For ladies who are post menopause

I am sorry for the long post but.........
I am running around to different doctors trying to find out why I am having heart palpitations. They wake me up at night or early morning. I also wake up often....maybe on an average of 4 times per night. They can last from 1 hour to 9 hours. I have worn a 24 hour heart monitor, however, I did not go to sleep during the 24 hours due to a trip to the ER for emergency surgery for my husband....so this was not a "typical" day for me since I did not go to sleep. The monitor showed nothing other than an increased heart beat during the time we were transporting him and getting ready for the surgery which is understandable. If I had a heart palp during that time I did not notice it and neither did the monitor. I was diagnosed with Lyme in June (with standard treatment) and thyroid cancer in June so I went to see an infectious disease doctor today to see if he thought it could still be the Lyme. He is doing some blood work, but does not think it is the Lyme.
I am grasping at straws. I now have stomach issues and have lost 10 lbs. which might be good for some but I now weigh 115 lbs...getting too small. I have been hyper and may now be hypo because I have gone down on the Synthyroid, but the palps began when I was hyper. I am 60 and have pretty much been through menopause. My endo only deals with thyroid cancer and diabetes so he will not check other hormones. When I asked if some of the other endrocrine glands being out of balance could be causing the palps, he said no. I am just wondering if anyone else out there may have had some of these issues. I have never had panic attacks and heart palps until after the thyroidectomy. If anyone else had their other hormones to get out of balance please respond. My thyroid levels are within the normal range although on the low side. I also now have elevated ALP and GGT which are liver enzymes...this did not happen until after the thyroidectomy so I am going to an gastroenterologist. Just searching for some clues to this maddness. Thank you so much for anyone who maybe has some ideas. I know there is a lot of knowledge on this website and I hope to one day be one of the ones who can help others.

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Dinah, we seem to be in the same boat except now I am on BP meds and my gyn claims I am a long way from menopause at 49 but
I would love to give her my hot flashes and night sweats! I know panic attacks too well and I too have not yet found a dr who seems to deal with adrenals or know much beyond thyroid and diabetes, if that much and listen with out saying its in your head!

I have seen to GI's and tomorrow see the 2nd one again to stretch my throat since I am still having issues swallowing and my TT was in May 2012! It seems to get worse with stress.

While I do not have any answers, please know you are not alone! Mine are out of balance too!!

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If you have spoken with your endo about this then I assume he has ruled out the synthroid dose being too much? Since you have lost weight it may be that you need a decrease in your dose. Heart palpitations are not unusual when on synthroid.

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Hi Dinah,

I was on Synthroid after the second surgery to complete TT and had heart palpitations quite often. Was on 125 mcg's and then added some Cytomel but it still continued. I went off Synthroid gradually and gradually substituted Thyroid ERFA (desiccated or natural thyroid) until I was on it 100%. Felt much better but one day I forgot to take my meds. while almost completely off of Synthroid. Thought I would just take a Synthroid to make up for the loss as I could take it at bedtime (I take natural stuff in the AM)
That night I had quite a scary episode of heart palps that woke me up from sleep so I never took it again and now am on natural thyroid. I may have to go back on a small amount of it (25 mcg's) to raise up my T4 and lower my T3 which is off balance but I wouldn't go on a large dose again. I always felt like I was outside of my mind a little (well, more than usual anyway, Ha!) and felt depressed a lot on Synthroid. Now have my sense of humor back and like me old self. I'm 61 so if this blurb helps you I'm glad.

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Generally, I would say that palpitations are not at all uncommon for those of us who have a TSH near or below 0.1. Also, I think your problem is likely your Synthroid. I'm surprised your endo is not clued in. A lot of people don't tolerate Synthroid well because of the fillers or the actual dose, and there are other options.

What is your TSH and what is your free T4? Just saying "normal" needs clarification. Actual numbers will say more than trying to figure out what "normal" could mean. Once you have had a thyroidectomy, the concept of normal changes.

Two things: 1) I would want to try a low dose beta blocker. That helped me and has helped a number of people on this forum. 2) Also, you might talk with your endo about transitioning you to Tirosint instead of Synthroid. It seems to have less dramatic absorption and fewer side effects for many and has no fillers.

I'm 66 and I had no hot flashes until my thyroid "went south" on me 4 years ago (Hashi's, then thyca). Now that I am 2 years post-RAI and am not so suppressed, my hot flashes have diminished greatly. If I really thought my other hormones (other than T3 and T4) needed evaluation, I would probably consider finding a highly qualified naturopath. Good luck!

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I wa going to suggest tirosent also. I have seen other posts about it. Hope you find the answers you are looking for.

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Hi Dinah I have been through exactly the same experience as you with the palpitations, sleeplessness, feeling hot and panicky when going out! Had a heart trace done, then a blood pressure monitor for 24 hours and none of this came up with anything! I am 62 and well through the menopause and was on Cytomel until the second round of RAI. I have two theories, one is that any surgery is a shock to to your system and the aftermath of that is that you can be slightly unhinged. My second theory is that the drug Cytomel (which I was on) was given to speed things up after the total thyroidectomy and maybe things were speeded up too much. Cytomel is known as a slimming pill and I lost quite a bit of weight. My other problem which I hated was that I became very shaky when I was having to go into company, however I had a lovely GP doctor who prescribed Beta Blockers which I only took when I knew I was going to go off on one! I am not using many medical terms here but telling you all this in layman terms. I was given the all clear in December I am pleased to say and am now on Levothyroxin and feel completely back to normal. Obviously there are still worry issues in terms of the cancer coming back and any further after effects of the RAI but I can honestly say that things have calmed down really well. There is light at the end of this tunnel we are in so try and stay positive. Best Wishes.

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My endo tried to tell me that the heart palpitations I was experiencing had nothing to do with my TSH being at the .3 level. I then told her that the times my TSH went to .475 and above I didn't have palps and also, I never had palps before I lost my thyroid and was suppressed. So now we are trying to get my TSH to the .5 to 1 range that I'm allowed to be at. It really makes me angry when endos tell you the symptoms you are having have nothing to do with being suppressed. If you look at the insert that comes with the synthroid meds at the list of side effects, sure enough everything that I experience at a dose to high is listed. I would like to know where your TSH is at now. Anxiety can cause heart palps as well.

Being menopausal and post menopausal seems to bring up yet a whole other list of issues as well. At my woman wellness check-up I had the doctor test my hormone levels and I went from being peri-menopausal to post menopausal in 3 months. I do have heart palps now and for the last 3 weeks. I had a dose increase but I have to wait 2 more weeks to get my TSH tested.

Hang in there and continue to ask questions and get tested.

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Well said, santafe1!!

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cabro,
My levels are or were on 12/26 while taking .88 mcg of Synthroid:
TSH 3.69
T3 2.0
T4 1.54

on 10/19 while taking .112 mcg of Synthroid:
TSH .361
T3 2.5
T4 2.14

I know the levels while taking the .112 mcg was more where the endo's would like us to be but this is when the heart palps started so we started decreasing the meds after that. All along I thought it was the meds but now that I am about where I was prior to the TT, it cannot be because I am suppressed that I am having these issues. I never had hypo symptoms before the TT. Always had lots of energy and could do anything I wanted. I worked out, did garden work all day long in the summer, was nice and toned and now my muscles just hang around. My children called me "Super Mom" and could not understand how I had so much energy. I never had these problems before the TT. I am just a shell of the person I once was.

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Yes, you are hypo, and the symptoms can overlap. When I am hypo, I sleep all the time and feel awful.

The T3 and T4 numbers look like total T3 and total T4. I don't know how to interpret them. Do you have the "free T4" and "free T3" results? I would challenge your endo's thinking on your dose and your cancer management, although it sounds like you might be fairly sensitive (like I am) to dose changes.

Also, I would want to try Tirosint, then add a beta blocker after a few weeks. Or vice versa. Wishing you all the best in your journey to get your old self back.

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Also, I'm wondering why the doctor went straight to 88 from 112, when 100 is in between.

If you are on Synthroid, there is also Levoxyl brand to try, as well as Tirosint. I take Levoxyl because the Synthroid fillers gave me side effects.

I'm so sorry you are having such a tough time. I do think it is related to the T4 medication, so finding the right one for you seems to be important right now.

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You can get palpitations if you are hypo as well as hyper. It would depend which one by other symptoms. For example. if you are fatigued, dry skin, weight gain....hypo; insomnia, sweating, tremors...hyper. Also how you take your synthroid. I cant take it all in one dose..so doc told me to take half in am and half in pm.

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My results are free T3 and T4. I am not having weight gain but weight loss. I never want to sleep all the time. That would be nice if I could get a good night's rest.

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Oh, of course. I see now. Wow. You really are hypo. Your T4 in October was much too high. That is probably what set it off. And you have such low T3, too. You seem to have a conversion problem which just adds to the issues. Consider adding selenium (200) to try to help your conversion.

Actually, now I think you need Armour or Naturethroid. Most doctors are against it but you won't know unless you ask. Armour was a big help for me for 5 years. After my TT and RAI my endo added a baseline low dose of synthetic T4 to my Armour. We still couldn't get my t3 up, though.

I hope you can also get some sort of beta blocker to help, if that is what is needed.

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Thank all of you for your input. I am going for my 6 month check up to the onocologist who did the TT at Duke tomorrow. I am hoping someone else has come in with my symptoms and he might have some answers. I know once the heart has been ruled out, and the stomach issues, I need to try to find another endo who is interested in the "whole" picture of my health, not just the thyroid.

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Went to Duke and finally got my thyroid blood work today.
TSH 1.44
Free T3 2.88
Free T4 1.24

I know my TSH is not really suppressed but the onocologist did not seem to think I should be since my nodule was .4 cm and was confined to the thyroid. I guess we will now see what my endo says about that. I think when I was suppressed in October, that is what started my heart palpitations. The onocologist at Duke said he had one other person to have my symptoms when not still suppressed about 5 years ago. When I asked how long did it take for her to feel better, he said......."a while. " He also said she was small like me. I did talk him into checking my adrenal glands but have not received the results from that yet.

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