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Hypothyroidism and anxiety and palpitations

Dear Ask The Doctor:
Can hypothyroidism cause anxiety and racing heart? I understand that usually this is a symptom of hyperthyroidism, and I am not confused. My TSH is high. Since it has been high, I have felt racing heart, and increase irritability and anxiety. Any help would be greatly appreciated!


The thyroid secretes two main hormones T3 and T4 .These are considered metabolic hormones. In hypothyroidism typically since T3 and T4 are low in production this causes a reverse increase in Thyroid stimulating hormone ( TSH) . However racing heart and anxiety and irritability are classically symptoms of hyperthyroidism in which TSH is low and T3 and T4 are increased. However some other heart conditions like arrythymias ( disturbance in the rhythm of the heart) can cause  palpitations( heart racing ) and anxiety. There are also other conditions like anxiety/panic attacks, low blood glucose ect that can cause similar symptoms.
I would advice you to contact your family physician for a thorough check up and the following tests: CBC, repeat TSH, Free T3 levels, blood glucose, and an ECG to see your heart rhythm.

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