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EllenK, May 15,  2018  5:10pm EST

A fib & hypothyroidism

Just wondering who has had thyroid issues along with their a fib?  I had my first episode of a fib. three years ago & then nothing until last July when I started having episodes every 2 to 3 weeks.  I went to the ER in July & my TSH was almost zero.  The ER Doctor said, "I think we know what triggered your a fib."  He adjusted my Synthroid & since then I have had my TSH checked twice.  At my recent annual physical with my primary MD I asked if she could check my TSH again in 6 months instead of waiting a year like usual.  She was agreeable to that.  I have been doing a lot of reading about "normal" TSH levels & there is a school of thought that the range should be narrower (1.8 to 3.0) than Mayo Clinic where I go. (Mayo range is 0.3 to 4.2)  I had an ablation two months ago & have been in NSR since.  (Alleluia!)  I am trying to control all the triggers that I can & am wondering if anyone has had any experience with thyroid & a fib??

5 Replies
  • depotdoug
    depotdoug, May 15,  2018  5:16pm EST

    How coincidental I am getting my Thyroid, ‘TSH’ levels and CBC LEVELS and Renal panel blood lab results Wednesday AM.

    Do not think I’ve got a thyroid imbalance but wanted to know the correlation between AFIB and Thyroid endrocine lvls. I’ll also know if I am in real CKD. 

  • Arline3366
    Arline3366, May 15,  2018  6:57pm EST

    Hi Ellen.  I first had AFib in January 2015 and was hospitalized overnight.  Scared me half to death!  Had never even heard of AFib before.  To make a long story short, I was in the hospital a total of 3 times overnight for AFib during 2015 and 2016.  Cardio doctors said it was caused by stress -- recommended beautiful music, a good book, an easy chair, and no stressful situations.  The second time, a hospitalist ran some additional blood tests and determined that my thyroid dosage was way too high.  I am very thankful that the hospitalist noticed those test results.  (My thyroid had been removed years before.)  Gradually over several months, my thyroid dosage was lowered from 1.50 to 1.37 to 1.25 to 1.00 to .88.  My heart rate now is usually in the 50s-60s, sometimes 70s.  Interestingly enough, the cardio doctors didn't address the thyroid issue at all and actually it seemed to me that they were a bit skeptical about it.  It was the hospitalist who found it.  I now take Synthroid .88, and I take Lopressor 25 (2x), Cardizem 240 CD, and Eliquis 2.5 (2x) for high blood pressure.  And so far, I feel great -- no more AFib problems yet; hopefully, that's all behind me now.  It's been two years now.  My primary care doctor checks my thyroid function (TSH, T3, and T4) every three months.  He's keeping on top of it and so far, so good.  (Tests showed nothing wrong with my heart.)  So yes, thyroid malfunction and thyroid medications apparently can possibly cause AFib, at least in my experience.  I googled it online and found a number of sites that discussed thyroid and AFib.  Good luck to you and keep your chin up.  Hopefully, adjustments to your thyroid medication will be the answer.  God Bless.

  • Heartfe6878
    Heartfe6878, May 15,  2018  7:38pm EST

    I have thyroid disease...It figures into my afib picture...Have you read the Rotterdam Study about Heart . It will teach you a lot about how the thyroid function effect afib. I have to keep mine low normal or it can trigger off my afib. You mention your test results...Did they do a ultrasound of your thyroid gland to see if you had any nodules on your thyroid? I get this done every 6 months ike clock work! This helps me know whether I have any"hot nodules" . The hot nodules can really give me a high heart rate.. They look at the ultrasound and the blood test  to see a complete picture of the thyroid component. I take Armour thyroid because Synthyroid did not work for me...But this is one thing if you have been diagnosed with afib. and hypo or hyper thyroid you really need to watch. They also did a parathyroid test on me which regulates calcium in the body and this can also trigger off afib for me when this is high....Most doctors do not think to do a test on this..

    HJKMS, May 16,  2018  12:42am EST

    I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in 1987 and have been given different strengths of Synthroid since then.  Was diagnosed with a-fib six years ago, so I would say, in my case, I don’t think my thyroid caused my a-fib.  The only thing I remember was that I was extremely stressed before the first known episode which of course landed me in the ER.


  • TrishM
    TrishM, May 17,  2018  7:59am EST

    Hi, I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, but whether it affects the atrial fibrillation, I’m uncertain as I’ve been on thyroid supplements for 20 years. So far there has been no confirmation of a suspicion that low heartbeat at night causes me to wake in the night with pounding heart and in A F. More often than not my episodes begin during sleep and lcontinue for hours, or all day, though I’m on heart medication for the last two months, sometimes every day, other days, like today, mysteriously not, and apart from brief moments I’m okay. The lowest night bpm have been 29 twice in the last two months, but often in the 40 bpm range during sleep. My son gave me an FDA approved Kardia band so i’m able to use smart monitoring and EKG when the heart decides to go wild. I’m well in healthy weight range and never have blocked nose, so I’ve been disinclined to believe it’s apnea. In AF I get some really high and wild readings, and occasionally very little activity 

    although I recognise now that I’ve had indications for some years, it was the first EKG of my life, before a surgery that has been cancelled, that the heart issue I’d never heart of showed very obviously on the EKG. I still feel unheard as doctors are slow to accept Kardia evidence, and being in the public system, not private, it’s a slow process. The hospital has limited data despite the reports I could give if they didn’t dismiss any history Kardia gives, so though I’ll see n anaethesist a cardiologist in a few weeks, and my chart will be reviewed for surgery, if I’m in one of my normal days, not one of the raging AF days .... they won’t know. Aside from the AF, my heart is healthy as I’ve always had a healthy diet, exercise, don’t smoke, hardly ever have alcohol, I’ve got a heart that rages up as high as 210 when in AF. I can’t figure it! 😀

    OP, I hope you are able to resolve your thyroid and AF issues. Best wishes!

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