Do I Have A Sleep Disorder Or Is It My Thyroid Problem?

I was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (hypothyroid). I have been on synthroid for about one month. I am still very tired no matter how much sleep I get, and I tend to oversleep. Is this because of the thyroid problem itself, or could I have a sleep disorder? Also, is “natural” thyroid replacement (bovine) better than artificial (Synthroid)?

Hypothyroidism has, at least in recent years, been considered a disease for which we now have excellent tests and perfect treatment which are simple and straightforward. This is thought to be true, whether the cause of the hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune destruction of the thyroid gland mentioned by you, or another cause.

It has become dogma amongst doctors, including virtually all endocrinologists, that since the development of the TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) test we are able to perfectly measure the activity of the replacement thyroid that we give, and that therefore patients who continue to complain of fatigue, lethargy and other common symptoms must have something else ailing them, because their thyroid hormone is being completely replaced as measured by the TSH test.

I agreed with this position for many years, and readers who have read my previous postings on the treatment of hypothyroidism will know that I have always stressed the complete accuracy of the TSH test as a means of monitoring a person’s hormone replacement. My conviction about this has begun to waiver however, in part because of the many anguished letters I have received from people with hypothyroidism who still don’t feel well despite their “normal” TSH tests.

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