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Thyroid And Cholesterol| Does TSH Affect Cholesterol Levels|Important Numbers You Need To Know.

Updated 2020

A 2012 study found that high TSH levels alone (hypothyroidism) can directly raise cholesterol levels, even if thyroid hormone like T3 and T4 levels aren’t low.  Undiagnosed or poorly managed thyroid disease also known as hypothyroidism can cause elevated cholesterol, triglycerides and alter other important aspects that can increase the risk cardiovascular disease.

Of the estimated 13 million Americans with thyroid disease, at least half are undiagnosed and millions more are not sufficiently treated, opening them up to the risk of continued hypothyroidism symptoms despite treatment. It’s hard to imagine that in the United States of America, a nation who supposedly has the best health care system in the world, 1 woman dies every 90 seconds. Many of these woman with high cholesterol may not know that the cause of their high cholesterol, may not be not due to their diet, or a lack of exercise, but rather an undiagnosed or mismanaged thyroid disorder. 

clinical thyroidology

One of the things I continually try to impress on men and woman who suffer with thyroid disorders is the importance of looking beyond the thyroid gland and approaching thyroid disease from a functional perpspective. This means, that in order to correct the underlying thyroid imbalances, one must look at the influence of sex hormones, adrenal health, gut health, blood sugar and diet. Correcting Thyroid dysfunction requires looking at the BIG picture.  Learn more about a natural holistic approach to restoring Thyroid function here

If your Thyroid is not being properly managed, you are increasing the likelihood of having a heart attack by as much as 50-70%.

Thyroid And Cholesterol| Does TSH Affect Cholesterol Levels|Important Numbers You Need To Know. 7

The thyroid is a gland located in the middle of your neck. It produces two main hormones. The main hormones include triiodothyronine (T3), which is the active form of thyroid hormone, and thyroxine (T4), which is inactive. Your body Takes T4 and converts into T3.

When the thyroid does not produce enough thyroid hormones, it is underactive, which is called hypothyroidism. Thyroid hormones, especially T3, play an essential role in helping the liver process and remove any excess cholesterol from the body.

When the body does not produce enough thyroid hormones, the liver cannot process as much cholesterol as it should. According to research, up to 13 percent of people with high blood cholesterol also have a problem with their thyroid.

The same research notes that societies, such as the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American Thyroid Association, recommend that people newly-diagnosed with high cholesterol get tested for an underactive thyroid.

The research also suggests that a person’s cholesterol levels may improve once they have received treatment for an underactive thyroid, even if they do not require cholesterol-lowering medications.

Even mildly low thyroid hormone levels (subclinical hypothyroidism) can lead to high cholesterol. According to 2012 research, elevated TSH levels can also cause high cholesterol, even if T3 and T4 are not elevated.

HDL/Total Cholesterol ratio

Let’s Talk About Cholesterol Ratios and Numbers. It Could Be The difference Between Life And Death. To calculate your HDL/cholesterol ratio, divide your total cholesterol number by your HDL cholesterol number. So if your total cholesterol is 200 mg/dL and your HDL is 50 mg/dL, your ratio would be 4-to-1.

Higher ratios mean a higher risk of heart disease.

For predicting your risk of heart disease, many doctors now believe that determining your non-HDL cholesterol level may be more useful than calculating your cholesterol ratio. And either option appears to be a better risk predictor than simply looking at your total cholesterol level or low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol level.

Non-HDL cholesterol, as its name implies, simply subtracts your high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol number from your total cholesterol number. So it contains all the “bad” types of cholesterol.

Triglyceride/HDL ratio:

It is now believed that the triglycerides/HDL ratio is one of the most potent predictors of heart disease. In other words, the lower your triglycerides, or the higher your HDL, the smaller this ratio becomes.

A Harvard-lead study author reported:

“High triglycerides increased the risk of heart attack nearly three-fold.” As you can see, with what we know about the influence of thyroid function on cholesterol and triglycerides it becomes essential to correct thyroid function by looking at all the pieces of the puzzle and not get “hung up” on just replacing thyroid hormones.

Studies also showed that people with the highest ratio of triglycerides to HDL — the “good” cholesterol — had 16 times the risk of heart attack as those with the lowest ratio of triglycerides to HDL in the study of 340 heart attack patients and 340 of their healthy, same age counterparts. The citation stated, the ratio of triglycerides to HDL was the strongest predictor of a heart attack, even more accurate than the LDL/HDL ratio.

  • 1 or less is considered ideal
  • 4 – high
  • 6 – much too high
  • And, since HDL (high density lipoprotein) is protective against heart disease, the lower the ratio, the better.

As Triglycerides go up, fat and sugar is stored in the liver, making it less able to function properly. Therefore, the liver does not produce the healthy HDL. The medical journals refer to this condition as diabetic atherogenic dyslipidemia.  As name implies, when triglycerides, HDL and LDL get out of balance, atherosclerosis and heart disease follow; and likewise, your disease risk goes down with improvement in your TG:HDL.

Type II diabetes is a pandemic disease and an important cardiovascular (CV) risk factor. The atherogenic dyslipidemia in diabetes is characterized by high serum triglycerides, high small dense LDL levels, low HDL levels. Insulin resistance is a primary cause for ADD.

The most common pattern of dyslipidemia in type 2 diabetic patients is atherogenic dyslipidemia which is characterized by elevated triglycerides (TGs), raised small dense LDL (sdLDL) levels and decreased HDL cholesterol levels.

What You Should Take Away From This Article

  • There is a clear link between thyroid disorders and abnormal cholesterol levels. Those who are newly-diagnosed with high cholesterol should get a full thyroid hormone panel
  • One Woman dies every 90 seconds, from a heart attack
  • Thyroid gland influences many cardiovascular factors such as Triglycerides, Cholesterol, Heart Rate and Heart Contractility
  • Know your numbers! These are easy to calculate once you have your bloodwork.
  • The Vast Majority of woman are not being properly managed when it comes to thyroid function.
  • The most important risk factor for a heart attack is the Triglyceride/HDL ratio. The triglyceride/HDL ratio you need to shoot for is 1 or less.
  • Fish Oils, Niacin and a diet that focuses on lowering fasting insulin should be implemented in these individuals.
  • Natural Thyroid methods are available. Natural Thyroid treatment options should implement a strategy that address diet, hormones, stress, Immune Function and proper digestion. A Big picture approach like this can have a huge impact on reducing deaths associated with poor thyroid function and high cholesterol.

Benefits of Niacin

An essential nutrient, niacin belongs to the family of B complex vitamins crucial to your overall health, as it helps produce energy, sex hormones, fatty acids, and macromolecules. In addition, niacin has been shown to assist in DNA repair and the maintenance of healthy skin, hair, and nails. Studies show niacin plays a role in the reduction of bad cholesterol and the increase of good cholesterol levels in the body. Furthermore, individuals with a history of heart attack or developing atherosclerosis have been able to avoid further damage or incidents after adding a niacin supplement to their diet.

Benefits of Pro Omega

Essential Fatty Acids are nutritional cornerstones of human health. Two major families of fats are comprised under this designation, omegas 3 and 6. They are deemed “essential” because we need them for proper health—much like certain vitamins and minerals—but cannot produce them on our own. We must therefore consume these fats through diet or supplementation.

Most people associate omega-3s with cardiovascular health, but their benefits go far beyond the heart. The two main omega-3s—eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)—promote a healthy immune response that is behind the relief of many chronic conditions but that is too often inhibited by poor nutrition. Extensive research has documented the health benefits of EPA and DHA, which include not only a healthy heart, but brain and cognitive function, joint mobility, eye health, pregnancy and lactation, healthy skin and hair, and a normally functioning immune response.

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