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  • Newly diagnosed hyperthyroism....questions....

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    Old 01-31-2010, 09:16 AM   #1
    horizon697
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    Unhappy Newly diagnosed hyperthyroism....questions....

    Hi,

    Some background info on me....I am 41 yr old female, was diagnosed with Panic Disorder/GAD back in August 1994 (caused by a chemical imbalance of serotonin). I have been taking Xanax for this since then (Xanax XR for the last 5 years, which has kept me from having panic attacks completely during this time). Due to the panic & anxiety, I have always had episodes of a racing heart, but it would slow down eventually and my resting would be in the 80's to low 90's. Cardiologist and primary doctor (Internal Medicine) were okay with this. 5 years ago, I started having frequent PVC's. They got so bad, the cardiologist did another EKG (which was normal as they always were) and did a 24 hr halter monitor. I had 3800 benign PVC's, so he & my primary doctor put me on 25mg of Toprol XL so I would not feel them as much and to also help with the anxiety. Have been fine all that time. Had episodes off and on of rapid heartbeat, but they always told me it was due to anxiety and a mild case of sinus tachycardia. I had my annual physical back in August, and everything came out fine, except that I was anemic (I've always been borderline). Went to my primary doctor a couple of weeks later and she redid the bloodwork (cholesterol, iron, thyroid, etc). The only thing abnormal was my iron. She put me on iron supplements. I took those from mid-Sept to the end of October. The middle of October, I had a terrible sinus infection and UTI. My pulse was up when I went to the doctor for antibiotics, but we chalked it up to the fever and infection. However, when I was done with the antibiotics, it was still up. I was anxious about it, which I felt was keeping it up, but it got worse. My resting was staying between 96-110, so back to the cardiologist I went. Did another EKG, which was normal, then did a 24 hr halter monitor. It showed rapid heartbeat, but he said everything else with my heart looked fine. Attributed the rapid heartbeat to the abnormal stress I have been under since May. (Remodeling house completely, living at parents house while this is being done, extra extra workload at work due to layoffs, youngest child left for college too (both are in college now)). He increased my Toprol to 50mg a day. It didn't do anything like it had when I first took it 5 years ago. Back then I noticed a difference in a few days. This time, nothing. 2 weeks later I talked to him and he said to start exercising, he did not want to increase the Toprol anymore since my BP is on the low side normally and when I first increased the dose it dropped really low for a few days. I started doing yoga, and felt a little better. I did that for a few weeks, but when the kids came home for Christmas I slacked off. I noticed my pulse was still staying up alot. I went back to my primary doctor in early Dec for my iron checkup. It was good. I had not taken iron supplments in over a month. She was concerned with my weight loss. I thought it was just due to stress and my pulse being up off an on. I didn't feel bad though. I had to go back again in early Jan for another iron checkup, so she decided to retest my thyroid. I had lost 22 lbs since Sept, (started at 147, was at 125 in early Jan). She redid my tsh 2 weeks ago, and it was .006. She prescribed me methimazole, but wanted me to have an ultrasound and an iodine uptake scan done before I started taking it. I had the ultrasound and scan done this past Wednesday. My iodine uptake was 56% at the 6 hours scan and 58% at the 24 hour scan. I started taking the methimazole (5mg 3 times a day) thursday morning. This is my 4th day of the medication. I am still taking my Xanax and Toprol. My question is about the rapid heartbeat. My understanding is that it takes a couple of weeks for the medication to stop the thyroid from overproducing the hormone. If this is the case, does that mean my pulse will stay high until it stops this? I know I am worrying myself, but when I went last week to see her, my pulse was 92 in her office (BP is fine, as is cholesterol and everythign else), but after I found out the tsh was so low and got the prescription and scheudled these tests, my resting has been staying around 100-112. She said it would take a few weeks for everything to get back to normal. I am worried and scared about my heartrate, but I know I shouldn't be as from what I have read, this is part of the hyperthyroidism and it will just take time for it to come back to a normal resting state. Is this the case? Any advice would be truly appreciated. She feels I may have always had a mild case of hyperthyroidism, but they have checked it every year and the levels were always okay.

     
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    Old 01-31-2010, 11:13 AM   #2
    Bran'sNana
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    Re: Newly diagnosed hyperthyroism....questions....

    Yes you were probably sub clinical all this time and could have avoided going on all these other drugs if they had also run a Free T 3 and 4 on you too. At least they were looking at the tsh,but that doesn't give the whole picture. Most people with Graves(80%of hyper) have a history of anxiety or panic attacks. They are usually prescribed xanax without looking for a reason behind this anxiety. The fast heart rate coupled with the anxiety should have given them a clue. You must have had other symptoms too like hands shaking,insomnia,frequent bm's,racing thoughts,some rage at times or mood swings,ability to eat a lot without gaining weight. They usually prescribe a beta blocker to slow down your heart if the pulse rate remains high. The meds for this though will eventually bring down the heart rate and you should feel better. The problem after this is docs over medicating you to see the tsh go up which is suppressed by the TSI antibodies. Make sure you have this test also.Once the "free" T 4 levels drop into range towards the middle, your dose should be decreased so you don't go the other way (hypo) if you have frequent blood tests to monitor you and a doc who knows how to treat Graves, you should do fine.

     
    Old 01-31-2010, 06:58 PM   #3
    horizon697
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    Re: Newly diagnosed hyperthyroism....questions....

    Thank you for the reply. Since I was diagnosed with Panic Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, my doctor has tested my thyroid every year. They have done the T3 and T4 test each time. My levels were always normal. The other symptoms I had in the past were just the panic attacks (numbness in jaw and arm, racing heart all of a sudden, chest pain, feeling of something bad about to happen). I never had tremors or insomnia, and if I ate alot, I gained weight. I only lost this much weight so quickly two other times....when I was going through my divorce and barely earting, and 5 years ago when I had the PVC's, the panic attacks came back full force and I was barely eating. Now, I eat all the time, but I'm losing weight. Just in the last few months. My doctor told me last week that I may have possibly had a vert mild case of hyperthyroidism and they just never caught it with the bloodwork until it went into overdrive. My physical in August and the bloodwork she did in September both showed all of my thyroid tests as normal. My panic disorder is caused by a chemical imbalance unfortunately. It is genetic, and runs in my mother'r side of the family (serotonin imbalance - either depression or panid disorder in several aunts and cousins and my mother and myself). I worry about the pulse rate staying up, but my doctor knows and has said it would just take a few weeks for the methimazole to get my thyroid to stop overproducing and then I should notice my pulse going back down to normal. It's been doing it for a few months, but they thought it was due to stress and anxiety (an unusually high amoung of stress the past 8-9 months) and increased the Toprol I take for the PVC's. It hasn't helped a whole lot, but they don't want to increase it anymore, as my blood pressure stays on the low side normally, and when I started the Toprol 5 yrs ago it went kinda low until I adjusted and then when I increased it in Oct it did the same thing.
    My doctor told me that if in 2 months the medicine was not helping me like she felt it should, she would send me to an endocrinologist. She is running more bloodwork that she took when I was in a week and a half ago, and I will ge those results when I go back to see her on the 10th. I had an ultrasound and iodine uptake scan done this past wednesday. I feel she will do what she feels is best, and if I don't respond accordingly she will send me to a specialist. She did say you have to be careful with the dosage and check bloodwork every 4-6 weeks do ensure you don't go hypo. I just can't stop worrying about the pulse rate. It's actually been a little better today. I used to take my pulse all the time when I first had the panic attacks (severe severe panic attacks....they would last for an hour or two....numbness from jaw all the way down arm, racing heart, chest pain, felt like I was about to die, scared to death). I hated those, and am so very glad the Xanax XR stopped them. They were horrible. Today I took my pulse when I got up, and it was around 104. My pulse normally jumps up when I get out of bed, due to my BP being a little low. Then I was just reading and it went down to 92, then I was making the bed and started getting hot, and it went up to 112. I took a short power nap, and woke up feeling like it was going fast, but it was only about 105 (it's been higher when I wake up - my doctor said that is due to the adrenaline from the overactive thyroid). The high pulse when I wake up just started a few months ago when all this started. Right now, I'm watching TV and on the computer, and I just took it and it's 94. So it seems to be starting to get a little bit better off an on. I have lost 22 lbs since September and that was what really made her start wondering if it was my thyroid, and lo and behold, it was. I just want my heartrate to go back to a normal resting number and not keep losing a pound or two every week and not be hungry all the time. UGGHHH! This is not fun. :-(

    Last edited by horizon697; 01-31-2010 at 07:03 PM.

     
    Old 02-01-2010, 01:58 AM   #4
    Darth Vicious
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    Re: Newly diagnosed hyperthyroism....questions....

    I read your post and found it very informative. I would like to thank you for being so detailed with this information. As I read your post, I seen that you were "anemic". Also, that doctors were putting you on medications. When the doctors go to treat your anemia, if they prescribe you a medication that is called, "Procrit" injection, research it!!!! (read the side effects at google)

    Procrit, was given to my grandmother (for anemia due to a cancer), and the doctors did not tell either of us the side effects. Within 36 hours of that shot, she had a massive stroke that my Grammy never recovered from. Four days they tried, but they could not get her heart back to beating normally...and sadly we had to let her go.

    Anytime I see someone mention that they are any kind of, "anemic"...I try to warn them about "Procrit". Keep up with the iron supplements, and I pray that your condition improves.

    In memorandum of my grandmother.
    "I miss you Grandma."
    T-Dawg

     
    Old 02-01-2010, 06:03 PM   #5
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    Re: Newly diagnosed hyperthyroism....questions....

    D.V.>So sorry about your poor grandma. They usually reserve the procrit for extreme anemia due to cancer treatments though,like you said she had. That's too bad. My aunt had a bad case of Thallesemia at the end of her life and they gave her those shots. She did okay on them but everyone reacts different. They would only use that if the blood count got really low and stayed there, then they would do other tests too to find out the cause. It's not the normal way to treat anemia.

    Horizon,
    it's good they did monitor your levels. I suspect I was like this too, years before I was diagnosed. Now that your levels have probably gone over the range it showed up. Are there others in your family with thyroid problems? Your pulse will settle down after about 4-6 weeks on the meds. It's also good your doc says she wants to avoid you going hypo. Get a copy of your blood tests though, to do well with this you need to be proactive in your care. It helps to learn the lab ranges and where you are in the ranges.P.S. this seratonin imbalance, is this something they have a test for? It sounds thyroid related to me.

    Last edited by Bran'sNana; 02-01-2010 at 06:05 PM.

     
    Old 02-02-2010, 12:02 AM   #6
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    Re: Newly diagnosed hyperthyroism....questions....

    We were blessed during my grandmothers cancer. She was a four year survivor of a cancer that is very aggressive. It was "small cell metastatic". Most patients retire in only one year. She done very well on the Chemo, and the Nuelasta shots(To build up white blood cells). It was just the Procrit shot that she had the problem with.

    But, my Grammy went with great dignity, she knew everyone, she could bathe herself, and she traveled and seen all of her sisters. When she passed it was very peaceful, and our hospital gave her the best room for her hospice, over looking the Arkansas River. Where she fished with her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Our family was blessed, indeed. And thank you for your kind words.

    Many blessing to your health, God bless.
    Darth Vicious

     
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