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Tachycardia and Hyperthyroid
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Tachycardia and Hyperthyroid

Hi, I was diagnosed 6 months ago with hyperthyroid after having my third child.  Just before my 3rd child was born I started having what my doctor called panic attacks which included rapid pulse.  I had also just had a miscarriage.  Luckily, I conceived my 3rd child and my pulse really sped up. My doctors told me I was fine they said I was a nervous person who was pregnant but to be safe they would send me to the cardiologist.  I saw a cardiologist because not only was I having periods of a rapid pulse and elevated pulse but I was also having feelings of skipped beats (I had this for years.  I went on the 24 hour haulter monitor and was told I was fine with some episodes of tachycardia).  I was on the King of Heart monitor and had an ecocardiogram and I was told I was just fine and not to worry about the tachycardia.  After my boy was born my heart would really seem to race and the episodes lasted longer until one night it went to 120bpm and slowed only to 100-110.  It was shortly after that I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism.  My blood levels are normal now and the doctor wants me to come off of PTU to see if I'm in remission.  However, I still have episodes of tachycardia (very infrequent). Is this something I will just have to live with?  I really don't want to, can you tell me what I should do next?   Thank You!!
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Dear  Sue,

Thank you for your question. You question brings up the topic of 'tachycardia'.  There are many causes of tachycardia  (fast heart beat) and they can be divided roughly into sinus (originating from the sinus node or heart's natural pacemaker) and non-sinus tachycardias.  Nonsinus tachycardias are either  supraventricular (coming from the upper chambers of the heart) or ventricular (coming from the lower chambers of the heart).  Supraventricular tachycardias include:  paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia, atrial flutter, atrial fibrillation and AV nodal tachycardia. Ventricular tachycardias are more serious in nature and are due to a rapid depolarization of  the ventricles.  

Sinus tachycardia is defined as a heart rate of greater than 100 beats per minute originating from the sinus node.  Sinus tachycardia is classified as either appropriate or inappropriate.  There are many causes of appropriate sinus tachycardia such as exercise, anxiety, panic attacks, dehydration, deconditioning, volume loss due to bleeding or other loss of body fluids, electrolyte abnormalities and many other conditions such as hyperthyroidism which you were experiencing.  In general thyroid levels should be checked in everyone with unexplained tachycardia and then followed during therapy.

Therapy can be either medical or ablation of the thyroid with radioactive iodine.  A trial off medication is often made after 12 to 24 months of therapy with about a third of patients doing well off therapy.  The others will need to resume medical therapy or undergo ablation of the thyroid.
12 Comments
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Hi....while you're waiting, I thought I'd tell you my experiences.  I have a child with Graves' Disease, hyperthyroidism.  She was diagnosed at age 8, she is now 15.  At time of diagnosis, her resting heart rate was 158.  Children often require longer times of medication to achieve remission.  She was on Tapizole for 7 years.  Periodically the doctors would either lower the dosage or take her off the medication to see if she achieved remission.  Her pulse rate increasing was one of the indications the doctors used to determine she was not in remission, along with the blood work.  Finally, after seven years, she is in remission.  Her blood work has been stable since July off the medication.  One of my research searches indicated that for each year a person is treated with anti-thyroid drugs, there is a 20% chance of achieving remission.  If her remission fails, she will no longer be put back on the medication....after being treated with Tapizole for so many years she developed reactions to the medicine.  They will use the radioactive iodine treatment to destroy part or all of the thyroid gland, which usually ends in having to use replacement thyroid hormone since it often leaves you hypothyroid.  This however, is a much easier problem to control.  They were hoping to wait till she was 18.  Many endocronologists recommend the radioactive iodine therapy to the majority of their adult Graves' Disease patients.  My daughter still has a goiter-her thyroid is three times enlarged...at diagnosis it was four times enlarged.  Her bulging eyeballs responded rapidly to the drug therapy.  She is doing quite well now, although she has been dealing with another autoimmune disease besides the thyroid problem for the last three years....lupus.  She has had complete heart evaluations, and there is no problem with her heart.  The tachycardia was just from the thyroid.  She is a competitive swimmer.  Good luck with everything....once the Graves' Disease is truly under control, you will probably find the tachycardia resolves.
Dee
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could vent. tachycardia be a sequele to a demyalinization of the Vagal nerve caused by a recent viral episode?
                                   Thank You
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In the past week I have had 4 incidents of rapid heart beat
while at rest.  It would last approx. 4-5 minutes with shortness
of breath ,dizziness.  I am 36 years old and have never had any
heart conditions before. I don't smoke, drink, and i'm not on
any medication at this time.  I did end up in the ER this week
and had an EKG done a thyroid test done, and a cardiac doppler
they also sent me home with a holter monitor for 24 hours, but
the situation did not occur while I was wearing the monitor.  
Also while in the ER my BP was high which is abnormal for me.
Possible diagnosis by ER doctor PSVT by Hx, palpitations.
I do not have results of other test except that the tyroid
test was normal.  Any help. thanks.
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Hi I am an amature triathlete and have over the last year experienced an elevated heart rate during swimming with it going from 155 up to 237, when this happens i usually have to quit swimming and lie down till it drops, it usually does this in less than 5 minutes. This only happens in the swimming never biking or running. Does anyone have any idea why this happens, it has only happened about 7 times in the last year and i have not found that it has a common factor.
Thanks
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MY SON, KENNETH, 8 YEARS OLD WAS HAVING FAST HEART BEATS WHICH HE BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION. THEY WOULD COME AND GO  QUICKLY, EXCEPT FOR THIS LAST EPISODE IT LANDED HIM IN THE ER WITH A HEART RATE OF OVER 220 BEATS A MINUTE.  THEY TOOK ALL TYPES OF BLOOD WORK, INCLUDING THE THYROID,WHICH PROVED NORMAL AND HE WAS RELEASED AFTER INTRAVINSLY GIVING HIM A MEDICATION TO BRING HIS HEART RATE RIGHT DOWN TO NORMAL FOR HIS AGE.  WE WERE TOLD IT WAS WOLFE,PARKINSON,WHITE SYNDROME, IN OTHER WORDS SVT.  IM SCARED FOR HIM AND MYSELF..  HE ALSO GAINED 30 POUNDS SINCE MAY OF 99, WHICH I THOUGHT WAS BECAUSE OF A THYROID . HE WORE A 24HOUR HEART MONITOR, AND ALSO HAD ANOTHER TEST DONE FOR TRIGLSORIDS, AND CHOLRESTOL., WHICH I AM STILL AWAITING THE TEST RESULTS ON THAT.  WILL HE OUTGROW THIS, I FEEL I HAVE TO BE ON MY TOES CONSTANTLY, IN CASE THIS HAPPENS AGAIN.  I CHANGED HIS DIET TO NO SUGAR , CAFFINE, OR CHOCOLATE, WHICH THEY TOLD ME TO  DO..ANY MORE INFORMATIVE INFORMATION WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. HIS DAD DIED AT 30 YEARS OLD OF A HEART ATTACT SUDDENLY, WHICH I WAS ALSO TOLD THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HIS SITUATION.  PLEASE GIVE ME ALITTLE MORE INSIGHT, I DONT WANT TO SEE ANYTHING HAPPEN TO MY BABY.   THANK YOU, GINA
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For the past week, I've been having heart "flutters" that actually feel like they're going up into my head.  My ears will get to feeling like the ocean is running through them.  This all lasts about 4-5 seconds at a time.  I don't know if "flutters" are actually rapid heart beats, but my boyfriend insists it's just stress.  Since it is happening almost constantly lately, I thought I'd do some research.

My mother had hyperthyroidism.  I get checked about every three years, and its been a while, so maybe it's time I get checked again.  

Anyone feel what I'm describing?
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What do you suggest for an 87 year old lady with RAPID HEART BEAT???

She had the echogram, ecg, = no problems.
Walks quite a bit.
Is generally very healthy.

She is taking Beta Blocker/ Metoprolol as well as 2.5 mg Norvasc to control hi blood pressure.

Episodes of Rapid Heart beat.... 100, 106 as hi as 111  hit her and last several hours.   This week end (Feb. 5-6, 2000) she has had rapid heart beat Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sunday.

I called Emerg. Room at Hosp.  They said... We don't treat that when it is only 100 to 106 or so... (Said Nurse.)  Might upset rhythm... might make heart go too slow.

She passed Stress Test/treadmill, Oct.  All the blood work. Total physical.   She has gone to Cardiologist, and several doctors. None seem to know what could possibly be causing RAPID PULSE.

IS THERE SUCH A THING AS A DOCTOR WHO SPECIALIZES IN:

RAPID HEART BEATS?
HI BLOOD PRESSURE TREATMENTS?

Bill Bailey
250 W. Main St.
Kerrville, TX 78028
***@****
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I would like to know how to lower a rapid heart beat. Can Hytrin cause this?
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Hi,
My mom has been diagnosed with tachycardia and I have had many enocounters myself with palpitations. More frequently I have been getting them, usually 2 times a day I will have to stop and calm my heart down by a special breathing technique.  I feel like my heart is pounding oout of my chest and when I was seen by a cardiologist she said I could take medicine or go on like I am because it was not serious. what do I do and should I get on medication?
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Question:

If recently diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, would that be the cause of tachycardia (140-150).  How long would the tachycardia be present?  Would medication for thyroid and tachycardia be treatment of choice.  Thank you for your input and comments!!
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To:  Holly Sutherland:

I too, have hyperthyroid and have been having these flutter feelings that start in my chest and go out the top of my head, I also have tachycardia and lightheadedness and flushing and sweating when it happens.  It started about 6 months ago, very infrequently, like 2-3 times amonth, now it happens almost everyday for the last two months.  I go to see my endocrinologist next month, Ill see what she thinks!!
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