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Does Underactive Thyroid Cause High Blood Pressure

Circulatory And Cardiovascular Systems

HBP 014- How is Hyperthyroidism or Hypothyroidism linked to High Blood Pressure

Hypothyroidism slows your heart rate and weakens your heartbeat, making your heart less efficient at pumping blood out to your body. This can make you short of breath when you exercise. By narrowing your arteries, this condition can also raise blood pressure.

Hypothyroidism can lead to high cholesterol. Together, high blood pressure and high cholesterol can increase your risk for heart disease.

Hyperthyroidism: Excess Thyroid Hormone

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.

The classic symptoms include sleeplessness, heat intolerance, excess sweating, weight loss, extreme hunger, and loose bowels. 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 hearts 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.

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 .

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What About Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer is uncommon and is among the least deadly. The main symptom is a lump or swelling in the neck, and only about 5% of thyroid nodules turn out to be cancerous. When thyroid cancer is diagnosed, it is most often treated with surgery followed by radioactive iodine therapy or, in some cases, external radiation therapy.

When To See Your Gp

10 Signs and Symptoms that You Have an Underactive Thyroid ...

Symptoms of an underactive thyroid are often similar to those of other conditions, and they usually develop slowly, so you may not notice them for years.

You should see your GP and ask to be tested for an underactive thyroid if you have symptoms including:

  • tiredness
  • being sensitive to the cold
  • dry skin and hair
  • muscle aches

The only accurate way of finding out whether you have a thyroid problem is to have a thyroid function test, where a sample of blood is tested to measure your hormone levels.

Read more about testing for an underactive thyroid

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Treating Insulin Resistance If You Have Hypothyroidism

So, what are you supposed to do if you have high blood sugar and hypothyroidism and you want to treat it?

What if you want to treat insulin resistance to help you lose weight?

There are several strategies that you can take and Ive listed several below:

As you consider these therapies just keep in mind that the more therapies you add on top of each other the more likely you are to see your desired results.

That means youll want to simultaneously change your diet, take the right supplements, adjust your thyroid medication, exercise sufficiently, and consider other medications to normalize your weight and blood sugar.

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Low Thyroid & High Cholesterol

One measurement of thyroid function is a hormone called thyroid-stimulating hormone . Made by a small gland at the base of the brain called the pituitary, TSH tells your thyroid how hard to work.

High TSH levels mean you have an underactive thyroid. Symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Slow heart rate

Studies show that people with high TSH levels have much higher total cholesterol and LDL levels than people with normal thyroid tests.

Any of these can be fatal.

High cholesterol raises heart disease and stroke risk even more.

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Effects Of Thyroid Hormone On Your Heart Rate

I’m mentioning heart rate here because both high blood pressure and heart palpitations tend to occur hand-in-hand.


Because thyroid medication is stimulating to both the FORCE and CONTRACTION of the heart.

If you increase the force with which your heart beats then you will naturally be increasing your blood pressure.

If you increase the contraction rate of the heart, along with the force with which it beats, then that is a recipe for a symptom known as heart palpitations.

Heart palpitations are the sensation that your heart is ‘beating out of your chest’ or just the sensation that you can feel your heart beating .

This sensation can be uncomfortable for people and some people even describe it as painful.

But this condition needs to be differentiated from a rapid heart rate which is known as tachycardia .

It is certainly possible to have both heart palpitations AND tachycardia but they don’t always go together.

In fact, most people with heart palpitations do not have tachycardia, they just feel their own heart beating.

I find that most people are often surprised when I check their actual heart rate and find the rate to be in the 70’s .

People with heart palpitations feel like their heart rate must be racing, but that is usually not the case.

The way to deal with heart palpitations is very similar to the way to deal with blood pressure .

Symptoms Of An Underactive Thyroid

Thyroid Thursday #75: Can Blood Pressure Medications Cause Hypothyroidism?

Many symptoms of an underactive thyroid are the same as those of other conditions, so it can easily be confused for something else.

Symptoms usually develop slowly and you may not realise you have a medical problem for several years.

Common symptoms include:

  • pain, numbness and a tingling sensation in the hand and fingers
  • irregular periods or heavy periods

Elderly people with an underactive thyroid may develop memory problems and depression. Children may experience slower growth and development. Teenagers may start puberty earlier than normal.

If you have any of these symptoms, see your GP and ask to be tested for an underactive thyroid.

Read more about getting tested for an underactive thyroid

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Viii Do Your Workouts Out In The Sun

Do your exercise in the sun to increase your vitamin D levels. Lack of vitamin D causes autoimmune complications. You should always consider a daily dose of sunshine in your schedule, especially if you have Hashimotos condition.

Autoimmune disorders are associated with vitamin D deficiency. So, there is no harm in taking a walk in the park or an exercise under the sun as it will help your body make more vitamin D and improve your metabolism.

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Can Hypothyroidism Cause High Blood Pressure

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.

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Are Certain Cats More Likely To Get High Blood Pressure

In humans, hypertension is related to several factors, including a stressful lifestyle. Although not all causes of feline hypertension have been identified, stress does not appear to play a role in the development of this disorder in cats.

Hypertension is more common in older cats, especially overweight or obese cats.

However, kidney, thyroid, and heart disease are the most common causes of feline hypertension and will be described in detail. Hypertension is more common in older cats, especially overweight or obese cats.

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Surgery For Thyroid Disorders

What causes high blood pressure

Removing the thyroid gland can cure hyperthyroidism, but the procedure is only recommended if antithyroid drugs don’t work, or if there is a large goiter. Surgery may also be recommended for patients with thyroid nodules. Once the thyroid is removed, most patients require daily supplements of thyroid hormones to avoid developing hypothyroidism.

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Hypothyroidism: How It Affects Your Blood Pressure

Hypothyroidism, the result of an underactive thyroid gland, causes your bodily functions to slow down. Symptoms of hypothyroidism can include the following:

  • Cold sensitivity
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Slower heart rate
  • A rise from low blood pressure to high blood pressure referred to as secondary hypertension

People may associate high blood pressure with symptoms of hyperthyroidism as the cause, but new studies show that hypothyroid patients are also at risk as their hypothyroidism becomes more prominent and/or severe.

It was previously believed that people with hypothyroidism experience lower blood pressure because blood flows at a slower rate to the heart due to the slower metabolism caused by an underactive thyroid.

On the other hand, new studies have shown the opposite. This study, conducted by The Journal of Hypertension in 2007, shows that individuals diagnosed with hypothyroidism had higher rates of pulse pressure and systolic blood pressure within a two-hour period, as opposed to individuals who did not have hypothyroidism .

Lifestyle Changes For Both Conditions

Lifestyle changes can help you manage cholesterol and thyroid problems. Your healthcare provider may recommend the following:

  • Diet: An anti-inflammatory diet may lower inflammation from autoimmune thyroid disease and lower cholesterol.
  • Weight loss:Even small weight reductions can lower LDL cholesterol levels and improve thyroid health.
  • Exercise:Regular exercise can improve energy levels in hypothyroidism, help maintain bone density with hyperthyroidism, and may raise good cholesterol levels.
  • Quitting smoking:Smoking harms the thyroid and increases the risk of complications. It also adds to the cholesterol-related risk of heart disease and stroke.

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Changes In Menstrual Cycle Or Sexual Performance

Hormonal changes are closely linked to sexual function. If you find that your period is becoming irregular, heavier, or more painful than before, or if you are experiencing stronger emotional symptoms tied to PMS, your thyroid might be the cause.

You might also experience difficulty with sexual performance or enjoyment. If you are having difficulty with libido or achieving orgasm or if you cannot maintain an erection, you could also be struggling with a thyroid-related symptom.

While these are uncomfortable issues to talk about, they should absolutely be addressed with us to rule out not only thyroid trouble but also anything else that might quietly be causing these issues.

How Does Hypothyroidism Affect Blood Pressure

What Is Relation Of High Blood Pressure To Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism causes high blood pressure in three per cent of patients and this usually happens later in the course of disease. This is because thyroid dysfunction could result in:

  • Aortic stiffness: Blood vessels are composed of collagen fibers. In case of thyroid disease there is a defective collagen turnover that affects the quality of blood vessel walls, making them less compliant.
  • High cholesterol and triglyceride counts: Cholesterol builds up inside the inner layer of arterial wall, leading to the formation of plaques which render arteries narrow and stiff.
  • T3 acts to keep blood pressure between normal limits.Thyroid hormone therapy decreases aortic stiffness, promoting decreased blood pressure in about 50 percent of patients.

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Can Hyperthyroidism Cause High Blood Pressure

Most cases of hypertension are essential hypertension which typically closely associated with diet and lifestyles. But there is also another type of hypertension medically called secondary hypertension. Unlike in essential type, secondary type is much more associated with certain certain health problem . Kidneys disease ranks at the top cause in secondary type. Other causes include thyroid problem , sleep apnea, adrenal gland problems, tumors, abusing alcohol, pregnancy, and certain types of birth control pills.

What is thyroid?

You can find it just below the Adams apple . It is not more than an ounce.

Though thyroid is very small in size but it is vital and very important to help regulate your metabolism.

Almost all aspects of the metabolism in your body are influenced by this bow-shaped gland. Even the hormones released by thyroid can affect each cell of your body. So overall, its very important for your body to have a healthy thyroid because it has a significant impact on your health.

In general, there are two major hormones produced by thyroid. They are T-3 and T-4 . The following are some crucial functions of these hormones:

  • They can regulate the rate on how much your body will use carbohydrates and fats.
  • Your heart rate is another thing that is also closely associated with the amounts of T-3 and T-4 released by thyroid.
  • They are needed by your body to help regulate the rate of how much protein will be produced in the body.
  • Easier to get sweating.
  • The Link Between Thyroid Disease And Cholesterol

    • High cholesterol is linked to hypothyroidism .
    • A sudden drop in cholesterol can be a warning sign of hyperthyroidism .
    • Treating thyroid disease can correct cholesterol levels.
    • Cholesterol drugs can affect thyroid disease and its treatments.

    This article talks more about why thyroid disease and high cholesterol are linked, the problems that can cause, and how to manage both conditions at once.

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    What To Do When Youre Dizzy

    Dizziness tends to come unannounced or suddenly. You may be working or doing something and suddenly start feeling unsteady and weak. As seen throughout this post, having a thyroid-related disorder can, indeed, contribute to dizziness. The question is what to do when this happens? You need to sit or lie down immediately to lower your chances of falling down, especially if you also have vertigo. In cases of vertigo, the most useful thing to do is to lie down in a dark, quiet place and close your eyes.

    If you experience dizziness quite often, there are many ways to make these episodes more tolerable, lower their intensity, or even prevent them. These tips will help you handle lightheadedness in a more effective manner:

    Are There Any Foods I Can Eat To Help My Hypothyroidism


    Most foods in western diets contain iodine, so you do not have to worry about your diet. Iodine is a mineral that helps your thyroid produce hormones. One idea is that if you have low levels of thyroid hormone, eating foods rich in iodine could help increase your hormone levels. The most reliable way to increase your hormone levels is with a prescription medication from your healthcare provider. Do not try any new diets without talking to your provider first. Its important to always have a conversation before starting a new diet, especially if you have a medical condition like hypothyroidism.

    Foods that are high in iodine include:

    • Eggs.
    • Edible seaweed.
    • Iodized salt.

    Work with your healthcare provider or a nutritionist to craft a meal plan. Your food is your fuel. Making sure you are eating foods that will help your body, along with taking your medications as instructed by your healthcare provider, can keep you healthy over time. People with thyroid condition should not consume large amounts of iodine because the effect may be paradoxical .

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    If An Underactive Thyroid Isn’t Treated

    It’s unlikely that you’d have many of the later symptoms of an underactive thyroid, because the condition is often identified before more serious symptoms appear.

    Later symptoms of an underactive thyroid include:

    • a low-pitched and hoarse voice
    • a puffy-looking face
    • thinned or partly missing eyebrows
    • a slow heart rate
    • anaemia

    Causes Of An Underactive Thyroid

    An underactive thyroid is when your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of the hormone thyroxine .

    Most cases of an underactive thyroid are caused by the immune system attacking the thyroid gland and damaging it, or by damage that occurs as a result of treatments for thyroid cancer or an overactive thyroid.

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    Cortisol Blood Sugar & Thyroid Function

    The connection between your thyroid and blood sugar goes even deeper than what I’ve already explained so far.

    There is a further connection between your thyroid function and your stress levels that we also need to address.

    A quick recap first, though:

    We know that hypothyroidism can lead to high blood sugar.

    This blood sugar issue can be treated with the use of thyroid medication.

    But what about stress and cortisol?

    There is another deeper connection between cortisol and your TSH .

    For those unaccustomed to understanding the nuances of TSH, a rising TSH is an indication of HYPO thyroid function.

    So, what does that mean for you?

    It means that stress can cause a decline in thyroid function by itself.

    So now we have a system that looks like this:

    Stress = decreases thyroid function = increases insulin resistance = increases blood sugar = increases your weight

    And it doesn’t stop there.

    We also know that stress by itself can stimulate the release of blood sugar and insulin resistance on its own !

    In this way, it’s probably more important for you to manage stress than it is to focus on your thyroid to directly impact both your thyroid and your blood sugar.

    A high amount of untreated and repeated stress can lead to weight gain from insulin resistance which usually manifests as an increase in belly fat .

    The bottom line?

    If you have high blood sugar and hypothyroidism, you should also make sure to consider testing your cortisol and managing your stress.


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