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Thyroid Disorders Community
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Avatar universal

Hyerthyroidism and the Heart

I previously was Graves hyperthryroid with an undetectable TSH, less than 0.004.  T4 elevated at 25.0.  Free T4 7.06.  Heart rate was 140 "at rest" and slowly decreased over a period of months after administration of antithyroid medication.  Was still hyperthyroid for a year after first taking antithryoid medication.  Now TSH etc. are within normal range.  Have had heart symptoms/problems since that time which never experienced prior to hyperthyroidism.  Symptoms include left side chest discomfort, noises and pain in throat -- all of which are fine with medication.  Was diagnosed with heart failure and dilated cardiomyopathy and have a LBBB.  My question is what is the actual strain on the heart while hyperthyroid to this degree with tachycardia?  Thank you very much.
8 Responses
213044 tn?1236531060
I cannot answer your question from a doctors standpoint or understand half the terms you have used, for that matter.

I can tell yo a bit of my own experience, if that will help.

My heart was in fine condition three years ago. I had all sorts of tests run telling me so.

I spent parts of the last two years in a Hyper phase, sometimes quite severely Hyper.

At one point I experienced muscle wasting, a condition that led to me losing 25 pounds (from 145 to 120) of muscle in a week, during which time I was confined to bed most of the time and eating twice as much as I normally would eat. I was literally eating constantly, and the weight fell off of me.

I now have heart problems that have not been explained fully. My health has been such that my doctors feel a Cardiologist can wait till later.

I've been on Toprol XL for a year and a half to control Tachacardia, and I am unable to work at this time.

The last time I was discharged from a hospital, the doctor releasing me explained in layman's terms that my heart could neither contract nor relax fully, thus it was not pumping eficiently, and was under a constant strain trying to circulate the blood. He sent me home with no diagnosis or recommendation other than to try and get my thyroid under control as soon as possible.

So I don't even understand my own condition, let alone yours.

I can tell you that prolonged periods of Hyperthyroidism can put an enormous strain on your heart, but you already know that.

I have been hypothyroid now for a while, but the heart symptoms persist. My PCP will not say whether my heart will get stronger again or not. I am waiting to get my TSH stabilized before seeing a Cardiologist.

I've seen so many doctors I am not in a big hurry to see another Cardiologist anyway.

If you want to ask a doctor on this board about your heart, there is another forum you can post to.

To do that, go to the top of the page and click where it says "forums". That will take you to a page where there are lists of boards.

One section is "patient to patient" forums, and one section is "patient to doctor" forums.

You can pick the forum you feel is most apropriate, or pick more than one, and ask your question directly to a doctor. The forums the doctors participate on limit the number of new questions a day, so you may have to try a few times to get your question listed, but a doctor will answer you sooner or later once you ask your questions.

In the meantime, someone may be able to answer your questions here. I would keep checking here, and try posting to one of the forums that a doctor participates on.

Hope this is of some help to you.
Avatar universal
Thank you very much for telling me about your experience which I believe we all need to share.  Apparently, there is a serious problem.  Your experience is incredibly similar to mine.  It sounds as though you have experienced heart failure due to the hyperthyroidism.  That is precisely what happened to me when I was hospitalized.  I, too, was never told my complete diagnosis and was discharged from the hospital in high output heart failure and noone ever told me!  They simply gave me the diagnosis of hyperthyroidism.  A 2D Echo was ordered and they never gave me the results which showed that I had a poorly functioning heart with a low ejection fraction.  You absolutely must see a Cardiologist!  Don't wait until your TSH is normal!  You need to know what is going on now and make them explain it to you.  I don't know what the problem is, however, I plan to get to the bottom of it.  We're all being ignored!  And, I don't know what the reason for it is.  Since your hyperthyroid state was so severe and the doctor made the comments to you regarding your heart, you must see a Cardiologist.  Don't wait for them to quide you!  If I've learned anything, it's that they don't tell us much -- they keep us in the dark until it's too late.  Become proactive.  I will get to the bottom of the problem to find out why we're being ignored.  Thank you for the information on how to post a question which I plan to do.
Avatar universal
Thank you very much for telling me about your experience which I believe we all need to share.  Apparently, there is a serious problem.  Your experience is incredibly similar to mine.  It sounds as though you have experienced heart failure due to the hyperthyroidism.  That is precisely what happened to me when I was hospitalized.  I, too, was never told my complete diagnosis and was discharged from the hospital in high output heart failure and noone ever told me!  They simply gave me the diagnosis of hyperthyroidism.  A 2D Echo was ordered and they never gave me the results which showed that I had a poorly functioning heart with a low ejection fraction.  You absolutely must see a Cardiologist!  Don't wait until your TSH is normal!  You need to know what is going on now and make them explain it to you.  I don't know what the problem is, however, I plan to get to the bottom of it.  We're all being ignored!  And, I don't know what the reason for it is.  Since your hyperthyroid state was so severe and the doctor made the comments to you regarding your heart, you must see a Cardiologist.  Don't wait for them to quide you!  If I've learned anything, it's that they don't tell us much -- they keep us in the dark until it's too late.  Become proactive.  I will get to the bottom of the problem to find out why we're being ignored.  Thank you for the information on how to post a question which I plan to do.
213044 tn?1236531060
You're right. I shouldn't wait.

Another member here talked me into getting ALL my records from my PCP, and the heart tests will all be in there, as well as the emergency room visits and hospital stays.

I can look it over and go have an educated talk with a Cardiologist and have some more tests run. My PCP has had me off work since October and has told me about five times I am not going back to work for at least a year.

My Endo is saying the same thing, but she doesn't have a clue that I have a serious heart issue. She barely understands my thyroid issue.

The problem there is the two hospitals are not communicating 100%. She doesn't have any records of my ER visits, Hospital stay, or heart tests.

My PCP doesn't have any of the records of the tests my Endo has run. He's run plenty  of his own, but he has not seen any of the results of tests she has run.

That's all my fault, I suppose. I should be telling eveybody to fax each other all test results.

Anyway, try the doctor's forums as well. it's the lower section of forums on that page.

Your welcome here, but it sounds like you want to ask a Cardiologist a question right now.

Good luck.
Post back what you find out.
I'm interested.  
Avatar universal
Yes, the person who told you to get "all" of your records is correct.  You will have a better understanding of the situation yourself if you do this.  I have found it's best to have a copy yourself and read over the contents vs. simply having one doctor/hospital forward to another.  You are your own best advocate.  Also, as you end up switching doctors it's easier to make copies of tests that you will take to each visit.  There is a huge, huge problem with too many Endocrinologists not seeing the relationship between thyroid and cardiac problems.  This is dangerous.  And, it's not much better with Cardiologists.  I guess it's easier for specialists to believe that they focus on their specialty and ignore everything else.  This is extremely dangerous, and Endocrinologists should not be claiming to be thyroid experts when they don't have a basic understanding of the effects on the body.  It clearly sounds to me as though you need a new Endocrinologist. Thanks for your help!
Avatar universal
Unfortunately, it appears that there isn't a forum to ask a Cardiologist.  In my own experience the Cardiologist depended on the Endocrinologist for oversight and decision making.  So either way, it's still good to find an Endocrinologist who is sensitive to heart issues an pays attention to a patient's symptoms etc.to know the importance of a referral to a Cardiologist.  I'll continue to try to post question to Thyroid M.D.  Haven't been able to get through.
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