How Thyroid Hormone Affects Your Heart

An old man having chest pains

An old man having chest painsMany overlook problems concerning their thyroid, which could be devastating to the health. The thyroid has links to other systems in the body. It’s why cardiology clinics in Heber sometimes recommend thyroid testing when diagnosing heart problems, for example. It begs the question: How are thyroid disorders connected to heart conditions?

Hyperthyroidism’s Cardiovascular Connection

An overactive thyroid may affect cardiovascular health in the following ways:

1. Atrial Fibrillation

Too much thyroid activity can lead to a heart rhythm disorder characterized by an irregular and rapid heart rate. A chaotic and unsteady heartbeat increases the risk of blood clots. Blood clots may lead to stroke, cardiac failure, and several other heart health concerns.

2. Congestive Heart Failure

Hyperthyroidism and other conditions that overwork the heart increase the risk of heart failure. Congestive heart failure happens when the heart muscle can’t pump blood efficiently.

3. High Blood Pressure

An overactive thyroid causes blood vessels to relax. This action lowers diastolic pressure. However, hyperthyroidism can also increase the force of your heart’s contractions and result in increases in systolic blood pressure.

4. Angina/Chest Pain

People with clogged heart arteries and hyperthyroidism have a high risk of chest pain.

Heart muscle demands extra oxygen due to forceful blood flow and elevated blood pressure. Angina happens when clogged heart arteries can’t transport all the blood the muscles need.

Hypothyroidism’s Cardiac Connection

An underactive thyroid can also affect your heart and circulatory system in several ways.

1. Slow Heart Rate

Low thyroid function is one of the risk factors for bradycardia, a heart rate issue. This electrical problem causes the heart to beat slower than normal.

2. Elevated Levels of “Bad” Cholesterol

Low thyroid levels have links to elevated cholesterol levels, which in turn increase the chance of heart disease.

3. Atherosclerosis

Subclinical hypothyroidism is a risk factor for atherosclerosis. It refers to the thickening and hardening of arteries which occurs when fatty deposits clog arteries. The narrowing of arteries can eventually restrict blood flow. Atherosclerosis, therefore, can cause a heart attack.

A malfunctioning thyroid gland is a probable cause for cardiovascular complications. Thyroid disorders can also result in issues that mirror heart disease or make heart disease worse.

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