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Question
Posted by: Liz | 2004/10/20

Beta Blockers and Exercise

I am 23 and been diagnosed with Graves Disease. I have gone for a Radioactive iodine treatment 4 weeks ago. I am currently on a Beta Blocker(50mg /day) until the treatment shrinks my thyroid. I feel I would like to start exercising again. Is it safe for me to do that while taking the Beta Blocker?

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HI Liz

Exercising on betablockers is possible, but you must remember that the beta blockers are doing what is the opposite to normal exercise. So, your heart rate is normally rising, your stress response kicks in when you start exercise, and beta blockers oppose this. However, I would suggest that you discuss with the doctor who is treating you what your options are. There are now selective and non-selective beta blockers, and the non-selective type is certainly better if it's possible for you to use them. Also, there may be other forms of treatment to investigate. Gail Devers is a very famous Graves Disease sufferer - after she was diagnosed, she went on to win the Olympic 100 m gold medal in Barcelona and so it's certainly possible to train and to train very well even with Graves Disease. So, I would chat with your doctor throughout the process. It's really important to have contact with them, as they have intimate knowledge of the disease and your case in particular, and they have a responsibility to look at forms of treatment that will not restrict your living, and if this means exercise, then it's important to find ways to do it.

GOod luck

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