Is thyroid really the cause of my palpitations


Heart palpitations are the feelings of having a fast beating or a fluttering heart, giving the sensation of pounding. Palpitations have many causes and can be triggered over a mild stimulus. While they can be worrisome for the patient, in most cases they are harmless. However, persistent cases warrant assessment by best General physician in Karachi.

Is thyroid causing my palpitations?

Thyroid is a small gland, located at the base of the throat which releases hormones controlling just about every organ in the body, including the basal metabolic rate, and especially the heart. Thyroid hormone influences the heartbeat, blood pressure, and even the cholesterol level.

An undiagnosed case of thyroid malfunction can masquerade as heart disease. Both hypo- and hyper-thyroidism affect the heart in different ways.

In hypothyroidism, there are low levels of circulating thyroid hormones, which in turn can slow down the heart rate, however, the arteries become less elastic, and the blood pressure rises in order to circulate blood around the body. Additionally, the cholesterol levels rise, and these in turn contribute to the hardness of the vessels.

In hyperthyroidism, however, the heart rate is much higher, producing the symptoms of palpitations, and pounding heart. The heart rate is high even at rest. Moreover, this fast heart beat can trigger abnormal heart rhythms, including atrial fibrillation, which is the abnormal beating of the upper chamber of heart. This disorganized beating can cause a complication of stroke due to clot formation.

The blood pressure in people with hyperthyroidism is usually higher due to the higher heart rate, as is the cardiac output and the pulmonary artery pressure. In addition, the arteries are stiffened and clogged; this combination of forceful heart beat, stiffened arteries and hypertension can trigger chest pain or angina.

The prevalence of hyperthyroidism is less than that of hypothyroidism, but it too is harmful for the heart. Additional symptoms of hyperthyroidism include sleeplessness, excess sweating, heat intolerance, loose bowels, extreme hunger and weight loss.

People who are diagnosed with thyroid disease should also be assessed for heart disease and vice versa, because the thyroid and the heart are linked closely together.

What are the complications of palpitations?

The risk is little in mild cases of heart palpitations, however, there is still a slight risk of complications, which include the following:

Fainting spells can occur if the palpitations end up causing a decrease in the blood pressure. This is more likely if there are concurrent heart conditions or valvular problems.

Stroke can occur if the palpitations are due to involvement of the atria; as mentioned before, atria are the upper chambers of the heart and disease there causes pooling of blood and formation of a clot. This clot can travel up to the brain and cause stroke.

Heart failure can occur in severe cases whereby the pumping ability of the heart is affected due to palpitations. This is more likely in case of a concurrent arrhythmic state. Any type of arrhythmias must be followed-up closely by best internal medicine specialist in Islamabad.

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