Are you tired of being tired? Whatever you call it, exhaustion, fatigue, lethargy, or feeling run down, overtired, or just plainly pooped out, fatigue is a frequent symptom associated with thyroid disease.
How does thyroid disease cause fatigue?
We’re not talking about regular fatigue after a late night. This is a debilitating fatigue. You might find yourself needing a rest in the afternoon to endure until dinnertime. Or you wake up tired and still sleep ten to twelve hours a night. Or you’re less able to work out, and your endurance is reduced because you are weak and lethargic. Or brain-fogged and exhausted out may just walk around about exactly the quantity of sleep that used to make you feeling refreshed.
There are a number of important things to know about the connections between thyroid disease and fatigue, and ten of the most significant things to know about boosting your energy and battling fatigue are mentioned below.
Fatigue and Hypothyroidism
Fatigue is a really common symptom of hypothyroidism, an underactive or reduced thyroid function, in many individuals. Many patients report that their fatigue is diminished or even completely solved after the treatment for hypothyroidism is optimized. Various treatment approaches, including functional medicine can help improve hypothyroidism.
Fatigue and Hyperthyroidism
Fatigue is also a symptom of hyperthyroidism, an overactive or increased thyroid function, in some patients. Exhaustion is present even when you have gotten an adequate quantity of sleep. In other scenarios, exhaustion or fatigue associated with hyperthyroidism may result from insomnia, anxiety, or disrupted sleep patterns. Typically, treatment for hyperthyroidism can help resolve the patient’s overall symptoms.
Autoimmune Thyroid Disease and Fatigue
Even when thyroid function tests demonstrate that the thyroid gland is “normal” and hormone levels fall within the benchmark range, the existence of elevated thyroid antibodies, which may indicate autoimmune Hashimoto’s disease or Graves’ disease, may lead to fatigue as a symptom in some patients.
Some thyroid patients, including individuals who don’t have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, have reported a decrease in fatigue when they switch into a gluten-free diet plan. A gluten-free diet is a nutrition plan free of wheat and gluten products. Others have reported similar effects by removing sugar, dairy, or other foods in the diet.
Some people experience fatigue due to what is called unrefreshing sleep. This indicates that you’ve had enough sleep seven or more hours, but you wake up and feel tired, because the sleep has been of poor quality, interrupted, or did not reach levels that are restorative. Unrefreshing sleep could be associated with dysfunction, in addition to chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia in most cases.
Some thyroid patients suffering from fatigue may be reduced in iron, in particular, the saved form of iron known as ferritin. It is worth having ferritin levels assessed by your healthcare professional, and if they are not optimal (in the upper end of the reference range), talk with your doctor about supplementing with iron, or even incorporating more iron to your diet through foods. An excess of iron, in particular, a hereditary condition called hemochromatosis, may also be related to fatigue. There is a link between thyroid conditions and an increased probability of hemochromatosis.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia
In case you have long-term, debilitating fatigue, and the tiredness is accompanied by other symptoms like enlarged lymph nodes, a chronic sore throat, and/or body/muscle aches pains, you may have other conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome and/or fibromyalgia. These conditions are common in thyroid patients than in the general populace.
T3 and Natural Thyroid
Some thyroid patients on thyroid hormone replacement have reported a rise in their exhaustion levels or fatigue when switching from a T4 only treatment (i.e., levothyroxine), to some T4/T3 treatment, for example, the inclusion of artificial T3, or use of a natural desiccated thyroid medication.
Thyroid patients are at greater risk of sleep apnea, and at which breathing stops for short periods during sleep. Sleep apnea can contribute to fatigue, due to an improper oxygen intake when sleeping. Thyroid patients experiencing fatigue should speak with a healthcare professional about having a sleep study or evaluation completed to determine if sleep abnormalities, such as apnea, may be contributing to the fatigue.
Get Better and More Sleep
Be sure you receive optimum treatment for your thyroid illness and address any sleeping disorders, food sensitivities, and imbalances on your iron levels. Also, make sure you get adequate sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, many adults need a minimum of seven to eight hours each night, and a considerable proportion of us aren’t currently getting this level of sleep on a regular basis.
Here are some tips to help avoid fatigue by getting better and more sleep:
- Try to maintain the same sleep schedule weekdays and weekends
- Keep your bedroom cool
- Don’t watch television or work in your bedroom
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine in the day, and before bedtime
- Don’t take naps
- Don’t exercise after dinner period
- Have a hot shower or bath before bedtime
- Use a sound conditioner or earplugs to block noise
- Avoid large meals before bedtime
- Boost light exposure during the day
- Minimize lighting into your bedroom by using blinds or blackout curtains, turn off tv and computer at night, prevent illuminated clocks, and don’t read from or look at backlit devices or smart phones at nighttime
- Listen to relaxation or guided imagery audios to help fall asleep.
- Do not drink too much liquid in the evening
- Restrict changes in your job shifts
- Drink a natural or relaxation tea at bedtime
- Have a bedtime snack with protein
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
By Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topics: Wellness
Overall health and wellness are essential towards maintaining the proper mental and physical balance in the body. From eating a balanced nutrition as well as exercising and participating in physical activities, to sleeping a healthy amount of time on a regular basis, following the best health and wellness tips can ultimately help maintain overall well-being. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can go a long way towards helping people become healthy.