Heart Attack and Levothyroxine

Heart Attack and Levothyroxine

I had been under a lot of stress, my Dad died, my husband left, looking after 2 children and also caring for elderly Mum. But thought it was all under control and felt fine and was busy. But felt tired but not unwell. I am 56 years old and was put on 50mg to start on Levothyroxine as my TSH was high although thyroid was low but within range. I took the first dose and was sick within half an hour. I put this down to my son hadn't felt very well during the week so didn't think anymore of it. The next day I took another dose as I had bought up the first dose the day before. Again I was sick 30 mins later. I remember ringing my friend as I felt really anxious and worried and was crying on the phone, it really wasn't like me to be that upset. The next day I kept it down, I can't remember how I felt although I said to my Mum that I needed a day off the next day. So we went out for the day but it turned into an afternoon of stress and evening meeting. Then having to take my Mum home. I didn't feel too well during the evening. I dropped her off and some heavy shopping and put the chest pain down to pulling a muscle whilst lifting the shopping. I drove home but when I got home the chest pain had intensified and gone to my back. I got in and called an ambulance. I was in hospital for 4 days with a heart attack. I had an angiogram and they couldn't find anything wrong and I came home but on the normal heart attack drugs of Clopidogrel, statin and aspirin. Also taking the 50mg Levothyroxine. I told them at the hospital that I was just put on it and was ill but nothing was said about it. I have been really anxious about it, kept thinking any twinge that it was the heart. I have been in a real state. I had an episode of being so worried with palpitations that an ambulance was called and they said I was ok. In the morning I couldn't get a doctor's appointment but over the phone was prescribed valium for my anxiety. I received a telephone call from the doctors saying I should be on 25mg Levothyroxine and went onto the reduced dose which drastically reduced my palpitations. I booked myself into a nutritionist privately and he immediately spotted that if you are over 50 the first dose should be only 25mg. I then did some research and now wonder if my heart attack was caused by the Levothyroxine. Speaking to other people who have been rushed into hospital with chest pains on starting Levothyroxine. Perhaps I just went a bit too far and didn't call the ambulance early enough. Its playing on my mind but I would be relieved if this has happened to others. On Thursday I had an echocardiogram and I was convinced I had a bad heart but nothing was found and the radiographer didn't even see any damage from the heart attack. I now wait till end of May for a follow up appointment. Trouble is I am now a hypochondriac and worry about every feeling, any sign of stress, palpitation etc. I wake up during the night thinking about it and its on my mind throughout the day. I am a nervous wreck and I have now lost all my confidence, I don't even want to book a summer holiday. Has anyone else had anything similar?

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19 Replies

  • I so sorry you having such a dreadful time! I cant offer any advice medically except to say its no wonder you are stressed with everything you are going through. Maybe a beta blocker would be more useful than diazepan? They are great for anxiety and palpitations. You need to see your doctor to discuss it all and to get your thyroid bloods done .Hope things take an upward turn for you .sending hugs...kimx

  • You have gone through a very anxious and troubling time in your life recently, that it's no wonder it has affected you badly. It's bad enough having a health problem, without all the other stress/strains you've been under. Just when you need support it has evaporated.

    I am not in the least medically qualified but your heart could have been affected by lack of enough thyroid gland hormones. Some people also can be allergic to some of the fillers/binders in levothyroxine. I was over fifty when diagnosed and put on 25mcg but the Professor of Endocrinology said I should have been put straight onto 50mcg not 25mcg.

    Before I was diagnosed my heart was playing up. I had lots of palpitations before being diagnosed and also after when on levothyroxine. The echocardiogram you had was clear and no sign of a heart attack so maybe it could have been due to lack of thyroid gland hormones.

    I am not surprised you are a nervous wreck, most of us are when undiagnosed/undertreated and haven't had all the personal problems you've had. Most of us are very concerned when we are diagnosed because we have still felt quite unwell even when medicated so that's why we find this forum very useful. At least most can sympathise. Always from now on get a print-out of your blood tests from the surgery, with the ranges, for your own records and you can post them in questions if you have a query.

    Take your levothyroxine (or whatever you're prescribed) first thing with a full glass of water and wait around 1 hour before eating. Get your blood tests as early as possible. Do not take your medication on the morning of a thyroid gland blood test, take it afterwards. If you've eaten wait 2 hours before taking it and don't eat for two hours afterwards.

    Your GP has to refer you to an endocrinologist (if you email louise.warvill@thyroiduk.org who has a list of NHS sympathetic Endos, one of whom may be near you). You have to get your thyroid gland medication in order, first of all to make you feel well and then you can sort other things out one by one. Are you managing to take your medication now without being sick This is a list of clinical symptoms and tick the ones off you have and give to your GP. A higher cholesterol is one and should reduce when on optimum thyroid gland medication.



  • Hi You are entitled to worry after such a lot of stress.I tried levo 4 times under an Endo but cannot take it, I have armour. However, my heart is very bad, 4 arrests, MI`s etc etc, Try the levo on the lowest does every other day for 1-2 weeks. Have your free T3 checked, if too high or too low even in range this effects the heart, that is true I know.You need to be under a good Endo, vital. Ask for your electrolytes to be checked, Potassium and sodium in U`s and E`s, kidney,magnesium a separate test, calcium, separate test. Vital all always in range. Also ask for a weeks ECG monitor at home. Ecg echo etc not always enough.

    jackie Not sure if you know to reply toma specific post c;lick on "reply to this" underneath the post.

  • Hi Jackie

    Do you think your arrests were caused by thyroid? I am seeing Dr Barry Peatfield on Wednesday, I feel very positive and hope that he can get me sorted. I have had these symptoms since my children were born. Filling out the questionaire before my appointment has made me realise how long I have had symptoms of hypo. Just been ignored for 15 years. I have learnt what to eat and what not and now know to eat regularly otherwise I get lightheaded. Also my out of breath feeling is hypo as the thyroid is needed to get oxygen into the cells, so my body feels the need to breath more so I get tense. But now I know I go with the flow and try and relax. But out of all of this I think my Mum who is 90 and is now having bad memory and has been on levo for 40 years is actually hypo. The doctors just write the elderly off and say it is age but I am sure so I am getting Mum an appointment as well. Just because she is 90 and active doesn't mean the bad memory should be put down to age. Thank goodness for these forums, we would be lost without our combined knowledge. There are some good heart websites by natural caridologists, I think Dr Sinatra and a few others including Dr Decker Weiss. I bought the book and its an 8 weeks course to get your heart back on track. Its very interesting and I am taking supplements for the heart including Ubiquinole magnesium zinc etc. MRI showed heart damage. Going down the natural route. I am sure in the olden days when they were on natural thyroid they didn't have these problems. Good luck


  • For God's sake get yourself to a Naturopath who can help you with all these issues and not make you more unwell with the crap which is Levothyroxine! Just Google one and you will see there are many in your local area. Prices vary but well worth it, as we can mostly ALL tell you Endos have not a clue! Try reading "Stop The Thyroid Madness " a book which you can get on Amazon, maybe even at the library and of course FACEBOOK has loads of support groups for us with thyroid/adrenal issues which having those crying and anxiety issues sounds like Adrenal fatigue which no Endo will acknowledge but a Naturopath or Functional Practioner will. Get wise and good luck, do your research , it helps to know how to proceed...do not wait for your Doctor to wake up as they will not.

  • Thanks for that MSC56. Had a different brand of Levothyroxine Wockhardt a few weeks ago which gave me chest pains, leg pains and an internal tremor. It was horrible and went onto some old Actavis I had. The pains and tremor completely disappeared. I found out that they contain different ingredients. Really taking care of my diet, don't touch sugar anymore and starting on gluten free. Still waiting to see cardiologist 18 Nov. Its so ridiculous, it doesn't help anxiety issues. My MRI results, which I had to practically bribe an office worker to read out to me as I was told it was sent to my doctor and cardiologist. I have a hyperkinetic area over lateral free wall with well preserved ventricular function. But still anxious and seeing psychologist. Now feeling a bit lightheaded twice this week which scares me stiff. Keep thinking its my heart again. Anyway, this afternoon downloading Stop the Thyroid Madness as I had seen it before but now you recommend it will go ahead. Thanks for the shove in the right direction. Was so strong and confident before all this now just feel like a dithering wreck. Thank goodness for this site, made me feel better after my faint spell. Going to sit down with a cuppa and the book. Doctor still has not woken up. Hope you are well.


  • Hi Lou, only saw this reply now, and so glad you are moving in a better direction. We all have suffered so much unnecessary pain, ill health, bad advice. I wish you well on your journey to answers and better health! I know Stop the Thyroid Madness is a huge step forward and do not forget the many Facebook groups for Thyroid issues and Adrenal and any other because I also get a huge amount of info and support there, even the one which is from STTM. All the best, Shawn :-)

  • Hi Shawn

    Thanks for the advice, I will look at those sites. So much has happened, its such a roller coaster of advice and results. Had 3 different diagnoses for the heart attack now. Just started Nutri Adrenal Extra yesterday after coming off levothyroxine, felt a bit lightheaded so today just halved the dose and left off my B Vitamin complex and feel a lot better, just noticed my hands are warm and glowing, wow, that is a start. I have doctors warning me against other doctors so its very disheartening but following my instinct but just being a bit more cautious. I wonder how many out there are suffering needlessly. I have certainly put a lot of my friends onto this site and opened their eyes to not just going with what their normal doctor says. I felt absolutely rubbish for months before finding out it was the make of the levothyroxine, as soon as I changed I felt a great deal better. I would have continued to feel lousy otherwise.

    Best wishes


  • Thank you for all your support. I was actually feeling well before all this Levothyroxine started, hardly ill at all, just a bit stressed out about things which was hardly surprising. I have never been on so many tablets, heart tablets, now, aspirin, statins and my cholesterol is actually 4.8 when I had the heart attack which is hardly high. My blood pressure has always been low, but just suffer from joint stiffness for years starting at the age of 50 which my doctor put down to arthritis. Really quite painful some days but after the heart attack I didn't have any aches , only from the statins at night which was awful, I couldn't sleep with the pain racking my body. I reduced the statins down to 10mg which is now okay. Now my levothyroxine has decreased I have noticed that my joints have started getting stiff and aching again. I was putting all this down to the heart attack tablets, Clopidogrel 75mg or the aspirin. The doctor is hopeless, reduced my dose without even seeing me, gave me no info about taking thyroid meds and my blood test was TSH 5.6mu/L and free T4 level was 12.7pmol/L. I was losing weight since the heart attack, over 1 stone since Jan 14th but the last two weeks since taking the lower level of Levothyroxine my weight is stable, although eating the same healthy food. I find that going for a walk at last light helps me sleep and being more active. Its all mixed up as I thought it was the heart attack but as they can't find anything wrong it has made me suspect the Levothyroxine being the culprit. I am annoyed that I was a mental wreck, was told that it was normal after a heart attack but since reducing the dose of Levo I feel I am getting back to normal again, not so depressed. The only good thing is that it scared the **** out of me to get my but off my seat and get out there and take more exercise and anything unhealthy is now off putting. I have lost faith with any doctor, will try the naturopath, why in the old days was this not a problem, its the lack of nutrients in food so I shall go down that route first and will keep you all updated.......... watch this space. But if anyone had a heart attack or chest pains shortly after starting Levothyroxine then please let me know. Good luck to everyone.

    Just a note, sorry about the huge picture of myself, I couldn't alter it once it had been uploaded!

  • Its been a worrying time but now feel lightheaded sometimes during the day which is disconcerting. Cardiologist sent me a copy of letter sent to my doctor which I received today saying I have a regurgitating tricuspid valve. Its now Easter and it saidnothing else. It didnt even come with a letter to me so I am really worried after being told that nothing was found. Was told today by my Mums doctor that she has liver problems and had some silent strokes. So now worried about Mum who is 90. Why do doctors do this just before a holiday and cant get to see doctor for another 4 days. I was feeling fine before taking Levothyroxine and was hardly ever ill, just a bit tired. Its very depressing. I am amazed how drugs are used to cover up symtoms but dont get to the root cause. I appreciate your replies and suggestions. Thinking of trying thyroid diet to get off levothyroxine especially if I have heart problems.

  • Hi I was told the first one was because a thyroid doc ( not an Endo) had over treated me. He did not do blood tests and when I had one very high, especially T3.Personally I thought more to it than that.Althoyugh my tSH immeasurable as so low my Endo very fussy that T3 must be in range, I agree.

    Best wishes,


  • Hi Jackie

    I am so happy. Saw Dr Peatfield and he immediately diagnosed adrenal fatigue and the cause of the heart attack. I have come off the levo today and will supplement with adrenal supplement in a few days. I didn't push myself on my cardio walk today so instead of trying to get the heart up to so many beats I just went for a normal walk. So far no palpitations and no back ache which could have been the adrenals giving me a message. Changed the food to nourish the adrenals and forgetting the heart diet. He did my bp and noticed the huge bruise on my arm and said I should come off the blood thinners as it wsn't a blockage. Seeing cardiologist next week so hopefully off the cardiac drugs. At last I can see the light. It was the best thing I did. I gave him a huge hug. Even my heart feels happier today and I slept well last night. If I do get an anxiety attack again I know its not in my mind, its my adrenals playing up and I shall just ride it out, just knowing why helps. Its about time these doctors listened to the symptoms and didn't depend on the blood tests. I don't have heart problems, I have an adrenal problem, its different. Good luck with yours but do your research and make sure what you are doing is correct.

    Lou x

  • HI Lou, I am so pleased for you and do hope it is the answer, See what the Cardio says, so long as he is good,

    Very best wishes,


  • Just before I saw cardiologist my doctor rang with concerns regarding my treatment for adrenals as I had heart attack. Took a downer again after being so happy that cause had been found and on way to recovery. Cardiologist then said she wasnt interested in my thyroid problems. After 10 months finally told that they had found a narrowing in a small vessel which they think trapped a small blood clot. Heart damage much smaller than I had been led to believe. So relieved but concerned by a third diagnosis for the heart attack. It doesnt give confidence in medical profession. Came off levo for a week now. Done thyroid and adrenal tests and took adrenal nutri extra yesterday for first time. Felt weird when I was due to eat and anxious. Reduced to half a tablet today, see how it goes. Its like a roller coaster ride just when we need a smooth ride. Thank goodness for this site for bringing us together. Better information than going to docs. Back on levo in a few days. How is your adrenal problem?


  • Hi Lou, Medics! cardios are the worst I nearly died with 4 giving me the wrong treatment. Now a brilliant one he says I need to protect myself from them. Not easy when very ill and in heart failure in hospital. MY good hospital, famous but the cardios there want to disconnect my ICD which means I would be derad in 24 hours. I have been battling with them for a hyear. Complaints useless. Moral I carefully investigate any new consultant and accept nothing!

    Adrenals are still so so ut cannot have any treatment so catch 22, thanks.Even thyroid after years gone wobbly. Actually seeing my Endo tomorrow, diabetes gone mad too!What a life!

    So watch every doc yourself no matter their reputation. Web is a great invention. I also ask their secretaries and fish!

    All the best.


  • Although it's an old post... I'm hoping to learn more about this and see how you are doing.

    My levothytoxin was increased to 75mg this month and at 46 Yrs of age and after finishing my first month with new dose, I found myself in hospital with a heart attack, 2 stents later, I'm home and wondering what the heck happened.

    I've always had low bp, and high pulse. Just seems odd with lebothytoxine change. Plus, I'm still tired, not feeling myself.

    Any help is greatly appreciated :)

  • Hi Heartprobat46

    I am doing really good thanks, and you know why, I have switched to NDT!!! I have got myself better with the help from the good people on healthunlocked. I am using Thiroyd from Thailand and switched from 50mcg levo onto 25mcg levo and half a grain just to test the water and get some confidence and then two days later made the plunge. I took it easy, nothing mad, just gentle walks, early to bed, looked after myself. I did increase to 2 a day all in the morning and made the mistake of carrying on taking 3 Nutri Thyroids all in the morning which gave me some heart pain when I was walking up a hill. I saw Dr Peatfield and immediately he took me back down to 1 grain spread out into half as soon as waking and half lunch time ish, I now spread out the 3 Nutri Thyroids during the day. It seems to have worked. I was getting a general back ache some times with air hunger and only today found this great article which explains why I was feeling that way thyroid-info.com/articles/r... Once we have a heart attack its always at the back of my mind that anything is linked to the heart. I also follow Dr Sinatras advice for the heart. I was getting some heart palpitations but they went away immediately I ate at least 3 bananas a day, had more Himalayan salt, I have increased my magnesium citrate to 600mcg a day. I also have some Spatone iron every other day. I also go for at least two fast walks a day and getting up my confidence. All the weird symptoms I was getting on levo are going, things that you can't put a finger on, just weird feelings I put it down to methylation. I am waiting for a thyroid blood test to see how I am. I also take Ashwagandha and Rhodiola which seem to do wonders for my stress and energy levels, 3000mg vit c a day, garlic and omega 3s, taurine and D-Ribose for the heart, Acetyl L-Carnitine for the heart. Kelp, CoQ10 and Resveratrol with folate. If you have stents I would use Red Yeast Rice and Grapeseed extract and if I remember Lysine clears blockages but please do your research on each supplement. I took myself off aspirin as it was giving me bad stomach and I just didn't feel right, I take Nattokinase and Serrapeptase morning and evening to keep blood clots down and I also sleep on a grounding mat to keep the blood from clumping. I also don't suddenly go into things, just ease into them. I get to bed early and de-stress looking after my adrenals which were weak. I take morning and evening temperatures and bpm and write down a diary for Dr Peatfield. I have noticed my temperature is much nearer normal now and my heart rate has slightly increased. advancedbionutritionals.com... has information regarding inflammation and cox2 inhibitor. I also bought Stop the Thyroid Madness which explains a lot of things.

    You are probably on statins which gave me lots of pains, the rehab didn't help as it gave me costo chondritis which they never diagnosed and I suffered lots of anxiety. The drugs don't help either. I found that by taking magnesium and zinc which I was at the bottom of the low score but they didn't bother telling me, and potassium by eating bananas and keeping all my B vits etc good, eating well, resting well, walking well and getting your thyroid sorted. I wish you well and hope that my path will help you. But please make sure its all ok with your drugs and nothing clashes etc. I am the best I have been in years now and continuing to improve which I really thought was impossible last year. Do let me know how you get on. xx

  • Hello Dramlouie....what a journey it is! Are you still taking the Thiroyd with the three Nutri Thyroids? I'm trying to get onto NDT but can't decide which way to go...Armour and Erfa seem to have gone pearshaped and I'm tempted to try one of these products sourced from Thailand.

  • Hi Elsa142

    I am just taking .5 grain Thiroyd first thing with water at about 5.30am then going back to sleep. I take the other .5 grain early afternoon and maybe a small amount early evening depending if I am going out. I have had a lot of stress these past few weeks and feeling a bit anxious and hypo again so will increase my dose slightly, hopefully that will keep symptoms at bay, or I might add a few Nutri Thyroids, trouble is I keep forgetting to take them, another symptom! I keep the Nutri Thyroids as a booster as they are more expensive that the Thiroyd. I am still lpleased with it and some of my friends are now taking Thiroyd and it has changed their lives now. Start multi dosing and I found I gradually decreased the number of doses. Go for it and enjoy your new health.

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