenut JPMillar TBuckle PKryger MH Nasal CPAP reduces gastroesophageal reflux in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Chest. 1992;1011539- 1544
      9. CPAP-Related Aerophagia: Awareness First!

Comments for CPAP Gas Problem - Aerophagia?

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Oct 23, 2016
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CPAP and gas...
by: Anonymous

My pressure after about 9 yrs. with a CPAP is about 18...I tried out a new sleep specialist who moved it up to 19!

Soon after, I began waking with horrific abdominal pain easily identified as gas. I found nothing on the market that helped. The gas was odorless thank goodness but I never did get rid of all of it in the daytime. Major discomfort and really slowed me down in daily activities.

Went for another opinion and was lucky to overhear the machine tech talking about 'swallowed air' otherwise I would still be miserable.

That doc lowered it to 17-18. I usually use 17.5 each night and NO more gas. I have had a hiatal hernia for probably 40 yrs.

A couple yrs back my Entero told me it was larger than it had been....no worries, just information. The gas had nothing to do with that...it was the too high pressure that was set
earlier this year.

There has to be a solution for all of you without giving up CPAP. CHANGE doctors if necessary...talk with their TECHS...I am amazed at how different the different Sleep Specialists can analyze things...amazed and frustrated.

Oct 23, 2016
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Gas
by: CJC

Swallowed gas with CPAP machine users is because the pressure is too high. Either have it lowered or go to a Bi-Pap.

Oct 23, 2016
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Bad smell took Laxative before CPAP
by: Anonymous

I had my first experience with the poop smell after taking a laxative before bedtime I do have a high hernia so I always try not to let myself get bloated or constipation by taking a daily laxatives however I waited about a week without taking a laxative so I'm assuming I have poop sitting in my stomach.

Well I am up this morning I have fully loaded the toilet with poop so I'll see what happens tomorrow morning after my CPAP Adventure hopefully I will not smell poop now that it's out of my system.

And by the way I sleep with my mouth closed so there is no exit for the smell whatever is in my stomach will circulate to my nasal area so I need to keep my stomach clean......lol

Apr 16, 2016
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CPAP gas problems
by: CJC

A passing comment from the technician at the new sleep doctor has opened my world. My setting is 18-20...even after losing 50 lbs. He said that going any higher, I might want to use a BIPAP.

While explaining that, there was a comment about "air" being forced back into the stomach if the pressure was too high !! Bingo. I have an appt. with an GE doc to discuss the incredible bloating and gas I have every morning and through the day.

The gas has been very painful but doesn't seem to pass very well and has no odor if it does. I must wait for absorption, I guess. I have experimented with my diet and it is not being caused by that.

That leaves stress...but do not think it is that either. I was sure I had progressed from a mild irritable bowel reaction to full-blown IBS !!
My GE would never have thought of this and I would likely be on one more "pill".

Gas-X does not help but neither does Donnatol for IBS so I have been quite puzzled.

NOW...I know what is happening, but only because of a fluke of a passing comment.

Feb 09, 2016
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Severe debilitating to live life pain
by: Anonymous

I was relieved to hear what a lot of you have said since I can say I am not going crazy. I have severe stomach problems before starting the cpap machine I must say so you can all imagine the pain I am in on a daily basis.

I can't sleep at night do to the severe pain I am in and then I can't even walk and my lower back is also in severe pain from just holding up this belly that is so distended it looks like I am about to blow up.

I don't want you others to have this but it's good to know that your not alone. Sorry. The Drs nowadays seem to not care or know what is going on. The gastroenterologist I see never looks at me when he enters the room.

I cry as I can't help it but I feel like my life is gone and explain the pain I am in. He says it's just irritable bowel syndrome. No big deal. And leaves the room.

So once again a paid visit for nothing and a big paid visit $200.00 to tell you nothing not look at you and not care. I am sick of this. And can't live life like I used to and disability just looks at me as if I am lying.

I'd rather be feeling well not sleeping all the time. Able to " wear clothes" so to say instead of sweats daily. I have other issues of course and all combined. I feel like telling the judge to switch lives for a week or two so they could feel the pain and how much your life is debilitated.

Jan 22, 2016
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I thought it was just me.....
by: Anonymous

I just got my new cpap after the usual sleep study process.

Last night was my first night using the machine since the sleep study. I woke up in ABSOLUTE AGONY because of upper gut pain and the need to force burps up due to pressure in my chest!!

I thought this was something the doctor would know about and quickly remedy the problem, but after reading this (while still in my PJ's) now I have my doubts that I will get any help.

Will be calling my dr as soon as office opens!

Dec 28, 2015
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Baclofen can STOP the nightly inflations COLD!
by: Tweekk

First off.. the serious for of this serious CPAP problem is NOT agrophasia (air gulping)... if you wake up feeling like an inflated baloon and your tummy is huge and makes a baloon noiise when you tap on it, then it's called "gastric insufflation", or your tummy and entire GI tract is being inflated and it is very dangerous! It is caused by your esophagus sphinctor(s) not relaxing enough (when a sphinctor relaxes, it locks closed), and so air flows into your stomach and intensities like a weather balloon.

That being said, an easy fix for some is decreasing your pressure to a level that is still effective, but doesn't force its way past your upper and lower esophageal sphinctors. However.. this wasn't working for me and going too low was preventing CPAP from working for me (which also sucks).
Enter the solution I've found WORKS. Two tablets of baclofen before bed time.

So I'm alread on two back pain/relaxing meds for my disc related back pain anyway. The one muscle relaxer/anti spastic called baclofen. I usually take one during the day along with a pain pill for my back pain from a slipped disc (I can take up to thee 10mg baclofen tabs at once, but never do as they can make me tiered). However, i noticed once that when i took my back pills at night, i never got inflated by my CPAP. As soon as I found out about how sphinctors work (relaxing a sphinctor makes it TIGHTER).. I tried taking two or three baclofen before bed time, and BAM.. inflation problems completely disappeared! Not only does it stop the GI inflation problem, but it makes me tired too!.. a win win! Just be sure to take baclofen at LEAST 20min before putting the mask on. Once inflation starts.. it seems harder to stop (for some reason).

If your CPAP is blowiing you up like a baloon every night, then ask your doc if he can prescribe baclofen and see if it helps you.. and plz report back here what you find works!

Tom "Tweeks" Weeks

Dec 02, 2015
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Go for the right machine
by: Anonymous

The machine I am using is the ResMed Airsense 10 Autoflex. I suffered from gastric insufflation for too long and things are much better. If you think your doctors are not listening ask them if they understand the dangers that could result from a perforated intestine. That's one of the possible things that too much gas can cause.

Don't accept anything less than what you need. If you have a way to submit complaints, go for it. Why should yiu have to accept something that doesn't work for YOU.

Dec 02, 2015
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Air trapped in my body from bipap
by: Bonnie

My stomach looks like I am having an elephant ,gained 75 lbs,it is so bad it PRESSES on my Vegus nerve ,and causes me to go into a dangerous heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation ,I just had in Jan of this year a procedure done for my heart,called a ablation,the ire heartbeat wasn't suppose to come back ,but with a vengeance on thanksgiving morning it came back .I can actually feel my heart stop a few from it ,which is pvc,s. I guess I will die soon ,I hate doctors ,they laugh in your face and think your nuts ,they snicker and say oh ,I never herd of that .that's the end they don't care.I lose my breath from the pressure from my lungs,the air from Bi pap . Something needs to be done ,I tried to go on dr oz ,would you believe even he never answered me..wth

Nov 11, 2015
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A Good Machine Can Solve Your Gas Problem
by: Anonymous

After 8 years of suffering from awful gas ( gastric insufflation) from CPAPs I finally found the right machine. My ResMed AirSense AutoSet is fantastic.

I still get a bit of gas but nothing like the growling stomach, afraid to sneeze, painful kind I had before. I know there are other machines that work as well. It's up to us as patients to push until we get the right equipment.

The goal is to have us use our machines every night. If we aren't, then it's the sleep folks job to help us find the right machines. Just because a machine "works" doesn't mean it works for you. Find one that does.

Nov 11, 2015
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I Don't Mind
by: Anonymous

I find flatulence can be an interesting talking point. I like to use it to open a discussion on chemical content, air build up pressures, volume release and the travel distance as it relates to smell.

Be creative, you too can make new friends !!

Nov 11, 2015
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I Don't Mind
by: Anonymous

I find flatulence can be an interesting talking point. I like to use it to open a discussion on chemical content, air build up pressures, volume release and the travel distance as it relates to smell. Be creative, you too can make new friends !!

Oct 21, 2015
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feel like i just had laprascopic surgery
by: Anonymous

So I have been using the cpap for approximately 2 years. In the last 6 months I have started waking up feeling like I have been through laparoscopic surgery again.

It is every morning, some mornings I cannot even straighten up to walk. and breathing is painful.

I am frustrated with this side effect. I know I was told years ago that my esophagus was herniated, ok, so that is a factor.

I also have issues with c-1 vertebra (forward of natural position) so cannot hold my head up while lying down to strengthen the muscles. I have tried and had to deal with SEVERE neck spasms for 5 days(not doing that again).

Acid reducers do not help. this is not an acid issue(I produce less than normal acid already so acid reducers are not feasible).

eating or not 2 hours before bed is not the issue I do not have GERD (unless I drink carbonated beverages). I sleep on an adjustable bed with my head and torso elevated. Some mornings I wake with sour stomach (sulphuric odors/taste in burps).

Every morning I wake with varying degrees of pain.

Bloating is an issue,along with increased water-retention weight gain (wondering if it is caused by a reaction with the distilled water and the aluminum heating plate in the humidifier? causing the aluminum salts to leach into water and be delivered directly to the cardio-pulmonary system? my theory. do not steal it.

how do I know it is water retention. decreased urinary output + weight gain decreased appetite swelling of feet and calves but not ankles, hands and arms but not wrists. classic signs.

Sep 20, 2015
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CPAP BLOATING SOLVED
by: MITCH

i too have has terrible bloating and gas...but some simple adjustments helped me...first I went from a full mask to a nasal mask with a chin strap...this cut down a lot the amount of gas I have....I now use the ramp up setting for 15 minutes....I wasn't using this at all before...sleep at an incline...two pillows work for me...and lastly...I drink a full large glass of water as soon as I get up which helps expel and air that has snuck into my digestive system...now I get rid of most of it before I even shower....

Since I had over 200 interruptions in my sleep with 137 of the stopped breathing and no REM sleep in my sleep study...I'll work around this gas issue! I can function again which is a miracle!!!

Sep 05, 2015
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Update from May 16
by: Anonymous

Hi everyone, it's now September and my stomach is finally going down! I have had three CT scans with nil findings, been in a Surgical Assessment Unit also nil findings and had an extremely painful colonoscopy that failed completely.

I've started walking dogs and it seems to have helped - averaging 15,000 steps per day. They are going home today and I don't like walking on my own.

I would really love to try my CPAP Machine again but I'm frightened that it will blow me back up! Four months is a long time to be in pain and discomfort.........

Aug 28, 2015
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Same issue
by: Anonymous

Humm I just read this after a Google search I have had my Cpap for almost 6years (same machine for about 5years) and very suddenly I started experience the same symptoms of feeling like I am full of air and!

My stomach hurts so bad every morning it takes me almost 2&1/2 hrs to get moving because it hurts so bad is it common to have had no problem for this amount of time to suddenly start having issues??

Aug 27, 2015
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The term for CPAP gas is NOT aerophagia!
by: CPAP Granny

Some sleep experts have been saying the gas caused by the CPAP machines is aerophagia. It's not! The correct term is "gastric insufflation". It is a dangerous situation for older patients as it can cause perforation of the intestines.

A straight CPAP machine will cause the problem for those patients with hiatal hernias. Switching to an APAP or Auto BIPAP should help the situation. You aren't swallowing air, the air is being forced into your stomach and eventually into your intestines, resulting in pain.

Aug 20, 2015
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6 Years on a CPAP
by: Anonymous

Six years I have been on a CPAP and it don't get any better - it gets worse. My machine is set on 18. I wake up usually after 1-1/2 hours of sleep and I can't take the mask of fast enough as I have so much gas on my stomach and need to belch, I finally get the mask off before I vomit and then belch and belch and belch. I am usually up for another 1-1/2 hours before my stomach settles down. Then in another couple of hours its the same thing over again. Night after night.

I have had GERD for over 30 years and now on 40 mg. of omeprazole. Sleep doctor said bring in my machine and he thinks he can fix my problem. Yea right!

I have had severe pain for the last 10 months in my right side and have had every test possible for a gallbladder and all come out negative but the pain is still there. I now have night terrors and have walked in my sleep I scream and fight in my sleep and have a hard time being waked up. My sleep doctor wants me to go see a psychiatrist. Does anyone know if the air in your stomach can dry up your organs?

Jul 30, 2015
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Hiatal hernia with APAP
by: Anonymous

Since beginning with CPAP again after a failed bout with an oral appliance that damaged my jaw,I have had terrible problems with bloating and pain. It is damaging my hiatal hernia. Having another endoscopy next week.

I have been so full of air I didn't know what to do with myself. My sleep dr turned the pressure down slightly which helped a bit and the told me to see him in a year. My stomach is in pain during the night and most of the day. Probably dried out. I have just gone through a bout with gallbladder pain and I bet that is from drying out all my organs too.

I won't be able to stick with this. Which is better, dying from apnea or dying because you are losing your organs? Take a pick. I read online that there are many with these issues but the sleep drs look at you like you have three eyes when you mention this to them. Gotta love it.

Jul 16, 2015
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Me Too
by: Marc

I've been using my CPAP for about 6 months now. During that time I have gained about 20 lbs. In recent weeks I have noticed that I have had a lot of problems with gas. It is unbelievable how much gas that my body can expel in a single evening.

The situation seems to be getting worse. I couldn't figure out what was going on with me until I found this posting and now it all seems to make sense.

I am addicted to the CPAP. It has somewhat of a hypnotic effect on me and I tend to sleep much better than without it. My snoring has gone away, and my wife has returned to sleeping in the same bed with me.
I should note, however, that I am still tired since I have been using the machine, but not nearly AS tired.
The gas problem is very recent, it seems to be worse before I go to bed and when I get up in the morning. The amount of gas is absolutely unbelievable. My stomach is so hard and bloated all of the time. I'm lucky that most of the time that there is no odor. It's the sheer volume that is staggering!



May 28, 2015
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Yes, to all questions
by: Salima D

I have been attempting to use CPAP for over a year now. I need to have my pressure set at 12mm/H2O, however, my body can only handle 11. If it is set to 12, I wake up a few hours later with severe bloating, abdominal pain, cramps, gas, etc.

I have noticed that when I use my cpap, I put on weight and look a lot bigger. Once I stop using it, the gas, bloating, pain etc go down and the weight goes down as well.

I just can't seem to get the benefits I am looking for an it has already been over one year. Really hard to find the right balance of pressure setting, mask fit, cpap/autopap/bi-pap etc.

A change corrects one thing, but negatively affects something else.

May 28, 2015
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Terrible gas pain
by: Anonymous

Just completed my overnight sleep study. I had a real hard time getting used to the machine and nose gear.

I did start to feel like I could sleep with it when the tech adjusted my pressure up. I guess to help me breath better. That is when I started having the terrible bloated pain.

I have been home for 5 hours and this pain is not going away. After reading all these comments I am done with CPAP.

I would rather face sudden death at night than put up with these symptoms everyday after using CPAP.

May 27, 2015
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Still here amd still bloated?
by: Anon And in Pain

After my post on 16th May I was really worried about this bloating problem. So much so that I have stopped using the machine, almost six weeks ago now!

Sure wish I had good news for everyone, but that's not to be....I'm still blown up like a hippo and heartburn is so bad I've used a pack of 96 Rennies in 10 days, just bought my second one.

I've noticed that in the morning my stomach is significantly smaller in size, but as the day progresses I blow up until after my evening meal, when I am so uncomfortable I could scream!!

Nothing fits anymore and I've had to buy loads of new clothes too. I'm due to see a different doctor(younger) on Friday, who knows, she may be able to help.

I've had my antidepressants doubled as I could quite happily top myself. Oh, and by the way, I'm not sleeping anymore, so the tiredness problem is back, grrrrr. What on earth can we do???

May 27, 2015
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gas/air
by: Stephanie

i too have issues, I started with a cpap machine and experienced severe gas pain and bloating in the middle of the night and would have to sit on the side of my bed and just rock front and back till all the belching stopped.

I went to pulmonologist dr to tell him and he changed my machine to a bipap and then I started gaining all this crazy weight and gas all day long, I also have GERD.

I went back to the dr and told him and he said you can't gain weight from these machines and of course I told him about reading it online with so many people and he said about the air getting into the stomach but temporary, with that he told his secretary to put me as a as needed patient and take me off his scheduled list.

Then I changed over to a mouth piece( like what football players use) and it worked but hurt my gums, still found myself a little tired so I went back to the machine and here I go again feeling 9 months pregnant and a lot of gas passing, I take Prevacid for GERD but hate this problem especially when your lung dr tells you it doesn't happen..........distressed, menopausal and looking fat".......".

May 16, 2015
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Agony.....
by: Anonymous

I've just found this site in my desperate search for a way of reducing this awful bloat! I started with the nasal mask and then switch to full face. I can't remember why, I think it was something to do with not getting enough air. Within a matter of days I had to go to my doctor as my stomach was distended and rock hard. One emergency CT scan later and still no idea what was wrong!

I started looking for anything that could help and up came CPAP bloat! Mine has been like this now for weeks, I've stopped using the CPAP machine but it's taking forever to go down, if at all. My doctor had never heard of it and couldn't offer a solution.I am so uncomfortable I could cry and my husband just thinks I'm putting on weight and blaming it on the machine!! I'm desperate to find a solution,I use an auto CPAP.


Apr 16, 2015
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I have gained 50 lbs. since I started using the cpap machine.
by: Anonymous

I have gained so much weight using the clap machine, I feel like I'm pregnant, I am bloated all the time, I have constant stomach and back pain.

I brought up these issues to my Dr., and her solution was to keep using it, and see if it goes away, this is very frustrating, considering, this was supposed to help me.

I feel like my abdomen is going to explode, and I still wake up, and feel like I haven't slept at all. I am becoming discouraged, There are a lot of us out there with this problem.

I also have gerd and my stomach is not closing properly. I also have swollen vocal cords, and no one knows why, my pH is off, I have RSD, fibromyalgia, and all kinds of other things wrong with me, I am using this machine faithfully, and still I feel lethargic.

This is very frustrating. Especially since the doctors don't understand it either, they are going to have to find a solution, I stop breathing at night 50 times an hour according to my sleep study, I need help, and I hope I find it soon.

Jan 16, 2015
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big belly
by: Anonymous

air is getting in my belly an i look like i got three bellies dr wants me to take mirilax an enima s to flush me out , i just did all this an the scoped me an found nothing i do fart but it don't stink ,need help finding out what to do .ty

Jan 01, 2015
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Excess gas due to cpap use
by: Anonymous

I also suffered severely from this problem and unfortunately my cpap providers could not help. Through trial and error I adjusted the starting pressure from 4 to 5.5 what I found is that at the lower rate I was not getting enough air and was subconciously gulping air. By increasing the starting pressure I found that this eliminated the problem.

Dec 27, 2014
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cpap vs auto cpap vs bipap
by: Anonymous

I had same issue as a lot of you with the air being blown into my stomach and intestines. My issue was severe. I awoke twice and was so bloated that my belly was stretched out huge.

I was in extreme pain and felt like I was having a heart attack. I grabbed my belly and pushed it in and huge burps and farts instantly occurred. I went to my doctor who never heard of this. She sent me back to my sleep lab. They said this was uncommon but known to happen.

They changed my cpap to bipap. I continued to have the problem. Masks didn't change the problem. Finally they changed me over to a auto cpap. The problem went away. The auto cpap uses sensors and adjust to your needs as they change thru the night.

Laying on your back can cause you to need higher pressure but rolling onto your side will reduce the need for high pressure so if you have normal cpap or bipap then the extra pressure can force its way into stomach. They changed my machine a few weeks ago again. I am now have slight air in my stomach again.

Sep 04, 2014
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My Faith Returned !
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much to everyone who wrote in about the side effects they are experiencing from using a CPAP machine, second only to the symptoms of being so tired that it is disabling. The gas I developed was so disgusting, I wanted to run from myself. I do not know how my husband tolerated sleeping with me because our room smelled like a sewer. Weight gain with bloating has also developed.
I found taking a ProBiotic from Whole Foods, 1x/day, totally helped me. Additionally, I watch what I eat and when. It got to the extent, I could not eat anything without indigestion because it was not really the food that was the culprit. It was the effects of my CPAP.
I hope this remedy might help for other people in this dilemma.
I would certainly work with the fit and pressure of the mask, also.

Jun 19, 2014
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pressure too high?
by: Janet

My gas problem went away after I adjusted to BiPAP. My Pressure was changed from 7 to 10 a month ago. I have had increased esophageal spasms lately. could pressure be too high? Throat and month are real dry too.

Jun 08, 2014
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Smelly gas
by: Anonymous

It is very reassuring to find out that it is a recurrent problem with cPAP users. There was this one night, I woke up bloated with air and very sore.

I have now had the machine for three weeks, and my stomach is doing fine. However, I have gas all day long and it smells like hell. I am truly worried. Next to that, my dog's farts smell pleasant!! I am not kidding!... I'm not sure what to do!...?

Apr 15, 2014
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first time using cpap
by: Anonymous

used my cpap machine for the first time last night.Was suprised how well i slept with this new addition stuck to my face.
I did in fact wake up with a totally unusual amount of gas pains in the morning and continuously had to purge it for about 45 minutes until i felt comfortable again. seems a small price to pay for the benefit of having proper oxygen levels maintained through the night. I do hope that this situation improves over time. thanks for the article.

Oct 09, 2013
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aeorophaigia frustration
by: Anonymous

Reading the above comments are reassuring I am. Not losing my mind I have all the above mentioned symptoms too. There must be a cure or true preventative out there somewhere and I agree the nurses and doctors at the sleep apnoea clinic are like robots who have maybe read literature but don't really see the individual sitting In front of them it really frustrates me also being menopausal is a double whammy my frustration weight gain and now hot flashes are just a blast to live with :)
Aerophagea at least I have a term for it now :)

Jul 29, 2013
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Hiatal Hernia and Aerophagia
by: Anonymous

First, I think we should disabuse ourselves of the notion that this is gas. Gas is produced from various foods. When air is forced down beyond the esophagus into the stomach, then small intestine and bowel - It IS EXCRUCIATING - if you have a sensitive gut. Just basic distention can take an hour or two to make it's way out - down or up. Once it's past the stomach, it comes out from the rear. But it's NOT gas.

As I have had a sensitive bowel for a lifetime, I now realize why I wake up every morning doubled over. I've lost 30 lbs, have mostly low pressures and 1-3 night time ramp ups, and the mask now fits well. So nothing explains this except the hiatal hernia I know I have. My pressures overcome the ability of my hiatus to resist the air. I intend to pursue this via BI-PAP as I already have a C-flex.

I would imagine that GAS-X would not work, as that neutralizes the ethers in gas, and this is just air. I've tried all the other remedies. For me, the positional shifting and stretching helps until it works it's way out, but it's an hour of two of heavy pain some mornings until it's dissipated. Very discouraging. Those who have this have my sympathy.

BTW - it's estimated that 50% of people have hiatal hernia, many as they age, because these sphinters lose their tone. They can be treated with surgery or a heat-shrinking type treatment, but it's opening up a whole other can of worms in the GI realm.

Jun 05, 2013
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What to do (continued)
by: Anonymous

AIR IN INTESTINES
Also excruciating.
If you feel the air is trapped in your lower intestines, try this massage (a good one for any gas pain or constipation):

Lie inverted OR flat on your back.
Find the tip of your right hip. Measure 3 fingers or so in.
Holding the fingers of both hands together and straight, push down firmly with the tips of your fingers. You will feel your intestine. Making firm, small circular movements, work in a straight line upwards, until you are in line with the level just below your belly button.
You may already feel some discomfort where the air is trapped. What you want to do is work that air out of the large intestine in each section until it feels comfortable. The shape you are tracing is like an wide upside-down "U."
Continue massaging in another straight line horizontally, from right to left, passing just under the belly button, until you reach the corresponding upper left extremity.
At this point, massage in a straight downward motion, to the corresponding area on the left, three fingers in from the point of the left hip.

Drinking warm water/ peppermint tea can relax your digestive tract and help, but ultimately you must move your body or your digestion may have to to get the air out. Eating is (of course) NOT recommended.

Hope this helps someone!

Jun 05, 2013
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What to do (continued)
by: Anonymous

FOR IMMEDIATE RELIEF
STRETCH out the affected area to give the air some more room and allow it to escape. This means arching your back and (ideally) lying in an inverted position. Inversion will take the pressure off of your other organs and you will feel the difference right away.

To do so, just ensure that your lower body (up to the your lower, low back) is supported on a surface that is higher than you upper body. Basically, you want to gently hang almost upside-down in a safe, stable position, with your shoulders (but none of your back) firmly on the floor. For example, a mattress or couch could serve to keep your lower body elevated. The greater the inversion, the more pronounced the relief.

When you feel ready, gently twist your lower body. This may be enough. Be patient. Give things 20 minutes or so.

Those with limited flexiblity or balance may prop up their buttocks with a few pillows, then try twisting.

Jun 05, 2013
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What it is & What to do
by: Anonymous

11-year CPAP veteran. My message: Don't give up!

If air is trapped around your lungs,
Pneumothorax is the condition. Very painful. Along with many other things associated with CPAP use, hard to fathom how people ever get through it at first. I know!

See Wikipedia on pneumothorax.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pneumothorax
The good news: It is very hard to die from this condition!

General reasons for aerophagia and pneumothorax:
Your air pressure may be too high. That you can change.
OR
You may have a CPAP-induced digestive issue. Consider taking digestive enzymes, or papaya pills before you eat as this has helped some people. Stop eating 2 hours before bedtime and take a 10-minute "constitutional" (a walk) before bed.
OR
You may have been sleeping in the wrong position, or have been stressed and/or dreaming of something that caused you to gulp and swallow air in your sleep.
Not always easy to to prevent.

May 29, 2013
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CPAP gas
by: Anonymous

Nick,I am the person who posted on 5/2/13. I, too, have had the change in bowel movements since starting the CPAP machine. I have tried a different mask (full face) & still had problems with the gas, bloating, & I did not like the mask because it was too "heavy" feeling on face so I have opted to go back to the original nasal pillows. Some nights the gas is worse than others, but I am trying not to eat within 2 hours of bedtime to see if that helps any. Hoping things will get better. Still frustrated!!!!!

May 29, 2013
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Gas and bloating
by: Nick

I have experienced gas pains and bloating ever since they raised my CPAP from 13 to 15 pressure. I've only had it for about 8 months and am 39 yrs old. I have had an endoscopy and a colonoscopy to find the problem but both came back normal. I am wondering if aerophagia could be the missing link in my problems. Only thing is that I've noticed changes in bowel movements as we which is why I checked on other digestive issues 1st. All blood tests etc show normal functioning gall bladder, liver, pancreas, kidneys, and thyroid. My question is can aerophagia affect digestion as well as simply cause gas? Anyone gave a clue?

Nick

May 02, 2013
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CPAP gas
by: Anonymous

this has been very interesting to read because I just recently (2 weeks ago tomorro)began using a CPAP machine & I have been experiencing bad gas pains on my stomach. Last night I had such severe pain that I was crying & thought that I was going to die. This morning I called the doctor about it & was told that he had not heard of this problem. WHY???? His response was to try GasX then said that he would send me back to the people where I got the mask/machine for another type mask. I went through all the sleep study & getting a machine so that I could feel better, NOT WORSE. SO FRUSTRATED!!!!

May 21, 2012
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Peppermint Tea helps
by: Anonymous

I too am experiencing the same thing. I was diagnosed with OSA years ago and finally got the CPAP this past weekend. The very next day after using it for the first time I had the worst stomach ache ever.

Unfortunately, I'm one of the few people on Earth that can't make myself burp, so I was in pain most of the day. I realized sometime later that the CPAP could be the culprit. I called my doctor who offered to lower the pressure. But after talking to some friends who recommended Peppermint Tea as a natural way to relieve gas, I decided to try that first.

I did and it has helped. I still wake up with a little gas and the tea does make it much better, so I'm staying at my prescribed pressure and dealing with it.

In short, peppermint tea is a slight remedy for CPAP-induced gas problems.
Hope this helps someone out there :)

Apr 30, 2012
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Cpap Problems
by: J. Stewart

I agree with "Stumped in Michigan" my doctor does not know beans about the true causes and bloating of the cpap machine.

I too have gained a considerable amount of weight in less than six months of using my cpap machine. I have always weighed 165, then after using my cpap, I am bloated all the time, buying new clothes to fit, and went up 25 pounds in weight!

My friends all pcik at me since this is the first time I have ever had a gut on me. I exercise on a regular basis, but my bubble gut will not go away.

This is the pitts!

Apr 28, 2012
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Gas-x
by: Bloating

Hi. I am new to Sleep Apnea treatment. I started on Jan. 29/12 with ResMed S9 Autoset and H5i heated humidifier. Along with Fisher & Paykel Zest nasal mask. I too have been bloated everyday and an extended stomach. It's very uncomfortable and it never goes away. I'm not burbing or farting. I put my bed on a tilt (3" head of bed, 2" half way down)hoping that I would have less AHIs but it's been hard to tell whether it is working (depends on how you crunch the #s). I thought that I would need less pressure too but that is not the case. Pressure setting at 5-12. I have been trying Gas-x for the last couple of days and I think it is helping a bit. What I am concerned about is that the package states to not take this Gas-x more than 2 weeks. Well, if it helps I will be taking it for the rest of my life. Has anybody here or know of someone who has been concerned about that?

Mar 28, 2012
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Pass That Gas!
by: CRN

As many of you have stated, I too have been using a CPAP for several years and in the last 12 months have experienced severe bloating and am passing major gas throughout the night. The result of the bloating/gas passing is constant, continual interruption of sleep resulting in a lot of bad days laced with fatigue, "dead brain", irritability and lack of energy that all result in having to push myself throughout the day to accomplish anything worthwhile, including on most days even minor tasks such as shaving, shopping, and washing my truck.

Also, as many of you have stated, there is a lack of aerophagia involvement and research resulting in applicable knowledge that would result in an end to the suffering experienced by many of us suffering from this particular ailment. The question is, "How do we functionally combine our information in a presentable format and submit it to a medical research/hospital/group that is willing to examine/study those effected and determine the most likely causes (probably more than one cause, perhaps more than one per individual)and then create a treatment/study plan for individuals on an ongoing basis until an absolute treatment or medication plan (or a combination of both) is available that is proven to be effective in relieving aerophagia and allowing we sufferers to get back to a normal life?"

I believe that with our high number documentation a grant could be obtained by a certified, reputable medical organization to accomplish this task and in a reasonable period of time erase the problem of aerophagia and the severe, negative life results it causes. The next question is this, "WHO will do it, WHEN, and HOW does it get done?" I am a willing participant. Happy Day! CRN

Mar 09, 2012
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need advise
by: Anonymous

I have noticed a weight gain, bloating, chest pain and VERY embarrasing gas since wearing the CPAP. I can hardly stand being around myself, much less being around others. Is sleep apnea therapy supposed to be this isolating???? Dr. did not know much about Aerophagia. Made adjustment to machine by eliminating air blowing into me upon exhalation and told me to come back in six months. I wish he had said he would study up on it and check on me. Very unsatisfied! There seems to be lots of complaints online but not many suggestions or solutions. Somebody please help!!!

Feb 24, 2012
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CPap - Aerophagia -Bloated Stomach
by: Stumped in Michigan!

I have been using a Cpap machine now for 18 months. I am a 45 yr old male, I have gained 45 pounds in 18 months, and gone up from a 34 waist to a 40 waist line.

I am horrified at my weight gain as I have never gained any weight like this before using my Cpap machine.

After reading the items on aerophagia, I belive that is what I am suffering from. My doctor says it is not related. I wanted to go on a bi-pap machine instead of my standard cpap, but I will need to go entirely through a another sleep study session, and then they will decide.

My stomach has blown up like a balloon, I am fat and bloated in the stomach. I have hiatial hernia like everyone else I know. My sphincter flapper does not stay shut at night. I now sleep in arecliner every single night with my cpap on. My wife divorced and left me.

I am lost for words, I want to throw my cpap in the garbage but now I am addicted to it for a decent nights sleep. I wake up with blood shot eyes and massive headaches sometimes. I am a mess, and my doctor does not think there is anything wrong with me %^&*((*^$!!?

Any ideas?

Feb 19, 2012
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Not just for new Cpap users
by: queenrise

I have been on CPAP for more than three years. I had NEVER experienced aerophagia before, until the last 5 months to present. Where I used to look forward going to bed and getting solid sleep, I now dread even putting my Cpap on, because I know I'll be awakened between 2:30 am and 3 with chestpain, bloating, and eventually having to get up and walk to release all of the air. Quite distressing especially since I have to get up at 5 am daily for work!

I've lowered the pressure on the Cpap, tried different nasal pillows and masks, to no avail. As far as hiatal hernias go, almost every adult has one, and I have never had a "problem" with GERD...until this phenomena started at night.

Except for trying sleeping on an incline, I've tried some of the so-called remedies like eating earlier and using antacids before going to bed which have not worked. I am married to a Resp. Therapist/ Registered Sleep Polysomnographer, so I do have access to a professional in the field. His suggestions aren't any different than what I've been reading.

There seems to be a lack of understanding/"curing" of aerophagia in the field of sleep medicine. Research studies need to be done to correct and solve aerophagia. This is not a casual/occassional problem. I will be a psych case if I don't get to the bottom this!... Or I'll become an ex-Cpap user sleeping in separate bedrooms for the rest of my marriage.

Jan 01, 2012
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CPAP GAS
by: kh

Do we know how long it takes for the gas to finally end? How steadily do we need to use the machine for how many days?

Also, if we have gas or a headache (my information sheet from the sleep center indicates that a cpap can cause gas and congestion) prior to going to bed, do we want to use the CPAP that night?

Aug 21, 2011
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thank you, same problem
by: Anonymous

thanks for this information.... I have the issue and was looking for feedback

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