Note: The text below is a transcription from the video above. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
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Does Hashimoto’s cause insomnia? Oh, yeah. We have a questionnaire that we have people fill out to 289 questions, one of the sections is on hyperthyroid symptoms. So, it has anxiety and inward tremors, and it has heart palpitations for no reason at all, and a number of things, and night sweats. And one of the questions is, do you have insomnia? This is in the Hashimoto’s thyroid section. So, it definitely causes insomnia, and it’s kind of indirect and it’s kind of not. So, because Hashimoto’s, your thyroid has so many effects on so many parts of your physiology, that it can alter your gut function, which can cause imbalances and bacteria, which can cause alternations in your blood sugar. And then you can’t go to sleep and you wake up, you can’t go back to sleep and you’re going like, “Oh, my God, I don’t know what’s going on,” and it’s stress, but it’s actually all of those things that was caused by the thyroid in itself.
And then there’s so many of those mechanisms I can go through, just general inflammation. When the thyroid is attacked and it starts putting out a lot of thyroid hormone, that’s an inflammatory response. The thyroid hormone itself will make you very jittery. When you get an attack on your thyroid and the thyroid hormone, particularly the thyroid hormone T3. T3, hooks into your cells, that’s all the cells of your body, that would be your heart, your liver, your intestines, your brain, and it hooks into these cells of your physiology and the neurons. It just cranks everything up. And in the brain, it causes inflammation, it causes a lack of oxygen. This will disturb your physiology for sleep significantly, puts a tremendous strain on your adrenal glands, Hashimoto’s does.
And your adrenal glands, most of you know them as stress glands. They help to control blood sugar, they’re secondary sex glands, they do a lot of stuff. And one of the things they do is they directly work with something called your hippocampus and your brain. Your hippocampus is where your short term memory is. And your short term memory turns into long term memory when you sleep. So, this mechanism also has a lot to do with your circadian rhythm, when you go from day shift to suddenly going to a night shift, and it takes you months, and months, and months to synchronizing to that particular schedule and you don’t feel good and you feel crappy. That’s your poor circadian rhythm, which is heavily affected by Hashimoto’s.
So, sleep is something that’s really, really consistent with the autoimmune patients that come in here. “I can’t go to sleep. I wake up, I can’t go back to sleep,” and there’s a lot of things that can be involved in that. But once you start putting out too much thyroid hormone, and once it starts intermittently jacking up and then depressing. So, I’ve just talked about what happens when you’re thyroid hormone jacks up, but then when it gets done, it goes down and now you have just the opposite. You have depressed function in all those same organs. So, this will disturb your sleep as well. So, if you have Hashimoto’s, usually in our office, in treating the immune response that is attacking the thyroid, usually you’re going to be having to treat a lot of the things that also are chemically interfering with your brain’s ability to go to sleep and stay asleep.
So, they’re kind of wrapped together in these multiple vicious cycles of you have to treat the gut, you have to treat the blood sugar, and then that takes pressure off of the thyroid. And then if all that’s good and you’re still having insomnia, then at that point, maybe you have to treat the thyroid with herbs and botanicals or medication or something like that. So, it’s a little complex, but the answer is yes. If you have autoimmune thyroid disease, it is definitely a player of some measure to you having insomnia.