High heart rate worries

I'm so down about exercising as I started running, just after starting thyroxine. Been on it now for 2 months, still have symptoms and coming up to the end of 4 weeks on an increased dose of 75mcg.

The problem I've got is that my heart rate is really high. The thyroxine has helped bring my resting HR down to 65bpm but that is only ever when I'm asleep. If I'm sitting down resting, it's always more like 90bpm. If I get up and walk it shoots up to 120-130bpm. Just walking around the house!! When I'm running it's at 190bpm which is max heart rate for my age. I also get chest pains. I have mentioned all this to my GP but she kind of ignores it and doesn't offer any answers.

I just want to go running but I'm scared I'll have a heart attack!!

I thought with hypo thyroid your HR would be slower? I don't know what my blood pressure is but whenever it's been measured in the past it's been low.

Is this a separate issue to thyroid or connected? Should I just run and hope as I get fitter it will go?

15 Replies

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  • boxesandplanes if you're so worried, & you obviously are, then why don't you make an appointment to see your Gp & request a CT scan. They can usually be done at your surgery by a nurse & only take 5 to 10 minutes & will give you results instantly.

  • Did you mean an ECG? :)

  • Yes sorry boxesandplanes that was a text prediction error.

  • I've had an ECG done a few years ago in a&e and it was fine. I wasn't as bad then though, does it change? Is it still worth doing it?

  • Yes it can change & if I were as worried as you seem to be I'd definitely request another.

  • The maximum heart rate for your age stuff is rubbish. Heart rates vary between individuals so while some people have high heart rates while doing exercise others have low heart rates.

    All the sports medicine stuff about heart rate training using prescribed maximum heart rates for age were put in the bin about 4 years ago. You need to work out your own maximum heart rate.

    Unfortunately unless you exercised before you were diagnosed with thyroid problems with a heart rate monitor then there is nothing to compare it to.

    If you do suffer from a high heart rate normally than get your heart checked out to make sure it is OK as the others said. Only start running again once your symptoms are gone. You will not get fitter exercising while ill it will just make you sicker.

  • Ok thanks. Do you mean wait until all symptoms are gone? I just don't hold out much help that this will ever happen. They keep changing. My heart rate didn't used to be high. In fact I was always very fit and had low heat rate before all these thyroid issues started.

  • Running will be using up your T3 which you cannot easily replace when taking T4 only. And it is low T3 that is causing symptoms. You have not yet been on Levo long enough to raise your levels. Being hypo does not necessarily give you a low heart rate, sometimes it can be the opposite.

  • Not sure if I've had my t3 checked. Can you take t3 as well?

  • You can indeed. But doctors are very reluctant to prescribe it. Most people on here buy their own on-line.

    However, it's best to get your FT3 tested before starting on T3, to know how much you need.

  • I have always had a rapid pulse, 90 at rest is normal for me. I had shoulder surgery two weeks ago and prior to that the anaesthetist was concerned about my rapid pulse and insisted I see a cardiologist who did and echocardiogram. He said I'm fine and I am just someone who has a fast heart rate. Sometimes it gets up to 130 when I'm resting and that becomes a bit uncomfortable but it generally settles. Clemmie

  • Ok, so my resting heart rate is now down to 50. And my working heart rate (walking) 130. I haven't gone running because of what greygoose said about it making me more ill. The thyroxine is definitely bringing down my resting HR alot. But surely this is a big gap!

  • Oh no! Ignore me, the low heart rate now is due to taking propanalol to try and stop the adrenaline rushes (not working for that!)

  • You need to be patient. You will get running again but not until your symptoms have gone. Luckily for you you found this site so you will get there faster than a lot of people have especially if you are proactive in finding stuff out for yourself.

  • I developed severe chest pain and sinus tachycardia (heart rate of 150+) when I was desperately short of iron. My ferritin level was in range (but low in range) so my doctor decided I was fine.

    It was only when I paid for my full GP notes I discovered I had had below range serum iron and iron binding capacity (along with "normal" ferritin) some years before, and I'd got a lot worse since that test was done.

    In the end I started paying for my own tests including a full iron panel and a full blood count. "Normal" ferritin on its own is not a reliable indicator of anything much at all in my experience. I started treating myself. You don't need prescriptions to buy decent strength iron supplements. It took me nearly two years to repair the deficit and get my iron results to optimal, and my health has been transformed by it. I started being able to tolerate thyroid hormones more as well.

    I don't get chest pain any more, and usually my heart only speeds up a little bit when I'm overdue for a dose of T3.

    I did get various tests for heart attack and an ultrasound for my heart and all the usual things they do for bad chest pain but I was always told everything was normal.

    My theory (for what it's worth - I'm completely untrained) is that the pain I had (a really excruciating burning pain) was due to a lactic acid build up in my heart, and this was caused by the severe anaemia I had.

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