Treating both AFib and Thyroiditis - AF Association

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Treating both AFib and Thyroiditis

Judyrs profile image

Hello, I have been treated for PAF since 2014. I am taking Eliquis and Flecainide.

Recently, an old condition, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis returned after being resolved since 2006.

The endocrinologist was hesitant to put me on Synthroid for fear of it aggravating my Afib. We are however trying me on a very low dose 12.5 mcg daily.

Has anyone here experienced being treated for these conditions concurrently? If so, how is it working out for you?

22 Replies

Hi Judy

I used to take 2 x 100mg Flecainide and also Warfarin. My GP was afraid to put me on thyroid medication, but eventually my main hospital advised him it was necessary. I started them about two years ago and think my dose then may have been the same as yours, then I gradually worked up 75mg which keeps me at a good level. From what I can see it had no effect on my AF or heart rate at all. In fact it may well have helped it, because I've had no bad AF attacks since then.

I did once read that an underactive thyroid can cause palpitations too. Think that was in a publication by Dr Isabell Wentz (not sure of spelling) a thyroid specialist.

Jean

Judyrs profile image
Judyrs in reply to jeanjeannie50

Definitely thank for this info! I will check out this article!

Here is a link to an underactive thyroid a symptom checker:

thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/about_...

I have PAF and hypothyroidism, not on treatment for PAF, Levo for thyroid.

Did you stop taking Levo for your Hashi ? normally once diagnosed and on replacement you would stay on it for life as the thyroid can't repare itself.

You definitely need treating as untreated or undermedicated thyroid disease will only make your heart problems worse, are you sure the PAF wasn't caused by thyroid not being treated ? It's a very common occurrence.

Judyrs profile image
Judyrs in reply to bantam12

Hi, I started Hashi treatment in 1996 w 50mcg Synthroid. In 2003 I went hyperthyroidism and had to be placed on antithyroid medicine and metoprolol for tachycardia. In 2006, I was taken off if these meds because my thyroid numbers were reading as normal and the tachycardia subsided.

In the past 2 years I was getting serious episodes of hives. Five months ago, I went to an allergist for this problem who did a battery of tests, 1 group of which was a thyroid panel. The high antibodies showed up then.

I suspect the answer to your ladt question is yes, because I've been wondering the same thing. I feel like I need a doctor who understands the interplay between both conditions because I feel a disconnect between both sets of doctors.

bantam12 profile image
bantam12 in reply to Judyrs

Hashi is an autoimmune disease so you will always have it, the aim is to keep levels within an appropriate range for you so meds would normally be taken for life. As it affects every cell in our bodies it definitely causes heart problems, what you need is a GP or Endo who will put you on a decent dose of Levo so your Hashi is controlled, sadly Endos aren't very good with thyroid issues as most are diabetes specialists.

I suggest you get a copy of your latest thyroid results and post them on ThyroidUK forum for advice. The low dose you have given will likely make things worse rather than better ! Normal starting dose is 25 or 50 mcg.

Judyrs profile image
Judyrs in reply to bantam12

Interesting. Actually, I started this dose as 25mcg every other day just to see how I would react. For the 1st 2 mos all went well. In fact my Afib seemed improved! I would often get PVCs as well but they were gone! Going into month 3 however, I experienced a brief bout w tachycardia, and my palpitations returned along w Afib episodes. My Endo did not want to raise the dose especially since she heard me in Afib w her stethoscope. So that's how we agreed to try 12.5 mcg daily instead of 25mcg every other day for the purpose of stability.

How do I get to thyroid UK forum? I also wonder if treatment protocols here in the US differ very much. Endos here are also supposed to be specialized in thyroid conditions. Yet based on my experience, you are probably right.

bantam12 profile image
bantam12 in reply to Judyrs

healthunlocked.com/thyroiduk

Endos in the uk are also supposed to be thyroid experts but they aren't !!

Lilypocket profile image
Lilypocket in reply to bantam12

I agree there! I live in France and have had multi nodular thyroid for years. Had most of it removed but it grew back. When I went to see the endocrinologist with scan result ( one nodule was a bit dodgy) she rabbitted on about my risk of diabetes due to my age not my blood results , it took 45 minutes to get onto the subject of my thyroid. Dear me!

bantam12 profile image
bantam12 in reply to Lilypocket

A common problem, trying to get through to an Endo is like talking to a brick wall most of the time 😖

Judyrs profile image
Judyrs in reply to bantam12

It wasn't that way years ago.

bantam12 profile image
bantam12 in reply to Judyrs

I have had both hyper and hypo since I was a child, long time ago ! and I have only ever seen one decent Endo.

One brilliant doc i saw privately told me I shouldn't be taking Levo and must come off it, he failed big time as I have no thyroid 😳 luckily I knew more about thyroids than he did !!

Judyrs profile image
Judyrs in reply to Lilypocket

I wish there was someone who specialized in thyroid and it's interplay w the heart other thsn an endo. Maybe there is. I will keep digging and let you all know. I will also follow up w thyroid Uk.

Jc24 profile image
Jc24 in reply to Judyrs

I would love to know what you find out. I take Levo and xarelto. So far so good. I had my thyroid nuked two times for hyper and then it went to nothing. Taking 88 mcg now.

Hi Judy, I have had af for 14 years now, around 4 years ago diagnosed with thyroid cancer and also have hashimotos disease, take dioxin and aratac for af, and thyroxine for having no thyroid. I am going in for a second ablation in a months time, so hopefully can stop these ectopic beats once and for all.

Judyrs profile image
Judyrs in reply to Leeson

The ectopic beats are what's getting to me now

I suspect it’s a bit of a minefield. I have been hypothyroid for a few years, and was reluctant to go onto meds, but started with low dose levothyroxene. When it was discovered...by chance... a couple of years ago, that I had AF, I was put on an Anticoagulant and a Beta Blocker.

Now...I learn that the Beta Blocker is sometimes used to treat hyperthyroidism! So I fear what this medication is doing to my poor thyroid, which is struggling anyway.

I can’t find any answers I’m afraid. I have very little energy, get breathless easily, eat healthily, and I am normal weight. Four years ago I was exceptionally active in my late-sixties. 😏

Judyrs profile image
Judyrs in reply to Staffsgirl

That's how I feel. Getting frustrated.

I too have PAF which was diagnosed about14 months ago and have hypothyroidism. I take .75 of Synthroid. I haven't had any issues. Good Luck!

Haven't had ablation yet.

I have PAF and hashimoto and am treated for both. Advice from Thyroid UK will tell you that it is important to get your Vit D, B12, Folate and Ferratin to correct levels and take magnesium. I take supplements for all of these and have far fewer ectopics and AF episodes. I also had an itchy skin and scalp problem for three years ( my GP did not manage to help) and with the supplements that has cleared up. Definitely get the advice from Thyroid UK. Also listen and subscribe to Dr Sanjay Gupta's videos on YouTube. They are very useful.

Great advise!! My endocrinologist told me to only take Selenium suppliments, but being that I already take Calcium & D3, I will look into the others as well. BTW, in addition to the suppliments, which medicines are you taking for both conditions?

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