Thyroid UK
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Slow heart rate - is this normal?

Hi I had a routine screening blood test a few weeks ago and it turns out that my TSH is 7. I had no idea I was low on thyroid but I had noticed that instead of my feet being always hot at night (usually sticking out from under the duvet) they are now always cold. In fact it's getting worse. This has been happening for I suppose 2-3 months now. My real question is that my pulse rate has gone down from about 70 (at rest) to just 60 and it feels really slow. Probably when I am asleep it gets even slower. This decrease has been over tha last month or so. Is this normal? It's another 2 months before I go back to the doctor for another blood test and the doctor told me they don't treat until TSH reaches 10. Should I go back to see the doctor and tell them about my heart rate having fallen? I hate to hassle doctors because I don't want to be labelled neurotic.

7 Replies

Hi, the doctor will do nothing about your heart rate, they did nothing about mine when it was 43 AND irregular! ah!

However....have they tested fT4 and/or fT3? if so what is this result?

TSH at 7 is NOT normal, not if you have symptoms which you do. I guess another 2 months is not a forever time to wait but if things have not fully readjusted by then you will need some treatment if you are symptomatic.

Please ask for a print out of your results with ranges and let us know.

Also ask for these things to be tested if they have not been tested:

vitamin B12

vitamin D



folic acid

deficiencies in the above can give you symptoms, however cold feet are pointing at hypo indeed....still these things need to be checked as they need fixing if not at optimal levels as if suboptimal then your body cannot utilise thyroid hormones properly x


The only blood test I have had so far was not specifically for low thyroid, so only had results for TSH.



A TSH of 7 is not normal, and you may have to wait years for it to get to 10 (and feel considerably worse in the process of waiting). However, this was a routine screening and your GP is just following guidelines. If they don't know that you have other symptoms, then they are not going to consider treating you. You could wait the 2 months (not that long really) and then when you go back list any other symptoms (cold, heart rate... any others?) and see what they do then. They should also check your T4 and T3 levels, although they may not do that. If you get considerably worse in the meantime, go back sooner. They won't think you're neurotic unless you are normally camped out in the surgery!

If, at that point, you don't get treated, you could try changing your GP, or ask them to seek endocrinology advice on your particular case (if you generally get on with them and like them, they may be willing to help you). Alternatively (or perhaps ideally), ask for a private referral to an endocrinologist who will, most likely, treat you.

A slow heart rate does feel strange, but as long as it is regular it is unlikely to be a problem for you. I remember mine being down at 45 once!!

Good luck!



Thanks for all the replies, it's encouraging to know that a slow pulse is 'normal' for people with low thyroxine levels. I hope mine doesn't get much slower. It sounds as though I need to get back to my doctor.


A slow heart rate is a symptom and this is a link which explains why:-


I too have have a very slow heart rate, about 60 bpm resting at home. Basal it was about 45 before Istarting Nutrithyroid. Am on 4 a day now & it's gone up to 50-60 in the mornings now. I don't like it being down in the forties as it scares me. Once a nurse asked me if I was an athlete as I had a very slow heart rate & lowish blood pressure. I exercise only very gently so not an athlete.

My FT4 was 13 ish before Nutrithyroid, now it is 14.8 & still nowhere near the middle of the range. Can't get meds from Doctor.

Flo B


you need to cause a fuss and push for treatment. A TSH of 7 is too high. Tell them that you are symptomatic. You could try getting Dr Tofts booklet on thyroid disease which is in many pharmacies as I think that might have some info in it to help your case. If they wont treat, find a doctor that will or ask them to write to an endocrinologist for advice. You could also ask for thyroid antibody testing to see if you have hashimotos disease.


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