Adrenal Fatigue Causes Low Blood Pressure
In functional medicine, we see adrenal fatigue as the most common cause of low blood pressure.
The adrenal glands are about the size of a walnut and one sits on top of each kidney. In addition to manufacturing stress hormones, they also help regulate blood pressure. Many people these days have adrenal fatigue from chronic stress.
Chronic stress isnt just about feeling overwhelmed. Other sources of stress to the body are poor diets, low blood sugar, chronic infections, gut problems, inflammation, and autoimmunity such as Hashimotos low thyroid.
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include always tired, low blood sugar, get lightheaded or irritable between meals, chronically sick, and low blood pressure.
People with Hashimotos low thyroid often suffer from adrenal fatigue.
Have Potassium And Sodium Balance
Both nutrients are electrolytes responsible for keeping fluid balance and a good blood volume in your body. But, you can get high blood pressure with too much sodium and not enough potassium, and this is the reason why you need to maintain the right amounts of these electrolytes.
Potassium can help ease blood vessel tension and reduce the effect of sodium in your body. You can get potassium from these foods:
- Low-fat dairy food products like yogurt and milk
Thyroid Disease And Diabetes
Diabetes and thyroid disease are both endocrine, or hormone, problems. When thyroid disease occurs in someone with diabetes, it can make blood glucose control more difficult.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your lower neck just beneath your skin. It regulates your bodys metabolism, the processes of using and storing energy, by releasing a substance called thyroid hormone. If it produces too much thyroid hormone, your metabolism quickens , too little and your body functions slow down .
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The Link Between Thyroid Disorder And Hypertension
Its well known that thyroid disorder can affect your metabolism, but people may not know that theres a link between thyroid problems and high blood pressure. If youve been diagnosed with either, you may want to discuss the other with your doctor.;
At Heart & Vascular Institute, our experts have specialized knowledge about cardiology. We also have an endocrinologist on staff, Dr. Sablaa Ali. Taking a team approach to treating thyroid disorder and hypertension gives you the best of both specialties.;
Feeling Faint When You Stand Up
A common type of low blood pressure is a orthostatic hypotension, a drop in blood pressure when you go from sitting to standing that causes lightheadedness. For the person with orthostatic hypotension, standing up causes blood to pool in the legs. This slows the flow of blood back to the heart and decreases the amount of blood pumped from the heart. Medical professionals diagnose orthostatic hypotension when the top number falls by 20 and the bottom number falls by 10 upon standing.
Although lightheadedness is not cause for alarm, if standing up causes you to faint you should seek medical attention. Orthostatic hypotension also increases the risk of falling for elderly people. Orthostatic hypotension is common among people with low blood pressure and hypoglycemia, although people with high blood pressure can also have orthostatic hypotension.
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Treating High Blood Pressure
If your high blood pressure is a result of hyperthyroidism, treating that condition can often help return your blood pressure to normal levels. Some people may also need additional treatment to keep blood pressure in check. This might include a low-salt meal plan, increasing your physical activity, losing excess weight and avoiding alcohol. Your doctor can help you create a treatment plan that works for you.
Hyperthyroidism isnt something to let go. You need to have it diagnosed and treated right away to keep your blood pressure from getting too high and causing other dangerous health problems. If you feel that your thyroid is out of whack, its time to make an appointment with your doctor.
Genetic Background Of Thyroid Function Affecting Blood Pressure
While a normal TSH and consequently fT4 and fT3 within the physiological range are essential in growth, differentiation and maintenance of adequate function of all human organs, several genetic defects have been evaluated and described in the route of thyroid hormone signaling during the past decade, including those with mutations in thyroid hormone transporters and receptors . According to novel studies, even minor changes in the thyroid hormone levels can affect bone mineral density , mental status , and can also lead to impaired metabolism , and increased cardiovascular risk . While the levels of the serum thyroid hormones show marked inter-individual variability, there is no significant intra-individual variability, as TSH values change very little during time . Based on these results a conclusion can be made that each individual has a unique thyroid set-point, defined by genetic and environmental factors such as iodine intake and smoking .
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The Hypothyroidism Aldosterone High Blood Pressure Connection
Aldosterone is a hormone that is part of your renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system.
In short, the hormone aldosterone is responsible for regulating your sodium levels and blood pressure.
When elevated, aldosterone works to re-absorb and retain sodium while wasting potassium in the process.
This loss of potassium actually causes your arteries to constrict, increasing your blood pressure.
Elevated aldosterone also promotes both inflammation and edema , and suppresses your metabolism.
All of these further promote hypothyroidism.
To regulate both water balance and blood pressure, you must regulate aldosterone.
Aldosterone rises in response to many things including:
- Sodium Loss
All of these are commonly found in hypothyroidism.
In hypothyroidism, sodium is lost rapidly and calcium is deficient.
Estrogen becomes dominant and commonly increases serotonin production.
Hypothyroid sufferers also have higher incidence of Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth , leading to higher levels of bacterial endotoxin.
To top it all off, high levels of adrenaline or stress can increase blood pressure even further.
Needless to say, there are many factors in hypothyroidism that can make you prone to elevated blood pressure.
Restricting salt and using diuretics only causes your body to fight sodium deficiency even harder.
As a result, they contribute to the problem by forcing your aldosterone even higher.
Thyroid Problems And Blood Pressure Connection
Thyroid problems and blood pressure connection
Blood pressure can be affected by many factors. Thyroid hormone imbalances affect blood pressure greatly. In my previous post, I had talked about body temperature being indicative of thyroid dysfunction. Blood pressure is also a strong indicator of thyroid function for people with thyroid hormonal imbalances. It is important to observe body signals as they are number one indicators that something is not right with thyroid hormones for people with thyroid issues.
Normal blood pressure is around 120 and 80 , 120/80.
High blood pressure is 140/90 or above.
The operating centre for blood pressure is present in the brain stem where signals from the body are processed. Blood pressure system is regulated by renin- angiotensin- aldosterone system and by sympathetic nerves and hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline.
While, there are many factors which can influence blood pressure, I will concentrate on thyroid dysfunction specifically in this post. Both the sympathetic and hormonal systems are deregulated in thyroid dysfunction. It has been suggested in scientific literature that there is a disconnection in the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system in both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism as the functioning of kidneys is affected. Thyroid and renal function are interrelated.
My own experience
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Orthostatic Hypotension Feeling Faint When You Stand Up
Orthostatic hypotension is a type of low blood pressure that is not uncommon. It causes lightheadedness or a sense of feeling faint when stand up. It happens because the blood pools in the legs upon standing and doesnt get back to the heart and head fast enough. A doctor will diagnose you with orthostatic hypotension when the top number of your blood pressure goes below 20 points and the bottom number below 10 upon standing.
Although orthostatic hypotension means you need to manage low blood pressure, it is also dangerous if it makes you faint or fall. This is especially true for older people.
Orthostatic hypotension frequently occurs in those with low blood pressure and low blood sugar, however, people with high blood pressure can have it too.
Potential Causes Of Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism, an under-performing thyroid, may have many different causesand some are more prevalent than others. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease.
About Autoimmune DiseaseOur bodies immune systems are charged with protecting us from bacterial and viral invaders. The immune system attacks invaders . People with autoimmune hypothyroidism are at a disadvantage because their immune system attacks the normal thyroid gland. These attacks cause the thyroid hormone producing cells to malfunction, and inhibit the thyroid glands ability to synthesize thyroid hormone. Eventually, there are not enough cells left to meet the bodys need for thyroid hormone. This is more common in women than menand can begin at any point in a persons life, but tends to become more common as people age.
Hashimotos DiseaseThe most prevalent type of autoimmune hypothyroidism is a disease that causes the thyroid to shrinkit is called Hashimotos disease and may causeHashimotos thyroiditis. ;
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Functional Medicine Strategies For Low Blood Pressure
If you have low blood pressure and symptoms of adrenal fatigue, consider an adrenal saliva test. This test measures cortisol levels throughout the day cortisol is your primary adrenal hormone. The results let you better target your therapy and doing a second and third test tell you if your protocol is working.
Although people with high blood pressure should avoid salt, quality sea salt can help help raise overly low blood pressure. In fact, many people with low blood pressure find they crave salt.
A nutritional ingredient that can raise low blood pressure is licorice root extract, also called;glycyrrhiza. It extends the life of cortisol, which can help improve blood volume, electrolyte balance, and blood pressure.
However, the most important thing is to address the cause of adrenal fatigue as it is always secondary to something else.
One of the most common causes of adrenal fatigue is low blood sugar or blood sugar instability caused by eating too many sweets and starches, skipping meals, or under-eating. Eating a healthy breakfast, avoiding sweets and sweet drinks, reducing starchy foods, and eating regularly enough to sustain blood sugar are helpful strategies.
These are also important strategies to help better manage Hashimotos low thyroid.
Dbp In Subclinical Hyperthyroidism And Cumulative Meta
There were five studies, , , , that evaluated DBP levels in those with subclinical hyperthyroidism. Significant statistical heterogeneity was evident among the studies ; therefore, WMD was pooled using a random-effect model. The WMD of DBP in patients with subclinical hyperthyroidism revealed no significant difference ). Because one study did not report whether they excluded participants with hypertension who had taken oral antihypertensive drugs, we performed a sensitivity analysis excluding the study that showed a pooled WMD of 1.36mmHg . The exclusion of that study did not significantly modify the overall effects observed. Sequential cumulative meta-analyzed results for each year from 2006 were calculated. From 2006 onward, the pooled cumulative WMD varied between 0.59 and 1.24, with no evident trend. Neither the Egger’s regression asymmetry test nor the Begg’s adjusted rank correlation test regarding DBP in subclinical hyperthyroidism indicated the existence of publication bias.
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Signs Your Thyroid Isn’t Working Right
Thyroid hormones affect everything from your brain to your bowels.
At least 30 million Americans have a thyroid disorder and half15 millionare silent sufferers who are undiagnosed, according to The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Women are as much as 10 times as likely as men to have a thyroid problem, says integrative medicine specialist Robin Miller, MD, co-author of The Smart Woman’s Guide to MidLife & Beyond.
Located above the Adam’s apple, your thyroid produces thyroid hormone , which regulates, among other things, your body’s temperature, metabolism, and heartbeat. Things can start to go wrong when your thyroid is under- or over-active. If it’s sluggish, it produces too little TH; amped-up and it produces too much. What causes your thyroid to go haywire? It could be genetics, an autoimmune attack, pregnancy, stress, nutritional deficiencies, or toxins in the environment, but experts aren’t entirely sure. Because of thyroid hormones far reach in the bodyfrom brain to bowelsdiagnosing a disorder can be challenging. Here’s how to tell if your thyroid could be on the blink.
Too little thyroid hormone coursing through your bloodstream and cells means your muscles aren’t getting that get-going signal.
“Fatigue is the number one symptom I see,” says Dr. Miller. “It’s the kind of fatigue where you’re still tired in the morning after a full night’s sleepthat’s a clue that you’re not simply sleep deprived; your thyroid may be underactive.”
Avoid Gluten In Your Diet
Gluten is a type of protein commonly found in barley, rye, or wheat. It triggers the cells in the gut to release zonulin, a protein that can damage the tight junctions responsible for holding the intestines.
If the junctions break, leaky gut occurs. Avoiding gluten in your diet for high blood pressure and thyroid can help keep your gut in good shape, preventing the interruption of hormonal activities in the body.
Upon doing groceries, check the labels for gluten.
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How Does Blood Pressure Work & What Is Hypertension
Blood pressure is the measurement of what kind of pressure is being put on your blood vessels . The top number in a blood pressure reading reveals the pressure on the walls of the vessels when the heart is pumping, systolic blood pressure.
The bottom number represents the pressure on the walls of the vessels when the heart is at rest or between beats, diastolic. Blood pressure acts diurnally, as well: higher during awake hours and lower while sleeping. Blood pressure readings consistently above 140/90 are considered hypertensive.
Hashimotos Low Thyroid And Low Blood Pressure
Hashimotos is an autoimmune thyroid disease that causes low thyroid symptoms. Functional medicine addresses thyroid function, immune health, and inflammation and autoimmune attacks on the thyroid. Managing these factors is an additional way to support adrenal fatigue and low blood pressure.
For more advice on addressing low thyroid function, adrenal function, and blood pressure, contact my office.
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Study Selection And Data Extraction
Two reviewers independently screened the abstracts and titles of the search results, and articles were eliminated only if they did not investigate the association between subclinical thyroid dysfunction and blood pressure levels. The same two reviewers independently evaluated studies for eligibility on the basis of the predefined set of eligibility criteria.
Information from each study was extracted independently by the two reviewers , using a standardized data extraction form. General characteristics of the study used and adjusted factors), characteristics of the subclinical thyroid dysfunction and euthyroid groups and results were recorded, where available, and double checked. Discrepancies in data extraction between reviewers were resolved by discussion.
Experiences With High Blood Pressure And Hypothyroidism
A person with untreated hypothyroidism can experience high blood pressure because of the following:
- If your kidneys no longer filter waste when youre experiencing lower blood pressure, angiotensin is formed. When this happens, your blood pressure rises.
- If you have a T4 deficiency and your body does not react to the medication taken for this deficiency, then your body naturally raises your blood pressure in an attempt to correct this issue.
- A person with hypothyroidism often experiences cold hands and feet. This happens when your body cuts blood flow to the hands and feet to focus on the core of your body instead. Because of this, your blood pressure rises due to the blood being kept in smaller vessels of your body.
When you have a thyroid condition, it is extremely important to have your blood pressure checked regularly. If you normally check it at home, here is a chart to help you better understand exactly what the numbers mean.
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How To Learn If You Have Hashimotos Low Thyroid
Many patients are not diagnosed with hypothyroidism or Hashimotos until after several years and going through several doctors. It is a demoralizing journey richly illustrated in my book;The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimotos Low Thyroid Disease, through real-life stories from patients in my practice. Managing Hashimotos goes far beyond using thyroid medication as you must work to stop the immune system from attacking the thyroid. For more information on identifying and managing Hashimotos low thyroid,;contact;my office.
Hypertension And Increased Cardiovascular Risk In Overt Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is accompanied by cardiovascular complications in a significant number of cases, leading to an increase in short-term morbidity and long-term morbidity and mortality. Brandt et al. found a significant 20% increase in mortality in patients with hyperthyroidism in their meta-analysis based on seven studies .
The excess of T3 leads to metabolic and hemodynamic changes: metabolic rate, cardiac preload, and ventricular contractility increases while systemic vascular resistance decreases, causing an increased cardiac output and hypertension, as discussed above.
The highest risk of coronary heart disease mortality and atrial fibrillation is noted when serum TSH is below 0.10 mIU/l .
Hemodynamic changes affect not only the left cardiac output, since pulmonary hypertension may also be present in patients with hyperthyroidism due to Graves-disease or nodular goiter . Pulmonary hypertension was found to be the most common complication in a study which investigated hyperthyroid patients by echocardiography . The prevalence of pulmonary hypertension was detected to be relatively high among hyperthyroid patients, varying between 36 and 65%, although mild and asymptomatic cases were found to be the most common .