Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by stepmonster, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. stepmonster

    stepmonster New Member

    I am going to try to make an extremely long story as short as possible.
    44 yrs old, not depressed, fighting thyroidism for four years (RAI), quit smoking 3+ years ago, now sixty pounds overweight, two heart medications when I don't actually have high blood pressure and just quit Lexapro for anxiety
    -loved the lexapro, hated twenty pound weight gain, lost sex drive, and got it back now that I quit the lexapro
    -I have irregular heartbeats off and on ALL DAY LONG
    -been to gp,internist,cardiologist, had echo, stress test etc
    -Cardiologist said everything is fine, i need to go back on an anxiety medication
    Good news:my heart is fine and I found my sex drive!!!
    Bad news:my heart palpitations are so disruptive to my life, they take my breath away, no pain, they come out of nowhere!
    Any input?
  2. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    First of all, I'm glad it's not your heart.

    Second, there are other medications out there to treat anxiety. Personally, I love lexapro, but it's not for everyone. A woman I work with takes Buspar, which is an anxiety medication only - not an anti-depressant. She's been very happy with it and I don't know of any significant side effects. She hasn't mentioned experiencing any. I've never taken anti-anxiety (only) medications for any length of time myself, so I can't offer any personal experience, but thought I would share the experience of someone I know.
  3. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I was prescribed Topomax for anxiety (although I see that many others on this board use it for other reasons). My libido and appetite have not been affected (I am on a small dose, 150mg a day). I am told that on larger doses it actually supresses the appetite.

    Side effects: tingling in the hands for the first week or so, and once I was on it for awhile, if I stopped taking it for a few days, it was very difficult to fall asleep.

    Good luck!
  4. loricbme

    loricbme New Member

    I took Lexapro for 9 mos. and gained 45 pounds. My therapist told me that it stimulates sugar cravings. The label reads, "may cause weight gain." It should read, "you're gonna pack it on sister!" So, I went off of that and started Wellbutrin SR. It helped but I needed switched to Wellbutrin XL. Wellbutrin is prescribed for people trying to quit smoking and it helps with weight loss. I've lost 20 lbs. since taking it. I also had libido issues on Lexapro. I am a much happier person post Lexapro.

    Have you seen an endocrinologist for your hypothyroidism? I'm assuming you're hypo since you had RAI. What dosage of thyroid medications do you take? Too much synthroid can cause the heart to race and feel palpitations. I had problems with it when I first had my thyroid removed and went on complete hormone replacement therapy. I see my endo every 3-4 months and we always discuss if I'm having palpitations or my heart is racing.

  5. stepmonster

    stepmonster New Member

    Interesting about the thyroid medications.....I'm going to have to check in to that. I'm at 182.5 levothyroxine per day. I know that's a bit high. That is a possible avenue to follow. What does "went on complete hormone replacement therapy" mean?
    Yes, I'm hypo, but took three years to get a TSH in range.
    I was thinking about Wellbutrin. I had taken it years ago as Zyban.
  6. loricbme

    loricbme New Member

    Stepmonster -
    I take 225 synthroid. Something else to think about (because you don't have enough to think about! LOL) is taking the name brand Synthroid instead of levothyroxine. The consistency of the generic is well, inconsistent. The endocrinologists I've had have urged me to use the name brand if at all possible.

    I hade a complete thyroidectomy and have no thyroid gland. Therefore I'm on complete hormone replacement therapy. That's what my dr. calls it. I know, sounds like I'm taking HRT for menopause. Not yet!
  7. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I have tried Buspar, Ativan with no success for Anxiety. I have so much anxiety I get the heart pounding too. Currently taking Xanax. I don't seem to feel like it is working, but psychiatrist said if it stops the heart pounding it is working. And it does. I have put on weight, but I have a ton of other issues going on in that area too so don't know which one to blame.
  8. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    It sounds like you already have several potential causes for palpitations. Here's another... (don't hate me)...perimenopause/menopause. Have you talked about this with your doctor?

  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Suz makes a good point.

    I'd talk to your doctor and ask. What can it hurt? I had a friend that I swear menopause made her think she was physically falling apart at the seams. (she had no clue she'd hit menopause) Poor woman was having the most outlandish symptoms, among them were anxiety and heart palpitations. doctor checked her hormone balances, once he put her on hormone replacement therapy she was tons better. (and felt human again)

  10. stepmonster

    stepmonster New Member

    My estrogen and progesterone was a tiny bit low, so my ob-gyn has me on bioidentical HRT.
  11. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Have you been re-tested since you started taking it? Did you have the palpitations before the HRT? If not, could the HRT be working in reverse and making you feel worse?

    Just tossing out ideas. :smile:

  12. stepmonster

    stepmonster New Member

    Another good point, you guys are bringing me clarity!!! Which is helpful since I'm off the lexapro!!LOLLLL
    I did have the palpitations before the bhrt. I listed to him all my symptoms thinking I was pre-menopausal several years ago. He did the hormone panel and that's when we found the thyroid trouble too.
    So, I went on bhrt and had my thyroid fried withing a few months and I never established which symptoms were attributable to which illness.
  13. blb

    blb New Member

    If you are having palpitations then you need to go back to your cardiac guy and request to have a Holter put on for 24 hours to track your palpitations(it is a way to monitor your heart beating for a full 24 hours) ...if I'm reading you correctly, by palpitation you mean you are skipping a beat, or your heartbeat is accelerating out of nowhere? in my opinion, that would definitely be a cardiac problem, and one that a stress and an echo may not catch. Skipping heartbeats is NOT an anxiety issue, it is a cardiac issue. Anxiety may be causing you to have increased catecholamine production (epinephrine) which might make your heart more apt to have an irregular heart beat, but once you start skipping beats, it's a cardiac issue too.

    Often, women have been misdiagnosed as "being anxious" when in fact it has been a cardiac issue. Women for years were often ignored by male cardiologists with their heart attacks because they did not present the same as men did when they were having a cardiac issue (substernal chest pain, radiating down the arm and jaw, etc.,) Women can instead present with dizziness, lightheadedness, difficulty breathing and sometimes indigestion/belching.

    As a result a lot of women that headed off to the ER were ignored when they were having a heart attack/cardiac event and instead told they were anxious.....frankly if you were having a heart attack, you'd be a little anxious too :hammer:

    If your cardiac guy refuses giving you a Holter, go find another cardiac guy who will--It's not something to be ignored!

    Hope this helps
  14. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Blb makes a very good point, although it's not "were" as in past tense that these things happen. It's "are" as in present tense. Even women with a history of heart attack(s) are ignored by their cardiologists. One woman I have talked with has had 3 and when she goes to her cardiologist he still insists her angina is GERD. Last time that happened she had another heart attack 2 days later. She wants her headstone to read, when the day comes, "I told you it wasn't GERD."

    The way it should work, medically, is they rule out the most dangerous thing first. In this case, your heart. If you are skipping a beat, push for the holter and don't take no for an answer. Then, if that checks out, along with the stress test and echo, look into other things.
  15. stepmonster

    stepmonster New Member

    I did the holter way at the beginning of this whole thing. About twenty months ago I experienced chest pain from my lower left rib cage up through my shoulder, neck and ear and they said it was "costochondritis" which is a chest wall injury. Puh-lease! My mother had a heart attack at 66 and no one even knew!
    I've got to get back to Mayo and my endo and see what they say. I've been having my internist monitor my thyroid numbers and medications.
    Or actually my OB referred me to this cardio because he thought my symptoms were serious.
    I get so defeated sometimes. I need to get militant. I wish I was one of those "send it back to the kitchen" kind of people. I've always admired them.
  16. blb

    blb New Member

    Costrachondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage in and around the sternum; I had it when I was 26 y.o. Has nothing to do with palpitations--feels more like a heart attack without the sweating.

    I once had a run of PVCs with bigeminy--felt like a cartoon character with the heart about to pop out of your chest. Learned a hard lesson about mixing antihistamines with mucho coffee and add on preparing a holiday dinner for 26 people for added stress levels :surprise: No way to confuse that however with costra.

    Did they ever do a 12-lead on you while you were experiencing palpitations? What did it read as?

    If your heart continues to beat irregularly, you need to go postal on your cardio to request a Holter again to rule out a cardiac issue. You can do it! :thumbsup:
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    Blb is right on track about your heart. I had anxiety heart problems (and some panic attacks) while pg with thank you. I had to see a cardiac specialist who said my heart was structurally sound but NOT handling the pg hormones well. My cardio and ob/gyn insisted on my having my tubes tied 6 wks after thank you was born. I was fine with this decision.

    But we did the holter monitor and had interesting happenings. The cardio looked at it and said, all anxiety. The ob/gyn was just not sure. My reg doctor pulled the entire reading (not just hte cardio's interpretation) and said "Whoa!! You are on bed rest and NO STRESS if you want to live through delivery" At which time cardio took another look and said, "Gee, this is a big issue. Guess the reg doctor is right." No apology from cardio.

    We have had similar issues with J's heart. I think her seizures are causing skipped beats and irregular beats. But NO ONE is listening.

    Get persistent. Keep calling. You have great resources (all of us, the ability to research on the web, a great brain) and can kick this doctor into gear.

    Do you have copies of all of your lab tests? Not just the "this is high, this is low" report, but copies of the actual results? With the thyroid and the heart and peri/menopause,, lots of things can be happening.

    Take the lab results and start a chart. You will need several probably (to cover all the different things) but get as many results and graph them ASAP. Often what is MOST informative is the trend in your labs. But if you don't do the chart, no one will ever know, because the docs are not going to do them.

    Anxiety is the pits. Big Hugs, and lots of prayers,