Thyroid UK
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Newly diagnosed as hyperthyroid

Hi. My name is Michaela. I was diagnosed as hyperthyroid a week ago and given my first prescription of carbimazole and propranolol on Tuesday. My heart rate has come down considerably but my palpitations are worse than ever. It feels like my heart is trying to beat faster but can’t. I’m assuming this is normal?

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Hi Michaela

Do you have blood test results, and have you seen an endo yet. ?

How much carbimazole have they prescribed ?

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Waiting for a referral. I don’t have the results either. Low dose of carbimazole 15mg per day). 120mg propranolol x

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Hi Micheala, when I was first diagnosed as hyperthyroidism, I was also prescribed 30mg of Antithyroid medicine and 60mg of Propranolol (20mg for three times a day). Few days later, my heart slows down to normal rate. Make sure you take Antithyroid (Carbimazole) medicine three hours apart from Propranolol. You will be alright.

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Oh, now they didn’t tell me that. I’ve been taking them together. It’s slowed right down to 50s but I’m getting palpitations all the time

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When taken together, it will not help to reduce your heart palpitation. Doctor told me to take it separately (three hours apart). If you still feel bad palpitation, you can reduce mg of Propranolol. Also, if you can, try to avoid chocolate and caffeine temporarily. It helped me a lot. If you wish, you can try it and let me know if is help.

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I will try that thanks. I don’t have any caffeine anyway and not much chocolate. I’ll cut it out altogether though xx

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You're welcome. Feel better! 🙂

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If you're in the U.K, you can ask your GP for a printout of your results - you should be able to get the recent ones just by asking at reception.

Chances are the only thyroid tests they will have done are FT4 and TSH. The FT4 is one element of the thyroid hormone in your body, the TSH is the thyroid stimulating hormone, which tells the thyroid to produce more hormone. Next to each number should be the range, in brackets. Your FT4 will probably be above the range (possibly well above the range), and your TSH almost nothing.

The endo will probably order FT3 (another element of the thyroid hormone, converts from FT4) and antibody tests as well. The antibody tests will tell you whether you have an autoimmune type of thyroid problem such as Graves Disease (the most common cause). Whatever the cause, they need to reduce the amount of hormone as it can lead to complications if left untreated.

Quite probably, the endo will increase the level of carbi - what's been prescribed should take the edge off the symptoms, but to get a higher dose, you will need to see a specialist. You may not feel a huge amount better until you see the endo.

There are two basic regimes - block and replace, where they give you a high dose of carbimazole (perhaps 40-60mg/day) plus replacement thyroid, usually Levo. The other one is titration, where you start off on a high dose of carbimazole, then they titrate (reduce) it until your thyroid levels are normal, but don't give you any thyroid replacement. In either case, it will probably take 12-18 months, and you will need regular blood tests and hospital visits. There are people here on both regimes (I'm on titration, but still on 40mg/day of carbimazole, as my FT3 was still too high at my last blood test).

In quite a lot of cases, it does recur. If that happens, make sure you ask for time to consider options. Whatever they are, there will almost certainly be someone here who has been through it.

One more thing (I know it's a lot to take in, especially as you're probably feeling rubbish !) - they should have warned you that carbimazole can suppress your white blood cell count, which can be a problem. If you get a sudden sore throat, mouth ulcers or unexplained fever, you should stop taking the carbimazole and go to your GP or A&E, explain you are on carbimazole and ask for an immediate blood test I don't want to sound alarmist about this, because it's a pretty rare occurrence, and definitely shouldn't put you off taking the tablets, but you need to be aware. (My endo gave me a printed card to keep in my purse).

You will feel better, honestly!

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Thanks. They did warn me about the carbimazole so that’s good. At the moment it feels as if my heart is trying to beat faster but can’t if that makes sense. And I generally feel very spaced out and tired but am awake a lot in the night. I don’t have any caffeine so that’s one thing I don’t need to stop, and not much chocolate because I struggle to lose weight (when the doctor said hyperthyroid I thought I’d misheard!!). Hopefully I’ll get an appointment soon x

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I have been hyper for nearly month and half now but also have breathlessness with mine. I have been off work for a month now as been very poorly with it. If you do work get the doctor to sign you off work as you need to rest, i have been told off by the hospital a couple of times as my heart was beating to fast and go home to bed and stay there. It takes a goid 4 to 6 weeks of carbimazole to start noticing a slight improvement, i have been on it now for 5 weeks and only just starting to improve a itzy bit but i do i have other symptons with mine, swallowing problems, breathing probs doctor says probably nodes from thyroid pressing on my windpipe. I finally have my endoc app 3rd october and have waited since end of july, unfortunatley these appiintments have huge waiting lists so be prepared to wait. Take it easy as your body is under alit of pressure and it is not a quick fix. When i first took carbi i didnt feel tired but i would say after 4 weeks of taking it i now feel exhausted, so glad im not at work. I have only just started to sleep most of the night now. Panic attacks were horrible and they are now becoming fewer- never ever suffeted them previously. But all in all its good fun. Hope you get on with the carbimazole and good luck.xx

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Unfortunately I’m a contractor and if I don’t work, I don’t get paid. I can work from home if needs be though and they are very good to me. It’s also a sit down job. I was going to a personal trainer three times a week, swimming four times, doing aqua boot camp, aqua jogging classes and walking more than 10000 steps every day. No wonder my heart rate was so high hey?? Max was 215 bpm. I’m not doing any classes now and I do feel a lot more tired right now. I too get breathless and have w very husky voice these days. Sometime I feel it’s a struggle to speak anything other than really quietly. My daughter works at my GPs so she is going to try and find out the waiting list for around here. I’m in benenden so I can go through them if it’s too long. Hope you start to feel better soon x

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Its a long fight with your body so please take it easy, your body will tell you. Yes i found it very difficult to talk with the breathlessness and i would say its the worst part; glad you have give up the exercise for now. People on this site have been fab and learn as much as you can cos doctors know very little about thyroid. Get your antibodies done, just got mine back as mine have come back high for a auto immune disease i get tlresults tomorrow. Look after yourself and take it very easy if you can. Im lucky my daughters at school so its plenty of rest for me, recovery time can be months. ☺

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Thanks. Have been looking into books so I can read up xx

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Good. Have a restful evening if you can.xx🌜

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Been colouring in 😊

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Ha. I do that has well my daughter whos 12 has one of those adult colouring books.enjoy.

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