Thyroid Hormone: How It Affects Your Heart
The thyoid gland, which wraps;around the windpipe, releases;hormones that have;wideranging;effects on the;body.
Too little or too much of this crucial hormone can contribute to heart problems.
Located at the base your throat, the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland releases hormones that affect every organ in your bodyespecially your heart. Thyroid hormone influences the force and speed of your heartbeat, your blood pressure, and your cholesterol level. As a result, a malfunctioning thyroid gland can cause problems that masquerade as heart disease or make existing heart disease worse.
An estimated 6% of people in the United States have thyroid disease. Most of themabout 80% have an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism. When thyroid levels drop, all the systems in the body slow down, triggering a range of symptoms that include fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, constipation, and dry skin. But these symptoms are very common in people as they grow older, including those with normal thyroid levels.
Fast Heart Rate Overview And Conclusion
A fast heart rate although often defined as a heart rate over 90 is not necessarily abnormal and each case is different. History, physical exam and diagnostic testing are;required in order to determine the significance of the heart rate and to see if any treatment is required. Treatment for non-cardiac causes of fast heart rate is to address;the underlying cause. In the case of cardiac causes of fast heart rate, typically medication will be tried first or in some cases a procedure required particularly if the problem is with the electrical system of the heart.
Treatment Of Fast Heart Rate
Treat the Underlying Cause: Most important is to ensure there is no underlying systemic problem;that is causing the fast heart rate. If there is anemia, for example, that will need to be treated. Infection and dehydration would need to be treated. Hormonal imbalances would require treating. Medications will be reviewed and any potential offending agents will need to be stopped if possible.
Medications: It is important not just to treat a number; the reason underlying must be sought out. If the fast heart rate is thought to be from a cardiac cause then the appropriate treatment should be given. If there is significant muscle dysfunction then treatment aimed at strengthening the heart is given. If there are problems with the electrical system of the heart then medicines to slow the rate may be given such a beta blockers or calcium channel blockers. In some cases stronger medicines that prevent the occurrence of the arrhythmia in the first place may be prescribed, known as anti-arrhythmic medications. Specialists known as electrophysiologists typically prescribe anti-arrhythmic medications.
But My Doctor Says T3 Is Dangerous For My Heart
To the contrary, there are NUMEROUS medical studies which underscore that the judicious use of T3 has been very positive for heart and cardiovascular health. For example, this;study;states the following:;
Clinical studies have shown that mild forms of thyroid dysfunction, both primary and secondary syndrome) have negative prognostic impact in patients with heart failure. In these patients, the administration of synthetic triiodothyronine ) was well tolerated;and induced significant improvement in cardiac function without increased heart rate and metabolic demand.
Another;study;;found positive results with T3, stating:
Altogether, our data indicate that short-term administration;of substitutive doses of synthetic L-T3;state reduces activation of;the neuroendocrine system and improves LV SV in patients with;ventricular dysfunction and low-T3;syndrome.
This;study;reveals that T3 plays a key role in repairing a damaged heart:
The potential of TH to regenerate a diseased heart has now been tested in patients with acute myocardial infarction in a phase II, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study .
In fact,;research;has shown that low T3 can mean a negative outcome in cardiac patients:
low T3 concentrations are a strong independent predictive marker of poor prognosis in cardiac patients and might represent a determinant factor directly implicated in the evolution and prognosis of these patients.
Effect Of Hypothyroid Treatment On The Heart
Treatment with levothyroxine in those with overt thyroid dysfunction has been shown to improve LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, triglycerides, hypertension, diastolic dysfunction, heart rate, and heart rate variability in exercise and to delay progression of atherosclerosis. Patients with cardiomyopathies may demonstrate improved cardiac contractility and stroke volume with levothyroxine treatment. One of the main concerns with starting levothyroxine replacement is the precipitation of myocardial ischemia or arrhythmias, which, although rare, are known to occur. The recommendation for these patients is usually to start with low doses and gradually escalate until euthyroid status is achieved.
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Help Your Heart Stay Healthy
Monitoring your thyroid function is just one way you can prevent heart problems, especially as you get older. At Phoenix Heart, our cardiologists perform comprehensive diagnostic testing for heart-related symptoms, getting to the root cause of symptoms so your care can be tailored to your needs. If youre having any type of unusual heart symptoms or if its been a while since youve had a cardiac evaluation, call the office or use our online form to schedule an appointment today.
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How Is Hyperthyroidism Treated
There are many treatment options for hyperthyroidism. Depending on the cause of your hyperthyroidism, some options may be better for you over the long-term. Your healthcare provider will discuss each option with you and help you determine the best treatment for you.
Treatment options for hyperthyroidism can include:
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How Too Much Thyroid Hormone Affects Your Heart
An overactive thyroid gland hyperthyroidism can cause the irregular heartbeat of atrial fibrillation.
The thyroid, which is a small gland in your neck, could throw your heart out of its natural rhythm and increase your risk for heart failure or stroke. This is because thyroid hormone has a profound effect on the hearts function and may cause atrial fibrillation.
About 2.7 million Americans have atrial fibrillation, according to the American Heart Association . It’s;the most common arrhythmia, which is an irregular heartbeat that can have many different causes.
Diagnosing and treating atrial fibrillation is important because the condition can cause blood to pool in the heart and form a dangerous clot, increasing stroke risk fivefold, according to the National Stroke Association.
But to get the best treatment, you need to know the origins of this condition. Atrial fibrillation can be caused by several factors, including underlying heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and older age, according to the AHA.
Hyperthyroidism And Heart Disease
As you have learned, hyperthyroidism occurs when your thyroid gland produces and secretes excess thyroid hormones into your blood. In most cases, the exact causes for thyroid problems, including hyperthyroidism, are hard to determine and are left unclear when the treatment has already begun.
Since we are talking about a condition that characterizes itself with excess production of the Thyroxine hormones , a hormone which we mentioned to affect the work of our heart, it is expected that certain symptoms will develop.
In fact, some of the main symptoms of hyperthyroidism come from the cardiovascular system. These symptoms include rapid heartbeat , high blood pressure, nervousness, palpitations, and many others. There are several different heart problems that are usually caused by the presence of hyperthyroidism.
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What Should You Do If You Have A Heart Condition And Are Newly Diagnosed With Hypothyroidism Or Hashimotos
Your doctors decision about prescribing thyroid hormone therapy will be influenced by your age, heart diagnosis, or risk factor of heart problems. Typically youll start with the lowest possible dose.
If necessary, the dose will be increased slowly across several months.
If your thyroid has been removed, your doctor might give you a higher dose to compensate for your complete loss of thyroid hormones.
Heart Failure And Hypothyroidism
As described earlier, hypothyroidism can affect cardiac contractility, which is often diastolic in nature, and impair cardiac muscle relaxation. Associated diastolic hypertension and sometimes-coexistent coronary artery disease further affect myocardial diastolic function. Cardiac echocardiography has demonstrated impaired relaxation in patients with overt and subclinical hypothyroidism. In addition, early impaired relaxation has been demonstrated by prolongation of the isovolumetric relaxation time and reduction in the E/A ratio in subclinical hypothyroidism. The E/A ratio is a ratio of early to late ventricular filling velocities, and a reduced E/A ratio signifies diastolic dysfunction from impaired relaxation. Consequently, it results in a state of low cardiac output with decreased heart rate and stroke volume. It is well known that protein-rich pericardial and/or pleural effusion often occurs in hypothyroidism as a result of increased vascular permeability. In advanced heart failure and shortly after myocardial infarction, the conversion of T4 to T3 decreases. Since T3 is the main regulator of gene expression in myocardial muscle, this decrease has been thought to affect myocardial contractility and remodeling. Low free T3 levels also have been associated with increased mortality in patients with heart disease.
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Causes Of An Overactive Thyroid
There are several reasons why your thyroid can become overactive.
- Graves’ disease; a condition where your immune system mistakenly attacks and damages the thyroid
- lumps on the thyroid; this extra thyroid tissue can produce thyroid hormones, causing your levels to be too high
- some medicines;such as amiodarone, which can be used to treat an;irregular heartbeat
Find out more about the causes of an overactive thyroid.
Making Existing Heart Disease Worse
An underactive thyroid makes bodily functions inefficient and will have a direct effect on muscular function and aerobic capacity so its not difficult to see how it can have a negative impact on those with heart problems.
If you already have high blood pressure which has in turn caused narrows arteries, the combination of a quicker, more forceful heartbeat caused by hyperthyroidism can cause angina.
In 2015 a large study which looked at almost 15,000 people, revealed that those with congestive heart failure were at significantly increased risk of death if they also had hypothyroidism.; The lead author of the study Connie Rhee, MD, of Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston said
In heart failure patients, we found that both hypothyroidism overall and subclinical hypothyroidism increased the risk of death,To view the study please click here
Why would this be? Well of course heart patients are already vulnerable but moreover heart failure is the inevitable conclusion of multiple stresses which have negatively impacted heart function. This can come about through low or high levels of thyroid hormone
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Consequences Of A Fast Heart Rate
Often a fast heart rate will have no significant effect on the heart, although there may be associated symptoms. In some cases however the symptoms may be enough as to;cause concern and quality of life limiting symptoms. In a few cases, the heart rate may be continually elevated over a long period of time weeks-months often at heart rates above 120-130 beats per minutes and lead to a weakening of the heart muscle known as tachycardia mediated cardiomyopathy. Regardless, it is important to work up and identify any underlying causes of fast heat rate and give the appropriate treatment.
What Tests Will I Need
Your doctor will start with a physical exam and questions about your symptoms and health history. From there, you’ll likely need different kinds of tests.
Thyroid tests. You’ll start with blood tests to check your levels of:
- Thyroid stimulating hormone , which is made by the pituitary gland and tells your thyroid how much hormone to make. Low TSH usually means you have an overactive thyroid.
- Thyroid hormones, called T3 and T4. If they’re high, you likely have hyperthyroidism.
From there, you may get other tests, like imaging or more bloodwork, to look for what’s causing the problem.
AFib tests. You may get:
- Electrocardiogram, also called an ECG or EKG, to look at the electrical signals in your heart. It’s the main test for AFib and takes just a few seconds. In some cases, you’ll get a portable EKG to measure activity over a longer stretch of time.
- Echocardiogram, a video image of your heart that lets your doctor look for blood clots
- Stress test, which looks at how your heart reacts to exercise
- Chest X-ray to look at your heart and lungs
Levothyroxine And Heart Rate
Hi all,for the past few weeks i had some strange feelings at chest,so today i went to a cardiologist,he did some tests,everything was fine except my heart rate,it was high,i think he said at some point it reached 120.I do have thyroidism and i take levothyroxine and he told me i should check my thyroid,do some blood tests etc.I am kinda worried cause i am young . Could these pills cause this high heart rate?If so,i have been taking these pills for more than 1 year,why did these problems come up after 1 year and not when i started taking the pills?I am not sure if i have hyperthyroidism or hypo,i don’t remember because it’s been 4 years since i was diagnosed with one of these 2.
Thanks for reading;
Posted 5 years ago
If all you are taking is levothyroxine, you have HYPOthyroidism, not HYPERthyroidism and you should post to the Hypothyroidism Board.; This Board is for Hyperthyroidism and is the wrong Board for you.; To make sure, ask your doctor what your diagosis is.; Some people have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis which can;present with Hyperthyroidism and bounce back and forth from Hyper to Hypo.; If you have this, then this is the correct Board but you do have to know your diagnosis if you are asking for help so that you can be given the correct information by those who would respond to your post.
How To Reduce The Risk Of Heart Problems If Youre Diagnosed With Hashimotos:
Avoid processed food, salt, and sugar
Adopt a daily routine for stress relief
Take your medication on time
Keep your thyroid hormones in check by having routine visits to your doctor
Exercise all year aroundmaintain a healthy weight while keeping your heart and lungs active
Stay on top of your thyroid health with BOOST Thyroidtrack your medication, lab tests, symptoms, and more.
Illustration: Pixabay. Design: BOOST Thyroid.
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Rodondi N, et al. Subclinical hypothyroidism and the risk of coronary heart disease, 2006
Ochs N, et al. Meta-analysis: subclinical thyroid dysfunction and the risk for coronary heart disease and mortality, 2008
Fatourechi V. Subclinical hypothyroidism: an update for primary care physicians, 2009
Baumgartner C, et al. Subclinical hypothyroidism: summary of evidence in 2014, 2014
Hak A, et al. Subclinical hypothyroidism is an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction in elderly women, 2000
Razvi S, et al. The influence of age on the relationship between subclinical hypothyroidism and ischemic heart disease, 2008
Klein I, et al. Thyroid hormone and the cardiovascular system, 2001
Kahaly GJ, et al. Thyroid hormone action in the heart, 2005
Liu D, et al. A cross-sectional survey of relationship between serum TSH level and blood pressure, 2010
Iervasi G, et al. Low-T3 syndrome, 2003
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Then Why Am I Told That Using T3 Or Ndt In My Thyroid Treatment Could Be Dangerous Or Cause Arrythmias
The problem with T3 is in the word excess, such as is found with chronic;Graves disease or hyperthyroidism. Excess T3 or excess NDT could increase the heartrate in harmful ways as well as your systolic blood pressure. But ironically, so can low T3. And no one is talking about taking excess amounts of T3 in the treatment of hypothyroidism. Hypothyroid patients and their informed doctors have done all this safelyLOW and SLOW!
But my heart rate went way up when I was raising my Natural Desiccated Thyroid or T3 to treat my hypothyroidism
If upon raising NDT or T3, one only then finds themselves with a high heartrate or palpitations, we have found that usually points to a cortisol issue. Its the CORTISOL problem thats causing the heart issues, and which T3 will reveal. So its important to test. The latter is a cortisol saliva test, which means your usable and unbound cortisol levels at four key times in a day. Its NOT about blood cortisol, which measuring mostly bound, unusable cortisol.
Seven reasons for a high heartrate:
Summary of graphic. Seven reasons for having a heart problem for a lot of thyroid patients include a cortisol problem, having inadequate levels of iron, being on T4-only like Synthroid or Levo, having a high reverse T3 , being undiagnosed hypothyroid or held hostage to the TSH lab test, Hashimotos, or Lyme, EBV, etc.
Whos At Risk For Hyperthyroidism
According to the National Institute of Health , hyperthyroidism affects approximately 1.2% of the population in the US. Although it occurs in both men and women, its up to 10 times more likely in females.
Youre at higher risk for hyperthyroidism if you:
- Have a family history of thyroid disease
- Have pernicious anemia
- Have primary adrenal insufficiency, also known as Addisons disease
- Consume an iodine-rich diet or medications containing iodine
- Are over the age of 60
- Were pregnant within the past 6 months
- Had thyroid surgery or a thyroid problem such as a goiter;also known as a swollen thyroid gland;
Though an overactive thyroid brings on a constellation of high thyroid symptoms , some of them dont seem obviously linked to the condition . Heres what to look for.
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