Thyroid troubles: The silent impact on your heart and what you need to know | Health

The thyroid gland, resembling a butterfly, is at the lower part of your neck and secretes hormones that impact the entire body, mainly your heart. The thyroid hormone plays a role in regulating the intensity and pace of your heartbeat, as well as your blood pressure and cholesterol levels but a malfunctioning thyroid gland can lead to issues that mimic heart disease or exacerbate pre-existing heart conditions.

Thyroid troubles: The silent impact on your heart and what you need to know (Photo by Twitter/WebMD)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre, Consultant Cardiac Surgeon at Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre in Mumbai, shared, “Are you aware? A large number of people have hypothyroidism which means underactive thyroid. When thyroid levels drop, all the systems in the body tend to slow down, and one can experience symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, constipation, and dry skin. That is the time one should consult an expert without any delay for timely detection of hypothyroidism.”

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The relationship between hypothyroidism and the heart:

Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre explained, “Hypothyroidism can impact the cardiovascular system in various ways. Inadequate thyroid hormone levels can lead to a decrease in heart rate and reduced elasticity of the arteries, resulting in elevated blood pressure to facilitate blood circulation throughout the body. Low thyroid levels may also contribute to heightened cholesterol levels, which can lead to narrowed and hardened arteries.”

He added, “Muscle aches, which are associated with both hypothyroidism and statin-related myalgia, could be another symptom. It has been observed that individuals who experience difficulties with statins are more likely to have hypothyroidism. Treating hypothyroidism has been shown to alleviate statin-related myalgia (muscle pain) in some cases. Those with hypothyroidism should go for regular cardiac screening.”

When dealing with thyroid problems, it’s important to pay special attention to heart health:

Highlighting that thyroid hormones have a direct impact on the cardiovascular system so managing your thyroid condition can significantly benefit your heart, Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre suggested, “It’s crucial to closely monitor thyroid hormone levels and work with a healthcare provider to optimise them. Doing so can help regulate heart rate and blood pressure, reducing the strain on the heart. Focusing on a healthy lifestyle by maintaining a balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise, and managing stress can greatly support overall heart health while navigating through thyroid challenges.”

He concluded, “Staying informed about potential cardiovascular risks associated with certain thyroid disorders is essential. Conditions such as hypothyroidism have been linked to increased cholesterol levels and a higher risk of heart disease. By understanding these risks and taking proactive steps like regular check-ups and cholesterol monitoring, those with thyroid issues can better protect their hearts. By addressing both thyroid function and heart health together, one can ensure overall well-being despite the challenges posed by thyroid problems.”

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