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  • Anonymous
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      I had episodes of strange beats that couldn’t be documented on an EKG so nothing was done. This was on and off for about 6 months. Then I became pregnant and it was noticed that I was hyperthyroid (they couldn’t do the nuclear med test because of the pregnancy) and they treated me with PTU in small doses. While pregnant, I had a BAD spell of strange beats that sent me to the ER. Finally, the SVT was caught on an EKG. They treated me with Inderal and sent me home. This happened a few more times during the pregnancy. After the baby was about 6 months old, I started having SVT everytime I went to sleep. This was frightening. After 3 nights of not sleeping ( and spending time doing the things I could do to convert the rhythm), the cardiologist put me on Cardizem at bedtime only. After 8 months, I quit the Cardizem and have only had a few episodes since. I have been diagnosed with Graves now and am on PTU. My ‘baby’ is now 7.

        Post count: 93172

        I would like to start off with a disclaimer here. I am a med student and althogh I can read medical texts and probably understand the heart and its arrhythmias better the most lay people I do not claim to be a cardiologist so please understand that I am trying to be as accurate as I can be but nothing I say should be substituted for the advice and wisdom of a fully trained cardiologist.
        Now on to your questions. It is true that atrial fibrillation is more benign than ventricular fibrillation. During ventricular fibrillation your ventricles don’t pump blood to your body and unless the heart is “defibrillated” you die. During atrial fibrillation the atria are not pumping but your ventricles continue to pump although the rhythm is abnormal (irregularly irregular). Doctors often try to control the abnormal ventricular rhythm with drugs and/or convert atrial fibrillation to normal rhythm with drugs and or shocking the heart. Depending on a lot of different factors A-fib can cause problems if it is untreated and sustained. I think A-fib is more common in hyperthyroidism and not very common in hypothyroidism. I think your right that bouts of drinking alcohol can cause A-fib. I’m not sure about coffee causing A-fib (although it sounds like it did in your husband) but it certainly will cause your heart to beat faster. This is a normal response of the heart to caffeine. The heart will be faster but the rhythm should be normal. I don’t think that sugar and carbohydrates make your heart beat faster and I haven’t read anything about thyroid patients being more susceptible to low blood sugar and faintness. But one of the primary symptoms of high thyroid levels is fast heart rate, normal rhythm (called sinus tachycardia).
        I hope this helps.

          Post count: 93172

          So as not to scare anyone too much, I just wanted to clarify that the type of fibrillation that can occur in hyperthyroidism is Atrial fibrillation and is the more benign type of fibrillation. Ventricular fibrillation (the type that kills you unless you are defibrillated) can occur following a heart attack and really has no direct connection to problems with the thyroid. I didn’t want anyone thinking that because they had thyroid problems that they might go into ventricular fibrillation. This is more related to primary heart disease and heart attacks. Sorry if I didn’t make that clear.

            Post count: 93172

            Was wondering….the ventricle and atrium are two seperate sections of
            heart….atrial fibrilation—although after long term can cause heart
   more benign than a ventricular arrythmia==right???? I think
            that atrial fibrilation can come with either hyper or hypo..right?
            Atrial fib is usually treated by giving meds first to get the heart back
            into a normal rythm and if that doesnt work they shock the patient but
            often this is not nec…my husband about three years ago drank a few cups
            of capaccino and it threw him in a fib…also people that are holiday drinkers
            tend to get a temp a- fib too* i think weekend athletes also who are couch
            potatos all week and then go nuts on the weekend are prime canidates as well
            Cant coffee sugar and carbohydrates even make u have a rapid heart rate.??
            I swear with thyroid patients we become esp vulnerable to low blood sugar
            levels that can make you have symtpoms of faintness and rapid heart rate.
            What else can cause it as you have found in your research????

              Post count: 93172

              George and Others,
              thanks for all the info and feedback regarding Graves and SVT.
              I’m currently on low dosage digoxin which I take at night (most of the time the events occur at night and wake me out of a sound sleep) My cardiologist has also enrolled me in a cardiac rehab program. The rehab program is basically a montiored exercise
              and nutritional education program at the local regional hospital. The goal is to work up to 45 minutes of exercise a minimum of three times a week and retrain me to be more
              proactive in monitoring and sustaining my own health. I’ll be re-evaluated in six months regarding the SVT and what course of action, if any, should be taken next. Whether we need to proceed with radiofrequency catheter ablation will be evaluated at that time(although I have to admit I’m not exactly thrilled with the prospect of having a catheter and wires threaded to my heart via an artery- sounds scary).
              regards and best wishes for our health…

                Post count: 93172

                My question marks were really question marks and not questioning you..
                thanks for the info…now if you could get your professors to answer a
                question for me about the relationship between estrogen and thyroid —
                I would be a happy camper…I hope you are going into endocrinoloy!!!!
                although i have heard that urologists make about 4500000 a year or more..
                ad those anesthesiologists are rich little buggers too!!

                  Post count: 93172

                  I, too, tried to do some research on this because I had a problem with irregular heartbeats after starting ATD treatment in Jan. As I was slowly reducing my beta blocker dosage, the episodes began. Some of this is normal but after two months and no letup my Endo recommended a cardiac consult. The cardiologist saw PVCs, SVTs and sinus tachycardia on the Holter monitor. As bothersome, and sometimes scary, to me as they were, he said they were all within “normal” limits. He added that untreated hyperthyroidism can make the heart irritable. In my case, my heart was going about 130-140 bpm for 4 months before I started ATD treatment – the cardio. said I could continue to have this problem for up to 6 months. In the last month, it has finally settled down to an occasional flutter which I hardly notice. Since my family has a history of heart problems, maybe I was more sensitive to the effects hyperthyroidism has on the heart. All I know is I don’t want to have to go through that again!

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