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687079 tn?1230948612

palpitations and rapid heart beat with hypothyroid?

hi, my tsh is low normal and my t4 is very low at .54 - i have been getting sudden onsets of a rapid heart beat and lots of palpitations - i am not hashis or graves, endo is still trying to figure out why i am hypo at all..... i am on synthroid 50mcg. these symptoms are not any worse than before i started the medicine so thats not it...i am wondering if anyone else has had these rapid heart rates and palpitations with hypo? also i get really crabby all of a sudden when i get this,  my heart checks out fine at the cardiologist and endo says hypo dont cause heart palps ...
96 Responses
746058 tn?1248344665
Hi!  I am experiencing this very same thing!  1 thing I would say is check into the ranges the doctor uses to classify you as hypo or hyperthyroid.  They can vary.  I recently have watched my TSH change from .75 on 2005 to 1.01 in Aug of 2008 and then now Jan of 2009 to 2.9......I am experiencing lots of rapid heart beat, feeling faint, tingling throughout my body and hands and feet that like blocks of ice!  I am relieved to see someone else with hypo has rapid heart beat.  I thought it was jsut for people with hyperthyroid.    I went to the ER recently thinking I was having a heart problem and they took an EKG and said I was fine.  They said I was having panic attacks.  Gave me zanax.  I am planning on going to an endocrinologist.  What are your numbers?
Some docs use a range of .05-5.0 for TSH and others use .03-3.0 so this can change everything .  Check into it, let us know what you find out, as I am very curious and going through the very same thing!  Thanks for posting.
Avatar universal
Hi,

I know now i have hypo and take 100 levothyroxine each day. However, the original blood test I had about 5-6 years ago related to a bout of really bad nocturnal palpitations and wheezing. They checked out my heart which was fine and concluded that I may have nocturnal asthma.
Luckily, they recommended 6 monthly blood tests, but didnt tell me what for. 5 years later I joined a new doctor who took over my testing and immediately diagnosed compensated hypo.
So, i have no idea what my bloods were back then but I will never forget that night and with hindsight it was probably the start of my thyroid problems. My guess is that my thyroid was either irregular( up and down in production) and the palps were caused by either too much or too little in my system.
Anyway, you are not alone and good luck. The main thing is to get your ticker checked!
Avatar universal
Hi! Yep, thats me too!!! I had thyroidectomy 2 1/2 years ago and the heart palps ,tachycardia started... after 1 1/2 years of being told it was anxiety ( tried antidepressants did not help) and my levels were low normal, no Hashi's ,
Graves, I started on synthyroid  for nodule suppression on remaining lobe. I started feeling much better til I tried Armour...and WOW- my symptoms went thru the roof again. Now I am back to square one, restarting low dose of synthyroid and trying different heart meds.
  No one will say the thyroid and heart are connected.... but I sure do ( or should I say my body does).  good lluck , keep posting and know you are NOT alone. There is another  post in 2006 from Soooo confused who had the same issue. I really thought I was alone til I read that since I not hyper but have all those symptoms.
Lets all figure out how to resolve this since drs aren't....
570004 tn?1226980196
It's funny you should post this now, as I'm hypo been experiencing heart palpitations increasingly recently.  I went to the doctor again yesterday and they ran an EKG, which turned out normal.  It's good to know I'm not alone, though; I feel a bit like I'm losing my mind!
687079 tn?1230948612
feel like ive lost my mind as well been having these sudden attacks of heart palps for three years and kept getting told its anxiety attacks doc says no way its hypo only happens with hyper she says! well i can see from your posts she is way off - if the docs would just listen they would know what the symptoms really are! thanks for the support
Avatar universal
I am on 2 anti-depressents as well as the tyroid medicine and lyric.  My heart began beating rapidly and it happend often. They told me it was anxiety and prescibed the antidepressents. My levels have been running between 14-17 for 3 yrs now and I am finally going to see the endo. dr. I have had such low levels for so long, I have now been diagnosed with carpal tunnel and fibromyalgia. I hurt all the time and I stay so tired and so weak, but yet I cant sleep at nite.
Avatar universal
How are you sleeping ??  

I am hyperthyroid, but I have all the symptoms of hypo.  My heart rate is super slow, between 58-62 bpm.    

In the past, when I had bad heart palps, if it wasn't anxiety, then sleep deprivation was the cause.  The more tired, I felt the more my heart would pound  I was mentally awake & alert, but my body was telling me, I needed to rest.  

Poor sleep, can cause alot of health symptoms for people.  Or just not resting enough, when our bodies are not feeling well.
Avatar universal
I am having a recurrence of heart palpitations, especially at night when I roll over. Two years ago, the same thing happened and the doc checked out my heart and decided it was anxiety even though I kept telling him it was my thyroid because of all my other symptoms (thyroid checked out normal at that time). He put me on antidepressants which did nothing. Finally, after another 6 months, he ran another thyroid test (at my insistence) and found out I was hypo. After, being on thyroid medication for 2 weeks, the heart palpitations went away and have been gone until now. My doctor never ran any other tests on my thyroid to know what was causing the problem so I am assuming that my thyroid is now getting worse. As far as the palpitations being related to lack of sleep, how can that be when I sleep very deep and every chance I get?
Avatar universal
Hi,
My cardiologist told me, that many thyroid patients have sleep apnea, especially those with enlarged thyroids.  Such as in my case.  The thyroid can surpress the airway, while I sleep, restricting oxygen, regardless of how many hours I sleep.

I wake up feeling tired, my heart overworks, to keep energy levels balanced.  My heart used to pound bad, just walking around my house.  And sometimes when I didn't feel tired, my heart would still pound, just walking, and pound at night, when I tried to sleep.  

But sleep apnea, is one contributing factor to heart palps according to my cardiologist.  

I was making frequent visits to my cardiologist for bad heart palps, had every heart test done in the medical field, all return normal.  Stress test, ultrasound, echo, 24 hour monitor, etc...  

But he said, many thyroid patients visit him, with heart palps, and he diagnosed sleep apnea, with most of them, after reviewing thier medical history and lab results.    

I'm not a doctor, just sharing what my cardiologist shared with me.  Please consult your doctor for proper care & treatment.  

Hope you feel better soon.  Good luck to you !!        

Avatar universal
Heart palps are NO fun. Neither are runs of tachycardia., chest pain,ect

You should see a cardiologist, better yet a electrophysicist cardiologist ( they specialize in electrical activity of heart). Get a complete cardiac workup.... just to get a clean bill of health. They ( drs) can also prescribe something to help the palps, make you feel betterI

. Being told you are crazy without getting a complete cardio workup... well thats nuts!!!

And someday we will prove the cardio/heart connection to all those "slow thinking" drs.
440728 tn?1234645302
Hi, I just wanted to say that I get awful palpitations and have done for a year whilst swinging between normal and hypo. But I am also undergoing a premature menopause too which can cause palpls, so I'm not sure how old you are, but you might want to look into that side too. But in any case, I was told by the experienced people here when I first joined that a lot of the symptoms of hyper and hypo overlap, and they don't always fit in with the traditional picture, ie. palps commonly associated with being hyper. And also, whenever I get them, it has been when I'm hypo!
Avatar universal
Several years ago I started experiencing palpitations. Went to a cardiologist and he put me on Atenolol to regulate the beat. Now 4 years later and after many complaints about  my neck, I've been diagnosted with hoshimotos hypothyroidism. Started getting the other symptoms before the actual diagnosis.
Avatar universal
I forgot to say as I increased my synthyroid dose my symptoms seemed to go away- I felt much better. Less heart palps,anxiety, tenderness neck area. Then I pushed endo to try armour.... big mistake for me.
  My heart rate went thru the roof, which was followed by bad anxiety. Endo made me stop thyroid meds for brief period ( ? hyper/T3) and I am titrating back up VERY slowly and am now back on heart meds...
  GRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.... stupid me!!! What works great for some does not for others!!!
Avatar universal
I have had heart palps both hyper and hypo and like you, thought it was from being hyper as I was dx with Graves and Hyperthyroidism before RAI 7 months ago.
I now know that heart palps comes with BOTH lol.
Avatar universal
smilerdeb,
I read your profile and saw how much better you are feeling since your RAI . I especially liked the part where you have sooo much more energy and can go out without anxiety.!Congrats  to you... we are all so happy for you!!!

The dr. says I am just borderline low.... but some days I feel SO bad... and then it gets allittle better... unfortunately the symptoms come back with a vengence. I get so tired of living this way...

If you have any tips on how to hang on.... pass them along to ALL on this post. This is SO frustrating... I want a RAI too or surgerically remove the remaining half of my thyroid... but end this "heck" ----please drs.!!!
Avatar universal
I guess that when I was first diagnosed, I was as much in the dark as a lot of people are.
My Sister has Graves but I dont have anything to do with my family (long story) so what I learnt, I had to learn on my own back.
I alienated my kids, my friends with the 'Graves Rage' before RAI.
I went from Hyper to Hypo in 2 weeks flat from large doses of anti-thyroid meds and continuously lived off Xanax and Beta Blockers.
This contined for nearly a year after diagnosis and then one day (after 3 episodes of Atrial Fibrillation in 2 weeks) I decided that I had...had enough.
I stormed into the Doctors and told him that if he didnt get my thyroid taken out, I was going to get the Butcher to take it out.
I look back on it now and feel embarrassed by that statement to him, for the times I told him I had lost all faith in him and for all the times I was a complete b***ch.
It was then that I was told I couldnt have Surgery as it was too risky.
3 weeks prior to RAI, I also discovered my whole thyroid had cancer.
RAI was done end of June 2008 and boy was I scared.
I was scared of the unknown......
After 5 weeks I was Hypo.
I had a thyroidectomy done in September 2008 via keyhole where I was awake for the proceedure and it was done with 2 epidurals in my neck and a small injection to make me drousy. Full anaesetic was too risky for me as I was born with a heart murmur at birth which was 'innocent' until diagnosis of Graves Disease.
After the RAI and the Thyroidectomy, I was severely depressed from all that had happened prior to RAI that I decided that if I could learn all I could and manage my own condition and hopefully persuade my Doc to work with this irratic woman (me), then half my battle was won.

I didnt like the person I had become.I was angry, I always cried, I got frustrated because my kids didnt understand.
NOBODY understood (know the feeling?). I was sick on the inside yet on the outside I wasnt.
I was angry with myself for being Agoraphobic for 26 years and all the years I wasted (another story) and decided that I wanted my life back and the only person who could give me that...was Me.

So after numerous discussions with my Doctor (including telling him that if this was life, I didnt want it)...we started to work together.
He scoffed at info I took in every week that I collected off the net but eventually gave in to my demands and we worked together as a team.
After RAI I was determined NOT to crash Hypo bad so we agreed I would have weekly bloods until my TSH hit 6.0. This took 5 weeks post RAI.
I continued getting weekly bloods as I am super drug sensitive and Thyroxin works straight away for me (within 3 days).

I started at 50mcg then 2 weeks later, 62.5mcg, then 2 weeks after that 75mcg.
Slowly the thyroxin started to kick in and I found I didnt need as much.
I would 'log' all my symptoms everyday and what dosage I was on.
So when 75mcg was too high , we took it back down to 62.5mcg.
When that sent me to the top of the ref range, we took it down to 50mcg again then started again but instead of the same dosage everyday...I took 62.5mcg Mon/Wed/Fri and 50mcg the other 4 days of the week.
Since October we have been juggling my meds and have now come to a stage where I know what I am ..either heading heading hypo or hyper.
I went a little high (not out of range though) a few weeks ago and knew to cut down the meds and now 2 weeks later, I am increasing again SLOWLY.
In order to get everything right and levels stable to where I FEEL good, baby steps are needed and a LOT of PATIENCE.

I have since come off the Xanax and in October 2008, I started  fulltime studying course and went to an Aged Care Facility to do my 'placement'.
As it turned out, I was offered the position of Medical Administrator 3 weeks ago and although I was scared, I accepted the job.I am still doing my 'distance course' in Aged Care Acute Dementia and I thoroughly love my job.
My boss knows about my past with Agoraphobia and Anxiety, about my thyroid (or lack of it) and today I went for bloods whilst in work hours with her approval.

Dont ever give up as I have always said that there IS light at the end of the tunnel and yes, my journey is nearly over.
I am not a strong person...inside me is a very frightened little girl but deep down inside I wanted my life back.
I found myself not being able to go even an hour without mentioning the word THYROID.
I dont do that now.
I 'forget' I have no thyroid until I may get an odd ache or pain and then I think...'ok, my levels must be off' and then I follow up on them.
It has taken a lot of hard work, a lot of frustration, a lot of anger, a lot of tears, a lot of feelings of despair....but......

I am happier now than I have been in years.
My kids are happier and one even said to me..'Mum, its nice to have a conversation with you without you biting our heads off'.
It wasnt until my eldest said that...that I realised just how desperate I mustve been.

I wont lie to you....yes things have been hard, times been tough and times where I felt I wasnt going to get through it all.
But I did and so can so many of you guys.
My mentor here is AR-10, he gave me a lot of hope when I couldnt see hope and I hope one day to repay that kindness.

The secret to recovery is.......Baby Steps and be kind to yourself.
Start saying No to people who demand your attention.
Start doing things for YOU.
If you cant do something one day...then dont do it.
Dont push yourself too hard.
There were many times I stayed in my pj's all day and you know what?
I didnt care what people thought.
But most of all remember that we are all only human and yes, we do make mistakes but it the mistakes that make us a stronger person.

Sorry...didnt mean to write a book lol (I have a habit of doing that lol )

My advice is.....research, research , research until it becomes an obsession like it did for me. Dont take everything as Gospel as everyone is different but 'take in' the important info.
Elliminate symptoms and strategies one by one ....slowly with baby steps.




Avatar universal
Hi all!! Wish me luck, I started toperol XL ( just 12.5 mg) for tachycardia, svt, heart palps. It seems to be helping. Woke up last night and took my pulse... only 75, which I have not seen for over 2 years. Usually 95-110 resting. It almost felt a wierd scarey to be slow but I have to readjust my thinking. Also laying down no major heart thumping.. wierd too... but a good wierd.
   I hope this helps someone else out there.
Avatar universal
Is that a slow release beta blocker...sounds like it?
Just make sure you dont cut the tablet as it is designed to be slow releasing.
It is heaven when that heartrate slows down, isnt it?
I know I felt strange when my tachycardia went.....almost as if I didnt have one.
But I was on Inderal and at one stage 80mg a day.
Beta blockers can make you a little dizzy as they lower not just your heartrate but blood pressure too so take it easy and dont stand up too quick.
Great to hear you have some relief from the fast heartrate.
Keep in touch.
Avatar universal
I used to get the same thing when I was hypo.  For me it was mitro vlave prolapse and dysautonomia.  Proper hydration is what helps me.  
Avatar universal
I have mitral valve and tricuspid valve prolapse but it was only picked up after dx with Graves.
Prior to that, I didnt have any problems.
I have always been checked by a Cardio yearly due to a murmur from birth.
Avatar universal
Thanks all for the support.. you are great!!!
Smilerdeb, I do cut the tablet in half, along the scoring line, pharmacist said it was okay , that is why the line was there. It is SO a wierd feeling to have a slower heart rate when I lay down at night... I am used to it yet.
  Johcp,
Thanks for the tip, I live in a hot climate ( south Texas) so I try to keep lots of fluids, it makes a difference for me too.

That said I am on day 3, and I think the meds just really got in my system. I went to grocery store today and felt like laying on the floor in the aisle. I am SO tired, and a little light headed. I am on a tiny dose, but always have low BP normally, and am super senstivie to all meds. Please say this will get better as my body adjusts...... I don't want to live in a fog, fatigued feeling...
  Inspiration, hope needed!!!
Avatar universal
Try cutting the tablet into quarters and taking 2 x 1/4 tab twice a day.
I found the same with Inderal.
I had to space my doses out over 4 times a day.
I'm surprised that it has a scoring line as XL usually means slow release.
Anyway, you learn something new everyday.
Try what I said and cut the tablets into 4 and if your prescribed dosage is 12.5mg (25mg tablet) then take 1/4 twice a day and you will find it settles.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the info... I am a little confused.. but maybe I have mislead you. I was prescribed a 25 mg tablet toperol XL, I cut on the scored line to make 12. 5 mg dose and take it daily.Dr wanted me to start out at 25 mg. ...but I am SO sensitive I thought I would ease into this and see. The pharmacist said I could cut the pills along the scored line in the center. Now should I cut the small 12. 5 mg in half again and do twice daily? There is no scored line to cut further and I might not be getting an accurate dose.
  Or should I call him and see - he is not much of a conversationist... more like here.. try this.
And I have found after I take the pill within a hour or two I am very nauseous., feels like a gas bubble too... hope this goes away. As I said I am so sensitive... that plus my wonderful insomnia rears its ugly head right now... no sleep.... and I never had that problem in my life before too!!
this getting older is not fun!!!
  One last thing- anyone feel like their chest gets "sore" from all the heart palps?? I know after a bad SVT attack I can feel this way for weeks, feel that way now and hoping it will get better as time goes on.
Thanks for listening to my whining... I have become what I swore I never would be....
Avatar universal
Yes...cut the 12.5mg into 2 and take it morning and night.
As long as you keep the half of a tablet and take those same 2 x 1/4's then you will still be getting the same dose (12.5mg) daily.
I am super drug sensitive too.
I felt I had a heavy chest when I had Supra Ventricular Tachycardia.
That feeling will pass with the beta blocker.
I found that it took a good week for the blocker to get into my system and thats why I split up the doses during the day so that it didnt hit me so hard.
My Doctor also agreed to this.
I found the beta blocker made me feel dizzy when taking half a tablet at a time.
I was on 80mg (2 x 40mg tablets) daily after 3 episodes of Atrial Fibrillation in 2 weeks.
I took it in 4 doses...half 4 times a day as I needed it bad.
Then as I decreased I cut the tablets into quarters and took the same way.
I found I tolerated them better and so did my sanity lol.

A word of advice......dont ever just stop the beta blockers.
You have to wean off them over a period of days or the heart will react and start racing again.
I swore I would never take them as they scared the hell out of me but eventually I needed them and once the 'phobia' of taking them subsided, I felt so much better.
Hope that helps.
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