Thyroid Disease and Fatigue

Fatigue is a common symptom of thyroid problem. You may sleep ten or twelve hours a night and still wake up exhausted. You may also find yourself needing a nap in the afternoon just to make it to dinnertime. Or you just walk around spaced out on the same amount of sleep that used to leave you feeling refreshed.

Thyroid-related fatigue begins to appear when you cannot sustain energy long enough, especially when compared to a past level of fitness or ability. If your thyroid foundation is weak, sustaining energy output is difficult. You will notice you just don’t seem to have the energy to do the things you used to be able to do.

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There are a number of important facts to know about the key connection between fatigue and thyroid conditions, and these facts are outlined here.


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Having a long-term debilitating fatigue, the fatigue could be accompanied by other symptoms such as enlarged lymph nodes, chronic sore throats, and/or body/muscle aches pains. You may have other conditions known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and/or fibromyalgia. These conditions are more common in thyroid patients than in the general population.

Sleep Apnea.

Thyroid patients are at greater risks of sleep apnea. Here breathing stops for short periods during sleep and can contribute greatly to fatigue.

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Dietary Changes.

Some thyroid patients including those who do not have celiac disease or gluten intolerance  have reported a reduction in fatigue when they switch to a gluten-free diet, free of wheat and gluten products.

Fatigue and Hypothyroidism

Fatigue is a very common symptom of hypothyroidism – an underactive or low thyroid in many patients. When the treatment for hypothyroidism is optimized, many patients report that their fatigue is lessened or even fully resolved.

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Better Sleep can be achieved

In addition to making sure you get optimal thyroid treatment for your condition, and address any sleep disorders, food sensitivities, and imbalances in iron levels, there are many other ways to ensure that you get sufficient sleep.

Here are some tips to get to sleep, and get better sleep:

  • Listen to relaxation or guided imagery tapes to help fall asleep
  • Don’t drink too much liquid in the evening
  • Limit changes in your work shifts
  • Drink an herbal or relaxation tea at bedtime
  • Have a bedtime snack with protein.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the afternoon, and before bedtime.
  • Try to keep the same sleep schedule weekdays and weekends.
  • Don’t exercise after dinner time
  • Take a hot shower or bath before bedtime.
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