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Old 06-19-2011, 03:29 PM   #1
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Question Beta-blockers inhibit Thyroid hormones?

Well since I'm just sitting around waiting for appointment next week to get results of RAI Uptake and T99 Scan, been doing alot of reading....

Came across an article that indicated taking a beta-blocker prevents or interferes with the metabolism (cell uptake) of thyroid hormones, especially T3. This article was referring to euthyroid patients but also cited this is why beta-blocker medications are used for treatment/symptom relief in Hyperthyroidism. (Since it was a somewhat technical article and with my foggy brain , please correct me if I misunderstood what I read).

My question is does this process also apply to hypothyroid people on thyroid replacement who happen to also be taking a beta-blocker for HBP or tachycardia etc ? If so, how frustrating for dose regulating !

Other interesting info I stumbled upon. Redheads are more disposed to hypothyroidism. Strike 2. Gee, I've always loved being a redhead, but not the little quirks that go with it. We also require more anesthesia for surgery and higher doses of pain medication (for any pain). Wonder if I dyed my hair.... ? LOL

Would love to hear from anybody with knowledge or thoughts on the beta-blocker info.

Blessings,

Pam

 
Old 06-19-2011, 04:03 PM   #2
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Re: Beta-blockers inhibit Thyroid hormones?

Look at a thread 4 or 5 under yours. She's having trouble too I think.

help needed- propranolol prescribed?
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Old 06-19-2011, 04:31 PM   #3
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Re: Beta-blockers inhibit Thyroid hormones?

Pam,
I was just prescribed Propranolol (brand name, Inderal) due to years of tachycardia that have become just too bothersome.
I am trying to research the affect on thyroid hormone levels, but some of the studies are quite old, and have old thyroid testing. uptake, no frees measured, etc. etc.

I 'think' that propranolol is one that does affect thyroid levels. Atenolol, metoprolol, I am gathering, do not have as much of an effect on them, if any. BUT propranolol is a beta 1 and 2 blocker, as opposed to the others that are just 'beta 1.' if memory serves me. Dr. wants me on the beta 1 and 2, if at all possible, due to its benefit to my heart.

and Why the tachycardia? he says i have low vagal tone. Says it is due probably to my addison's disease... uggghhh... I am worried that I might be becoming insulin resistant. And this can cause tach, I've read, probably low vagal tone as well.

If anyone has help to offer, I'd sure like to hear it! I take synthroid plus 1/8 grain armour...
thanks!

 
Old 06-19-2011, 06:37 PM   #4
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Re: Beta-blockers inhibit Thyroid hormones?

There's a form of Graves' disease called T3 thyrotoxicosis (suppressed TSH, in-range FreeT4 and over-range FreeT3).

Beta-blockers such as propranolol and atenolol are the first-line medication for this condition.

Beta-blockers interfere with the conversion of T4 to T3, effectively lowering the FreeT3 level.

I can't tell you about other beta-blockers but, the two I mentioned would definitely be problematic for hypothyroid people.
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Last edited by sammy64; 06-19-2011 at 06:38 PM.

 
Old 06-19-2011, 09:03 PM   #5
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Re: Beta-blockers inhibit Thyroid hormones?

Beta blockers are notorious for causing weight gain. Small wonder, eh?

An untreated hypothyroid person who has a slow pulse rate shouldn't be taking beta blockers for HBP or any other reason. But MDs, most of whom wouldn't recognize hypoT when it smacks them in the face, prescribe them frequently to their undiagnosed hypoT patients. The other kinds of HBP meds, ACE inhibitors et. al., should be Rx'd in instead.

Redheads do need more anesthesia, as do hypothyroidies. Must be impossible to knock out a hypothyroid redhead. Also... Redheads bleed more profusely and are slower to clot than those with other hair colors. A nurse told me that after I delivered my second baby.

 
Old 06-19-2011, 10:19 PM   #6
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Re: Beta-blockers inhibit Thyroid hormones?

So now I think I'll start blaming my Atenolol for stuff instead of my thyroid.

Before this T mess, I had been on low dose beta-blocker for minor palpitations thought to be caused by my 'diseased' mitral valve - from strep infection. She always said it would "keep my heart running smoothly". My heart rate has been on high side for years, but BP normal.

Then symptoms of tachycardia, heart fluttering, nervousness, shaky hands etc. hit in late 2008 my PCP increased my Atenolol to 75 mg. Eventually also added tiny doses of Klonopin - these combined keep those symptoms somewhat under control. Had many cardio tests, all good results. The valve damage has not advanced in over ten years. Somewhere in here I developed borderline HBP or shall I say, erratic BP. Symptoms blamed on Dx of EBV.

Enter thyroid goiter, nodules .... Tons of hypo symptoms, low normal Frees. (and some weight gain). Hmmm...what am I thinking or missing here?! Is there a connection? I hate it when I get in over my head I think I'll talk to doctor this week about this, perhaps I shouldn't be on Atenolol? Thoughts anyone?

Vintageviolets - researching tells me both Atenolol and Propranolol are Beta-1 cardioselective adrenorceptor blocking agents. I think they may not be identical chemically, but essentially same drug action. Maybe you should ask doctor about it interfering with your thyroid meds.

Midwest - [[ Must be impossible to knock out a hypothyroid redhead. ]] LOL . Thanks for the other Red tid-bits, I'll add to my list. I love being a redhead and special. . Do I take it you are 'special' too?

As always, I appreciate the replies. I never fail to learn from you wonderful ladies.

Pam

 
Old 06-20-2011, 03:50 AM   #7
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Re: Beta-blockers inhibit Thyroid hormones?

Thank you, sammy64...
I had read that about propranolol, but not atenolol. Thought the latter one was safe.
I am calling endo today, then cardiologist. I've already called once to ask for a different med, but the cardio said he really wants me to be on the inderal if at all possible. It definitely helped the tachycardia. But since I cannot really think clearly, and since I could achieve the same effect by just lowering my armour a tad, I am going to insist.

I could maybe just raise the armour, as an experiment, before I call. Wonder if I could find a balance. Cut back the prop. even more, and raise the armour. Find a spot where it works. ?

 
Old 06-20-2011, 03:57 AM   #8
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Re: Beta-blockers inhibit Thyroid hormones?

Quote:
Originally Posted by midwest1 View Post
Beta blockers are notorious for causing weight gain. Small wonder, eh?

An untreated hypothyroid person who has a slow pulse rate shouldn't be taking beta blockers for HBP or any other reason. But MDs, most of whom wouldn't recognize hypoT when it smacks them in the face, prescribe them frequently to their undiagnosed hypoT patients. The other kinds of HBP meds, ACE inhibitors et. al., should be Rx'd in instead.

Redheads do need more anesthesia, as do hypothyroidies. Must be impossible to knock out a hypothyroid redhead. Also... Redheads bleed more profusely and are slower to clot than those with other hair colors. A nurse told me that after I delivered my second baby.
midwest.. glad I am not a readhead...heheh

I was prescribed propranolol for sinus tachycardia, bp is ok.. I wonder what other beta blocker might be safe and not affect thyroid levels, or another type of medication? would a calcium channel blocker help control the tach?

heck, maybe some ativan... :-)

 
Old 06-20-2011, 05:21 AM   #9
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Re: Beta-blockers inhibit Thyroid hormones?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vintageviolets View Post
Thank you, sammy64...
I had read that about propranolol, but not atenolol. Thought the latter one was safe.
I am calling endo today, then cardiologist. I've already called once to ask for a different med, but the cardio said he really wants me to be on the inderal if at all possible. It definitely helped the tachycardia. But since I cannot really think clearly, and since I could achieve the same effect by just lowering my armour a tad, I am going to insist.

I could maybe just raise the armour, as an experiment, before I call. Wonder if I could find a balance. Cut back the prop. even more, and raise the armour. Find a spot where it works. ?
I do wonder about cardiac issues whenever a person has thyroid disease. Since out-of-whack thyroid levels can cause all sorts of cardiac issues, I like looking at labs to see if there's room for improvement.

I'm sure you know that taking Armour can result in a higher FreeT3 level compared to the FreeT4 level. Many people fare perfectly fine with this.

Others need to add some T4 in the form of levothyroxine/synthroid to even things out.

So, if reducing your Armour eliminates the cardiac issues but you have hypo symptoms, you may want to consider adding a little T4.
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:25 AM   #10
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Re: Beta-blockers inhibit Thyroid hormones?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vintageviolets View Post
midwest.. glad I am not a readhead...heheh

I was prescribed propranolol for sinus tachycardia, bp is ok.. I wonder what other beta blocker might be safe and not affect thyroid levels, or another type of medication? would a calcium channel blocker help control the tach?

heck, maybe some ativan... :-)
How about some thyroid hormone?

We've already acknowledged that you have hypothyroidism and need treatment.

I suspect you'd see some improvement in your cardiac function with proper treatment of your thyroid.

I'd much rather replace much-needed hormone than take a "real med" with side effects.

Obviously, if you still have issues once your thyroid is properly treated, you would need to address them but, it just makes sense to me to fix the thyroid now.

Are you having any success in that "department"?
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Old 06-20-2011, 08:42 AM   #11
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Re: Beta-blockers inhibit Thyroid hormones?

I want to strongly emphasize that you ladies with heart issues and hypothyroidism must follow the advice of your doctors regarding what to do for that combo of problems. It sounds like you're well aware of that, and that lay message board advice counts for nothing in your more complicated situation. HypoT combined with heart problems is a real "chicken or egg first" kind of deal. But the heart problems trump everything, so it should never be simply assumed that increasing or decreasing the t hormone dose is the answer to everything. The only thing I meant to point out earlier is that untreated hypoT already slows the heart rate so much that slowing it further with a beta blocker is a recipe for disaster.

VV and Pam... I've loved being a redhead, so much so, that I've been getting it from a bottle since the natural auburn color of my youth faded. It gave me something in common with my dad when it was hard to find anything else to connect to him with. We were both proud to be "rotschopfs", as his German grandma called him.

 
Old 06-21-2011, 03:40 AM   #12
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Re: Beta-blockers inhibit Thyroid hormones?

Thanks for the reminder. Great German word! Lots of them in my family, too....

Whenever I get an infection, or have any issue where I am getting too low on my steroid replacement, the sinus tach just goes crazy for awhile. I mean, a month. Heart is very sensitive to the situation of low cortisol, and I am pretty sure that thyroid rises as my steroids go too low. It may be at a cellular level, serum levels won't show it. But hyperT symptoms go along with adrenal insufficiency for me. It is crazy. Puts me out of commission as I actually have to 1) take some ativan or more beta blocker; or 2) lower my thyroid hormone dose for a couple days. Either one helps alot. Then I tweak things back to where they had been.

fun!

 
Old 06-27-2011, 09:06 AM   #13
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Re: Beta-blockers inhibit Thyroid hormones?

I've slowly decreased propranolol, then stopped it altogether. Heart is behaving itself. For now. Cardio says to use it PRN, that might be the best for now. I think late winter infections caused heart to be hypersensitive to everything, sinus node likes to overreact to autonomic NS. Fun. Now, all is calm. He also said to emphasize exercise to increase vagal tone, up to full sweat level, and said Yoga would help as well.

Fun summer ahead!
Thanks for all the input,
vintageviolets

 
Old 06-27-2011, 07:32 PM   #14
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Re: Beta-blockers inhibit Thyroid hormones?

Thanks for sharing your good news - best wishes for "smooth sailing ahead"
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Old 06-28-2011, 05:13 AM   #15
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Re: Beta-blockers inhibit Thyroid hormones?

Thanks!
The two bb's my cardio spoke of, for treating tach in my case, were propranolol and nadolol. If they can't be used for me, then he could try a calcium channel blocker. And that's where we left things, until such time as I have more problems/issues. whew...
I appreciate your help and comments, good luck to you!

 
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