I finally went to the doc today and she put me on Synthroid. I expressed my deep concern about my 6 months of insomnia....I need sleep doc!! She decided to hold off on the sleeping pills but said I should start sleeping again in a week while synthroid does it's job. Does that sound reasonable? It doesn't to me. Or does it?
HypoT impairs normal brain function, including the sleep/wake cycles. Your doctor seems to be very thyroid smart; listen to her! The only thing I'll slightly disagree about is the length of time it might take to improve. One week is a very short time to feel a difference when using a T4-only med like Synthroid. But you certainly might feel better in 2 weeks to a month.
In a perfect world, this would be true - however - I have been optimized for at least a couple of months now, on meds since Feb. and sleep has not been one of the things that has improved. I am now beginning the process of getting my adrenals tested, which from what I have been reading, could be the cause of long term insomnia. The sleep meds aren't the fix though - I am now dependent upon sleep meds to get to sleep at all - but then, I've been an avid insomniac for many years now. This could be because I was undiagnosed hypo for a LONG time. I hope the Synthroid is your answer, but if not, start reading about adrenals.
I have been on Synthroid for 8 weeks- my blood tests show that I am probably at the correct dosage. I had been under-medicated for a year and a half- switched Drs.- now on 3 times the original dosage.
I still have problems with insomnia. I usually fall asleep ok- but then wake up 2-3 hours into the night and am often awake for a couple of hours. This happens 1-2 times a week. When I first switched to Synthroid I had a two week span that it happened 5 nights out of 7- not fun. So- it has improved- but I'm not sleeping well every night....
It took me longer too for my sleep to normalize. Before my diagnoses, I was experiancing some sleep problems....nothing too bad tho. I'd wake up like at 4AM, only having slept about 4 hours, and yet I'd feel so wide awake...I'd wonder what was causing it. But that was only happening a few times a month.
Later, after I got on meds, (T-4) it became horrible...and until my TSH went down to a 1, and the other levels were okay...then I started sleeping a little bit better...what I mean by that is, I could get 4 or 5 hours straight....but still had some bad nights too. It was so bad at times, [when it was at it's worst) that I could only sleep an hour, and I'd wake up..and couldn't go back to sleep for anything....and as exhausted as I was, I would try, but couldn't even take a day time nap. I tried 2 sleeping pills--they didn't even work.
Just recently have I started sleeping [really] normal again, and what I mean by normal is 8 hours a night, uninterupted sleep. The only thing I can attribute it too, is I started taking Cytomel a few months ago...? (Or could it have been the Wellbutrin, that I started taking around the same period?) This is after [almost] 3 years on T-4 alone.
It is so wonderful to be sleeping so great, and every morning I wake up I am so very grateful...and happy I made it through another good night. (I'll never take my sleep for granted again!!) It was a nightmare having that insomnia, and it magnified every ache and pain that I already had. Just a thought...but I also read that being low in estrogen can cause insomnia too.
Good luck solving this problem, I feel for you..
How long have you been on meds? If your levels are not "right" yet, that could be the reason why. Give it some time, and once you get to the right places with your thyroid levels, it should straighten out. I think (for some of us), when we start thyroid meds, and we then start having insomnia issues, it could be that the thyroid med is stimulating our system, as we were low in hormone, and all of a sudden now that our body is getting it, it is reving us up? Who knows...but believe me, it will get better one day.
I was like you sometimes, and would keep waking up over and over, like every hour, and feel like I was on speed or something, I was so wide awake. And other nights I'd wake up only once, and would just be up all night, as I couldn't get to sleep for nothing. You can try some Tylenol PM or Benedryl, it might help you get sleepy....sometimes it helped me. (you just don't want to take the Tylenol too much) And keep an eye on your levels and make sure you're not getting too much hormone....that can mess your sleep up as well.
I am new to the board. Could you tell me what dosage of Cytomel you are taking, and if you are taking it in combination with other thyroid medication like Levoxyl or other T4-only medication?
I started out on Synthroid, but I was allergic--getting a huge red bull's eye rash in the middle of my chest including itching. I have been on Levoxyl for several years now, first 25 mcg., then 50 mcg. and , most recently, 75 mcg. With the 75mcg dose, I started developing another rash under my left armpit only, which could be from a change in cholesterol medication. Anyway, my pcp has switched me to 25 mcg. Cytomel when the Levoxyl is gone from my system, so I haven't started it yet.
Does anyone know if it is a good idea to take Cytomel alone without combining it with T4? I am gleaning from others that taking it alone is not the best way.
No problem...I take 5 mcg's a day of Cytomel, along with 125 Levothroid. I too couldn't tolerate Synthroid. I don't know if I was allergic to it, but it made me feel sicker by the day...so after 3 weeks I could take no more of it and changed to LevoT.
I've seen only a few people who have said they feel well taking Cytomel by itself. I don't think I could feel well without taking T4 as well as T3, but everyone is different. If you do end up taking only Cytomel, just keep a good eye on your T4 levels, and how you feel. How are your levels now? When my levels were still not optimal, I had a rash (on my forehead) that never cleared up until my TSH went down...and it's never returned. Have you considered it might be yeast...have they tryed anything for that? I just thought maybe....because some people get yeast in places like armpits, or under breasts, anywhere that gets warm or moisture.
Hope you feel better soon, and get your meds all worked out.
Thanks for the quick response Deda. I have taken a parasite and yeast detox regimen recently, so I don't think it is yeast (or parasites ). I have had this rash (although not quite as bad as in the last few weeks) ever since starting thyroid medication. The dermatologist and pcp are perplexed as to why it is only under the one armpit.
Also, I didn't mention this before, but I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia almost the exact same time as hypothyroid. My fibromyalgia specialist put me on Vistaril to help my sleep cycle (again, allergic to other medications for fibromyalgia). I pretty much had to change doctors and hold their hands to get to this point on my journey back to health. The rash did clear up considerably after stopping Tricor, my cholesterol medication. I had taken Pravachol for years, but my cholesterol had increased. I really think this was due to the Levoxyl dose being too low.
I'm just trying to find the optimal dose of thyroid medicine--I think if I could do this, everything else would fall into place healthwise.
Listen...I don't really buy into that "fibromyalgia" thing. They told me I had that too...less than 1 year ago....and all of those "fibro" pains are a thing of the past today....I swear. You're very last sentence there says it all....."once you get to your optimal levels/dose", you will feel so much better, and your sleep will straighten out as well. I was just amazed at the differance! It seemed like magic or something.
I had muscle spasms that just wouldn't let up in my upper back, (they were so awful, all day I'd get them), and in my abdomen, and other pains that just wouldn't go away....and besides that I slept so awful for over 2 years, and it was not until that TSH got all the way down to a 1, (it's actually 0.7 right now), and my Free T levels went up over the midway point, did all of this crazy stuff start going away. And that was only after I added Cytomel to my regimen.
Even after my levels were optimized I felt so much better, but over time I was feeling better and better, as I think it just took quite some time for my body to heal. They say it can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years (after your're optimized) for complete healing. I think it took me a good year, because I feel so much better today than I did a year ago, as a year ago I was still having all kinds of problems.
Stawell, I don't know how bad your sleep is, but just to give you some hope...like I said, I barely slept for a couple of years, and would have nights where I only slept one or two hours, and as exhausted as I was, I couldn't even take a nap during the day...no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't sleep! It was a living nightmare!
Well today, I am back to sleeping well, (only I haven't gone back to getting to sleep at a decent hour), still staying up way too late, I guess from those years of having my sleep all botched up and fragmented, etc. But it doesn't matter, I no longer work and my kids are grown and on their own now, so I can sleep some pretty crazy hours,...and the other day I slept for 10 hours straight!!! Oh it felt so good! But most days now I sleep 7 to 8 hours, which is great...and don't even wake up all night. I was feeling so hopless for so long, thinking I'd never sleep well again, or feel normal again, be pain free or such, but I'm here to tell you, it will happen...once you get there with optimal levels, and give yourself some healing time too.
Do you happen to have a copy of your latest levels which you could post on here? Are they checking your Free T levels as well as your tsh?
That is weird that you did get that rash after you started the meds. If you do think there might be an allergy, you might want to talk to your Dr. about trying another med. Isn't there one called Unithroid, (a T4 only med) that has more natural ingrediants? (please help me out here, someone) Or is it Naturethroid? That one happens to have both T4 and T3....I think. Or it could just be that your levels became more depressed after you started meds, (mine did), and you need another increase. Please try to post your levels, and I'm sure one of us here can let you know if they are needing a dose adjustment. (there's some people here that do, yet don't even know it)
Are you avoiding soy, and all of those other bad foods we need to be aware of? If you're taking vitamins and supplements that's great, but check the labels for soy, and iodine...and eliminate them. Are you eating well? Trying to do a little daily exercise too? I know as sick as I felt and had heavy fatigue I didn't much feel like exercising, but I tried to get out there and walk at least a mile a day, sometimes 2, no matter how bad I felt, I bundled up and went out. (I had just read that exercise helps us to absorb our meds better and helps the thyroid function better,... so that was all I needed to hear). I walked pretty slow at times, but I managed. Also, taking B-12 tabs, (sublingual) seemed to help me a lot too, energy wise. Even tho I wasn't low when they tested me for it, it still seemed to help.
Stawell, have you had your blood tested....CBC, B-12, checked your Ferrittin for anemia? Maybe check your Vitamin D level, pottasium, calcium, etc.
Another thing about that rash...I had some yeast/candida issues myself, and I tried this soap called "ZNP" that I purchased at the drug store, and also that Nizoral shampoo....good stuff...and I would even wash my skin with that too, and leave in on for a good while before rinsing off. It works great, if it is yeast related.
Also, are you taking any estrogen? If you're low there, that can cause sleep problems too. I take a small dose of that but only every other day, which seems to be enough for me.
If I were you I would try some anti yeast ointment on that rash....just to see what happens. I did, as I had some mystery rashes myself, and I just bought (I think it was) Lamisil, OTC at the drug store, and it did get rid of a couple of stubborn rases. I did my yeast cleanse once my yeast issues were under control. (I was also on oral anti-fungals...mine was so bad) I had a lot of yeast in my body....continual recurrent yeast infections, and I even got it on my big toenail! Ughhhh....I was so upet! I eat a yogurt a day now and take PB-8, (acidolphilis)
There's hope! And I promise you, this will all go away someday, and you'll get your life back. Keep on reading and learning all you can. If it weren't for all the things I've learned on this board, I'd still be sick today. (And I had to learn to be more aggresive with my Dr's too).
I'm hypo thyroid & didn't have trouble sleeping until I started taking T4 medicines such as Synthroid. A T4 alone was HORRID for me, I got 4-5 hours of sleep that was BRO----KEN, yuck! It was awful.
I sleep BETTER when I'm getting T3's meds (Cytomel or Armour) along WITH my levoxyl. I can normally get 5-6 hours IN a ROW, which is a blessing compared to last Spring. I'm taking 50 mcg's of Cytomel in the morning. And am trying taking my 50 mcg's of Levoxyl at 9 PM or so. I think taking my Levoxyl in the LATE EVENING is working better than 5-6 AM <<~ then I would often wake at 1 or 2 in the morning, even when I'd only been in bed 3-4 HOURS & not be able to go back to sleep
I'm peri-menopausal & taking prempro every other day also. That seems to help SOME, but not too much where I'm spotting like I did when I started Cytomel,,,
I'm so glad that someone else is mentioning INSOMNIA & Hypo. When I posted this very subject people couldn't relate.
Deda, your story of sleep would tell my whole story on how I feel. I deathly started to FEAR going to bed. I knew I wouldn't sleep not matter how tired I was. I would look at the clock and see that it was 11pm and I should go to bed but I felt "nervous" as if at 11pm I was going to the doctors or something. I got the butterflies in my stomach. Fear. I hated it. When my husband would say "lets go to bed" the word "bed" freaked me out. I hated bed time. Then the next day, my girlfriends would call to do stuff and I couldn't. I couldn't even bear through it. I feel "lucky" it has only been 6 months for me compared to some people. 3 hours of sleep was a GOOD night for me. People would tell me to nap during the day but I can't. I couldn't smile anymore, I was so unhappy. I guess depression started to set in? I've been taking Synthroid for two weeks now and I am ecstatic to say I've sleep for 7 days straight for about 7 hours. I'm not convinced I am getting better yet because last month before the medication I had one week of beautiful sleep until it all started again. I feel normal again and my mood has changed. I used to need to get fast food to feel happy. It was like an addiction for me, it comforted me. Now I am normal again and am happily cooking dinner at home. My wallet and arteries are happy too. It's only been 7 days but I feel amazing and I pray this keeps up. I feared making weekend plans to do fun things because I just knew I wouldn't sleep and feel like I was dying. On nights that I did get enough sleep to at least function for the day I HAD to go out and do something because I didn't know when I would get another good day. At least I'm not the only one.
I am new to the forums here too. In May of 2006, I finally started meds for my hypothyroid disorder. I am on the same type of meds you are on.
That was one of my biggest grips that I didnt know how it felt to have a normal, peaceful, & refreshing sleep. I'd wake up in the morning exhausted, fatiqued, and just beside myself with anxiety, etc. All the nice classic symptoms of being hypothyroid
When I started my meds, unsure why, but for me I felt much better within the first few days. By the time the first week ended, so many of my symptoms disappeared. BUT, for three of course. Anxiety gone, but the fatiqued clinged on, and my sleeping still wasnt up to par even though I was sleeping through most of the night now and not waking up at 3 in the morning like before.
Off I went to my doctor's once again to let him know that I was so tired of the sore throat feeling in the morning still, I felt fatiqued but not as bad as before without the thyroid meds, but I didnt feel rested at all. He explained that the lack of a good sleep does cause fatique. It was good, he said, that most of my symptoms but the pressing fatique did disappear with the thyroid meds and it was time to get to the bottom of why I still felt so fatiqued.
After a few months, blood tests, increasing my thyroid med, here I was still feeling fatiqued and not rested at all in the morning which made my energy level depleated faster by mid-afternoon. Even though my brain was telling me that I am awake and ready to do things, my body was saying no way just let me sleep now that is mid-noon. Horrible way to live
Where do you think I ended up next? A sleep clinic. Yup... my doctor wanted to see what sort of pattern I fell into with my REM sleep. It took a couple of months to get the results back, but when I did I was shocked! I had sleep apna. Lord knows how long I'd live my life with it? I talked to a friend of mine, and she found out she has the same thing and she has a thyroid disorder too. She has to wear a mask, but I am lucky enough my restless leg syndrome can be controled by a med.
First time on the med for my sleep apna, that doesnt interfer with my thyroid med, I slept so well I finally fully understood what a good peaceful refreshing sleep was. Quess what? My fatique fully disappeared too after a couple of nights on the med!!! It was great to get up in the morning and feel normal like others for once.
I am not saying this is your problem ... sleep apna. But I am surprised to find out that some women have that problem along with a thyroid problem. Related or not? I dont know I'm not a doctor.
I'd talk to your doctor Kim about doing a sleep clinic test. It doesnt hurt to inquire about it.
When I started my thyroid med, slowly over the months I had - one by one - eliminated any continuing symptoms that didnt disappear right away while taking my thyroid med. I was lucky enough to have only 3 lingering symptoms - 2 of them have been corrected now & only one left to get rid of
Last edited by SpiritWolf; 11-27-2006 at 06:26 PM.
[QUOTE=Kim913]Deda, your story of sleep would tell my whole story on how I feel. I deathly started to FEAR going to bed. I knew I wouldn't sleep not matter how tired I was. .[/QUOTE]
Yes, I know what you mean about the prospect of going to bed knowing you won't get much sleep, if any...it left me anxious like that too. It was so awful. I too was pretty much staying home so much around that time, (I might have put 30 miles a month on my car!) except for my little walks around the neighborhood in the evenings...I really was way too exhausted to want to go anywhere..shop, visit friends,...who wants to socialize when you're so darn tired, and feeling grumpy, and I looked like he_ _ from lack of sleep too.
Sleep is everything, and without it it, I'm a mess. I can't function well at all unless I get at least 6 to 7 hours a night. These days I'm sleeping about 7 hours a night, sometimes more, and boy, do I feel so much more alive, and motivated too. Feel like cooking again, I'm going out of the house like a normal person again and actually have a social life once again....all because my levels are great, and more than that, because I'm sleeping like a normal person again! Hooray! Today I walked 3 miles on my treadmill and I have a great dinner in my oven right now. Poor hubby didn't get too many good meals back then, and he was bringing home a lot of that crappy take out food too. Yuk...that stuff is fattening and like you said, it gets expensive, but it was either that, or starve.
Glad you are starting to feel better already, Kim, and hope it continues. Nice to hear that a few people around here get well a little quicker than the rest of us on this board. Keep us posted so we can see if you keep doing well. As for spiritwolf's suggestion that it could be sleep apnea...that is something you might want to check into if your sleep problems continue, but I do know for me, (and even when my Dr. suggested a sleep study), I knew it wasn't sleep apnea, as my problem wasn't DURING sleep as I just COULDN'T GET TO SLEEP.
Not sleeping sucks! My brother, (who had hypo too), he had sleep problems also, but his was the opposite,...he couldn't get enough sleep....and was sleeping 12 hours a night, or would have to come home from work in the middle of the day to take a nap. (good thing he owned his own business) I think I'd rather be that way, [like him], cuz I think it's just so bad for your over all health not to get very much sleep.