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Thyroid and PVCs

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  • Thyroid and PVCs

    Hi all. It's been a couple of months.

    I had been having worsening PVCs over the last couple of months (like hundreds per day). My last TSH showed I was slightly hyper (i.e., we overachived treating the hypothyroid condition). My endo cut the meds a tiny bit but things continued to get worse. Since my worst TSH was about 6.5, I just stopped taking the Armour Thyroid. It greatly reduced the PVCs. Then we switched to Synthroid. Armour has T3 (heart cells are sensitive to it) and Synthroid does not. I'm in the first few days of that switch, so we'll see how it goes.

    The point of this is that Thyroid issues can impact the heart big time. I learned that first hand. Have any of you had similar heart symptoms attributed to the Thyroid or Thyroid meds? Christine, what effect can a low output thyroid have on the heart, other than slowing it down?

  • #2
    Very interesting stuff Jack -

    can you tell me more about the T3 and the heart? I take Armour Thyroid, albeit just 1 grain a day now. I cut myself back down on the dose because I was having arrhythmias. However, for the last week I have been having another "nervous" spell with PACs/PVCs (whatever they are!) and sometimes the PACs are so strong they feel like an electrical shock.

    I feel there has been an irritation to the vagus nerve but the thyroid is involved in a lot of body functions and you are right, the heart is majorly affected by the thyroid.

    This relationship is not looked at by a lot of cardiologists, mine included.

    I know that one "sign" of hypothyroidism is cardiomegaly on a chest x-ray. I recently showed borderline cardiomegaly. However, I was told my heart has always been slightly enlarged from the years of mitral regurgitation, but now I am really wondering what is going on. Thyroid suppresses lung function - so my heart may be working harder - not sure.

    I have so many symptoms of hypothyroidism - cold hands and feet, tiredness, slow heartbeat and low blood pressure except my diastolic is slightly high at times (which is a sign of hypo) and mild sleep apnea.

    I want to get things under control and I am having another thyroid panel checked next week to see where my TSH is.

    A GREAT web site, Jack, is www.stopthethyroidmadness.com. Another is http://www.drlowe.com/geninfo/hyposymptoms.htm.

    What all has your cardiologist told you about the heart and the thyroid? I would like to hear.

    Hope you get your thyroid under control with the Synthroid. The first site I just posted - this gal believes that natural thyroid is the only way to go, but why do so many doctors believe in Synthroid and such? It is all very confusing.

    Christina L
    Congenital MVP with quadrangular resection repair and mitral annular ring placement, Cleveland, by Dr. Cosgrove, 11/06/03

    [COLOR="Blue"]"Don't fear tomorrow - God is already there."[/COLOR]
    [COLOR="DarkOrchid"][B]"WE ARE NOT HUMAN BEINGS HAVING A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE, WE ARE SPIRITUAL BEINGS HAVING A HUMAN EXPERIENCE."[/B][/COLOR]
    [COLOR="Green"][/COLOR]Chinese Proverb: When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.

    Comment


    • #3
      Jack -

      another thing - hypothyroidism can cause heart arrhythmias also, not just hyperthyroidism.

      I am unsure why thyroid issues don't get more "airplay" on this board. As you said (which is true) thyroid and heart issues go hand in hand. A lot of people have thyroid issues and don't even know it - as doctors go by the TSH level most of the time and that is a subjective test. If a person has all the symptoms of hypo or hyper, then it really doesn't matter what the TSH is.

      BTW - I was probably hyperthyroid for most of my life. I had a difficult time with tachycardia in my teens and 20s and was soooo skinny I went to the doc to see how I could gain weight. No one ever said a word about hyperthyroidism - they said the tachy was from my heart murmur. :(

      I think my thyroid just burnt out over the years and now has gone to hypo but my heart surgery really put a strain on my body and I am still reeling from that, I think.

      I hope more people will post on this thread, Jack, and help you out.

      Christina L
      Congenital MVP with quadrangular resection repair and mitral annular ring placement, Cleveland, by Dr. Cosgrove, 11/06/03

      [COLOR="Blue"]"Don't fear tomorrow - God is already there."[/COLOR]
      [COLOR="DarkOrchid"][B]"WE ARE NOT HUMAN BEINGS HAVING A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE, WE ARE SPIRITUAL BEINGS HAVING A HUMAN EXPERIENCE."[/B][/COLOR]
      [COLOR="Green"][/COLOR]Chinese Proverb: When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.

      Comment


      • #4
        For Christina

        Christina,

        I am a big believer in natural meds where possible. That's why I was taking Armour instead of Synthroid. It worked great - got my TSH to 1.1 - a bit of an overachivement. I started getting lots of PVCs. I had read (not sure where) that the heart was sensitive to T3 (receptors on cell walls or something). So I figured that since Armour has a very high amount of T3, that I might be overstimulating my heart with T3. I stopped the Armour and my PVCs just about disappeared. Synthroid has no T3. It's just T4. It depends on the body converting the T4 to the other T's that are needed. Some (small percentage of) people don't do such a great job converting and Armour really works well for them. I've just been on the Synthroid for a few days so I'll keep you posted on how it plays over time.

        As for the other issue, please direct me to any site you might have that describes the interaction of the thyroid with the heart. I'd like to know more about it. Specifically, the impact (hopefully with clinical info) on hypo and hyper on the heart, especially hypo. I've not seen that.

        Thankx!

        Comment


        • #5
          Jack -

          That is all very interesting about the T3. I will ask my doctor about it. However, he only uses natural thyroid. However, another family practice physician that I see only uses synthetic thyroid! Go figure - such different views.

          Here is a site that tells a little about the thyroid and the heart. There is a LOT of info on the web if a person searches. Sometimes I find out too much!

          I am having a lot of PACs/PVCs too as of late. I will be curious to see what my TSH is right now.

          http://heartdisease.about.com/od/les...yroidheart.htm

          Hope the Synthroid works for you. It is a fine balancing act, to get the thyroid function normalized. I am trying to start up with yoga again and exercise to tolerance on the treadmill which I have not been religious about. I think my adrenals are shot - I think the last three years post surgery have been spent with too much worry and fear - my adrenals and thyroid have been taxed to the max.

          Christina L
          Congenital MVP with quadrangular resection repair and mitral annular ring placement, Cleveland, by Dr. Cosgrove, 11/06/03

          [COLOR="Blue"]"Don't fear tomorrow - God is already there."[/COLOR]
          [COLOR="DarkOrchid"][B]"WE ARE NOT HUMAN BEINGS HAVING A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE, WE ARE SPIRITUAL BEINGS HAVING A HUMAN EXPERIENCE."[/B][/COLOR]
          [COLOR="Green"][/COLOR]Chinese Proverb: When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.

          Comment


          • #6
            I threw away my Synthroid...and my Toprol XL

            I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about a year after my OHS. I was put on Synthroid and was hoping that was the problem of my ridiculous weight gain over the past few years, and that it would magically melt right off.

            It didn't do ANYTHING that I could tell, all it did was give me an arrythmia, which is why I was put on Toprol XL. Well, about a year ago, we were so busy with moving and everything that I kept forgetting to take my meds. I noticed that when I took the Synthroid but not the Toprol, I'd have more palpitations and minor chest pains. I looked at the side effect sheet from the Synthroid and it said, MAY CAUSE PALPITATIONS or something like that.

            I threw them both away...and last time I had my TSH level checked it was "normal" according to my doctor. Personally, I don't think it was ever low enough even with the Synthroid...it was always around 2.5 or so.

            My cousin is on the Armour natural thyroid, and says it has done wonders for her. I asked my dr about it, and he said it was "too hard to control". Yes...much better to give me something that doesn't do anything but give me crazy heart rhythms, right?:rolleyes:
            Jeannie - Mitral Valve Repair 5/30/02 (wow! 8years ago!)
            Dr. William Northrup III
            Fairview Southdale Hosp. Edina, MN

            Comment


            • #7
              If you haven't already, I suggest you discuss your heart symptoms with your cardio. I know thyroid symptoms can take some time to improve, but your cardio should be aware of what's going on since thyroid and heart are so closely interconnected. When I was on tapazole for Graves Disease (a form of hyperthyroidism), my Cardio prescribed beta blockers and made dosage adjustments a few times according to symptoms, and I was told beta blockers work especially well for thyroid/heart symptoms. (Off tapazole and off beta blockers 10 months now). I guess I'm one of the lucky ones whose cardio and endo work closely together, but there's a limit neither crosses--my cardio only deals with the heart symptoms/heart med adjustments and endo only deals with the thyroid symptoms/thyroid med.

              One last thought, I'm wondering why you're on hypo med if your labs show hyper?



              ____________
              Mitral Valve Repair with mitral annular ring placement, 7/2003

              Comment


              • #8
                for distances...

                I'm on meds because I was slightly hypo - tsh of 6.5. I was given too high a dose of Armour Thyroid and went too far the other way. I'm also on a small does of Atenolol. The PVCs have all but disappeared on the new meds. Not sure where the TSH is now - will know in a month.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I am another who has now got an underactive thyroid since OHS, I am now on medication for it.
                  Lithotripsy for kidney stones 8 December 2004.
                  Began to feel unwell 19 December 2004, with hindsight, the beginning of endocarditis.
                  Stroke 12 March 2005.
                  Endocarditis diagnosed 16 March 2005.
                  MVR/AVR - ATS 30 June 2005.
                  Discharged 10 July 2005, taken ill on journey from hospital.
                  Admitted to hospital 14 July 2005, complete heart block.
                  Discharged from hospital 22 July 2005.
                  Returned to work 9am on 7 November, dismissed 9am 7 November 2005.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    All of this is very interesting to me -

                    I had PACs before starting the Armour Thyroid, but it seems I have been inordinately nervous the last few months and last week I had a horrible bout of PACs.

                    I am wondering what dosage of thyroid replacement you all were on. I had gotten up to 2 grains of Armous and quit taking it for a few days and now am starting back at .5 grain per night.

                    I am to have my TSH, T3, T4 checked soon.

                    I think people who have heart issues are much more sensitive to thyroid replacement.

                    Christina L
                    Congenital MVP with quadrangular resection repair and mitral annular ring placement, Cleveland, by Dr. Cosgrove, 11/06/03

                    [COLOR="Blue"]"Don't fear tomorrow - God is already there."[/COLOR]
                    [COLOR="DarkOrchid"][B]"WE ARE NOT HUMAN BEINGS HAVING A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE, WE ARE SPIRITUAL BEINGS HAVING A HUMAN EXPERIENCE."[/B][/COLOR]
                    [COLOR="Green"][/COLOR]Chinese Proverb: When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Recognize as well that TSH testing may not be as accurate depending on the other medications you are taking. Aspirin, heparin, (warafin?), steroids, estrogen, insulin, diuretics, and several other classes of drugs can affect the accuracy of the TSH testing and the efficacy of thyroid hormone.

                      T4 has a half life of 6 - 8 days so has a much longer response time than warafin for example (i.e. missing one dose of synthroid or armour is not going to affect your T4/T3 to any noticeable level - hence it won't change TSH levels much either).

                      Also remember that T4 increases the response of anticoagulation so be aware of changing INR (and possible warafin dosing requirements) if you change your T4 intake. I would think that stopping T4 for longer than a few days would warrant extra caution with warafin dosing.

                      The range for TSH is .3 - 5 mIU/L. My unofficial/unscientific polling says that most doctors want to keep you in the middle of that range. My wife definitely feels much better on the very low end of the range (as do a couple of our friends). They have all had to "argue" with their doctor (or self dose) to push to the lower "normal" TSH range (i.e. higher than expected synthroid dosing requirements - not crazy high but higher than the docs initially wanted).

                      Know your own body and monitor "how you feel". Keep a journal - it is very helpful when trying to determine what the correct TSH level is for you. Be aware of the possible interactions with other medications and make sure to adjust appropriately.

                      My wife responded very poorly when T3 was introduced into her regime when fighting with the doctor over dosing. Just a reminder that everybody is an individual and may respond differently to different doses. You just have to monitor yourself (or have a very detailed, research oriented significant other help you with it...:D )

                      Be wary of those that proselytize a contrary position too strongly without strong, scientific, statistically sound research to back it up. Maybe it worked for them... Maybe they're trying to sell their book/video/product.... Maybe it will work for you (as I said everybody is an individual and may respond differently to different doses and medications), but I just recommend a reasoned, rational, researched, thoughtful approach to medication management.

                      Good luck

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