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EndocrineWeb Community Advice

Rapid heartbeat and other panic symptoms

From: nydame - 3 years 6 weeks ago

Hello everyone! I'm new to this forum. I'm just really hoping that I find someone who can relate to what I've been experiencing.

I am 32 years old. I've had a good life. Not much stress. I've never been an anxious person and quite the contrary, I'm very relaxed, laid back and brush things off pretty easy. So when doctors told me I could possibly be experiencing panic attacks, I was (and still am) very skeptical. I just can't find much reason for my body to go into panic mode when I'm not panicking about anything or anxious about anything.

I started having tachycardia episodes (out of nowhere) at 30 years old. I attributed it to my hypothyroid or possibly my Synthroid. The first two times my Synthroid was increased, I've had panic symptoms, each a year apart. Now I've been on a steady dose of 125mcg and I still get these "panic attacks" when I least expect them.

My so called panic attacks last more than two hours each time. They are disabling to the point where I cannot work while I'm having one. It's different each time but the symptom that always shows up is the tachycardia. My heart is anywhere between 110-140 bpm for two hours or more. Sometimes I feel very sick, nauseous, short of breath, lightheaded/dizzy, have chest pains and feel cold. I can't concentrate on what people are telling me. I think I'm having a heart attack.

I've had so many blood tests done and everything comes out "normal". Thyroid levels are always normal. I've had a chest X-ray, a 30 day event monitor for my heart, and an echocardiogram. Doctors can't find what is wrong with me so they are saying I could POSSIBLY have anxiety disorder. I just haven't gotten a confirmed diagnosis of this and I just don't believe it. My body is telling me something else is wrong and I can't help but think my thyroid is to blame. My Endo highly doubts my thyroid is to blame for my symptoms but I keep reading that thyroid can be responsible for sudden tachycardia...All I want is some closure and a solution so that my body doesn't do this. It is so very scary and I can't hold a job like this as when this happens to me, I can't focus on work for hours and hours because I feel that I'm dying.

Please, if anyone has any info or similar experience, I would love if you could share with me. Thank you

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6 Responses

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Hey there, I think when docs talk about panic attacks the word panic is used to describe the sensation felt during the attack and not really that the attack is caused by panic.I too suffered from panic attacks when I was in high school. really an awful experience for anyone who hasn't gone through at least one of them themselves. I think that it is not necessarily a stressful situation that brings them on so much as a chemical flush in our systems. This CAN be caused by stress but is not always. I don't know if my panic attacks were caused by my hashimoto's and actually doubt it because looking back I didn't exhibit any of the other symptoms at the time. I attribute the decline and eventual stoppage of my attacks to 1) quitting smoking,(Weed as well as tobacco) and 2) teaching myself to talk myself down when they occurred and before they occurred(Recognizing the onset). I know the second one sounds Difficult if not impossible!. but it really is what helped me to overcome my attacks which I would easily gauge as a 9and1/2 out of 10 on the terrifying scale. Your attacks may or may not be caused or cured in the same way as mine but I thought I would share this just incase.Hope you figure it out and feel better soon.

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Sorry, I forgot to add as well, A close friend of mine who also suffers from hypothyroid was having panic attacks and came to find her dosage of synthroid was too high.Her panic attacks significantly decreased after adjusting her dosage almost to zero attacks. So yeah I guess your synthroid could be the culprit as I mentioned in the previous comment( a flush of hormones and chemicals in our system).
All the best,Rick.

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I suffered from severe panic attacks years ago. So much so I would have to literally run out of a supermarket because I felt like the walls were closing in on me. This happened many times. And there were times I had to pull my car over because I was in panic attack mode and I couldn't concentrate and my vision would become blurry.. So scary! Pounding heart, sweating profusely, hands shaking, nauseous, lightheaded, hard to breathe. I've experienced all that. My doctor prescribed Zoloft for anxiety disorder several years ago and I finally got
my life back. It was like hitting the Lotto for me. Anxiety disorder is a chemical imbalance of serotonin in the brain and the medication helps to stabilize the imbalance. My panic attacks are a thing of the past. I do know what you are going through and how debilitating life seems to be. I used to worry about getting panic attacks all the time that I would give myself one. It was crazy and affected my life
because I didn't want to leave my house anymore. Anyway, you might want to try taking an antidepressant. It changed my life for the better the very first day I took it. I realizes I go through the day minus a panic attack. A miracle!! I know antidepressants aren't for everyone but it's worth a try. God bless you and I hope you will get some relief from this demon very soon.

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I had rapid heartbeat and I got helped by lowering my dose ! It helped some so I sought out a specialist ! I had similar panic and was dizzy !

After I saw a Endrocrine DR and told him all my symptoms ! He took more tests than a GP did ! The test came back that I had Hashimoto's ! My new med dose and treatment works and I do not experience those symptoms any more !
I am not a DR but seek more help ! Taking control of my illness helped my situation ! I hope. My Story inspires you to seek a solution that works for you !

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Hi people,

Sorry about poor English

NYDame everything you said have happened to me. 30 years old, sports healthy live, strong men. One moment to other I'm a nervous guy with panic attacks :-) . Every single blood test were good except one or other tsh test between 5 and 7 when 4 is the established limit...One year ago, with 39, I´ve been by chance diagnosed with hashimoto's by my mum doctor...more than 13000 in TPO antibodys when the limit is 60.... So, now, with 40 years old my conclusion is: doctor don't know anything about this desiese, and they don't have any solution to help. The few ones that really care about hashimoto's can't do much to help. TSH high, more artificial T4 and vice versa. Your taquicardia is probably due to this "In the early stages of Hashimoto's, the thyroid is under attack by the immune system. Thyroid cells are broken down, and they release thyroid hormones into the bloodstream. This causes thyroid hormone surges, or a transient hyperthyroidism."
This is not the worse disease worldwide but is a very bad one and transforms a strong sports life in a different life . We can't compete with healthy people, but there are several examples of success lives with hashimoto.

Pharmaceutical industry has no reason to kill the amazing t4 business so I don't believe a cure will be found.

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I am so glad I came across this discussion. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's 20+ years ago. I was prescribed synthroid which helped for awhile. Cytomel was added about 13 years ago which, again, helped for awhile. I have had all the usual Hashi symptoms and I have made adjustments to my diet, sleep, etc. which also helped. But, the one thing that recently cropped up has been beyond anything I ever expected. Panic attacks, as diagnosed by my doctor. I am not sure that is what is going on because I am also exploring whether or not I have nodules or am over-prescribed for my age and weight. I had to stop working because these "attacks" were so disruptive: dizziness, digestive issues, sweating, rapid heart rate, extreme fatigue. These symtoms are not conducive to work or play. I have incorporated chiropractic, acupuncture, Bowen, rest, meditation, and now I, on my own since my Kaiser doc won't refer me to an endocrinologist, have stopped taking my afternoon cytomel pill. The symptoms are receding enough that I am not afraid of random attacks and I have the energy to pursue finding a good, private pay Endocrinologist. I, too, thought the doc was way off in her diagnosis. It didn't make any sense to me at all. Another doc said it was Atypical Migraine. I researched all these disorders and it still didn't feel right. Sooo, to hear that other people of all ages are experiencing these symptoms helps me feel confident about my pursuit of a better explanation. Thank you all for sharing. I look forward to reading more solutions.


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