Hyperthyroidism and asthma.

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I'm a 61 year old woman who was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism about 5 weeks ago and just had my first consultant appointment yesterday - Graves disease. I'm taking 40mg carbimazole daily but cannot take beta blockers because I suffer from asthma. I know it will be at least a month until the symptoms subside. I'm experiencing most typical symptoms, fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, feeling hot, thirsty, shakey legs and tremors, aching joints and sore eyes. The worst are the awful palpitations and racing pulse which is so very frightening. I'm not sleeping and wonder how I will cope feeling like this for many more weeks. I am taking diltiazem for the palpitations but it only helps a little.

Is anyone out there also an asthma sufferer with the same problem. I understand beta blockers relieve the symptoms but I can't take them.

From being relatively healthy 3 months ago and loving to do country walks, I am now a wreck and reduced to sitting in a chair all day with my heart pounding. Any reassurance and encouragement would be appreciated. Thank-you.

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  • Posted


    When I read your post it took me right back to the beginning of the year when I was diagnosed with GD. Its a shock at first and I know I grieved for my old life. I don't have ashma so can't help with that one but I hated the beta blockers and came off them very quickly because of how tired and lethargic they made me. The carbimazole takes a few weeks to kick in so don't expect miracles at first but it will make you feel less shaky and panicky within a few weeks. You are on a fairly high dose so I assume your levels are high like mine were. Do you know what your T3 T4 and TSH are?

    10 months on I still havnt got my old life back, I had radio active iodine which completely killed my thyroid and am now building up my thyroxine levels to get my metabolism back on track. I am back at work and all of those symptoms you described have gone apart from the odd hot flush and minor palpitation. I'd even forgotten some of it unt I read your post.

    It is an awful illness and does play tricks a bit with your mind when you are hyper but now you have been diagnosed it can only get better.

    Good luck


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  • Posted

    Hi Madeleine. Welcome to the forum. I can't add a lot to what Jane has said.

    You must be feeling awful at the moment, but you will start to feel better now you're on Carbimazole. I was told it would take four to six weeks before I started to feel better, but I felt a lot better long before that. Everyone is different. I was on 40 mg. of Carbimazole too, but my endo put me on block and replace and I was on thyroxine at the same time. I started feeling ill in May last year and had the radioactive iodine in November.

    My thyroid must still be producing some thyroxine as I'm only on 50 mgcs of thyroxine which is a low dose. I feel fine now, but still have the odd day when I feel a bit anxious and jittery. Like Jane I was pleased to come off the betablockers, they were making me tired and dizzy. I'm sorry I can't help with the asthma. I hope you start to feel better soon.

    Take care.


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  • Posted

    Hello Madeleine, How are you feeling now ? Sorry to hear you are having such a rough time. I found the palpitations the worst, most frightening part of it all. Could your doctor increase your Diltiazem if its not having much effect ? I agree with Jane and Marigold, everyone seems to improve at different rates. You will soon have days when you feel much better, the trick is, not to then do too much. I found it was difficult to rest but if I did anything at all I felt terrible. I noticed that a couple of us on here were drinking de-caffienated tea and decided to give it a go. I thought it would be disgusting but I bought Sainsbusy's Red Label De-caf and it was really nice. It has really helped with the palpitations and that jittery, feeling.

    Hang on in there, you will soon feel better and one day this will all be behind you. Let us know how you get on.

    Bess. x

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  • Posted

    HI madeleine ,I am Diltiazem as i have asthma too ,at the start of my hyperthyoid problems i had loads of chest infections and even pneumonia and terrible breathlessness , my endo said the breathlessness must be something to with my heart as you only get that when you are hypo .Come and talk to us on page 25 so we dont miss you ,Marigold has been a god send for us all

    take care sue xx

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