Hashimotos Thyroiditis and Palpitations 

Finding Relief Through Natural Remedies

Photos that didn't make it.

I was 17 years old. I was healthy (not knowing I would later be diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroiditis), enjoying life, when an irritating symptom began to haunt me; a pounding heart rate for no apparent reason. I had just finished a Country Time Lemonade and a wonderful bag of Doritos Nacho Cheese chips! This was my treat on a typical beach excursion. But this day marked the beginning of my journey with this disease! I'm not sure how long I've had it but this is the first symptom I remember clear in my mind. This is a story of how I got rid of 99% of my palpitations!

Having absolutely no experience in troubleshooting my own health and not expecting anything could go wrong with an 18 year old body, I asked my girlfriend a very important question: “Does your heart beat fast sometimes?”. She answered “no”. Then I took this question to others and finally got the answer I was looking for; “it’s normal in some people”. Okay, now I was fine again. Nothing to be worried about. I continued to minimize the symptoms any time I felt them. After all, it was normal in some people. This was just normal for me.

Fast forward, age 31 or so. A routine doctor’s appointment with a round of blood tests landed me diagnoses of a disease. A disease? How could I have a disease? I didn’t feel like I had a disease but I had regular bouts with bronchitis, every year at least once, but most time 2-3 times. I thought I just had weak lungs from years of asthma. As you can see I justified everything that was going wrong in my body as “normal for me” and never took action. So, now I got the name of this disease from my doctor, in a 5 minute phone conversation. It went something like this: “You have been tested positive for Hashimotos Thyroiditis. Don’t worry though. You just take a pill a day and live normally. Eventually your thyroid will die but then you will just adjust your dosage as it does. I have a prescription of Synthroid waiting at the pharmacy. Have a nice day.” Of course, I’m summing up that conversation so you get the idea of how the whole thing sounded to me.

Okay, so I started taking this thyroid pill and began living life again. After all, the doctor said I would not feel the symptoms with this wonderful pill. I’m sure you can see where I went wrong on this path already but for me, I still think I’m going along as expected by the medical institution and boy, did I trust them!

It didn’t take long for me to feel more and more frequent palpitations and now it was even more concerning because they were in the form of skipped beats and what I found later to be defined by the word arrhythmia. I began researching reasons for this phenomenon. (I know, you must be wondering how I can be so dense as to wait over 10 years before looking for answers but maybe I just came from the generation that trusted the doctors more than our own body. I don’t really know why. I had the false sense of security that the doctors would take care of me while I lived however I wanted to!) Since I don’t like the technical stuff behind my story, click here to view all the different descriptions of these types of heart rate issues.

Now the trouble got worse. I seemed to be sick all the time. I always felt “under the weather” and always felt tired, anxious and just plain yucky. A good day was rarely to be found. I either had a migraine, joint pain, chest pain, or some type of scary symptom. As I searched, I realized I was still having symptoms of Hashimotos Disease! How could I? I was on this miracle pill. I was told every time I went to my HMO that I was being treated for thyroid disease so the symptoms had to be from “something else”. My allergies continued to get worse. I was put on steroids, asthma medications galore, took over-the-counter pain relievers and antibiotics were a regular occurrence. As a side note, I haven’t had one antibiotic now for over 8 years! That’s another story. We will stay on the palpitation topic here. So, with all that medication going into my body, it now makes sense that the sinus rhythm was disturbed with medication speeding up and slowing down my system. But every time I ended up in the emergency room, I was told to go home, I was fine. They even gave me an I.V. one time and told me I was dehydrated. This time though, they add a couple devastating words to my file: panic attack. See, when your heart is beating out of control, many professionals see that as being brought on by emotions. What they don’t realize is that the heart rate actually causes the anxiety, not the other way around. Sure, you can create a fast heart rate by having fear and anxiety but this was just not the case for me. And now that my file was labeled this way, I was not taken seriously when I went to the doctor again. I remember a sweet young woman doctor grab my hand calmly and say, “Honey, it’s not your thyroid. I recommend you get some psychological counseling.” She was so sweet about it. I think she really thought she owed it to me to “tell me the truth”.

I bring all this up to give you the silver lining of my journey. I can happily say that I have controlled my palpitations by 99%! Over the last few years I have eliminated steroids, asthma medications (after being on them all my life) and haven’t taken an asprin or pain reliever in 8 years! I use a couple special herbal remedies. One is simply garlic for my antibiotic needs and the other is 100% ginger. Both of these I take mostly in pill form. I take ginger when I have intestinal problems and when I have some type of headache. This is so rare though. When I say rare, I mean about 2-3 times per year. The garlic I either take as a precaution when others around me are sick or when I am fighting a cold which is very rare too. I’ve probably only had 6 colds in the last 8 years! I used to have infections 4-5 times per year. One year I had bronchitis 6 times and 6 rounds of antibiotics all in one winter season!

So, how did I get out of this vicious cycle? I explain a lot on my blog. I also offer a forum other sufferers participate in discussions for natural healing where a lot of my journey is documented. My approach has been people helping people. I’ve learn so much from others with this disease. I can’t begin to tell you how important it has been for me to have their support. I can tell you the first steps I took. There is so much to talk about so I will have to stick to the main steps.

  1. Weaned off all medications! Wow, this one is delicate. Do not do this without an experienced natural doctor. There are some traditional doctors that will help you on this journey I’m sure, but I could not find one, no matter how hard I tried.
  2. Weaned off my unhealthy diet. This included all preservatives, food allergies, and began to look for whole food choices to replace my “fast foods”. You would be surprised how many palpitations can be eliminated by reducing preservatives in your diet. Keep a food journal for a week or even better, a month. In fact, I began my story with my beach trip diet of foods rich in preservatives! This process was difficult but very rewarding. This alone cut my palpitations by 70% of their prior presence. Keep an eye out for MSG as one of the main culprits to your symptoms.
  3. Next, I researched herbal remedies. If I hadn’t been on thyroid medication already, I would have definitely tried Thyroid Assist first to get my body functioning better. This may also be something I do now, but it would take monitoring my Naturethroid closely and adjusting it as needed.
  4. Lastly, built my weary system back up by healthy eating, exercise, replacing the chemical products in the home with natural ones, used my online support group like crazy and had a determined attitude to fight this disease. I probably should mention the importance of good sleep patterns in this too! Go to bed no later than 10:00 p.m. if at all possible and keep this as a schedule. Your body heals best if you can sleep in the earlier hours of the night. This has worked marvelous for me and helps me "get back on track" anytime I'm feeling hypothyroid symptoms.

Rainbow Valley

As of today, I am not disturbed by the worst type of palpitations I used to experience. I'm talking about the kind that kept me from falling asleep at night. The kind that made me think I was experiencing my "last breath" in this world. The kind that completely distracted me from everything that was happening around me when they were active. The ones remaining have a root cause; a more logical explanation now that I've come to understand the root causes of the scarier ones. I've come a long way. The picture above is a word picture for how I felt when I "broke through" the darkness of palpitations. I want you to feel that too.

I know what is on my list to fight next. I have a great story on how I switched from Synthroid to Naturethroid and what a difference it made in my life on "my story" page of my web page. Unfortunately, any medication, natural or not, has side effects. My goal is to get off of all thyroid medication one day. In the meantime, I am researching ways to go even more natural on my supplementation. The reason I am still experiencing some palpations (these are predictable - thus eliminating the fear I used to experience), as best as I can deduce, is that sometimes my body is running a bit fast due to my supplementation with Naturethroid. I have found it to be the best supplement so far but it just can’t always be adjusted perfectly. I know this because of experimentation. I won’t get a fast heart beat while exercising if I do so before I take my dose for the day but I will if I exercise after. This a continuing journey for me. Will I ever find all the answers? I don’t think so but I won’t stop trying. I feel better every year. I still have to deal with the weight loss problems and other aspects of this disease but I am so excited to know that answers are out there for problems as serious as heart palpitations. If I found answers to them, I know there are more to be discovered. And that is what keeps me seeking remedies to symptoms associated with this disease. Underneath all of these symptoms, there will emerge the “root problem”, if we only believe we will find it. May you continue to find answers and better health.





My Hashimotos Blog

Hashimotos Thyroiditis Support Forum

Hashimotos Web Page