Thyroid Hormone And Your Heart
It is well known that thyroid hormone influences your heart.
And, because your heart pumps blood throughout your body, any changes to your heart rate or force of contraction can also cause changes to your blood pressure.
We also know, from plenty of studies, that maintaining a healthy blood pressure is absolutely vital to leading a long life and avoiding complications such as stroke, end-organ damage, kidney failure, and heart disease.
Doctors go to great lengths to help manage blood pressure because of these negative side effects!
So, why then does taking thyroid medication cause high blood pressure in some situations?
It has to do with how thyroid hormone interacts with cardiac tissue .
In almost every cell in your body thyroid hormone works by entering into your cell and changing genetic transcription .
This process results in changes to your DNA which take weeks to kick in.
But in your heart cells, thyroid hormone activates receptors on a different part of the cell.
This means that the effects of thyroid hormone occur much faster when compared to the genetic changes that occur in other cells in your body.
Through this mechanism, thyroid hormone medication can potentially lead to elevated blood pressure even though you might feel great otherwise.
Blood Pressure Problems And Hypothyroidism Can Go Hand
Did you know that
- being held hostage to the TSH.can be a factor in blood pressure problems?
Its true. A large body of autoimmune-stressed patients, or poorly treated patients, or hypothyroidism of any cause, can develop blood pressure problems, sooner or later.
Granted, at first, its common to have low blood pressure due to your thyroid disease or being treated with T4 meds. Low blood pressure is caused by a lowered force of blood being pushed through your arteries due to the lowered metabolism of thyroid disease. In this case, the upper number, called the systolic, is lower than it should be. But it can eventually lead to high blood pressure.
What causes a turn to having high blood pressure?
Even though many hypothyroid patients can start out with low blood pressure, factors related to having low blood pressure can create HIGH blood pressure over time. For example, the kidneys fail to filter waste products from your body properly when your pressure is low, and angiotensin is produced, which raises your blood pressure. Also, a rise in cortisol from your adrenals as a way to keep you going in the face of a poor thyroid treatment can raise your blood pressure.
In his book, Thyroid Guardian of Health, Dr. Young states
How high is the risk of getting high blood pressure on T4 meds?
When the high blood pressure hits, you can have damage to your blood vessel walls, and the beginning of arteriosclerosis. Your risk for heart attack and stroke increases four-fold.
Hypothyroidism: The Cardiac Connection
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.
Another noncardiac symptommuscle achesmay also be relevant. Muscle aches can be a symptom of hypothyroidism as well as a side effect of cholesterol-lowering statin medications, a condition known as statin-related myalgia. In fact, research suggests that hypothyroidism is more common in people who can’t tolerate statins. “Some experts believe that treating hypothyroidism may relieve or decrease statin-related myalgia,” says Dr. Garber.
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How Long Does It Take To Work
It may take some time for you to feel any difference when youre taking Synthroid.
The drug usually has its maximum effect in your body about 4 to 6 weeks after you start taking it. If you have thyroid-related symptoms, you may notice your symptoms are decreasing within 4 to 6 weeks after starting the drug.
After 4 to 6 weeks of treatment, your doctor will check blood tests to monitor your thyroid. And your doctor may adjust your dosage of Synthroid if needed based on your lab results.
Synthroid With Vitamin D
lower levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a role in how your immune system functions. And because some thyroid conditions are related to your immune system, people with these conditions may have low vitamin D levels.
If you have hypothyroidism, your doctor may order blood tests to check your vitamin D level. And your doctor may recommend that you take a vitamin D supplement if your levels are low. For some people, increasing vitamin D level may help symptoms of their thyroid condition.
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Desiccated Thyroid Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction:hives difficult breathing swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Common side effects may include temporary hair loss .
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Is Your Thyroid Causing Your High Blood Pressure
For most, high blood pressure, or hypertension is can be attributed to family history or lifestyle. For some, however, high blood pressure is the result of either an overactive or underactive thyroid.
An overactive thyroid, known as hyperthyroidism, is a condition where the thyroid gland produces too much of the thyroid hormone. When too much of this hormone is produced, the heart is forced to work harder than usual, which increases heart rate and raises blood pressure. Hyperthyroidism is the more common thyroid disorder that can cause hypertension.
Conversely, hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is underactive and does not produce enough hormones. Hypothyroidism can weaken the heart muscle and heart rate, reducing the hearts pumping capacity and increase the stiffening of blood-vessel walls. The combination of these changes can lead to hypertension.
If a thyroid disorder is the reason for high blood pressure, adjustments in diet and lifestyle wont resolve the problem and medications may not be effective. If a patients blood pressure does not respond to conventional treatment, a doctor can perform tests to see if the thyroid is the cause.
In cases where hypertension due to a thyroid disorder is diagnosed, medications or supplemental hormones can be prescribed to control the thyroid gland and better control blood pressure.
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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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Thyroid Disorder And Hypertension
Both types of thyroid disorder can lead to hypertension, though they get there in different ways. Hyperthyroidism increases your heart rate and makes your heart work harder, while hypothyroidism weakens your heart muscle and makes it less efficient.
About 3% of people with hypertension have thyroid disorder, and its called secondary hypertension.
In those cases, the usual medications for treating blood pressure dont help lower it. However, treating the underlying thyroid condition along with anti-hypertensive treatments can help.
If youve been diagnosed with thyroid disorder and your blood pressure is consistently high, schedule an appointment at Heart & Vascular Institute. We offer expertise in both cardiology and endocrinology to help you live the healthiest life possible.
To schedule an appointment, call one of our convenient locations in Dearborn, Detroit, or Southfield, Michigan, or use our online booking tool.
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Side Effects In Children
Children taking Synthroid may have different side effects than do adults taking the drug. For example, some children taking Synthroid have had pseudotumor cerebri . This condition may cause headaches, nausea, and vomiting.
In addition, some children taking Synthroid have had slipped capital femoral epiphysis. This disorder may cause limping or pain in the area thats affected.
This hip condition only occurs in children whose bones are still growing. However, its important to note that having decreased thyroid hormone levels, which Synthroid is used to treat, may also increase the risk of this hip disorder.
Also, certain bone growth problems may occur in infants and children who take too much Synthroid. In this case, an infants skull may become hardened too quickly, causing increased pressure on their brain. And the growth of their skull may also be affected. Other bones in children taking too much Synthroid may also be unable to grow properly. This can lead to growth problems and decreased height.
If you have questions about side effects of Synthroid in a child using the drug, talk with your childs doctor. Theyll discuss with you the risks and benefits of treatment. And they can help prepare you for what to expect from treatment with this drug.
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Switching Between Synthroid And Its Generic Versions
Its important to note that Synthroid and generic levothyroxine may each have different effects on your thyroid hormone levels. Because of this, its recommended by the American Thyroid Association and other organizations that you not switch between them. You should keep taking whichever medication you initially start taking.
For example, if you start taking brand-name Synthroid, you should continue to use brand-name Synthroid. If you must switch from the brand-name drug to a generic form, or vice versa, its recommended that you have a blood test 6 weeks after making the switch. This testing is done to be sure that your thyroid hormone levels stay within a normal range.
Even if you switch between different generic forms of levothyroxine that have different manufacturers, its still recommended that you have your thyroid levels tested 6 weeks later.
In some cases, brand-name Synthroid and its generic versions may come in different forms and strengths.
Be sure to talk with your doctor before switching to or from brand-name Synthroid.
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