Your thyroid is one of the smallest glands in your body, yet it is actually one of the most important. This gland is instrumental in the healthy regulation of functions like proper metabolism, energy levels, burning calories, the creation of body proteins and the reaction to hormones. But when you start to feel sluggish and tired throughout the day and suddenly cannot fall asleep at night, your thyroid might be to blame. According to data released by the National Sleep Foundation, two out of every ten Americans sleep less than six hours a night, substantially less than the recommended 8 hours. [Your thyroid is more important than you think!]
Hypothyroidism, or an under-active thyroid, may make you feel very tired, have a lack of energy, have excessive daytime sleepiness, effect weight gain, cause dry skin, constipation and even hair loss. But recent studies are now demonstrating that hypothyroidism can affect, not just your energy level during the day, but your sleeping pattern at night.
Sleep apnea is characterized by the pauses in your breathing while you are sleeping. This sleep disorder can be very dangerous, as it constricts normal breathing rhythms. People with sleep apnea use CPAP Machines to increase air pressure in their throat and help keep airways open. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, sleep apnea affects 22 million Americans and many of them do not know it. According to HealthGrades.com, an underactive thyroid may weaken the respiratory muscles and decrease lung function, which causes the sleep disorder. [Tired and drained? Your thyroid might be to blame!]
Insomnia is a sleep disturbance that affects falling asleep, staying asleep or both. When you have hypothyroidism, “your adrenal glands start to work harder to produce an excessive amount of adrenaline in order to compensate for its low function. Though hardly noticeable during the day, by the evening, this increase can lead to you not being able to fall or stay asleep.” This sleep disturbance can be caused by a number of factors, including a cortisol imbalance and stress. It’s imperative that you try and better your sleep before your lack of sleep starts affecting other aspects of your physical and mental health.
Low levels can affect your overall health, including your stress and anxiety levels. Because these hormones are directly linked to neurotransmitters and their regulation, when an issue like hypothyroidism arises, your neurotransmitters “tend to go haywire, causing not only anxiety, but also frequent panic attacks. This is made worse by the physical symptoms that are often associated with hypothyroidism, often causing people to worry that something is wrong with their health.”  Again, it’s so important that you try to manage the symptoms of anxiety before it begins to affect your health in other ways. There are many different treatments for anxiety. More often than not they will include different forms of therapy that will help people find ways to cope. If you are suffering from anxiety and are unsure which method you should choose, then always speak to a medical professional who will be able to advise you on the different treatments.
The University of Maryland Medical Center makes some suggestions that may help to reduce symptoms of a thyroid problem:
- Eat foods high in B-Vitamins, antioxidants (blueberries, cherries, etc..) and iron (whole-grains, vegetables)
- Take a daily multivitamin that contains vitamins A, C, E, B-Complex and trace minerals (magnesium, calcium, zinc and selenium)
- Consume plenty of omega-3 fatty acids like fish oil, that helps to reduce inflammation and boost immunity.
- L-carnitine may help for decreasing thyroid activity because of its blood thinning effects.*
For more information, click here: https://blog.invitehealth.com/your-thyroid-is-more-important-than-you-think/.
*Speak to your doctor or a healthcare professional before starting a supplement routine.