Thyroid UK
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Newly diagnosed, exercise?

Hi, I’ve recently been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism which the docs think was triggered by the birth of my son 10 months ago. I’ve just been started on 30mg Carbimazole daily and beta blockers. Feeling better already ( tremors and palpitations have stopped) but have rapidly started gaining weight on my stomach...am I ok to do gentle exercise? Any tips on dealing with the insomnia?

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I've recently been diagnosed too, and I'm thinking it was my daughters birth that has triggered it. I am on the same dosage as you but a different GP told me today it's too much and to reduce it to 10mg -confused?! I can't take beta blockers so I'm still struggling with a fast heart which is awful and means I can't walk my dogs, walking in general makes my pulse 140 and I feel awful.

And yes in the last week my stomach has gone much bigger I have no idea why but I don't like it, anybody else know? Sorry can't help on the insomnia bit x

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Hi, I was started on a high dose originally as it's to knock your thyroid out completely to start with, once it's under a bit of control the dose is usually lowered. Did you recently have a blood test? as the results from this could be why the dose has been lowered.

Sorry to hear you can't take beta-blockers the palpitations are a horrible part of this disease, is there nothing else you could take?

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Hi, no this GP I saw today just disagreed with what the other GP prescribed last week so I'm rather confused I feel like dropping from 30 to 10 is drastic and might slow down progress! I don't know what to do...

The pounding heart is the worst part, its making me exhsusted. The GP I saw last week said there was no alternative yet the GP I saw today said there was 'Adizem-sr diltiazem hydrochloride' I've not tried it yet as I'm worried why the other GP didn't suggest this!!

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Hello hattersteapar - I happened to glance at your article and I was interested to see that you couldn't take beta blockers - I had the same problem I was allergic to them and my palpitations were so bad I couldn't sleep at night. My GP referred me to a heart specialist He diagnosed me with Sick Sinus Syndrome and I had a Pace Maker inserted. It made a world of difference to my life it is worth living now. It has certainly made a difference to how I feel. I was overdosed with Radio Active Iodine in 1978 they even admitted that they overdosed me as the monitor wasn't working properly. So I have been up and down all those years.

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Hi, I was eventually diagnosed with Graves last year, if you feel up to exercise then I can't see why not. Do listen to your body though you do need to rest. Make sure you have regular blood tests and you need to ger your levels checked. Have you seen an Endocrinologist yet? They will alter your dosage as you progress .

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Hi, thanks yes referred to the Endo immediately and saw him last week. They’ve run some more blood work to test for Graves. I’ve just been a bit alarmed by how quickly I’m putting on weight as I’ve only been on the tablets for 5 days. Will def do some gentle exercise and see where that gets me.

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The main thing is not to exercise to the point of exhaustion . Getting over-tired is likely to make you feel worse, and a lot of us reach the stage where we really aren’t up to much exercise.

Take an honest look at what you are eating as well. It’s very easy to get into the habit of over-eating when you are hyper, as we are often hungry, and in the early days can usually eat what we want without putting on weight. Sadly, that doesn’t last, but it can be hard to kick the habit.

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Hi Ya,

I have hyperthyroidism I was diagnosed 9 months ago.... I am a runner and cross train, and it was on a long run I new something wasn’t right so went to the docs and I was lucky he diagnosed hyper first time.

I had to stop training for 2 months until the palps and tremors went.... are you on beta blockers? As you can’t really do high impact exercise on these (as it goes against the grain!)

When I was only on carbimazole I carried on training normally but found I suffered with muscle fatigue. Unfortunately I haven’t been too well with it so I had to stop I now do as much yoga as I can and follow a good diet. I would say low impact exercise is the way forward for the moment until your settled as you don’t want to stress your body too much.

I use meditation at night and in the morning to help with sleep 😊

Hope this helps

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Thank you, it’s good to know! Yes on beta blockers which have stopped the palpitations and tremors. I’m feeling back to normal apart from the weight gain and lack of sleep. I’ll start some gentle exercise and see how I go!

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That’s great your feeling back to yourself, I put on weight in the first 2/3 months and felt quite ‘blown up’ too I think I put on a stone but I then went to see a nutritionist and learnt what foods hindered my thyroid symptoms so I’m now gluten soya and sugar free (I’m not allergic to these) and haven’t had any alcohol for 5 months 😬 these are all inflammatory foods but all in most fatten foods!! I also cook from scratch and have lost weight doing this I haven’t exercised for 5 months but I do yoga every week and walk as much as I can 😊 ... you have to do so much research yourself with this illness to give your self the best chance of remission.

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Gentle exercise is good. For example, half an hour walk every day will help to keep your bones healthy. You may find you can't tolerate a lot of exercise so keep it simple and weight bearing. If you can join a gym you might get advice on keeping muscles in tone that you can adapt according to how you feel.

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Thank you, I’ll give it a go.

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The treatment for hyperthyroidism tends to be 'hit it hard then back off', ie you start on a high dose of Carbimazole, then reduce it. Because your hyperthyroidism is probably caused by your pregnancy/childbirth the aim is to kick your thyroid back into its pre-pregnancy state. If it works, and it sounds as though it has, any Carbimazole you take will cause you to be hypothyroid. Being hypothyroid is much less dangerous than being hyperthyroid, and in the short term probably less unpleasant, but one of the symptoms is fluid retention. Hypothyroidism is also called myxodema, with odema referring to the retention of a special type of fluid called mucin. When hypothyroidism was first being studied they used to dissect people who had died of it and found that all their tissues were suffused with this shiny fluidy stuff. A recent study of people having carpal tunnel surgery found that the tissue removed during the operation had noticeably higher fluid levels from the hypo people than from the non-hypo people. This is why people who go hypothyroid can put on stacks of weight very quickly. In theory once your thyroid is back to normal you should be able to stop all your thyroid medication and you should lose the fluid. I really hope that is the case for you.

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Hi just be very careful doing exercise as being hyper puts a huge pressure on your body particulary your heart, carbimazole can take a very long time for carbimazole dosage to be right for you as it is getting the right dosage for us, 6 months later i am still off work on titration doses now 2.5mgs as my levels were showing hypo.

It is good you have seen a improvement already but carbi does take around 4-6 weeks for more improvement but also lots of people start to go back a step and feel very poorly again, this is not unusual. Most people are on carbi for a good 12-18 months with titration doses.

Please take care and be kind to yourself and remember to have regular blood tests and also gain lots of knowledge from this forum as you need to be in charge of your health from now.xx good luck.😊😊

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Hi, I’m in remission from Graves. I’d say before you cut your carbimazole you need to check how your Endo is treating you.

If he is going to treat with block and replace you are given a large dose of carb for two or three months then when your thyroid production has stopped it is replaced with levothyroxine, so if you cut your carbimazole then you will mess things up.

I started off on 40mcg carb every day then after three months I had thyroxine added in as well, I started on 25mcg and built up to 100 mug a day all the while still taking the 40mcg carbimazole so if that is how they intend treating you, you don't want to cut down.

I imagine it’s the beta blockers that have stopped the palpitations etc. I couldn’t be given beta blockers because I have asthma so I had to sit it out until the stopped when my thyroid was no longer pumping out masses of thyroid hormone.

I don’t know if you lost a lot of weight before you were diagnosed like I did but once your thyroid stops going berserk you no longer lose weight. I read that you go back to your pre Graves weight and I thought no I won’t but I did. I didn’t gain extra weight but I went back to how I used to be.

You don’t want to over exercise - that’s as bad as not exercising but I kept going to my gym, ok I altered everything I did so that I was only just ticking over. I went for the company rather than the exercise. I also went to Pilates every week but my Pilates teacher is a qualified physiotherapist and she was able to adapt everything for me. Just doing that level of exercise made me feel human again. I was really resenting that Graves was stopping me doing things I liked so it was like say8ng ‘stuff you’ to my Graves.

I used to do a lot of long distance walking but I gave that up. I just didn’t have the oomph to do it. I think because my thigh muscles just couldn’t cope. It was probably a good couple of years before I got up one day and felt I wanted to go for a decent walk and not just potter around locally.

So I’d speak to your Endo before you change your carbinazole dose.

Have you had your vitamins D and B12 checked as well as ferritin and folates ? You need them all to be high in their ranges to help your thyroid. I was also told by my pharmacist to take high dose vitamin c along with the carb so I always took 1000mcg slow release vitamin c.

Make sure you always ask for and keep your blood test results, along with their lab ranges. You are entitled to them.

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