Sleep Apnea and Hypothyroidism in 2023: Expert Perspectives



Sleep apnea and Hypothyroidism are two common medical conditions that could significantly impact a person’s health and overall well-being in 2023. Although they might appear to be not to be related, recent studies have revealed the link between these two disorders. Hypothyroidism is a disease characterized by an inactive thyroid gland and has now been recognized as a possible risk of sleep apnea. Understanding the relationship between these two conditions is vital for healthcare professionals to provide accurate diagnoses and proper treatment for patients suffering from both conditions. We will examine the connection between sleep apnea and Hypothyroidism and the clinical implications to identify this risk.

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Hypothyroidism as a risk factor for sleep Apnea:

Sleep-Thyroid Connection

The thyroid gland controls various body functions, including energy levels and metabolism. The thyroid gland is not producing sufficient thyroid hormones. It leads to a slowing of metabolism. The hormonal imbalance could cause a wide-ranging impact on various systems, including the respiratory system. It could affect sleep patterns and lead to sleep apnea.

Effect on Respiratory Function

Thyroid hormones play a part in maintaining the functioning of respiratory muscles and the airway in the upper. In Hypothyroidism, weakening respiratory muscles and decreased tension within the airway can cause the airway becoming collapsed when you sleep, leading to the condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA ).

A Hormonal Effect on Sleep Architecture

Thyroid hormones can also affect the sleep-wake cycle and the general structure of sleep. When Hypothyroidism is present, changes in these hormones could alter the normal sleep pattern and cause sleep to be disrupted and a greater susceptibility to sleep apnea-related events.

The Prevalence of Sleep Apnea for Hypothyroid Patients

Numerous studies have revealed an increased incidence of sleep apnea among those with Hypothyroidism than in the general population. The precise mechanism that explains this connection isn’t fully comprehended, but it highlights the importance of examining sleep apnea testing in patients with Hypothyroidism.

Clinical Considerations to Identify Sleep Apnea in hypothyroid patients:

Comprehensive Sleep History

Healthcare professionals must take the time to review the sleep histories of patients suffering from Hypothyroidism. Pay particular attention to sleep apnea symptoms like loud snoring, apparent apneas, and morning sleepiness. A thorough evaluation can aid in identifying sleep disturbances that could be causing the problem.

Sleep Apnea Screening Tools

The most reliable tools for screening sleep apnea, such as the STOP-BANG questionnaire or the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, can assist in determining hypothyroid risk for sleep apnea patients. Positive results from screening should prompt an evaluation.

Polysomnography (Sleep Study)

Polysomnography is the most reliable method to diagnose sleep apnea. Patients with Hypothyroidism who suspect sleep apnea need to undergo a sleep examination to determine the existence and severity of the problem.

Collaboration with Sleep Specialists

Collaboration with sleep specialists is crucial for managing Hypothyroidism in sleep apnea patients. Sleep specialists can interpret sleep study findings and provide appropriate treatment strategies.

Monitoring Sleep Apnea Treatment Response

A proper Thyroid hormone replacement could help alleviate sleep apnea symptoms in certain hypothyroid patients. Healthcare professionals must monitor the effectiveness of treatment and alter the treatment as needed.


Recognizing Hypothyroidism as a risk cause of sleep apnea is crucial to ensure complete treatment for patients with both conditions. Healthcare professionals should be on guard when it comes to evaluating sleep disturbances in hypothyroid patients and may recommend the need to screen for sleep apnea if it is needed. Collaboration with sleep specialists could result in prompt diagnosis and proper treatment, improving sleep quality and overall well-being for those suffering from Hypothyroidism and sleep apnea.

Hypothyroidism and Sleep Apnea Answers to FAQs

  • Can Hypothyroidism Cause Sleep Disturbances?

Hypothyroidism can trigger insomnia, sleep disturbances and an increase in the amount of sleep you get during the day.

  • Does Sleep Apnea Be reversed with thyroid hormone replacement?

The replacement of thyroid hormones can alleviate sleep apnea symptoms for certain hypothyroid patients, but it may not fully end sleep apnea. Other treatments for sleep apnea may be required.

  • Are Sleep Apnea Symptoms More Severe in Hypothyroid Patients?

The severity of sleep apnea symptoms may vary for different individuals regardless of thyroid function. Assessing each patient’s symptoms and performing appropriate sleep studies is vital for a correct diagnosis.

  • Does Hypothyroidism be a result Of Sleep Apnea?

There isn’t any evidence that suggests that sleep apnea can cause Hypothyroidism. Sleep apnea could contribute to various health issues, and its effects on hormonal regulation might merit additional investigation.

  • Does Weight Gain Normal in Hypothyroid Patients who suffer from Sleep Apnea?

Weight gain is a sign of Hypothyroidism and may indicate sleep apnea. Controlling thyroid function and dealing with sleep apnea can help manage weight.

  • Can Treating Sleep Apnea Improve Thyroid Function?

There is limited evidence to suggest that sleep apnea treatment may directly enhance thyroid function. But, improved sleep quality and overall health can positively affect thyroid health.

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