High Cortisol at night (racing heart, pulse) pr... - Thyroid UK

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High Cortisol at night (racing heart, pulse) preventing sleep caused by Hashimotos?


Does anyone who has been diagnosed with Hashimotos have this? I have been researching and have read that taking aspirin, tylenol, BP meds and many other things can set it off, including some caffeine free teas. Does anyone know how to prevent it?

Also dealing with Tinnitus and feel there may be a correlation, but not sure.

19 Replies

Do you have thyroid test results with ranges you could post ? Have you been tested for B12 - Ferritin - Folate ' VitD ?

Tinnitus can be linked to low B12.

This is just a start 😊 Others will be along soon with more questions .....

gethealthynow in reply to Marz

Yes I did have all of these tests and more about 9 months ago and have an appt again mid April for more tests...not sure which ones yet dr. will do. I surely wouldn't want to post old test results. Not sure why some nights the sound is like a sharp buzz saw on steroids and other nights it is like a broken fan blade, not as sharp sounding. Either sound keeps me from sleeping.

Marz in reply to gethealthynow

If you have copies of your last results with ranges then do post them so people can offer advice. Difficult to do so without them - where do we start ? If you are on a phone then scroll down to find similar posts which may help to provide some answers ...

Are you on any medications ? - supplements ?

Permanent tinnitus results from long-term hypothyroidism. (Mark Starr, Hypothyroidism Type 2). Does your tinnitus come and go?

Eddie 83, I have had hypo for 20 years. The tinnitus used to come and go but it is on all the time now, and loudest at night, of course.

Eddie83 in reply to Eddie83

Unfortunately that fits. Starr states in his book that tinnitus will become an issue after about 10 years of hypothyroid.

I tried oodles of things when I had Hashi's and could not sleep. Hydrocortisone, phosphatidylserine, seriphos, licorice, adrenal glandular, etc. etc. While being on loads of the usual nutritional support. My health issues originated in gluten enteropathy, and it never occurred to anyone I saw that I might have low blood protein because enteropathy wrecks the gut. So in my case (and this may be rare), I found that free essential amino acids were the key I needed. You might ask your doc to test your Total Blood Protein level.

I suspect T3 would reduce your tinnitus, even if you still have Hashi's antibodies.

Eddie83, what are "free essential amino acids" ? Are they a supplement? I know I have gut issues that seem to improve and I've almost totally given up gluten. Read that if one is not celiac (per tests) that we gluten sensitive folks can tolerate sour dough breads. Trying that theory now. I'll ask for a Total Blood Protein test but not sure if she will know what optimum levels should be.

Any of the autoimmune gut disorders disrupt digestion, and esp. protein digestion. Protein digestion also drops with age. The "normal" range for Total Blood Protein (TBP) in the US is 6.2-8.3 g/dl. The range extends too low; my doc says his highly vigorous/healthy patients have TBP in the middle of that range, i.e. around 7.1. Free essential amino acids are a blend of the 8 or 9 aminos, in free form (no digestion required), which your body must get from exogenous sources because the body cannot make them. The optimum proportions of aminos in such a blend have been established by research. Some professional athletes find they cannot get enough aminos from dietary protein, even in the late teens, and so resort to a free essential amino acids blend to support muscles and connective tissue.

Oh boy, I can relate to that. August 2015 suddenly for no reason, racing heart, nausea, slight trembling and insomnia. This went on for 13 weeks non stop day and night and I used to take a Xanax very occasionally but made no difference really would go to bed at about 12.30 and would be wide awake heart racing by 2.30. I had an ECG and that was normal. Nobody knew what was wrong I was even under a private endocrinologist, it was absolute hell, GP in the end made me feel like I was a time waster, gave me every type of anti nausea pill, just made me feel worse. Lost masses of weight of course. I used to live on ginger green tea all day which I think now was worsening the racing heart. I never felt depressed just extreme anxiety and I was so desperate in the end, took half a dozen Xanax. That of course then led me to a psych team who insisted it was depression but it wasn't. Anyway, reluctantly I started taking an anti depressant, mirtazapine and gradually the horrible symptoms died down and I weaned myself off them. I always felt they were masking something else. Anyway, 8 months on an endo suggested I have an antibodies test and there were over a thousand of the little devils so was told I had Hashimotos.

Anyway, sorry this is dragging on but just recently had a bad reaction to very low dose of NDT but haven't felt right anyway and the sweating and racing heart has started up again. All except for last Sunday when I began to feel my old self and was puzzled. Then it occurred to me that I had dug out an old mirtazapine Saturday night as I had to go to a 100th birthday party on the sunday and needed to sleep. Someone here suggested that the NDT had caused a problem with my adrenals. I started investigating and to my surprise I found there was a study done with healthy individuals and mirtazapine was found to reduce cortisol levels by around 30%. So I have come to the conclusion that the 13 weeks of hell was down to too high cortisol level. The other morning I didn't feel that great but was standing on my low intensity vibrating plate (I have advanced osteoporosis) and had this awful out of body feeling and I could feel the perspiration running down my chest. I stepped off it and sat down. I thought I would need to lie down, went into my bedroom but the noise was awful of screeching birds and as I went to close the window I realised it was tinnitus but to the extreme.

My B12 is optimal ferritin a little on the low side and not on any meds.

Last nighty because my back was so bad I took a couple of cocodomol and got to bed and had one of those nights where I never slept at all!

stoneym in reply to elaine2447

Hi elaine2447, Has the low intensity vibrating plate (I have advanced osteoporosis) made any improvements to your osteoporosis?

elaine2447 in reply to stoneym

I don't know as I only bought it in January of this year. I am just hoping that it will at least prevent my OP from getting any worse as I have primary hyperparathyroidism as well so the pth will be draining calcium out of my bones as well. I was dubious but the company along with NASA has spent millions of dollars perfecting this basically because they realised that astronauts were losing a fair bit of bone density whilst in orbit. The only reason I bought it was because probably the most well respected physiotherapist who deals specifically with OP recommended it. She is in the U.S. of course as we have nothing like that here. The most recent time I went to a physio back in December, the first thing she told me to do was to see how far forward I could bend which is an absolute no no. I already have a compression fraction at T5. If you are interested I could put you in touch with the agent in the U.K. We have only just been able to buy them here as the company has been bought out by a German company. I guess you know that you must never go on a gym type vibrator as it could be very dangerous. Unfortunately these machines are not cheap £3,000 but the guy let me pay in two parts. This is a demo of it. I try to do the "golfers reach" as much as I can but I would not be able to get down like she does. I stick my big toe in where the switch is to turn it on and off, lol. youtube.com/watch?v=xKiFxZ8...

Do you take any kind of thyroid medication?

Yes I take NatureThroid (similar to Armor Thyroid) 130 mg. It contains T4 and T3. I have been on thyroid meds for 20 years. Synthroid used to work but docs put me on thyroid meds with T3 when the fatigue wouldn't go away. I take it in the morning and hour before breakfast or coffee

I continue to point people in the direction of digestive enzymes. Sometimes we can be on very high doses of natural thyroid but if we don't have the digestive enzymes are buddy has trouble metabolizing it correctly they're inexpensive and it's worth a try . The functional doctor that I go to here in the states says as much is a third of the people do not have the digestive enzymes required to properly metabolize T3 T4 combinations . It's one of the main reasons that doctors here in the states resist treating patients with T3 T4 combinations because of the digestive enzyme problem in the fluctuating blood levels . All they would have to do is recommend that I just of enzymes but that would just be too much .I have tinnitus too - always have - I forget about it sometimes but then again I don't have anything like you describe mine must be very very mild. I listen to very soft music or movies down so low that you can only hear the whisper and it distracts me some people use a fan / white noise - to drown out the tinnitus . But I don't know about if that would work with some thing as severe as what you described . I actually did not know it was connected to the Hashimoto's . We keep learning and sharing don't we? 😆


I had it last year. I had very high heart rate and insomnia before I was put on any thyroid meds, it got worse when I was put on thyroxine, and happened again when I started ndt. Eventually, following advice from HU Members and Admins, I switched on to T3-only. I'm feeling much better, although I'm still working on improving my adrenal function.

I hope you will figure it out. Take care


To lower your cortisol at night, you could research the following :

Holy Basil (also known as Tulsi)

Phosphatidyl Serine

Phosphorylated Serine (this is sold under the brand name Seriphos)

Some more info on the subject :





I had/have high cortisol throughout the day and I've had most success with Holy Basil. I take 2 capsules, two or three times a day, of this :



Regarding tinnitus - you have my sympathies. I don't know of a cure. I first developed it in my late teens. It didn't bother me very much until it suddenly got a lot worse in my early 50s.

I was almost suicidal when my tinnitus got suddenly worse. It was driving me demented and I was getting almost no sleep.

In the end I was given advice by the audiology clinic at my local hospital on how to cope with it. I bought something called a tinnitus relaxer :


If you buy one of the above gadgets, then depending on what you choose and your sleeping arrangements you might need pillow speakers as well :


The above website also has various articles on the subject of tinnitus that you ought to search for and read.

If you buy a tinnitus relaxer and speakers, and get it going when you go to bed, you must not have the volume up so high that you drown out the tinnitus. The idea is that you should be able to hear the relaxer and your tinnitus. Then you deliberately switch your attention from the tinnitus to the sound from the machine. If you do this, then with practice your brain learns to ignore the tinnitus.

You can use the relaxers during the day as well if you want. They aren't just for falling asleep to.

Thank you for all this information. I do have Phosphatidyl Serine but not sure how much to take. I took 1 last night and it helped with the racing pulse/adrenals/cortisol somewhat. Perhaps a little more throughout the day would help with the sleep. Now turning focus on the Tinnitus to see if that can be lessened.

There is some dosing advice for PS on this link :


Thank you for the link. Just what I needed on the PS.

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