If you’re on blood pressure medication—and having trouble sleeping at night, consider testing the tiny (but mighty) thyroid gland.
When the thyroid is over active—a condition called hyperthyroidism—production of too much thyroid hormone “speeds up” the body causing rapid pulse, higher blood pressure, tremors, anxiety and nervousness.
In older adults, symptoms of over-active thyroid are sometimes masked by beta-blockers—a medication used to treat high blood pressure and rapid heart rate.
Beta-blockers reduce the symptoms of hyperthyroidism but don’t treat thyroid symptoms. If you have trouble sleeping, feel like you’re “always on the go,” or experience muscle weakness or hand tremors, and especially if you take beta blockers—it’s a good idea to check your thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine (T4) levels with a simple blood test and discuss the results with your doctor. A high level of T4 confirms hyperthyroidism.