When thyroid problems masquerade as heart disease

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

I love a medical mystery that gets solved by a patient, don’t you? In May 2009, one of my regular readers – known to me and other readers here simply as JetGirl experienced what she calls “classic heart attack symptoms” of very sudden onset, and sought help immediately at the Emergency Department of a Los Angeles hospital.  The 45-year old former airline pilot was released from hospital after a week’s stay in the Coronary Care Unit with a vague cardiac diagnosis of ischemia*.

Six months later, JetGirl once again experienced more cardiac symptoms including “massive chest pain” and shortness of breath.  This time, nothing was found.   

She was subsequently diagnosed with coronary  microvascular disease (MVD) and coronary spasm and was prescribed medications to treat those symptoms. But JetGirl didn’t seem like your typical MVD patient, as she describes:

“To his credit, the doctor did say that it didn’t seem the right diagnosis since I had zero risk factors, and my experience was different enough from other patients.”

In March 2011, and feeling increasingly ill, she experienced another cardiac event – diagnosed by some doctors as a myocardial infarction (heart attack) but by others as a massive coronary spasm. She explained:

“At that point, I was so debilitated, I had to leave my job. I’ve been a ‘couch girl’ since then, with ever-worsening symptoms.”

At about the same time, JetGirl had a benign adrenal gland tumour called a pheochromocytoma removed.  Six months later, another bout of severe cardiac symptoms made doctors suspect a new pheochromocytoma, but they found nothing. Because JetGirl has a family history of hypothyroidism, she had also undergone thyroid tests for 20 years – always testing in the “normal” range, even after the mid-2000s when guidelines for range of normal were modified.

But in May 2013, after four long years of failing health, her thyroid test results showed a slight change for the first time. When her doctor reviewed the test results, he wasn’t too concerned about JetGirl’s underactive thyroid, but noted that her cortisol level was “out of normal range”, and decided to refer her to a new endocrinologist.

Meanwhile, JetGirl’s overall health had been deteriorating alarmingly, as she explains:

“In early August, I was told to ‘put my affairs in order’, that I likely had less than 12 months to live. My heart rate was down to 43, my blood pressure only 75/45, and I was passing out from hypotension every time I stood up.”

More thyroid bloodwork showed a slight issue with her T4 levels, but test results were within normal limits on all other levels. JetGirl decided to consult Dr. Google, and I’ll let her tell you in her own words what was about to happen next:

“Prior to seeing the endocrinologist to discuss these test results, I had Googled coronary spasm and hypothyroid” –  and sure enough, I found a published study that showed untreated hypothyroidism COULD result in coronary spasm, and that it was completely reversible if the thyroid was treated.(1)

“So I brought some pertinent studies to the endocrinologist’s appointment. Even as he was telling me that I am not hypo enough to treat, I begged him to let me try the synthetic thyroid hormone Synthroid for six weeks just to see if it would work.  He was skeptical, and said the best it would do was give me 10 extra beats on my heart rate.

“But EXACTLY five weeks and two days into my six-week trial of Synthroid, I woke up and the brain fog was completely gone, energy level was positive, no chest pain, no shortness of breath, no effing fatigue  – just freaking gone!!”

That happy day was September 4th, 2013. 

JetGirl now reports that she’s back in the pool, swimming faster than she has been able to swim for the past four years. She was able to run a 10k race on Thanksgiving weekend, and even hike in Yosemite trails where she’d been previously unable to get to 1,000 feet without massive chest pain. And two weeks ago, she completed a half-marathon. She adds:

“What is most important is I don’t feel drained as I am exercising, I can catch a second wind during exercise, and I don’t need a three-hour nap after exercise – all of that was missing during these past four years.”

“I am SOOO grateful that the new endocrinologist didn’t dismiss the crazy patient with the handful of scientific papers whom he’d barely met! 

“He told me recently that it was my desperation that he just couldn’t ignore.”

If you’re like me, your first question might be: what about all those years of “normal” thyroid test results that kept JetGirl from access to treatment? She explains:

“Neither the cardiologist nor the endocrinologist can completely explain this, because neither thought the Synthroid would work.”

What is the thyroid?  It’s a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck that wraps around the windpipe. Hormones produced by this gland are necessary to stimulate metabolism, growth, and the body’s capacity to process calories. Thyroid disease is relatively common, with current estimates suggesting it affects up to 15% of the adult female population.  Hypothyroidism happens when you have an underactive thyroid. Hyperthyroidism happens when you have an overactive thyroid. Both conditions are more common in women than in men.

Considerable research has been published suggesting a link between thyroid disease and cardiovascular disease. For example, researchers Klein and Danzi observed in that original 2007 research that JetGirl found(1):

“Cardiovascular signs and symptoms of thyroid disease are some of the most profound and clinically relevant findings that accompany both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Restoration of normal thyroid function most often reverses abnormal cardiovascular hemodynamics.”

Dutch researchers reported a link between hypothyroidism and heart disease among women in the so-called Rotterdam Study, published in the journal, Annals of Internal Medicine. Women with subclinical hypothyroidism were almost twice as likely as women without this condition to have had heart attacks.(2)

And Finnish researchers also identified a functional link between hypothyroidism and myocardial infarction/vasospasm in their 2009 study(3).

Meanwhile, JetGirl recommends two helpful resources for those seeking more information. She says:

  • Mary Shomon has fantastic resources on her thyroid disease page on About.com.  She has also written a number of books and explains endocrine system function well.
  • Janie Bowthorpe‘s book Stop the Thyroid Madness.  It was the first book I read once I began the thyroid part of the journey.  Very good explanations on how you can test “normal” but feel like complete crap.

JetGirl now describes her remarkable chain of events during the past few months as “miraculous”, but also believes that there’s clearly a medical explanation behind all of it.

Meanwhile, she’s “making plans to be walking the Camino de Santiago in the spring in gratitude for feeling energized again” and she wrote this poem to explore her 4-year journey:

A Cardiac Journey

When I first got sick and we figured it out,
The docs said surgery will do –
A quick snip snip and then a short trip
Through the famed halls of ICU.

So I said, “Okay, I can do recovery;
Get me back to my work and my play.
‘Cause I’m tired of naps but I can adapt
To a slower pace on some days.”

Then the symptoms came back unexpectedly.
Once again for a tumor we searched.
Instead, we did find, the heart in decline –
No worries, it could be reversed.

I then agreed most reluctantly
To take a huge pile of pills –
“Your time will fly; you’ll be well by July;
You won’t ever remember being ill!”

So I took the meds conscientiously;
How could I do any less?
But the MI that came, was a shock to the game
Now, how to clean up this mess?

I finally decided on one fateful day
The job had to go; it was best.
I knew in my heart a completely fresh start
Would give me a chance for success.

And then we came to the next health thing –
A shortness of breath that won’t quit.
Heart failure, they say, was just steps away
With dysfunction diastolic.

Four years have passed in this saga of mine
As symptoms ebbed and they flowed
It was hard to remain – optimistic or sane
What was the next system to go?

It was Doc #40 (plus or minus a few)
He figured it out, finally
NOT cardiac, but low thyroid, in fact
That was causing all of my grief.

So I sit here today, a girl with her health
And no one more grateful than me!
The lesson in here is to persevere
Keep faith that you will succeed!

JetGirl 2013

* Ischemia: an insufficient supply of blood to an organ like the heart, usually due to a blocked or constricted artery
  • (1)  I. Klein, S. Danzi. “Thyroid Disease and the Heart.” Circulation. 2007; 116: 1725-1735.
  • (2)  A.E. Hak et al. “Low Thyroid Function without Symptoms as a Risk Indicator for Heart Disease in Older Women.” Ann Intern Med. 2000;132(4):270. 
  • (3) R. Sipila et al. “Hypothyroidism, Raynaud’s Phenomenon and Acute Myocardial Infarction.” Clinical Cardiology. 6,304-306 (1983)

.NOTE FROM CAROLYN:  I wrote more about symptoms that can be mistaken as heart-related in my book  A Woman’s Guide to Living with Heart Disease“.  You can ask for it at bookstores (please support your local independent bookseller!) or order it online (paperback, hardcover or e-book) at Amazon – or order it directly from my publisher Johns Hopkins University Press (use their code HTWN to save 30% off the cover price when you order).

Q:  Were you aware of the link between thyroid issues and cardiovascular disease?

Please note: this site is not meant as a substitute for health care advice from your own physician


38 thoughts on “When thyroid problems masquerade as heart disease

  1. I have been on medication for hypothyroidism for 25 years. I experience heart problems every month a few days before my period starts and a few days into it. It is always at night. I have been to the emergency room three or four times and they told me not to come back unless I am breathing heavy or am in a cold sweat. Everytime I have heart issues I worry if I’ll wake up in the morning. Thanks for the article. It’s nice to know others suffer with this too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Gina – 25 years is a long time to be undergoing distressing symptoms like yours month after month without answers. I’m not a physician so cannot comment specifically on your situation, but I can say generally that many women with cardiac conditions do NOT have ‘breathing heavy” or a “cold sweat” as identifying symptoms – so not sure what Emerg staff were talking about there, except to convince you to stay away from their Emergency Department…

      It turns out that there is a known link between our hormones and heart symptoms, as I wrote about here: https://myheartsisters.org/2017/07/23/premenopausal-women-and-their-cardiac-symptoms/ e.g. “Hormone fluctuations during a menstrual cycle can affect certain body parts on certain days of that cycle” – and that can include the heart, which can be part of the reason for the timing of your symptoms.

      Good luck to you – stay safe out there… ♥


  2. NOTE FROM CAROLYN: This comment has been removed because it was trying to sell you a life-saving miracle “cure”. For more info on how you too can have your comment deleted, please read my disclaimer page.


  3. Wow! I wonder if my thyroid is a factor in what I”m experiencing! I”m a 36 year old female who has been having some cardiac symptoms since 2012. My health declined further in 2017 literally out of nowhere!

    I started having near constant chest pain, erratic heart beats, occasional SVT episodes, major shortness of breath, arm heaviness, waking up not breathing nearly all night long, exercise intolerance,1 abnormal EKG(anterior ischemia), now borderline EKGs often(mild T-wave abnormality).

    I have days where I almost feel back to normal but then the heart symptoms will and can hit out of nowhere. I have had multiple echos, holter monitors, Stress test, CT of the arteries and Stress MRI that have all been normal. I have yet to have a Cath done but not sure I should at this point.

    I”ve seen 7 cardiologists and still zero answers. I was diagnosed with Hashimotots in ’08 after 1st child, was very hypothyroid. After 2 more kids I would get a hypothyroid flare then thyroid would even out. I have not been on meds for years because my thyroid is “stable” so although my doc says he could put me on thyroid hormone he says I”m barely hypo because my TSH is only slightly over a 2 but this article makes me wonder because there’s no reason a thin, used-to-be-active 36 year old should be having these horrific symptoms!! I even begged my former ENDO to check me for a adrenal tumor, which also came back negative. I”m at a loss!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello.
    I just stumbled on this article and my mouth dropped open. I feel like you’re talking about my life.

    March 2, 2018 was my major first symptom. I was walking along, felt a flutter in my chest and fainted with no warning. I received a concussion and whiplash and woke up with my legs and arms tingly and numb. Ever since then, I’ve been dealing with issues with my heart. All tests come back normal yet my heart is pounding and I feel like my body is in overdrive. This affected work, family, school, you name it. I’m exhausted.

    Every single cardiac test that they have done has come back normal, and now I’m on a 30 day event monitor. My endocrinologist did up my medication but instead of being hyper thyroidism as I have been for many many years, now I am hypothyroidism. I’ve been on 2.5 mg of Methimazole for the last couple of years, but 2 weeks after my scary episode my endocrinologist upped my mg to 5.

    The endocrinologist does not think that my heart has anything to do with my thyroid. And my cardiologist keeps telling me that is nothing is wrong with my heart. If I go on Google I would say I have some type of Afib with my heart but then again I’m only looking on the Internet for symptoms.

    My blood work comes back normal, echocardiogram came back normal, EKG came back normal, and chest x-ray came back normal. I went to go do the treadmill test and my heart rate went from 90 to 136; the RN wouldn’t let me continue the treadmill tests because I only took 2 steps to get to the treadmill and didn’t even start the test because of my palpitations.

    At that time my cardiologist sent me to the ER and I was admitted into the hospital. The doctor came in and is baffled over my symptoms. Every time I do anything like walking to go switch the laundry, grocery store, get the mail, I get out of breath and heart feels like it’s racing or I get palpitations. I’m 44, female 5’7 and weigh 155 pounds. I’m pretty healthy and this is taking a toll on my life.

    If you can be of any help please please let me know. It’s been a long month and a half.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Tricia – that’s a lot of bewildering health issues to hit within a month and a half! I’m not a physician so of course cannot comment on your current distressing symptoms, but I am puzzled about why your endo would double your dosage of Methimazole after you’d been diagnosed with hypothyroidism (my understanding is that this drug is prescribed for overactive (hyperthyroid) conditions, correct? Might be time for a second opinion?


    2. NOTE FROM CAROLYN: This comment has been removed because it was attempting to sell you something. For more information about how you can get your comment removed, please read my disclaimer page.


  5. I have been having similar issues now for a year and a half. First they thought it was due to my gallbladder being sluggish, so they took that out. Then the symptoms became worse. I would get fatigue, no energy, brain fog, IBS-D, chest pains, feel faint/dizzy, dry skin, weight gain among other things.

    My first doctor had me do an Echocardiogram and a stress test–both were normal. He ran my thyroid T3, T4, and TSH and they were normal so he didn’t know what else to do for me. I found another doctor and he ran my thyroid again and put me on medicine for the IBS-D. During that time I saw an endocrinologist who told me that I was gaining weight because I ate too much processed food, wasn’t exercising, and was getting old (39). He also told me my chest pains were anxiety and I should seek out a counselor. I left there in tears. I got my test results back from my regular doctor and he said my T3, T4, and TSH were still all normal (although they had gone up since having them done in July.) He refused to run the thyroid antibodies test on me. Instead, he put me on an event monitor for my heart.

    The event monitor showed mostly normal results with some PAC or premature atrial contractions.

    I then went to an OBGYN to get checked for PCOS or endometriosis as I was having increasing pain with my periods as well. My ultrasounds there were normal as well. I told her that I really thought that it was Hashimotos and asked her to please run my antibodies. She did and they were high! She also ordered regular hormone testing for me, which I just had done on Friday.

    Now I am sitting here and waiting to hear the results of the regular/female hormone testing and waiting to be referred to a new endo who will take me seriously. In the meantime, I had to go to the ER because my blood pressure was high, my heart was racing, and I was feeling faint. ER doc thinks I am crazy and doesn’t believe me when I tell him I am in the process of getting diagnosed, so he just gives me a shot of ativan and IV fluids. He also gave me some liquid potassium because mine was low. I am just getting tired and want to start on some medication so I can feel better.

    I guess I wrote all this out because I too am one of those people who did research and am beginning to see that I was right all along and just how frustrating it is when doctors won’t listen to us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Allison – a year and a half of your life is far too long to go through this diagnostic confusion. And ‘getting old’ at 39 is simply a preposterous statement! I’m glad you have been finally taken seriously and referred to a new endo who can address your high antibodies results. Best of luck to you…


    2. Allison,
      Hang in there until you get a diagnosis.
      I am a 54 year old woman with Hashimoto’s (auto-immune disease of the thyroid) and was diagnosed in 2014. In 2000 I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but I believe that it was Hashimoto’s all along.

      My thyroid is now so enlarged it is about 6 times the size of a normal thyroid. In June 2017 I went to the ER (in Texas) with chest pain. The ER doc ordered a CT scan which showed an aortic aneurysm, small, only 3.8 cm. I was admitted to the hospital for further tests. Every test was normal. However, relieved that I now knew about the aneurysm, the chest pain continued. A heart catheter (angiogram) was normal, no blockages, or narrowing of the arteries. Cardiologist prescribed Norvasc and the chest pain has stopped. The connection between hypothyroidism and cardiac spasms comes as no surprise. I think the aneurysm is also due to the inflammation caused by Hashimoto’s. Research how endos are using low-dose naltrexone to treat Hashimoto’s and other auto-immune diseases.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s so disturbing NOT to be taken seriously by Drs.
    because they feel your test are “in normal range”… I’ve been told this for years!!! And come to find out I have sleep apnea!!! I’m NOT heavy. I work out. My gynecologist asked me how things were going!! His MIL has it and she’s really thin. Mine is because of the shape of my palate. It’s familial apparently. Glad she got someone to listen. 👍👍👍


    1. Cheri – you bring up an important point and that is the tendency to size up a patient’s diagnosis based on stereotypes. Happens in men too: one of my readers was a very fit professional firefighter whose doctor dismissed his obvious heart attack signs because he looked so “strong and healthy”.


  7. I’m totally bewildered, a little overwhelmed, but oddly thankful to have come across this website/page. I am positive now it is truly divine intervention!😇

    I am a 48 year old female who has had some unexplained chest pain, occasional shortness of breath and family history of heart disease as well as electrical problems. I was put on a low dose of beta blocker meds years ago that I was told will help regulate my heart rate or keep it from going too fast. Over the last 4 years I’ve had some scary symptoms that would come and go which led me back to the Drs office. After seeing my 5th cardiologist who performed an angiogram Sept 21st and said completely fine and not cardiac related, I was really beginning to believe I must be crazy.

    I had a coronary CT scan done a couple weeks ago that showed 70% or more blockage in a few areas so I thought I may require a stent or two and that my answers were found, but apparently not. I had an allergic reaction to dye when I had the CT and ended up in ER, so I was a little leary about having angio. I was told it was needed because of blockages showing on CT and that they would prep me w/ steroids that would prevent allergic reaction. Apparently I wasn’t given enough that I ended up in ER the night of angio w/ hives on my neck, This was a couple days ago. Now I’m suffering from my blood pressure dropping and my heart rate. Feel terrible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Heidi! I’m so sorry to hear all this! No wonder you’re feeling terrible. I was a bit confused about the chronology here, but it seems that your CT scan showed 70% blockages in a few areas, but once you had the angio a few days ago (with the dye that caused an allergic reaction), it was decided that you didn’t need the blockage(s) stented after all. I’m not a physician of course, but I can say that, generally, 70% seems to be the minimum size blockage for which docs would consider implanting stents (at that size, evidence shows little benefit of stenting over standard cardiac meds, and cardiologists must also decide if the risks outweigh benefits – so it may be that the size once they got in there was borderline. Again, I’m just guessing. It sounds like you didn’t get a satisfactory answer to why the stents were not placed, or what would be your next step to address symptoms. I hope you’ll contact that cardiologist to clarify the results.

      It’s so unfortunate that your body reacted with hives, which must have felt like adding insult to injury after all that. I’m hoping that your hives are going away by now, and that you’ll soon be feeling much better. Best of luck to you…


  8. Six months after a “normal” result on a thyroid testing, my thyroid was enlarged. We started ultrasound, biopsy, etc. We found that I had thyroid cancer. This is after years of heart disease from my very early 20s into my 60s. Since having my thyroid removed, my heart disease is more stable and life is good. Adjustments to my synthroid keep things on an even keel.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Carolyn!

    Just wanted you to know my wellness is complete. I just returned from Europe where I spent 40 days walking the 800 kms along the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. I started in St. Jean Pied de Port, France and finished in Santiago, Spain walking through three mountain passes in excess of 1500 meters!

    No cardiac symptoms, no problems with altitude, just unbelievable!!! While I felt certain before I left that the thyroid was the problem because it had fixed me so completely, there was a tiny piece of me that didn’t believe it. You never saw a girl cry so hard walking into Santiago on day 40!! I was too sick for too long!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely fantastic to hear from you, JetGirl! Your Camino adventure – rarely tackled even by those who have always known good health – is proof that with the right diagnosis and the right care, good health is still attainable! Congratulations and big hugs to you!


    1. Well, my mind is completely blown, too. It’s a good news story, yet tragic that JetGirl (and others) had to spend years suffering before almost stumbling accidentally upon the mystery’s solution.


  10. Oh, JetGirl, you and I could be twins.

    In early 2008, I went to the ER with terrible chest pains. From the EEG, they decided I was having a heart attack and took me back for a catheterization to unplug the plaque. But lo and behold, THERE WAS NO PLAQUE. All my arteries were clean as a whistle. No plaque went with my excellent diet, physically fit body, zero lifestyle factors, and zero genetic factors. The ER cardiologist kept saying, “I’ve never seen anything like it!” So I knew that he didn’t have the slightest idea how to help me — and that meant I wasn’t going back to the ER.

    For two years I was pumped full of heart drugs. They failed to bring down my sky-high blood pressure, and they failed to address my continuing chest pain and shortness of breath. Brain fog closed in on me. Anxiety ruled me. I became unable to work. At the end of 2009, realizing that I was dying, I chucked all the useless heart meds and used my knowledge of anatomy and physiology from my Microbiology degree plus the Internet to diagnose myself as hypothyroid. And I realized that I had had coronary artery spasms, not a heart attack.

    All my blood tests since 2008 had showed me as hypothyroid, but doctors were ignoring my thyroid and fixating on my normal cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Thus they also ignored my requests to check my thyroid.

    Doctors don’t want you to tell them how badly they’ve screwed up. So I went to my kids’ pediatrician and casually mentioned my thyroid. He’s the first person who actually felt my thyroid. He found a nodule, sent me for an ultrasound, and prescribed Synthroid. 45 minutes after I took the first pill, 90% of my symptoms vanished. Within a few weeks, I was no longer having any coronary artery spasms, angina, or shortness of breath.

    Since I have anemia, I’m unable to process Synthroid effectively and am currently on a combination of naturally dessicated thyroid and T3. My blood pressures regularly run 110/70 to 120/80 — no heart drugs needed. This year, I’m going to attempt to get my medical record corrected.

    Thank you, JetGirl, for publicizing your story. I bet there are plenty others like us out there, and they’ve also been misdiagnosed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Suzanne, you and JetGirl really could be twins! Quite a remarkable personal account – and yet another good example of how patients MUST become their own best advocates. Thanks so much for sharing your own story here.


  11. I actually had a Primary Care Physician order a full thyroid panel when I mentioned my erratic heart beat a few years ago. Unfortunately, it was not the thyroid, but I thought it was pretty cool that she knew to do that.

    I am so glad to read that JetGirl is back in action. It’s tragic that it took so many years to get a good diagnosis.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Allison – that’s encouraging, isn’t it, when your PCP connected the dots between thyroid and heart rhythm? The article in the cardiology journal Circulation that JetGirl mentions above reported that our pacemaker-related genes are regulated by thyroid hormones.(1)


  12. Not included in the story is the background that JetGirl has the dedication of a bulldog and had the most immaculate diet, the most dedicated exercise efforts (to rehabilitate) and explored any and all “it’s psychological” causes.

    You could easily spend a lifetime perfecting your mind and body, yet never find the true cause. Though the journey of those efforts are still worthwhile, it sure helps to figure out the real reason.

    The Heart Sisters cannot be more thrilled for JetGirl’s improvement and send our love and support as she walks The Camino ~ a journey of the soul. There is a wonderful movie of this pilgrimage. There are also several documentaries on YouTube.

    xoxo Mary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mary for pointing out JetGirl’s bulldog-like tendencies, which no doubt not only helped her physical rehab efforts for those four years, but also led her to do her own detective work. Had she not been so determined (and had her new endocrinologist not been so agreeable!) perhaps she would remain one of countless chronically ill patients who never do figure out their real diagnosis, with or without the help of their physicians. PS: thanks for the recommendation for The Way – sounds like a great film.


      1. Carolyn, many thanks for helping me get the word out! Over the weekend, I was at a gathering of 400 people dedicated to wellness. I was able to tell my story and was surprised to find several dozen had a connection to it. There is a bit more understanding that is needed to be sure!


        Liked by 1 person

  13. Bravo Carolyn and JetGirl! What a wonderful descriptive journey that clearly depicts the importance of finding a physician who listens and collaborates!

    It also speaks, once again, to how important it is to be an informed patient. We can wish for release from this responsibility all we want but in the end it is we who reap the rewards from educating ourselves!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I was not aware of the link between thyroid disease and heart symptoms, both of which I have.

    I must admit that, even with Mary Shomon’s information, thyroid disease confuses me. I have experienced hyperthyroidism at the onset of Hashimoto’s disease, but have not recognized the opposite. Maybe it’s because I take Synthroid to keep a thyroid nodule under control. Find the whole topic very confusing and am glad I have a good endocrinologist.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. WOW! Once again I have new information that not one person has pointed out to me before.

        I have had hypothyroidism for 25 years and of course the MI last year. Maybe there is a relationship between the two – seems like the Finnish study suggests that there is! The problem is that the shortness of breath I have COULD be from anxiety, and/or pain and fatigue from fibromyalgia (also a link to thyroid problems), and/or heart disease, and/or my thyroid. Showing me once again that medicine is still plagued with mysterious connections that are at this point unknown!

        Thanks Carolyn…more to think about, as usual with these posts of yours!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hello again Barbara – this too was a surprise to me. You bring up an important and maddening reality: a symptom could be due to a number of different diagnoses! Trouble is, as you know, once you have been offered a differential diagnosis, it seems easier to just keep hanging symptoms on that hook.


        2. Barbara, on ScienceDaily, there was a new article about Fibro and Vitamin D (assumed to be D3) and of course we know the WISE study has Coronary Microvascular Disease linked to low D (not sure what flavor), so there is a neat little intersection with Vitamin D and its subtypes.

          What nobody mentioned is that if someone has had an MI or has heart rhythm issues, adding thyroid and risking a “hyper” situation that could possibly also lead to MI. I think that’s why MDs are so tentative to test out some supplementation without clear cut evidence – it’s not “by the book”.

          A friend with Graves has told me that standard medical test score “norms” are far too wide and imprecise, and quite dated since they were established. Looking at the history of that might yield some insights. More progressive endocrinologists will also look at symptoms, not just scores. There is a lot to learn and challenge in the annals of medicine today, and too many people are stuck in some outdated definitions – cardiology and just maybe endocrinology?

          All I know is – it’s a terrible thing to lose chunks of your life. Segments of your life that can alter its course, its productivity and outcome. The message to patients is: be inquisitive, open-minded, and if you feel there is something not quite right, keep going.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thanks for this perspective, Mary. Lately I seem to be coming across a number of troubling cases of doctors treating the numbers, not the patient – and particularly ignoring the numbers if they appear “normal” (familiar to many women, like me, whose cardiac issues have been misdiagnosed even when they are textbook Hollywood Heart Attack symptoms).


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