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Thyroid Cancer / Nodules & Hyperthyroidism Forum
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Avatar universal

Seizures associated with Thyroid Medicine?

About 4 months ago I was diagnosed as having hypothyrodism. TSH of 34.843 H-UIU/ML. The doctor prescribed .75 mg of Synthroid. After takaing this dosage for approx. 2 months, I had a seizure one night just after dozing off in my wife's lap. Since that point in time I have also had tremors during the night (this has been observed numerous times by my wife). I have also battled depression and on many days felt simply miserable (much more so than before starting on synthroid).

What's interesting is that two months ago I quit taking the Synthroid as I associated taking the medicine with my seizures and tremors. However, a thyroid test last week showed my TSH level to be an almost perfect 3.832 UIU/ML. I am not sure why my thyroid would seem to be working appropriately after being off Synthroid for 2 months. I am also wondering why in the world the emotional and physical problems would persist when it seems like my TSH level is as it should be.
22 Responses
97953 tn?1440865392
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
The TSH has about normalized off synthroid for 2 months -- perhaps the 34.8 level was a transient hypothyroidism after an episode of silent thyroiditis.  Seizure activity is rarely associated with thyroid dysfunction -- would recommend an EEG and neurological evaluation to document an actual seizure disorder.  Would observe thyroid function every 2-3 months to ensure stability, but would be reluctant to restart thyroid medication at this point.
Avatar universal
What I understand with hypothyroid and TSH levels is that although your numbers look within range (according to blood test results) your body is obviously telling you that they are not.  Maybe you would feel better with lower numbers.  I am a female and I know that most women feel best with their TSH around 1.0.  Just an idea......
Avatar universal
Thank you for your comments about the lower TSH #s being preferable.  I would agree with that.  It's just that my # is so much lower than it was 6 months ago (and that without having taken any Synthroid in the last 2 months) that I'm at a loss to explain my physical challenges (that seemed to hop on me all at once...).  Like you I am a thin person, but with no energy.  I won't mention that I tested positive for RA twice - Yuck... :-(.

Glad to hear that you & the family are doing missionary work in Africa - that is awesome.  Our church sponsors missionaries in Turkey, Mexico, Nigeria and Morocco (sp?).  Keep up the good work and if you wish our family will pray for your efforts.  Hopefully things are going well.  Oh, one final thing - one other thing in common.  Our best friends here in the DFW area are in the process of adopting 2 girls from Guatamala.

God Bless.

David

Avatar universal
David and family.  Of course we would appreciate your prayers!  It has been a rollercoaster ride adopting our little Eliza May and we are far from over.  However, adopting while living in Uganda seems a lot less labor intensive as well as less costly.  

As for this thyroid condition, we are learning to trust the Lord in a whole new way.  I am so sorry about the RA--I too thought I had RA as it runs in my family but so far it is only my thyroid.  On a side not I read that autoimmune diseases (ie. hypothyroid and RA) come in pairs--something to do withe DNA strands.  

Grateful for Grace-tiredmomofthree
Avatar universal
Hey, not sure if there is any relation here but I am hypothyroid - just had biopsy on two nodules - and have also had seizures.  I was diagnosed with epilepsy about 3 weeks ago.  I posted a question here to the doc and asked about the correlation of thyroid issues and neurological symtpoms.  The doc stated that it was highly unlikely.  I just thought that it was strange.....all this seemed to happen all together for me.  I had MRI and two EEG's.  I had a small lesion on my brain and in the same spot where things "fired up".  Certainly hope that you are able to find some answers soon.  It is extremely frustrating not having answers and playing the waiting game.  And like you and tiredmomofthree, I am doing my fair share of praying - my church and community!  I also deal with depression as well.  I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder a few years ago although I am not sure that I ahve that.  I don't have those real HIGH highs....however, I have had uncontrolled severe depression for a while.  It seems to have gotten better right now - but I am in the same rut - ok for a couple of months after upping the depression meds - and then slide back down again - and the process goes on and on.  Doc has suggested that I may have treatment resistant depression....that was a real ray of light for me, ya know?  I have fibromyalgia as well which is also an autoimmune disease.  I have not been diagnosed with Sjorgens syndrome although I believe that I have it and I still have hypo symptoms although tests are "within normal limits"...going to take some time to make my doc understand that within normal limits - is not normal for me per se.  Anyway, just thought that it was interesting - Hope that you find some answers soon and are on the road to good health.
Take care and God bless,
Charley
Avatar universal
Hey Charley,
Thanks for the feedback re. the Thyroid issues.  Yes, prayer is huge in being able to keep this whole mess in perspective.  I'm not sure why things sometimes seem to hit us all at once and many times in combination with other fun life type adventures (autoimmune issues, for example, seem to come in multiples...), but fortunately I have the ability to ask God for His help and the grace to proceed.  My family needs me (as yours does as well), so we must stick it out, aay?!

I will be praying for your healing & well being.

God bless,

David
Avatar universal
Many thanks, Doctor, for your aid.

I have been told by 2 other doctors that the seizure was probably not a direct result of the Synthroid, and I at least partly agree.

In addition, I was really questioning whether or not to start back on the Synthroid (do NOT want to get back to 34 UIU / ML again!).  And fell that I will hold off on starting the medication - at least until tests show a negative trend of the TSH.

Thank you again for your services & this offering.

God bless,

David

Avatar universal
Hi David,
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.
Know that you and your family will be in
mine as well.
Take Care,
Charley
Avatar universal
Re: your question about Synthroid and seizures. I just started Synthroid 8 days ago and in the print-out I received from the pharmacy, I noticed that seizures is listed as a possible side effect. The print-out says seizures are "rare", but it does list it as a possibility. Rare or not, it has happened to enough people that it is a) mentioned on their print out, and b) it has been linked somehow to starting the medication. Also, it is listed on Synthroid's website under "Prescribing Information" and then "Adverse Reactions".  If you've never had seizures before, it would be quite a coincidence to start having them now when it is a rare but possible side effect.  I hope that I am not scaring you....I just wanted to mention that there has been a noted correlation since you posed the question.

All the best to you and I hope that you figure this out.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for your comments.  They have in fact been echoed to us by a dear lady we know (She's an RN).  The coincidence of my seizure (and continued tremors in the night while sleeping) with having been on Synthroid for 2 months was WAY to much for me just to write off because it is "rare".  However, at our house we are beginning to think that something else might have been a bigger contributor (although a number of different variables probably all worked together).  My children have been playing a Nintendo game called "Mario Cart - Double Dash".  It was my absolute favorite game to play with them.  Last week my wife found on the Internet that Mario Cart has produced seizures previously.  I quit playing that game 7 days ago and guess what?  My wife tells me that the tremors at night have almost gone away.  I don't think that all of my recent health issues can be layed at the feet of Mario Cart, but it is certainly looking like that silly game did have a negative affect on me.  (And if me, then how many others...).  Thanks again.  Hope your treatments go more smoothly than mine.  :-)
Avatar universal
Hey, I wish that I could contribute mine to synthroid.  It is my fault, I didn't make myself clear.  I am on levothyroxine - I will read up on the print out - usually just throw it in the trash....i guess it's something I should pay more attention to.  Thanks for the info.
Charley
Avatar universal
The Cowdog: I am pleased to hear that you may have found the cause. It is a relief to hear that a video game may be the culprit as it is easy to stop playing a video game, while more serious if it was linked to medication your body needs. I hope that your seizures and tremors become a distant memory.

Charley1986: If you search your medication's name and seizures on the internet, you will see similar (rare but possible) precautions.
Avatar universal
Hey, thought I would let you know that I got my results on thyroid biopsy today and I have papillary cancer.  Reading up as much as I can and understand that if you have to have cancer - this is the "best" kind - very curable....now just waiting to see surgeon on August 16.  I am not happy about this, but I am somewhat relieved to finally know what is going on.  I know what it is, so now I can deal with it.  I would appreciate your continued thoughts and prayers.
Charley
Avatar universal
Charley,

I am sorry to hear about your diagnosis, yet I am quite happy that if you were going to be diagnosed with a cancer it would be this one.  From quick research, it appears that the expectancy of recovery is VERY good for this particular form of that disease.  Well, we now at least have a very specific area to pray about, do we not?

Tke care,

David
Avatar universal
Thanks for the connectivity of seizures and distant thoughts.  That does have a very nice ring...

Are you beginning to get some answers to your questions?

Cow Dog
Avatar universal
Hey,
Thanks so much.  Yes, we do have something specific.  My father is a minister and not too awfully long ago, he did a sermon on "praying specific".....not a coincidence!  I have found the more specific I am in my prayers, the more they are answered in a way that I could hardly believe.  I am glad that you have gotten an answer to your issues as well.  Good to know that it is nothing serious or something that can't be treated.  Technology has come a long way, eh?
Thanks for your prayers!
Charley
Avatar universal
Charley1986: My cousin was diagnosed with thyroid cancer 5 years ago and she is doing wonderfully well today. She went through surgery, radiation treatment, and is now on thyroid meds for hypothyroid disease. She has three young children and I never heard her complain through all of this. With the exception of the scar on her neck (which is less and less visible EVERY day), you would never know that she had cancer. She is healthy and happy. YOU WILL HAVE THE SAME SUCCESS. Prayer is important. Also, in conjunction with your medical treatment, a VERY helpful tool would be visualization techniques. One that has been recommended for cancer is to close your eyes (perhaps every day for 5 minutes before bed and upon waking) and visualize white blood cells attacking, shrinking, and then destroying the cancer. Make the visualization real and make the distruction of the cancer powerful. Your visualization will become more real with practice. Another one would be to visualize lightning bolts doing the same thing....burning it and destroying it. I have taken some seminars in this and the success rate is undeniable. Some call this energy healing and directing healing/energy to the cause.

The Cowdog: Thank you for asking...I am finding answers by reading about other people's experiences. My thyroid history has been a "complicated one", as my endo notes, and it has thrown a lot of curve balls at my endo, GP, and cardiologist. It is a slow road to recovery but I am seeing improvement so that is promising enough!
Avatar universal
Hey, thanks for that.  I like to hear about other people's experiences - it just helps me to feel better about all this.  I have a prayer chain going for me at my church and I already am less anxious about this.  I have read that this is very curable - so I am very happy about that.
I will try the visualization (sp)as well.  I believe in this as it helped me a little during labor - which came on quick and i was unable to have any drugs!
You mentioned in your post to Cowdog that you are having a hard time with the whole thyroid stuff and others as well.  You mentioned something about your cardiologist.  Just wondering what type of heart problems are you having?  I am scheduled to get hooked up with the Holter Monitor in a few weeks - but am somewhat concerned about the fact that I am going to have surgery not knowing whether I have any heart problems.  Just asking - of course, I also have epilepsy as well - and my neuro was the one who scheduled me for the Holter.
Thanks for your info and take care!
Charley
Avatar universal
Re: heart problems. I had something called PSVT (paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia....quite a mouthful but a common tachycardia). From one second to the next, my heart would race at over 200 beats per minute and then stop as suddenly as it started. There was no speeding up or slowing down (like your heart would do during exercise)...it just kicked in to 240 bpm and then reset as suddenly as it started. This was caused not by my heart itself but by a circuit in the heart that I had successfully ablated by an electrophysiologist in 2003. I never had it captured by a 24 hour monitor as it is only that....a 24 hour monitor and I wasn't lucky enough to make it happen in those 24 hours. I had it caught by fluke when it happened after a different test I had at my cardiologist's office. The more major issue for me (as my PSVT was intermittent and would only last for a few minutes) was a rapid pulse I had to to my thyroid problems. This was totally unrelated to my PSVT but since I have a touchy heart, it didn't help. I am very sensitive to thyroid hormone fluctuations and my heart would race due to my thyroid levels.....I would eat a cracker and my pulse would jump up to 150bpm, I would try to rest and my resting pulse would be high...I couldn't eat, sleep or do anything without my pulse racing. This was all due to the thyroid so I finally had my thyroid ablated with RAI on March 1 to hopefully stop the fluctuations. I am hoping that this stops my need for beta-blockers. It is a bit complicated for me as the heart disturbance was pretty bad b/c of my thyroid so my cardiologist was very insistant that I have it ablated asap. We'll see.

You may be getting the heart monitor b/c of racing pulse that may now be attributed to your thyroid problems. I wouldn't worry about it since your thyroid could be causing your heart symptoms, in which case, it will go away with treatment of your thyroid. If you are wearing the monitor for a rapid pulse, you may wish to speak to your doctor about beta-blockers (which is commonly prescribed for thyroid related heart disturbances/tachycardia)....it helped take the pressure off my heart so that it wasn't working so hard. The pill also works with the T3 hormone, which is most often linked to tachycardia caused my thyroid problems.
Avatar universal
Hey, thanks for the info.  I will let you know how it goes.  I wondered how all this would play out if I only wore it for  24 hours.  Sometimes, it will happen 2 or 3 days in a row - once or twice a day - and then I go for 3 or 4 days with no problems.  Sometimes I wake up from a nap and my pulse is racing.  There are also those "heart flutters".  I am paranoid about this I am sure since I have an awful family history of heart disease - and I am not the most healthy individual right now.  My dad had quadruple by pass in 98 - his brother had the same, that same year.  The next year, my cousin died of a massive heart attack and on the night before his funeral, my aunt died of a massive heart attack (my dads sister).  Two deaths and funerals in four days took its toll on all of us.  But then again, I have alot of cancer in my family as well - which I truly believe has something to do with the water here....alot of others believe that as well.  Big farming country here - rural - alot of crop spraying, etc.  Also, in the Sound here, there are bombing targets....hmmmm. And then, My mom's sister had ALS - died a few years ago.  A year after she died, her daughter (my cousin) was diagnosed with MS.  This past year, a friend of mine was also diagnosed with MS.  Teacher at the high school here was just diagnosed with MS as well.  Hey, maybe I need to call Erin Brocovitch (sp?)!!!!!)
Again, thanks for the info - I hope all goes well with you.  Keep us posted!
Avatar universal
Yikes. The environment you live in does not seem like a healthy one. Thyroid and autoimmune conditions have an environmental component to them so a "healthy" environment would be best for you....especially with thyroid cancer.

The 24 hour heart monitor is NOT the be-all-end-all test. It is only 24 hours....I never caught anything with that test. If your heart symptoms continue, you can get an "event monitor". This is a monitor you wear for several weeks and simply press a button when you feel symptomatic. The 24 hour monitor is a good start as it records constantly for the 24 hour period (even while you are sleeping), but if it doesn't capture anything, you may wish to ask for an event monitor that you wear for a longer period of time and are able to press a button when you feel a heart symptom. Since you got diagnosed with thyroid cancer, there is a good chance that your heart symptoms are related to your thyroid and that they will go away with treatment. You may have nothing to worry about with respect to your heart as the heart may not be causing these sensations. The heart sensations may only be a symptom of your thyroid problems....which would be a good thing as once your thryoid is "fixed" so is your heart!

Please keep me posted.........I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
Avatar universal
Thanks alot - I will let you know how it goes with the doc this week.  Need to call my other doc and let her know what is going on.  You keep posting as well and let me know how things are going with you.  You are in my thoughts and prayers as well!
Charley
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