Any connection between Hypothyroidism and Heart problems

I have recently been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism. At the same time my GP picked up on a heart murmur. After undergoing tests such as ECG, chest x-ray and then an echo it appears I have Bicuspid Stenosis (congenital defect from birth). Actually the stenosis bit is degeneration over the years (61 yrs). As an ultra marathon runner, this little bombshell has given me some grief. I always keep a detailed training diary so I can see at a glance that my training has been in a steady decline. My question is 'how much of my fatigue and associated symptoms' is heart related or Hypothyroidism? Is it just a coincidence that this seems to have hit me all at the same time? I find it impossible now to run up even a small gradient, but I can still power walk on the flat. Apparently, surgery will be my only option at some point. Also my basal temperature fluctuates throughout the day and drops alarmingly when I return from a power walk/jog. When my temp drops to 33 I feel shaky inside and weird. I have experienced hypothermia whilst competing in the swim section of a triathlon and had to be dragged out of the water by safety crew. My temp never gets above 35.5 at its best. Having been so successful for so many years in sporting events this is all taking a bit of getting used to. I guess I'm faced with making haste but more slowly from now on!

7 Replies

  • There is so much out there about hearts and hypothyroidism.....and hyperthyroidism too. The muscles are affected with Low T3 and the heart as you know is a muscle. My nephew has had two heart attacks in his 30's - only to be learn he has a thyroid problem too.

    Cardios are aware of the connection between the thyroid and hearts but sadly it is the understanding of the Thyroid blood tests that is the problem. If the TSH FT4 FT3 are in range then one is deemed normal - when it might not be the case. Do you have Hashimotos ?

    I have also read that T3 has been used to help heart patients heal. I think most people on this forum will point to the thyroid as being the cause of your fatigue. I commend you on your amazing physical activities - but I have also read on this forum that it is not always good to push the body too hard when you are Hypo....but you sound an absolute expert !

    My heart beat tells me when my next T3 dose is due if I have forgotten :-) There is a research paper on PubMed about the heart and T3. It is research done in Pisa Italy - just put Heart T3 PubMed into google and something should appear - hopefully. Your low BBT also suggests you may still be Hypo. Do you have copies of your recent tests with results and ranges ? What dose are you on ?...and dare I mention the B12 Iron Ferritin Folate VitD which should all be high in their ranges. it may also be worth looking at adrenals....

    There are many people here with far more experience than me - and they will be along soon.... hope you soon feel better and I will look out for your posts...

    Don't despair - there is always yoga - which after a sporty life I enjoy and teach three times a week - now 67 !! Still swim and play a little tennis :-)

  • Hello Marz. Firstly thank you for your reply. My results are: (Genova Diagnostics)

    Total Thyroxine (T4) 56.8 (range given = 58 - 154 nmol/L)

    TSH = 15.9 (range given = 0.4 - 4.0 mIU/L)

    Free Thyroxine = 10.5 (range 10 - 22 pmnol/L

    Thyroglobulin (TG) 23.2 (range given = 0 - 40 IU/mL)

    Peroxidase (TPO) 12.8 (range given = 0 - 35)

    Free T3 (FT3) 4.01 (range given = 2.8 - 65 pmnol/L)

    FT4 : FT3 ratio = 2.6 (range given 2.0 - 4.5 Ratio)

    Reverse T3 =0.30 (range given 0.14 - 0.54 pmnol/L)

    Ferritin = 177 (range given 30 - 400)

    Most of this info goes over my head as I'm so new to it all. I thank everyone for the time and effort in answering my query.

    My GP has put me on a starting dose of 25 mcg. Cardiac specialist pending! Not yet looked at adrenals. Can't see the GP for another 2 weeks so I can't discuss the correlation between Thyroid and Heart.

    In the meantime I know what I'm capable of and its not much at present.

  • OK - so your TSH - which is secreted by the Pituitary - is HIGH - which indicates your thyroid is struggling ! Hence you feel so unwell. Also with all the stimulating of the Thyroid by the TSH - Thyroid Stimulating Hormone - the thyroid is not producing enough T4 Hormone. This is a storage hormone. Your FT3 - the ACTIVE thyroid hormone is quite low in the range but actually not as bad as some :-) T3 is needed in every cell in your body....including the cells of the heart/brain/liver and so on.

    I would not bank on your GP knowing about the correlation between thyroid and heart. If you read many of the posts here you will realise that GP's don't even understand B12. Ferritin is fine - stored iron in the liver. But cannot see the B12 test or Iron and Folate ...VitD ?

    The Good news is you do not have Hashmimotos - Auto-immune thyroiditis....

    I would still check out Adrenals - where you will find a questionnaire to indicate Adrenals or Thyroid - a good guide for you. ( See below ! ) Also on the website Stop the Thyroid Madness has good information of Adrenals with a simple test at home involving daily temperatures.... With all your activities it could possibly be an adrenal problem linked into the thyroid - all part of the endocrine system - and all connected....

    The min website for Thyroid UK is full of all the information you may need....address at the top of this page....

    Hope you soon feel's so confusing at first so take tiny steps....

  • Once again thank you so much for your time in answering. Lots of research necessary me thinks!!

  • This is a link which may be helpful (some links within may not work) and cursor down to the date August 17, 2004.

  • Cardio problems and low temps were the bane of my life until I discovered I was hypo. For me, thyroid was the clue not the whole answer. I now believe that I have had adrenal problems for most of my life. I take both thyroid and adrenal support and my heart has changed out of all recognition.

    Your fluctuating temps make me wonder about adrenal issues for you. Have you considered ordering the adrenal saliva test from Genova UK or Blue Horizon? Instructions here

    There's a good adrenal questionnaire here

  • I certainly think it worth doing some more investigations on my general health. It will all depend on what the GP thinks is relevant and if necessary I will fund adrenal issues myself with the private sector. Thank you for responding to my questionn

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