Wondering if my resting heart is due to my hypo... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

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Wondering if my resting heart is due to my hypothyroidism or because I am fit!


My next test is tomorrow... I will upload the results by weekend.

My last test was TSH 2.13 and Free T4 was down to 8!

On 100mcg Levo (not Teva).

Half marathon training at the moment and energy levels seem slightly better though I think that has more to do with my determination.

Anyone else on here that works out a lot and is confused by their heart rate monitors and their hypothyroid symptoms?

Also, what supplements do you take that is thyroid friendly and assists with your workouts?

40 Replies

I suppose it depends whether your heart rate is always low or whether it has suddenly dropped but as I don't know anything about hearts it's just my own uneducated thoughts. There is a heart forum on Healthunlocked so you could ask there.

Mino40 in reply to Nanaedake

I’ve always been fit though my diagnosis caused a blip in my activity levels, for a while 😢

Is the weather hot? Can you comment on your hydration related to runs?

Mino40 in reply to Clarrisa

I drink loads of water due to my activity levels.


Mine is about 60 and I'm terribly unfit and also overweight, so it seems odd to me. I suspect my hypo and we will see in a few months if my change in meds affects that.

Before being diagnosed as hypo, my resting HR was low to mid 40's, I thought I was fit cause i do walk 5 miles a day, but as I told people I had the heart of an athlete but not the body! lol I was 40lbs overweight. After being on Levo for 5 weeks I've noticed my RHR is going up, and I'm happy to say that I'm loosing the weight. I'm curious if my RHR will go back down as a lose more weight and continue to walk. So to answer your question, I guess it would depend on your weight and how long you've been on the medication. I'm also obsessed with checking my HR while i walk and especially when I jog or do steep hills, and at least 3 times a day i'm hooked up to my blood pressure monitor with a thermometer in my mouth! I'm so happy that the medicine is kicking in, cause all my #'s are getting back inline!

Mino40 in reply to HypoSpark

I am still fairly slim, 5’3” and 9st. I have put on stone before my diagnosis. Was much smaller!! Hope I lose it when they find the right dose. In the meantime, I still workout, dance and watch what I eat.

Gosh you are lucky! 5 weeks and you can see noticeable benefits of the medication. For me it's well over a year, although the increases were badly managed for a long time, and I can still barely move. So fat and bloated and old feeling. I loved to dance. Now I can barely get up the stairs without my heart pounding. I am jealous.

Mino40 in reply to FancyPants54

The dancing is something that my husband and I started last September. We are currently preparing for our second exam, so we thoroughly enjoy it! x

Mino40 in reply to HypoSpark

I have been on Levo since January. Started with 25mcg. My doctors believe my dosage will have to increased twice more due to my FT4 and they want my TSH below 1.

FancyPants54 in reply to Mino40

Again, lucky you! You have a doctor who want's your TSH where it should be, under 1. Many of us struggle with that. Our doctor's think we are fine once we are in range.

You are quite an odd patient, if you don't mind me saying so. This is not how normal hypo patients, not yet optimal on medication, feel and behave. Regardless of how fit we might have been first, hypothyroidism usually floors us. Exercise is usually pretty much impossible until optimally dosed.

Mino40 in reply to FancyPants54

Like I mentioned, I think it’s my determination not to let this diagnosis get the better of me! I am a type 2 diabetic in remission as well and I am determined not to succumb to these illnesses, that are slowly wiping out my family... long story. Unfortunately, I wasn’t blessed with great genes.

I ran two marathons as a teenager and have always stayed fit, though in recent years it's been more like an hour of moderate exercise each day. My heart rate has always been slow and now my resting heart rate is in the high 40s. I too wonder if it's because I'm fit or because I'm hypothyroid. I think it's perhaps a bit of both. I've been told not to worry about it, since my heart rate has always been pretty slow, so generally I don't.

Mino40 in reply to susiemalc

I’m starting to believe that it’s a mixture too! x

Mino40 in reply to susiemalc

I am 48 and I have done 4 marathons, the last was July ‘17. I have 101 running medals, hence my confusion on whether my heart rate is due to fitness or one of the symptoms of being hypothyroid. As I mentioned earlier, my energy levels took a dive before my diagnosis. I struggled with my training and my heart rate went up when I was on 75mcg Levo. Now my training has increased and my heart rate has gone down, though my FT4 fell suddenly below range. My TSH is still not optimal. I guess only my new test may hold the answers. I train 2 hours a day with some days, due to my Ballroom & Latin American dancing being up to 4 hours. There are still days I can’t get out bed...

susiemalc in reply to Mino40

I know there are people much more experienced than I am on this forum who say too much exercise makes it hard for your body to cope because T3 is used up with exercise and if your thyroid is struggling then four hours of exercise in a day may just be too much. I don't feel able to give advice. I think exercise is psychologically very important to me, but I haven't wanted to do anything more than an hour or so a day for many years now. I'm 52, ran two marathons in my late teens. Wishing you the best.

Mino40 in reply to susiemalc

Thank you, as I stated elsewhere in the post, of my next couple of Levo increases and results aren’t satisfactory, I may look at self-medicating with T3. So far, I feel psychologically better with exercising, not all days are 4 hours, that just happens when I’m dancing too. x

My resting heart rate was 50 proior to taking t3 recently

My heart rate is now 65 to 70 and losing weight nearly two stone after twenty years bei g on t4 only

I believe I had a t4 to t3 conversion problem

m7-cola in reply to Rothy

I'm so glad to read your post. I am hoping my heart rate will increase when I add t3 after being for 18 years soley on t4. My Medichecks results indicate that I too, have a t4 to t3 conversion problems,.

Depending how my results go, I may start to look at self-medicating with T3, to see how it makes me feel 💕

Wow! Mega jealous at all your dancing. I’m a ballroom and Latin dance teacher (just part time, more major hobby). Absolutely love it. But had to cut down drastically before being diagnosed and I’m just getting my fitness back up. So maybe I should have been fitter in the first place.

Good luck with your exam too, am sure you will do well and pass with flying colours. ☺️

Mino40 in reply to Lovecake

Thank you! We passed with Honours in the first one (Waltz & Cha Cha), so aiming for that again! The second one in December, is Quick Step & Rumba. They ITSD exams. It is a newish hobby for us. I only got into it because hubby was always keen to learn (all that Strictly influence!)

Lovecake in reply to Mino40

Brilliant. You’re very lucky, my hubby doesn’t dance. I am usually man and I’m only 5’3” 😆

I echo what others have said in you being so lucky in finding doctors who know how to treat you!

I was always very fit and a dedicated gym bunny. Then my energy levels dropped and despite carrying on with the exercise and clean eating, I put on close to 4 stone, over the years I struggled to get a diagnosis and treatment, which finally happened late last year. I too am very determined, so have in recent months started weight lifting again, cardio does seem to crash me, so have been cautious with that. Still, weight is holding on and not an ounce has gone!

As for HR, that has always been one of my concerns. I know my "normal" when I was what I considered to be fit, was mid-high 60s, now it is low 50s and with every dose increase i tend to get a boost to 60-62 for a few days, only for it to drop again to the 50s. I hope that once I find my "sweet spot" my HR will go upwards of 60 and stay there, I'd take that as a sign that I'm in a stable dose, but I doubt it will happen as my TSH is now well under 1 and GP will no doubt be reluctant to increase...

Anyway, good luck!

Mino40 in reply to Kitten44

Same here! I got a temporary boost when I went up to 75mcg... but none when I went up to 100mcg but as stated, I was determined to increase my activity regardless of how I felt! I think some of the tiredness was a psychological impact directly related to been told that I should be tired!

Hi Mino40 I like you work out a lot. I'm almost 50 and have a resting heart rate of 57. I'm on 125mg levothyroxine. It was dropped to 100mg in January up I couldn't cope and after great advice from SeasideSusie returning to my doctor who put back up. Feel much better now. Think exercise does help with thyroid as long as you're on the right dose x

Mino40 in reply to De8813

Thank you! I love other people’s positive experiences. When my results are through and I get my next increase, I hope I am able to easily continue my lifestyle.

When I ran a lot and was very fit right up until my late fifties my heart rate was always on the low side, my friend who still runs marathons also has a very low heart rate she is super fit for her age. Since having my TT I have become unfit but working on it now my heart rate is nearer 72/3.

Mino40 in reply to Bunnyjean

I have a friend that I dance with. She was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism, unlike me! She has had a partial TT and she doesn’t require meds, which I am surprised by! She ran London a few years ago.

Bunnyjean in reply to Mino40

I am pleased with myself, yesterday I took my dogs out and walked uphill for an hour and today I have started my Yoga 3/4 hours so not bad for 72 years old. A long way to go but getting there!

Your friend is lucky with her outcome too. How do you feel, I wouldn't worry too much, my adopted mother always had a very low heart rate and lived to 99 years of age we are all different.

Mino40 in reply to Bunnyjean

Well done, Bunnyjean! I feel ok today, thanks. My heart rate was always low due to my fitness levels, but now, I’m not so sure! Have a lovely day x

Do you sweat when you workout? Of course I'm a man but that's how I judge a workout because I boxed, amateur & pro for 10-years. I lift weights & workout for maybe an hour 3 or 4 times a week, now, but then I'm 72-years old. As far as exercising to "feel better," goes, of course, it will make you feel better, but, if you are hypo, only up to a point and if you go past that point you will not only not feel good you will, maybe, get dizzy, as I have before, from too much exercise, or worse, pass out, which you can do, believe me.

As far as your resting HR goes, I don't think that really matters too much, nor does anything else, really, except how do you feel?

Personally, it was the Levo(thyroxine) that made me feel bad; after 26 years of T4-only, and the doctors had not even a clue because their (my) "precious" TSH level was always "right," within the range of 0.40 mIU/L-4.50mIU/L, and they never even bother(ed) to look at anything else.

I finally got an endo and I talked him into prescribing some T3, which I took for 30 days with 75mcg of Levo but I quit taking the Levo and for the past 40 days have never felt better on T3-alone. Why, I don't (exactly) know. The only negative so far is that I have just yesterday and today I had very slight heart palpitations again, for the first time, for maybe 30 seconds-60 seconds, in the mornings, like I said, for the last 2 days but that's it. Why, I don't know, either. I will keep it in mind when I see my endo, whether it continues or not, of course will reflect what I now do and/or say. We need to admit & speak the truth or we will never find or help ourselves, or anyone else, to, find out what their problem is.

It appears to me as if you want to prove something to yourself: that you can do these workouts therefore you are not "sick." If you are hypothyroid, you are "sick." You take medication prescribed to you by a medical doctor thereby and therefore you wouldn't "feel any way" better without taking that medication. Correct? Admit that and then address your "chosen lifestyle," with the fact that you, in fact, are sick, period. And, unfortunately for all us human beings you're going to age, get older, and, eventually, die. As far as how you live for your last years on this planet, that is, hopefully & prayerfully, up to you and up to us and hopefully, not the doctors, because, as unfortunate as it is, they are also human beings, living in a Capitalist world, who, many times, are too busy to help anyone but themselves, as they visit one "patient" after another, asking questions only to get an answer they are "looking for," that will then "allow" them to scribble a prescription on their prescription pads and move on the the next patient and daydream about their visit to the car dealership that day, where their new car is being polished up for them.

Peace be with you

Mino40 in reply to GKeith

Well, let’s just say, I’m not afraid to sweat, and I do! Also, as it has kept my diabetes in remission, I will continue to do so and hopefully, I will reach your age!

Cool, keep going, just remember that, believe it or not you can overdo anything: you can over-train, as well as under-train. As a young boxer, I learned the easiest way to tell if you are over-training was to lick your sweat. Yup, you heard right, lick your sweat and if it tastes salty you're training properly & eating properly. It's only when your sweat has no taste, like water, that you are over-trained. Boxers always trained twice, sometimes three times a day but were "forced" to rest a day when they over-trained.

Mino40 in reply to GKeith

I value your advice. I’m in a unique catch22 situation. 4 years ago I was diagnosed as a diabetic type 2. I upped my running, set myself a goal to get 100 running medals by my 50th birthday. I also cleaned up my diet. Shortly after, I went into diabetes remission. My HbA1c went down to 35 from a high of 49. Note: I use the word “remission” and not reversal or cure. This means that given my risk factors (South Asian descent, insulin-dependant gestational Diabetes for babies 3 & 4, both parents T2 diabetics etc.), I will become diabetic again. It’s in my genes. All I can do is keep it at bay for as many years as possible. I train very hard, I’ve completed 4 marathons, over 60 half marathons, I weight train, I do Barre and Pilates and I dance. I’m 48 now. In December ‘17, I was diagnosed as sub-clinical hypothyroid. My GP practice decided that as I was exhibiting symptoms to start me on Levo. In Jan ‘18, while on a business trip to Toronto, my doctors added it to my chronic meds. They started me on 25mcg. I’m now on 100mcg, awaiting my latest results with a further increase envisaged.

It’s catch22 because of my BMI rises to 23, then I put myself at risk of the diabetes again and we know that one of the symptoms of hypothyroidism is weight gain.

I am well versed in working out, as it has been a passion of mine since university. I but loads of books, magazines etc. to enrich my knowledge.

With all this, I still:

1. Consume enough water to stay hydrated while being wary of hyponatremia.

2. I listen to body and I let my muscles rest, so they can recover and grow, assisting this now bloched metabolism.

Thank you for your advice, as I always happy to learn from other people’s experiences, unlike some who seem to think that their knowledge is written in stone. x

Mino40 in reply to GKeith

By the way, I achieved my 100 running medals a week before I turned 48, this past June 😀

I understand, completely, your pride and abilities. I still have boxing trophies I won 50+ years ago in many State golden gloves tournaments. Angelo Dundee was my manager, for many years and I was considered "championship quality." Although I never lived up to becoming a world champion I boxed with too many ex-world champions not to realize that it was not pure talent that got them there but a variety of things: ability, luck, timing and, most of all, fate, which I truly believe in.

As far as being hypothyroid, I was diagnosed 26 years ago and didn't even know what a thyroid was when the doctor(s) told me I'd just need to take a pill for the rest of my life to be "normal again." They prescribed an .88 mcg Levothyroxine pill, sold under the Synthroid brand name, which I took dutifully for about a year until the pharmacist switched my pills to Levothroid, which he said was the generic brand, instead of the synthetic Synthroid pill. I knew nothing, as I said, about pills, thyroid's or anything else concerning my "illness." And so, for 26-years, I went along to get along. They never changed my dose, as I said, I was clueless, it remained at .88 mcg for 26-years and I never knew what an endocrinologist was, much less ever saw one.

So, last year, on a vacation to Switzerland, my wife is Swiss, I went on a sugar-free diet, realizing how "dependent" I had become, on sugar, for my workouts. All boxers, in the 60's & 70's when I was active, always ate an apple drenched in honey or a chocolate bar (cheaper), usually Hersey's or some such sugary condiment, right before we worked out or boxed in an actual contest. We also drank O.J., with an raw-egg beat up in a mixer, which I still do, unlike the Sylvester Stallone B.S. movie "Rocky," where Stallone downs raw eggs in a glass, no boxer that I know of ever did that, but then Stallone was (is) as clueless about boxing as I was about the thyroid gland's functioning in our bodies.

Anyway, I quit, totally, devouring anymore processed "white sugar," cold turkey and was striken with almost immediate reactions, including horrible, mind-numbing headaches, dizziness, heart palpitations and "brain fog," in the morning. I would wake up at 3 am and go to the refrigerator and drink gulps of O.J. & immediately the headache would always ease up considerably (probably the sugar content) but I kept at the processed sugar diet and conquered it.

Now, I had always taken a "good punch," and was only knocked out twice (I got back up to have the fight stopped but didn't (don't) remember even getting up. Twice I "woke up," taking a shower. Once I "woke up," hitting the heavy-bag, after sparring and being hit by a right-hand by a sparring partner, so I knew (know) dizziness but not dizziness coming on for no discernible reason. As an aside a boxer by the name of Eddie Pace was sparring in the Main Street Gymnasium, many decades ago, the 70's, and died after being hit in a "sparring match." Eddie Pace was, had been, a world champion boxer at that time. So, no one has, or ever did have, a clue as to what their (our) fate is, in this life.

I appreciate your willingness to learn from other people's mistakes and experiences and hope you 'beat' it, get better, feel 'normal' again and live "happily ever after," or until you leave this god-forsaken world. Peace be upon you and may we meet up sometime, in this life sometime, or even in the next.

Have you had your heart rate measured in the old fashioned way (in the surgery with the medic listening to it with stethoscope? I understand that only by that method can any ectopic (extra) beats be heard. Sometimes an apparently low heartbeat is accompanied by an additional beat which is not picked up by home/electronic monitors.

Hi, I have had an ECG and nothing was picked up.

Hi I’ve just come across your posts! I think we’re fairly similar apart from our different GP’s attitudes! My RHR is 48 now but was only 41bpm when I was diagnosed last year. I’m pretty active (usually) but 48 is still very low for me. Mine skipped along in the low/mid 50’s over 10 years ago when I was at my fittest and running half marathons and 20 Miles a week. My TSH currently 2, and I’m better than I was but not too-top, so I’m hoping for a dose increase once I’ve seen the endo for the first time. Fingers crossed!

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