Most people do not spend much time thinking about their hormones, but they are at work every minute of the day keeping your body regulated. One function they control is your wake and sleep cycle. That is why the thyroid gland, which produces thyroid hormones, can be connected to a few different sleep problems. In fact, research has found a link between the thyroid and sleep apnea disorder in Marysville. Read on to learn about the connection and what can be done to treat thyroid dysfunction as well as sleep apnea.
There are primarily two types of thyroid disorder: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid does not secrete enough hormone, and hyperthyroidism refers to when thyroid hormone is overproduced.
Hypothyroidism is also called an underactive thyroid and is marked by the following symptoms:
Overactive nodules or a thyroid goiter, Grave’s disease or thyroiditis may cause hyperthyroidism. This condition is marked by profuse sweating, excessive hunger, unexplained weight loss, heat intolerance, tiredness and fatigue, an abnormal heart rhythm, hair loss, tremors and bulging eyes.
With either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, all of the symptoms do not need to be present for a positive diagnosis.
People with hypothyroidism may be more likely to develop sleep apnea. There may be changes within the upper airway that lead to difficulty breathing while you sleep. In addition, hypothyroidism may reduce the body’s ability to react to chemical changes within the blood, or it could damage nerves and muscles that are integral to breathing. Finally, because patients with hypothyroidism may gain weight, they may store excess fat in the neck, which can be a contributing factor of obstructive sleep apnea.
For many years, a CPAP—continuous positive air pressure—machine was the gold standard for treating sleep apnea. Today, however, there is a simpler and much more comfortable solution. An oral appliance can be prescribed. When worn during sleep, the appliance gently shifts your lower jaw forward. This small movement helps keep your airway unblocked so you can breathe freely while you sleep.
If your sleep apnea is caused by hypothyroidism, then your family physician may prescribe thyroid hormone replacement. The condition is usually diagnosed through a simple blood test.
If you are experiencing daytime fatigue, morning headaches, irritability and moodiness, then sleep apnea may be to blame. Contact a dentist in Marysville to learn more about an oral appliance for sleep apnea therapy.
Meet the Doctor
At Allen Creek Family Dentistry, we offer sleep apnea therapy along with the preventive, restorative and cosmetic dentistry so patients have beautiful smiles and healthy bodies. Do not put off an appointment with the dentist if you are experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea. Call our office today to schedule a visit.