First signs of being “too high” would be feeling my heart pounding in my chest. This would progress to heart palps, then to tachycardic runs, and then to A-fib if iodine/T3 continued to increase. This same progression occurred when T3 was “too high” relative to T4. The greater the disparity between T3 and T4, the worse the symptoms. This is one reason I simply could not tolerate the “natural” TH meds. The ratio of T3:T4 is too high for me, at any dose. The most I could ever tolerate a T3/T4 combo was 10% T3 with 90% T4, and even that was high; 7.5% T3 was probably optimal for me. This may be because my body would use the ingested iodine from my diet as it would use T3, effectively increasing my “energy source of iodine” to my cells, including my cardiac cells. Or, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, it may be due to additional underlying damage, such as mitochondrial, ACh-related, glutamate related, or other flox-induced damage.
Trying to find the “sweet spot” with iodine was the difference between my heart beating normally or not. If I was “too low” on Iodine or T3, I would get heart palps as well. But just to be sure it wasn’t a heart problem, I was sent for a cardiac workup in mid 2013. I was still pretty symptomatic from the Dec 2012 flare, and was in pretty bad shape overall. Just to be able to get to the appointment on my own was going to be a huge feat, and fairly nerve wracking in general. Several days before the appointment, I worked pretty hard at getting just the right amount of iodine in me at the right times, in the hopes I’d be up and functioning the day of the appointment. I timed it just right – not only was I in the “sweet spot” for the initial appointment, but actually went for a second appointment treadmill test and passed in general, only ending up with a diagnosis of mild “Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia”. I tried to explain to the cardiologist that I felt most, if not all, of my “cardiac problems” were related to some kind of TH/Iodine homeostasis problem, but of course that was totally futile. The amazing thing is, had he actually examined me when I was highly symptomatic, I probably would have ended up on all kinds of heart meds, if not a pacemaker. Prior to being floxed, the only time I ever felt my heart beating in my chest was if I had an adrenaline rush or something similar. Other than that, I never felt my heart in my chest; it simply did its own thing regularly and consistently on its own, without me being aware of it or feeling it. But I have felt my heart in my chest every single day since my Nov 2010 flareup –sometimes a little bit, sometimes a lot, depending on how close to the “sweet spot” I am and how long I’m in it.
Both iodine and T3 also increased my chest pain quite a bit. My chest would feel “tight” and “pressure”. Sometimes it felt like a rock was right under my sternum. If I had been low on TH overall, and I was slowly increasing either with meds or iodine, I would go through this “rock like pain in my chest under my sternum phase” that would last until I was at my optimal TH/Iodine level. During the major flares, it truly felt like I was having a heart attack, it would be so painful and my chest felt so “tight”. Of course I don’t really know what’s causing the “rock-like” pain in my chest, but my top two guesses would be 1)connective tissue directly under my sternum, which would be responding like all my other tendons when T3/Iodine increased, or 2)my Thymus gland, which I felt was involved in my AITD overall. Interestingly enough, the thymus gland concentrates iodine greatly, which supports the role of iodine in the immune system. So it wouldn’t surprise me if this was the source of my chest pain during T3/Iodine flares.