Hypothyroidism and problems sleeping

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I was diagnosed 13 years ago and was originally put on levothyroxine however taking this medicine just made me feel worse and honestly I haven't been completely compliant because I couldn't cope with how it made me feel. I could go months without taking meds and function normally every day. However around 3/4 months ago I saw my doctor who changed me on to liothyronine even though over the years I have been told there is no alternative. I have taken them regularly and been having my levels checked but my levels are still way out. Doc then referred me and I had my first appointment in the endocrine clinic. The consultant was really nice and has now put me on 75mcg levothyroxine along with 10mg liothyronine all together in the morning and 10mg early evening. Now I'm having serious problems sleeping at night not so much getting to sleep but waking up early hours and being wide awake for 4-5 hours and suffering the next day with a real muggy head and just feeling pretty rubbish. I'm not sure if it's related but can anyone help!?? I am at my wits end and feeling really down now.

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  • Posted

    I had horrible insomnia with levothyroxine, horrible, I was a walking zombie wide awake all the time. They started me on 75mcg like you and that's what caused it.

    My doctor then put me on 25mcg and I started taking unisom to sleep, it worked and I was able to gradually work up to the 75mcg per day (and higher now) with no problems. Well, no insomnia problems anyway, lol.

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    • Posted

      I did think it seemed like a rather large dose of thyroxine to start off on after telling her it didn't seem to agree with me. I think I will contact her tomorrow and see what she says. Just feel a bit disappointed that I was starting to feel better on just the liothyronine but docs were not happy as my levels were not improving. I need sleep I feel anxious getting in to bed every night worrying that I will wake again. I've had about 3 hours sleep last night and I don't even feel tired. 
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    • Posted

      Yes! I was the same it was so weird I just never got tired even though I was exhausted. You might try an over the counter sleeping pill as well, they worked for me -  I had to take them for a few days, the first few nights they didn't work but then seemed to kick in. The lowered dosage helped 100% though.
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    • Posted

      Have your adrenal glands been checked? You will react badly to thyroid meds if there are problems with your adrenal glands. Also Ferritin needs to be 70+ to process thyroxine properly.
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  • Posted

    Like you I had trouble with levothyroxine so when i was told I needed to increase my thyroid medication I was also prescribed T3 (liothyronine) 10 mg morning & night and then spent the next 3 weeks being unable to get or stay asleep. It was so bad that after 3 weeks of little or no sleep i had to stop.
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    • Posted

      The exhausted but can't sleep aymptom is an indication that ypu are over medicated. My endo said to take no more than 10 (think the units were mcg) liothyronine per day. 5mcg in morm might ng, 5mcg 6-8 hours later. Taking it at night isn't a good idea as it acts like a stimulent. This is why people on NDT split their dose and take half to two thirds in the morning a one half to one third 6-8 hours later.
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  • Posted

    Hi Andrea,

    I remember when I took liothyonine it made me slightly more awake but I remember I had heart pounding so had to stop. Levothyroxine is a T4 med and liothyonine is t3 so they have different effects on some people.

    The problem with liothyonine is that is has a very short half life (half of it leaves your system after 24 hours) where as levothyroxine had a half life of 7 days. This is probably why they suggested to spread it out throughout the day rathrr than taking one huge hit in the morning. It could be that you are taking too much- how much levothyroxine were you on before you took liothyonine?

    Alternative treatment options seem to be a closely guarded secret on the nhs (due to their cost- they said to me liothyonine is about £1 per tablet and you are looking at pennies for levothyroxine!). There is one other option which works for a lot of people called NDT (natural dessicated thyroid).this is a natural hormone from animals rather than synthetic, so in theory it should resemble your own hormones more closely. It is available in the UK but only on a private prescription. You will find that doctors will know nothing about it or how to treat using this med, so if this is an option you want to try go see an endocrinologist.

    Hope you get the help you need

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