A butterfly-shaped organ, located at the base of your throat, this thyroid gland releases hormones that affect every part of your body, especially your heart. Thyroid hormones influence your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and the force and speed of your heartbeat.
This results in problems masquerading as heart diseases or worsening of existing heart conditions due to a malfunctioning thyroid gland.
Estimated, over 6% of US citizens have thyroid diseases. About 80% of this population has an underactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism. When your thyroid levels drop, all the bodily systems slow down. This triggers a range of symptoms, such as weight gain, fatigue, constipation, dry skin, and cold intolerance. Regardless of the condition, these symptoms are extremely common in people as they grow older, even in those who have normal thyroid levels.
In this article, you will learn about the effects of thyroid on your heart health. So, keep reading to get a complete picture of the same.
What Is Thyroid?
The ‘Thyroid’ is a gland situated at the base of your throat. The shape of this gland symbolizes a butterfly. This organ produces a hormone called Thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3), which effectively controls every organ in the body, including the heart. These hormones communicate with your cells and tell them whether they need to speed up or slow down. They manage the production of energy, hair growth, heart rate, and heat production.
This gland is a part of the endocrine system and it regulates your body’s metabolic rate. It is a tiny gland with a competitive and complex job. When the thyroid isn’t working properly, it can affect several functions of your body, mostly that of your heart.
How Does Your Thyroid Hormone Affect Your Heart?
The thyroid hormone is extremely crucial for normal heart functioning, but if the thyroid gland is overactive or underactive — it can result in several consequences. Generally, this involves distortion in the heart’s health.
Certainly, the connection between the thyroid hormones and the heart is well established, but the ill effects of thyroid disbalance on the heart are often overlooked.
Here are some ways how thyroid affects your heart. It causes:
High Blood Pressure
Heart Diseases Or Hardening of the Arteries
The most critical effect of thyroid imbalance is Hyperthyroidism, a condition where the thyroid gland produces excessive hormones, which is explained in the next section.
What Is Hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland produces way more hormones than required by the body. Some classic symptoms of this condition are sleeplessness, heat intolerance, excessive sweating, weight loss, and extreme hunger. A considerable secretion of thyroid hormone can also cause the heart to beat harder and faster, producing abnormal heart rhythms.
The first is atrial fibrillation, a disorganized rhythm in the heart’s upper chambers. Another related symptom is palpitations, the sudden awareness of your heartbeat. Patients with hyperthyroidism are also likely to suffer from elevated blood pressure. A person with clogged, stiff heart arteries may experience chest pain or angina when their blood pressure rises along with their forceful heartbeat.
Adding to that, thyroid diseases also affect the heart in case it produces too little thyroid hormone, called hypothyroidism explained below.
What Is Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland fails to function properly and produces insufficient hormones. This hinders your blood circulation in many ways. Hormonal imbalance affects your heart rate. Not only that, but it also affects your blood pressure, reduces the elasticity of your arteries, elevates cholesterol levels, and triggers arrhythmia.
Hypothyroidism not only causes arrhythmias that result in the risk of stroke but also alters the structure of a blood component, which makes the blood more atherogenic and hypercoagulable, increasing the risk of thrombotic events.
Who Is At Risk For A Thyroid Imbalance Condition?
The following factors affect your chances of having a thyroid imbalance:
Family history. People with blood relatives who have an underactive or overactive thyroid face a higher risk of a similar problem.
Gender. Females are five to eight times more likely to have thyroid problems than males.
Age. The chances of hypothyroidism rise with age, especially after age 60.
Race. White Americans have higher rates of hypothyroidism than Hispanic Americans and African Americans.
Health History. Thyroid problems are more likely among people with a history of certain conditions, including type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, premature gray hair, radiation treatments to the head and neck, Addison’s disease, pernicious anemia, and vitiligo.
Thyroid imbalance is a serious condition that can cause permanent damage to your living. And you shall not overlook any symptoms of this problem. If you are aware of yourself or anyone else with the same condition, get them the most appropriate guidance as soon as possible.
To know further about how to balance your thyroid for better heart health, contact Corrielus Cardiology right away!
At Corrielus Cardiology, the team values the strong correlation between heart health and overall wellness. The practice aims to educate the community on how good lifestyle choices and routines can ultimately help prevent emergency room visits, save money, and build stronger, healthier families.