Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sleep apnea and hypothyroidism

It is no surprise that folks with sleep apnea have less energy due to the lack of quality sleep time. If you wake up hundreds of times each night it is impossible to feel refreshed and ready to go in the morning. Lack of energy can have a profound negative effect on your life. But sleep apnea isn’t the only thing that causes this lack of energy. There are other illnesses that zap your energy and there is one that has a connection with obstructive sleep apnea and that is hypothyroidism.

What is hypothyroidism?

According to hypothyroidism “means your thyroid is not making enough thyroid hormone. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck. It makes hormones that control the way your body uses energy.” Another consequence of hypothyroidism is high cholesterol which is bad for your heart. Common symptoms of this disease are lack of energy, skin irritation, memory problems and not being able to be in the cold.

Thankfully, hypothyroidism is treatable with medications.

One of the side effects of hypothyroidism is obesity. As you know obesity is also common in sleep apnea sufferers. Another connection is that folks with this disorder also have a problem with an enlarged tongue, which is cause of sleep apnea because it blocks the airway in the back of the throat. Weakened throat muscles can contribute to sleep apnea and those with hypothyroidism lack energy and lose muscle strength. so there does seem to be some connections between hypothyroidism and sleep apnea.

Feel free to comment and please subscribe to my RSS Feed


  1. Research have shown that only a small percentage of apnea patients suffer from hypothyroidism but there is always a chance for hypothyroid person to be in that low percentage. They can try natural thyroid!

  2. It's all here. I lost my job because I couldn't function and had to go on disability. I've been doing this since the 1990's and it just gets worse. I went from CPAP to BiPAP I am in that low percentile with hyperthyroidism and 1 of the 30% who can't get used to the machine. The stigma is terrible. No one can truly understand unless they've been there. It's easier to pass a person off as lazy,no good, etc. etc. and the fixes look easy, until they don't work. I've had the ulvectomy, operation for deviated septum and been through countless machines......

  3. EZRyder,
    I can understand your frustration, sleep apnea and all the problems that it brings can be devastating.
    Hang in there and let us know how you are doing.

  4. So I too just found out I have sleep Apnea. I also suffer from Hypothyroidism, and have been searching the web for answers to how these are both related. I have not been given a CPAP machine yet as I have been told that a second sleep study is necessary to determine how it will work best for me. I am gonna keep searching for answers in hopes that it will lead me understand my thyroid problems in relation to my sleep apnea.

  5. It seems that hyperthyroidism is more common among women but I wonder what that ratio is among sleep apnea patients. Good luck April

    Thanks for the empathy Doc, always good to here from you and I appreciate it...

  6. Natural Thyroid, can you tell me if there is anything to this provost or if there are other practical solutions other than CPAP? Actually CPAP doesn't work for me and BiPAP only helps up to 70%.

  7. Funny how i discovered it, i was getting a pap and the gyno said my thyroid was swollen to the extreme. It affected my entire life in school and at home. My pal recommended thyroid natural supplements last month. I tried it. And now, I can feel the difference. My life is back!