Your Thyroid Gland May Cause You to Feel Weak
Thyroid disease is a common diagnosis. Your thyroid gland helps to determine how fast each process occurs within your body. Your doctor can order blood tests to determine how your thyroid gland is functioning.
The most common type of thyroid disease is called hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is often underdiagnosed. Signs of hypothyroidism include weight gain, feelings of weakness, and sleepiness. Your hair may be thin and your skin may be dry. You may feel depressed. Hypothyroidism is effectively treated with medication.
If you have an overactive thyroid gland, the condition is called hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is much less common than hypothyroidism. Signs of an overactive thyroid gland include, anxiety, palpitations, weight loss, bulging eyes and atrial fibrillation. You may sweat a lot. Uncontrolled hyperthyroidism can lead to heart failure. If this occurs, you may develop feelings of weakness and shortness of breath. You will need treatment with medications, radiation, or surgery.
Medications which are used to treat hyperthyroidism are not always effective. Doctors often recommend them as a means to avoid radiation and surgical intervention. The drugs slow down the heart rate and decrease episodes of atrial fibrillation. This results in less fatigue and weakness. Beta blocking heart medications may be recommended as well.
Do you Have a Rare Condition?
While it is highly unlikely, you may have a tumor in your heart which is called a myxoma. Myxomas are not cancerous, however they can grow rapidly. Signs of a myxoma include difficulty breathing, chest congestion, atrial fibrillation, weakness, fainting, fevers, and general achiness. An infection may be present. (Kaiser, 2007 second edition) Your doctor can order imaging studies if this rare condition is suspected. If you have a myxoma, you will need to have it removed surgically.
Do you have Another Arrhythmia?
Atrial fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia. An arrhythmia is an abnormal electrical pattern within the heart which causes your heart to beat differently than “normal”. Some arrhythmias are serious, and others go unnoticed. Sick sinus syndrome is a type of disorder which sometimes accompanies atrial fibrillation. If you have sick sinus syndrome, your heart may beat erratically. It may sometimes beat fast, and sometimes slowly. Atrial fibrillation may alternate with other patterns of electrical activity. As you grow older, you are more likely to develop sick sinus syndrome. It may occur as a result of medication. You may have no symptoms of sick sinus syndrome or you may have several. You may feel weak and dizzy. Shortness of breath, congestive heart failure, or faintness may occur. If you have atrial fibrillation, you may have an elevated risk for having a stroke if you develop sick sinus syndrome. You are more likely to develop sick sinus syndrome if you have had a heart attack. A heart monitor can be used to diagnose sick sinus syndrome. If it is due to a medication, the medication which is causing the arrhythmia is discontinued. In that case, the problem may resolve without further intervention. Otherwise, sick sinus syndrome is treated with medication. A pacemaker may need to be inserted. Notify your doctor so that tests can be conducted, if you think that you may have sick sinus syndrome.
What to do if You Have Afib and Weakness
As you see, many conditions may cause you to feel weak if you have a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation. There are many additional causes which are not discussed here. In order to obtain a proper diagnosis and treatment, it is essential that you contact your health care provider.