When we think of thyroid disease, typically we think about symptoms like weight gain and hair loss… but did you know that your thryoid can affect your heart?
Thyroid hormones affect your heartbeat, cholesterol and blood pressure. When your thryoid does not work correctly, symptoms can mimic heart disease or make existing heart conditions worse.
According to Harvard Medical School:
“Hypothyroidism can affect the heart and circulatory system in a number of ways. Insufficient thyroid hormone slows your heart rate. Because it also makes the arteries less elastic, blood pressure rises in order to circulate blood around the body. Elevated cholesterol levels, which contribute to narrowed, hardened arteries, are another possible consequence of low thyroid levels...
The opposite problem, hyperthyroidism, or too much thyroid hormone, is far less common, affecting less than 1% of the population. But it, too, can harm the heart…Excess thyroid hormone also causes the heart to beat harder and faster and may trigger abnormal heart rhythms. One is atrial fibrillation, a disorganized rhythm in the heart’s upper chambers. A related symptom is palpitations, a sudden awareness of your heartbeat. People with hyperthyroidism may also have high blood pressure. In a person with clogged, stiff heart arteries, the combination of a forceful heartbeat and elevated blood pressure may lead to chest pain or angina.“
Since about 6% of the US population have thyroid disease, and 80% of those cases have hypothyroidism it’s important to understand how thyroid disease can affect your heart.
So, what can we do to ensure that our hearts stay healthy? First and foremost, make sure that you always consult your doctor or medical professional if you ever feel that something is wrong, and of course, make sure you are going in for your regular check ups (I know, I know, I’m not one to talk much about this… I’m working on it!).
It’s important to know that thyroid disease can affect more than just our thyroids or cause wight gain. It is a medical condition and should be treated. Now, you know you that I know that it can be very hard to get on the right treatment plan, but keep going! Ignoring symptoms or giving up on treatments will only make your current symptoms worse and potentially cause other complications.
*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your health care provider