Hyperthyroidism and Heart Palpitations
Medical Author: Ruchi
Medical Editor: William C. Shiel, Jr, MD, FACP, FACR
I see a number of patients with hyperthyroidism. Very frequently, their symptoms involve the heart. The most common symptoms are a feeling of palpitations and a sensation of a racing heart beat. These symptoms are due to a physiologic effect of thyroid hormone on the heart. I thought I'd take a moment to explain more about what impact thyroid hormone can have on the heart and why these symptoms result.
Many of the signs and symptoms patients experience when they are diagnosed with hyperthyroidism result from the direct effect of thyroid hormoneson the heart. While heart effects are also seen in hypothyroidism, they are usually much more obvious in hyperthyroidism.
Excess thyroid hormone causes palpitations and some degree of exercise intolerance that is due to an increased heart rate and fatigue.