heart failure and hypo: Hi, I was diagnosed with... - Thyroid UK

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heart failure and hypo


Hi, I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism 12 months ago, I was already taking, and still are, heart tablets for an irregular heartbeat. I am only on a very low dose of levo, because of the beta blockers. however lately i have worsening symptoms of the hypo and wonder if anyone knows of a natural alternative to higher doses of levo, i know my Dr is concerned about increasing the dose. and i just get ' we will see how it goes' comments, I take both pills in the morning, which I know is probably wrong as i guess they work against each other to some degree. Any advice would be welcome.

11 Replies

Hi and Welcome ! Am afraid I am not a medical expert - just a thyroid patient like you ! I am sorry you are suffering at the moment. Is it possible you could obtain your latest thyroid results with ranges and post them here if you have them to hand or in a new post later.

Often low thyroid hormones can create heart problems - especially low FT3. There is a great deal written about it - Low T3 syndrome and the heart. It was a strange heartbeat that took me to the GP back in 2005 - my thyroid diagnosis followed.

You may need to increase your dose to alleviate symptoms. Do you have Hashimotos ?

Have you had your Ferritin - Folate - B12 - Iron - VitD tested ? They need to be good in their respective ranges. Do not accept normal as a result - it is after all an opinion. Where you are in all ranges is important. LOW Iron can cause palpitations - as the heart is working harder to push more red blood cells around the body. The red cells carry iron to which the oxygen attaches. Low iron = low oxygen = heart beats faster.

Someone else will comment on when to take your tablets. Are you taking any other medication/supplements ?

Am afraid it's all about reading and learning if we want to feel better as sadly the Docs are held back by strict guidelines and unable to treat us correctly :-)

elamas in reply to Marz

thanks for your comments, My heart problem started 4-5 years before, with a couple of small heart attacks etc. the CVD (cardio vascular disease) clinic found the thyroid problem, through a routine blood test. I think they said raised levels? I know in the great scheme of things I am no where near as bad as some. However just lately the body temperature and general malaise is really getting to me, I have just about given up on the sleeping! i have to take the heart pills in the morning as they help regulate the heart, but i never thought of taking the levo at night, I suppose because it said take in the morning i didn't question it. I think i will try that. I know deep down i am not taking them correctly as i eat breakfast more or less straight away!

Marz in reply to elamas

....yes Cardiologists are aware of the connection between heart problems and the thyroid....so it is good that it was picked up....as that is not always the case. You may well have had a thyroid problem long before you had the heart attacks - but testing and thyroid diagnosis is sadly lacking - so it was not picked up. You still need to know your results so you can monitor your progress - perhaps you can obtain them from your GP. Also the tests I mentioned in the post above - they are very important to help with the conversion of the T4 you are taking which has to convert into the ACTIVE thyroid hormone T3. Do you plan to have them done ? So important to follow shaws advice about when to take your T4. Having LOW B12 is VERY similar to being Hypo. Many heart patients have low iron - folate - ferritin etc.

My nephew had two heart attacks at a very young age - then the thyroid diagnosis - which also resulted in his mother being tested for thyroid and diagnosed - so have a little experience in this area.....

I am T3 only and know when my next dose is due as my heart flutters - or did - when I needed the next dose.

greygoose in reply to elamas

Yes, that is not good, elamas. For maximum absorption, you should take your levo with a glass of water (so it doesn't get stuck!) and wait an hour before eating or drinking. Otherwise, you are not getting your full dose. As your dose is already low, it's imperative that you get as much as you can out of it. Taking your Beta Blocker at the same time can also have a negative effect. Is your doctor aware that if he gets you on an optimal dose of Levo, you may no-longer need the Beta-Blockers? That way, he will be saving money! lol :)

elamas in reply to greygoose

thanks, I am sure he is aware of the need for both though, My cardiologist explained that my right chamber leaks and doesn't fill correctly, so I do need to take the heart pills. I have started taking the levo at night, (last night being the first) and i actually slept quite well! I am hoping its not a coincidence lol. Will keep you posted, i go for a check up in 3 weeks and another blood test so will ask for the results of them. thanks again. Gotta love this site x

greygoose in reply to elamas



This is only my personal view. I would take either levo in the morning and beta-blockers at night or vice-versa. It would depend on how sensitive your heart feels and how many you take throughout the day. If you take levo at bedtime leave about 2.5 hours between eating and levo as food can interfere with the uptake. Also in the glass of water you take with levo I would add 1/4 teaspoon powdered Vitamin C as it can help to convert T4.

I think your doctor is being over-cautious about raising your levo as too little can also affect our heart which needs thyroid hormones to function. Just for info:-


Marz has given some excellent advice as usual.

LuxN in reply to shaws

Thanks for the link. The comments from Dr Lowe come at a good time for me. I am having some issues that could be heart related and because there isn't an easy answer to pin it on, the docs have now started quizzing me on why I self medicate with NDT and the fact my TSH is a little too low for the doctors liking. They insisted on taking some blood for a thyroid test today and I am gearing myself up for another argument about why Levo doesn't work for me. At least I have someone in my corner now. Thanks


I hope the NDT works for you and feeling good is great when you finally get there. You can say that NDT, being first introduced in 1892 and used up till about the late 50's when Big Pharma promoted levo.

The other links at the top of the page are enlightening as well i.e Thyroid testing and Proper use of thyroid hormones. Dr L is one doctor who never used levo. Only NDT or T3. He was also a scientist etc as well:-



Underpinning Dr. Lowe's work are his two main intellectual interests: (1) theoretical-deductive science, which enables one to make the best possible sense of study findings in a research field; and (2) symbolic (mathematical) logic, the discipline one uses to determine the validity or invalidity of his own and others' conclusions and arguments.



I hope I don't give you 'overload' but this is also important and the fact the despite 3 yearly reminders he never received a response from either the BTA or RCoP.


I split my Levo dose. I take half at night, half in the morning. Initially it was to reduce the side effect I was having but now is the answer to my insomnia and is a blessing. When you feel drained because of the hypo thyroid ism the last thing you need is no sleep as well.

Hope it continues to work for you - it has for me. 😊

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