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heart palpitations and overmedication?

Several months ago I began taking armour thyroid 75 mg (or one and one quarter tabs); dosage was upped to 90 mg - took that for about 10 days before I started having symptoms - sleep became disturbed, difficulty concentrating, irritability and then heart palpitations; it was the palpitations that finally made me think -uh-oh maybe too high a dosage; doc said stop taking meds until symptoms of toxicity have disappeared; it's been almost two weeks now since I dosed;  irritability and racing mind have abated; heart palpitations are less strong but still present and the insomnia is still quite pronounced; anyone have any experience like this? thanks for your help
4 Responses
Avatar universal
The T-3 in Armour might cause spikes ie highs and lows, because T-3 has a short half-life.  To avoid this  Armour should be cut in half with a razor blade and half is ideally taken twice a day, 10 to 20 minutes before breakfast and dinner. Taking it after meals also helps to reduce volatility of the blood-level of T3.
Most doctors using Armour thyroid are not aware that Armour thyroid should be used twice daily and NOT once a day. The major reason is that the T3 component has such a short half life and needs to be taken twice daily to achieve consistent blood levels.

Symptoms of Excessive Thyroid Hormone may include: palpitations, nervousness, feeling hot and sweaty, rapid weight-loss, fine tremor and clammy skin.

You might do better with Cytomel, which is T3 only, and is used in combination with one of the T4. T-3 and T-4 both can be more controlled when taken together separatly. However, it is important to recognize that T3 should always be prescribed twice daily due to its shorter half life. This is typically after breakfast AND supper for compliance reasons.


Just my personal opinion and/or experience. Always discuss your health issue with your doctor , always adhere to your doctors advise and, you always have the right to a second opinion. Nothing is a 100% or a 100%, 100% of the time. However, we are not all alike!

GL,
1990 - Hyper/Graves'
1997 - Dia/RAI
1997 - MVP - Mitral Valve Prolapse
1999 - TED - slight Thyroid Eye Disease
1999 - Visible Nodule (suspect Marine-Lenhart-Syndrom/hyperfunctioning nodule)
2000 - SAS  - Short Attention Span (short, spaced paragraphs, sweet and to the point helps)
2002 -  IED  - Intermittent Explosive Disorder (Graves' Range)
2007 -  A/ITP (suspect)
Avatar universal
since the heart palp's and insomnia haven't stopped, even though you aren't dosing for last two weeks, you might want to make sure that you are getting magnesium in your diet.  After doing blood tests my doctor found that I am magnesium deficient, and that is what has been causing my heart palp's.  Not my thyroid.  However, I do have a goiter, which she said could be interferring with my magnesium intake, except when I looked into magnesium rich foods...yeah, I wasn't getting any!!!  Great sources are halibut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, black, navy, and kidney beans, cooked spinach, any green leafy vegetables, and organic whole grain breads & cereals.  A good quality calcium/magnesium supplement is also a good idea, to make sure you do get enough.  If you already take a multi, it may have some in there, but not enough, if it did, the pill would be to big to swallow.  It takes a couple of weeks to get magnesium back on track, but that was welcome news for me since I have been living with palp's for 3 years, and had every heart test my cardiologist could find!

take care & I hope that helps!

abl
158939 tn?1274918797
Did they run your TSH levels when you were experiencing heart palpitations?  Shortness of breath, racing heart, palpitations, high blood pressure, etc. are all symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

Here's a few great references for thyroid disorders:
http://www.endocrineweb.com/
http://thyroid.about.com/cs/basics_starthere/a/thyroid101.htm
http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/dept/thyroid/

I went through this a month ago (exactly, hmmm).  My TSH was 0.06 after going through RAI and stopping hormone replacement therapy.  My blood pressure was sky high (somewhere around 145/112) and my pulse was running around 120.  I had to be put on beta blockers and taken off thyroid replacement.  I was only off thyroid pills for 3 days then put on a lower dose but had to take the beta blockers for a few weeks.  My blood pressure is now under control but I'm still having palpitations off and on.

The heart palpitations can be very frightening.  Please talk to your endocrinologist about getting your TSH levels checked.
Avatar universal
If you are still have symptoms, they could be due to other health conditions.

Palpitations are often not serious. However, it depends on whether or not the sensations represent an abnormal heart rhythm ( arrhythmia). You are more likely to have an abnormal heart rhythm if you have: Known heart disease at the time the palpitations begin, Significant risk factors for heart disease , An abnormal heart valve and An electrolyte abnormality -- for example, low potassium. And  Heart palpitations can be caused by: Exercise, Anxiety, stress, fear, Fever, Caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, diet pills, Overactive thyroid, Anemia, Hyperventilation, Low levels of oxygen in your blood, Medications such as thyroid pills, asthma drugs, beta blockers, or anti-arrhythmics. (Medications to treat an irregular heart rhythm will sometimes cause a different irregular rhythm). Mitral valve prolapse, a condition in which the valve that separates the left upper chamber (atrium) from the left lower chamber (ventricle) of the heart does not close properly and Heart disease.

Reducing stress and anxiety can help lessen the frequency or intensity of your heart palpitations. Try breathing exercises or deep relaxation (a step-by-step process of tensing and then relaxing every muscle group in your body) when palpitations occur. Practicing yoga or tai chi on a regular basis can reduce the frequency of your palpitations.
Keep a record of how often you have palpitations, when they happen, how long they last, your heart rate at the time of the palpitations, and what you are feeling at the time. This information may help your doctor figure out both their seriousness and their underlying cause.
Once a serious cause has been ruled out by your doctor, try NOT to pay attention to heart palpitations, unless you notice a sudden increase or a change in them.
If you have never had heart palpitations before, bring them to the attention of your healthcare provider.

There are many causes of insomnia.  Temporary Insomnia can be caused by Response to Change or Stress, Jet Lag, Working Conditions, Caffeine, Alcohol, and other Substances, Partner's Sleep Habits, Environmental Factors and Medications including over-the-counter preparations that contain caffeine.
Persistent Insomnia can be caused by Medical Conditions,  allergies, arthritis, heart disease, hypertension, asthma, rheumatologic conditions, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, hyperthyroidism, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and  some of the drugs that treat them. Emotional Disorders, Hormonal Fluctuations in Women, Hormonal Changes during Aging,
Delayed Sleep-Phase Syndrome, restless legs syndrome or leg cramps, and Behavioral factors caffeine, alcohol or other substances, disrupted sleep/wake cycles and chronic stress.

You may want to try eating things that raise your melatonin production. Suggested intake includes: spirulina seaweed, soy nuts, cottage cheese, chicken, pumpkin seeds, turkey, and dried watermelon seeds. Melatonin rich foods include: oats, sweet corn, rice, ginger, tomatoes, bananas, and barley.
Some life-style changes can also help you to sleep better. For example cutting down your sleep time. Different people need varying amounts of sleep. If you only need 7 hours but are sleeping 9 hours, the 7 hour sleep spreads over 9 hours and becomes ineffective. You may try increasing daytime exposure to sunlight by getting out earlier. Often exercising can help or even spending time in meditation or prayer.
Often medications that are prescribed for sleep can disrupt or eliminate the sleep cycle as described. These include: Doral, Halcion, Restoril, Valium, and Xanax. Antihistamines can also cause sleep depravation.
Some vitamins and minerals such as B6, niacin amide, calcium, magnesium, or antioxidants may help. Other herbal remedies to consider are Valerian root, Skullcap, Passion flower, Wood betony, or California poppy.

my personal opinion and/or experience. Always discuss your health issue with your doctor , always adhere to your doctors advise and, you always have the right to a second opinion. Nothing is a 100% or a 100%, 100% of the time. However, we are not all alike!

GL,
1990 - Hyper/Graves'
1997 - Dia/RAI
1997 - MVP - Mitral Valve Prolapse
1999 - TED - slight Thyroid Eye Disease
1999 - Visible Nodule (suspect Marine-Lenhart-Syndrom/hyperfunctioning nodule)
2000 - SAS  - Short Attention Span (short, spaced paragraphs, sweet and to the point helps)
2002 -  IED  - Intermittent Explosive Disorder (Graves' Range)
2007 -  A/ITP (suspect)
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