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  • Hypothyroidism & Sleep Apnea

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    Old 05-15-2005, 09:50 AM   #1
    OCTek
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    Hypothyroidism & Sleep Apnea

    I am curious about the connection between the two.
    I have been diagnosed with both, and have heard that being hypothyroid can cause sleep apnea.
    Does anybody know how a low thyroid can cause Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

    Thanks

     
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    Old 05-15-2005, 10:10 AM   #2
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    Re: Hypothyroidism & Sleep Apnea

    I would assume its from a variety of things. For one, muscles tend to relax, including the ones in the mouth and larynx when hypo, which is the essence of sleep apnea.

    2. Your tongue tends to be larger when hypo than if you were normal (this is a fact) so it could constrict the airway.

    3. A goiter (enlarged thyroid) or even slightly inflamed thyroid which can cause hypo puts extra pressure on your neck strap muscles which basically moves everything else out of its normal alignment. I get a lot of pressure under my chin, which is nowhere near my thyroid but its because my thyroid is swollen and displacing everything else in my neck basically.

    4. When hypo, you tend to be fat and when you are fat, the extra weight of that fat under the chin and on the neck puts pressure on the airway, constricting everything.

    Last edited by nastyhashi; 05-15-2005 at 10:12 AM.

     
    Old 05-15-2005, 05:29 PM   #3
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    Re: Hypothyroidism & Sleep Apnea

    In addition, when you have sleep apnea your body isn't able to achieve the REM stage of sleep---which is when your body repairs itself on the cellular level. Seems to me that both of them aggravate the other.

     
    Old 05-17-2005, 11:07 AM   #4
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    Re: Hypothyroidism & Sleep Apnea

    My husband had been complaining all winter that I was snoring alot and very loudly! I have never had a problem with this before but since I have started taking Synthroid it has gradually lessened. I have been wondering if this was a coincidence or if it was connected to all this thyroid business. I have no proof but I think it was my thyroid.

     
    Old 05-17-2005, 10:07 PM   #5
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    Re: Hypothyroidism & Sleep Apnea

    B & B,
    Yes, yes , yes! It has to be so! I was snoring something terribul out of nowhere.
    My sleep apnea has gone. I have been on synthroid for about three months. Marlow

     
    Old 05-18-2005, 09:18 AM   #6
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    Re: Hypothyroidism & Sleep Apnea

    I just had to go totally hypo for a whole body scan, my tsh was at 180.00 (decimal point is in the right place) and for the first and only time in my life developed sleep apena, let me tell you its a weird feeling to be able to hear myself snoring and yet not be able to wake up and stop myself. I was back on my thyroid replacement for about a week when it went away. My tongue was enlarged but also my neck was very enlarged (even the muscles) so not sure which was causing the apena, maybe both.

     
    Old 05-19-2005, 07:05 AM   #7
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    Re: Hypothyroidism & Sleep Apnea

    YES!!! My doc immediately sent me in for a sleep clinic study when he got my blood levels back the first time. He said that HypoT does cause sleep apnea. And that when properly medicated, it should subside. Everytime I go in now, he asks if my hubby has complained about my snoring (as one of the symptoms he checks). My hubby use to have to wake me up cause I would stop breathing and make horrible gasping sounds. Sometimes I woke myself up. Now - I have no issues - not even snoring (except when allergies are acting up). I have the BEST sleep!!! And don't need naps either!

     
    Old 06-05-2005, 03:44 PM   #8
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    Re: Hypothyroidism & Sleep Apnea

    I just discovered this board today- I have to tear myself away to get anything done! I have had lots of hypo symptoms for years, and have been treated for the symptoms themselves - depression, fibromyalgia, sleep apnea, etc. Had my TSH tested as part of a 'wellness' thing at my work in October, and was 'normal', so I didn't take the results to a dr. Was diagnosed w/ obstructive sleep apnea over a year ago, and have not gotten any relief from CPAP, even after spending much $ on different masks. Never thought this might have anything to do with thyroid! Had a miscarriage in January, and for the last nine months or so, have been utterly unable to lose literally one pound of weight (gained thanks to an anti-depressant given to help with my apnea!), no matter what I do. Finally, the PA at my allergists office (!) talked to me and decided that he'd test my thyroid despite what the TSH said (2.56). My T4 came back just below the low end of the normal range (sorry, don't remember the actual numbers), but he started me on only 12.5 mcg of Levothyroxine. From what I've been reading, starting at this rate, it will take years to get any relief! DH and I want to have another baby before I'm too old (am 40 now), but don't want to risk another loss or birth defects (also didn't know that could be affected by hypoT!). I haven't even bothered with my CPAP for weeks now, as my insomnia is so bad, I just lay there getting claustrophobia from the mask. Just spoke to the PA today about upping to at least 25 mcg, and found out that, unknown to me, he had also sent my blood out to get some pituitary testing done, which hasn't come back yet. Am kind of glad that he was procative on that, but he nixed the dosage increase until I can be tested at the end of the month. Thanks for reading this- even though my mom had hypoT after she gave birth to me and my sister, she was not treated for it after that, and I wasn't aware of all the many, many symptoms hypo can have. It was almost exciting when I found out my T4 was low, because I thought the end was in sight! But, alas, reality is setting in...

     
    Old 06-06-2005, 08:11 AM   #9
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    Re: Hypothyroidism & Sleep Apnea

    Isn't sleep apnea where there's a cessation of breathing during sleep? If so, I sometimes have this where suddenly I wake up because I stopped breathing. This only happens on rare occasions, but it's kinda scary when it does.

     
    Old 06-08-2005, 12:19 AM   #10
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    Re: Hypothyroidism & Sleep Apnea

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OCTek
    I am curious about the connection between the two.
    I have been diagnosed with both, and have heard that being hypothyroid can cause sleep apnea.
    Does anybody know how a low thyroid can cause Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

    Thanks
    When you are hypothyroid the heart doesn't pump as well as it should and blood oxygen supply throughout the body isn't as good as it should be. This is what causes dry skin, low body temperature, sleep disorders, brain fog, drowsiness, fatigue, etc. (I could name a few hundred medical conditions but nobody would believe me and I don't have time to write a book). I hope my brief explaination makes sense.

     
    Old 06-08-2005, 02:01 PM   #11
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    Re: Hypothyroidism & Sleep Apnea

    I have sleep apnea and have been on a CPAP for a year now. I know when I was on the "right dose" of thyroid meds, my sleep habits, which have never been good---became very regular. I felt great from 6:30am to 10:00pm. I had tons of energy---was motivated to get things done and all, but by 10:10pm I started to become a zombie. It was like someone flipped a switch---and I would go to sleep----sleep through the night without waking at 3:30am----and wake up ready to go at 6:30.
    When I was in high school, I would fall asleep while taking a bath in the morning. The only thing that woke me up was my mom yelling at me, or when the water got real cold. I'm starting to think I've had hypo-t all my life. At times I would have dark, puffy circles under my eyes---never could find out why. Just a couple of months ago I read that what my eyes looked like were classic symptoms of hypo-t.

     
    Old 06-13-2005, 10:55 AM   #12
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    Re: Hypothyroidism & Sleep Apnea

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by B&BMom
    My husband had been complaining all winter that I was snoring alot and very loudly! I have never had a problem with this before but since I have started taking Synthroid it has gradually lessened. I have been wondering if this was a coincidence or if it was connected to all this thyroid business. I have no proof but I think it was my thyroid.
    I havent been diagnosed yet but i know i have a under active thyroid i feel so tired all the time im overweight and wait for it snore absoutely terrible. My husband used his video on his phone to take a picture of me asleep i wasnt very impressed but i heard myself and sounded awful. It must have something to do with the thyroid? I alsos get a tightness in my throat do you? I cant bear anything on my neck either . Anyway sorry to go on all the best to you and i hope you sort things out Byeeeeeeeee

     
    Old 06-13-2005, 10:58 PM   #13
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    Re: Hypothyroidism & Sleep Apnea

    When they did my initial sleep survey, they found I wasn't entering REM sleep---that's the time the body heals itself on the cellular level. If you're not getting into REM sleep----then whatever problems you're having with your thyroid (and all your other organs) are going to be compounded.
    Years ago, my husband said he could hear me snoring from the other side of the house.
    You might ask your doctor about some sort of central nervous system stimulant. I was on one for years----and despite it being a stimulant----it helped me to sleep better at night. I finally had to quit taking it because it was recalled in Canada and doctors here in the U.S. didn't want to take the chance that their patients would suffer liver damage. The drug was Cylert---and it was developed for people with narcolepsy. I thought that's what I had for a long time----I'd be so tired I was afraid to drive more than a mile or two 'cause I thought I might fall asleep at the wheel.

     
    Old 06-14-2005, 06:13 AM   #14
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    Re: Hypothyroidism & Sleep Apnea

    Same thing with me - they determined that I "woke up" 25 times an hour. Some of it was related to limb movements, some to air obstruction, but the majority of the time - there was no known cause. Thus - I was NEVER getting enough sleep. When I have achieved optimum values, I had the most wonderful restful sleep ever. Right now, having issues again - so I assume that the meds need adjusting.

     
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