Scary reaction to alcohol

I was diagnosed with hypo last year and am currently on 50 mcg levo. Recently I've noticed that after more than a glass or two of wine (and Irrespective of whether or not I feel the effects at the time) I wake up about 3am with a rapid, pounding heartbeat. This lasts an hour or two and is really frightening. The next morning I'm fine (though sleep deprived). Is this a reaction to the levo do you think? Or another symptom of hypothyroidism?

13 Replies

  • Bagster,

    If it was a reaction to Levothyroxine you would have a rapid pounding heartbeat every morning at 3am. Many hypothyroid patients find their tolerance to alcohol is reduced.

  • Thanks Clutter. What I meant was does taking levo make people less tolerant of alcohol, rather than querying my tolerance of levo itself. But you've answered my question. It's more likely to be my thyroid and if I'm honest I've had this problem before - but only with red wine. Upsetting that I'm now intolerant of white. Hopefully it'll improve when I'm optimally treated. Fingers crossed!

  • Alcohol causes rapid heart rate in some people including myself. That is why I avoid it. It is not worth it in my opinion anyhow. Hope this helps.

  • Thanks floraldaisy. Reassuring to know It's not just me. I'll be taking a break from the booze for a while I think.

  • No problem.

    I have abstained then given in had the odd glass at Christmas then felt really rough with racing heart.

    I then decided to do without any alcohol at all.


  • I used to drink a few glasses of wine a week and I'd wake up around 2am in a sweat, racing heart and panic. It had never happened before so I stopped drinking 4 years ago and never had it since. Alcohol doesn't agree with some people. I'd had the odd panic attack in the night drinking in the past but it became a regular thing so I stopped, it wasn't worth it.

  • My tolerance to alcohol is greatly reduced since i became Hypo i loved a glass or two of wine, what i did discover is that i have an intolerance to sulphites in wine and certain foods.

    So when i can afford it i treat myself to organic wine which i order on line, the wine is sulphite free so no pounding heart, but even so i limit myself to the amount that i drink in one go.


  • That's really interesting Dotti. I wondered if it was the sulphites. There's a wine merchant called The Good Wine Co. or something who do all natural, sulphite free wines. V expensive. Cheaper and simpler to just give up but worth considering for special occasions.

  • I had to stop drinking altogether as the hangovers wrre lasting for days niot hours.

  • I have had a severe reaction to alcohol for about 11 years now. I have raised tsh, low ft4 and low ft3. Im not on medication because my doc says im normal. Im waiting for my latest bh results and if i have been able to raise my vits etc i am seriously considering self medicating. I have to be so careful not a trace of alcohol in any food etc. I get a severe adrennalin rush and have ended up in A&E. I have also had problems with the dentist. Important for all hypos out there. Dentists are now using ethenol hydrochlyroide I had a bad reaction last week. I have also had to discuss local anesthetic options as I have to have a tooth out on friday due to clenching i have killed the nerve, another hypo problem. If your hypo tell your dentist as you must have epenephrine free local anesthetic.

  • Sounds dreadful magsyh. I have for a long time been aware of a serious reaction to local anathestic. Before I knew I was hypo I had to have adrenaline free local anaesthetic or risk anaphylactic shock. Is that the same as epenephrine? I'm more upset by the alcohol reaction tbh! Last night I tried 125 ml red wine and was ok. So perhaps if I restrict myself to a small glass now and then I'll be ok.

    Good luck getting a diagnosis. I was considered sub clinical and started on a trial. It made an appreciable difference (though I hadn't noticed any particular symptoms). I'm even getting new hair growth. I now believe I've been hypo for many years - just accepting symptoms as signs of ageing

    All the best.


  • It is common to become intolerant of alcohol when you have a thyroid condition. I gave up alcohol many years ago and would not exchange my lovely clear head for anything. The last time I drank alcohol I was celebrating my grandsons birthday in an Indian Restaurant, the Waiter came round with a complimentary very small glass of Baileys, as it was so small I thought I would be ok, when I got home my heart was racing so badly I called an Ambulance and was taken to hospital, it was very frightening, fortunately my heart eventually calmed down and I was ok the next day with no lasting effects.

  • My goodness Joyia! That sounds terrifying. I'm not a big drinker at all but how sad not to be able to celebrate with a glass of something from time to time (not that Baileys would be my first choice).

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