Synthroid, Hypothyroidism, and Cholesterol
Have you ever considered that your high cholesterol may be the result of an undiagnosed thyroid disease? And you may not be alone. Experts say there are as many as ten million Americans who have high levels of cholesterol, yet not even know that they have high cholesterol because of an undiagnosed thyroid problem. Experts estimate that more than 98 million people half of the American population have high cholesterol, which is a major contributor to heart disease and the biggest cause of death in the U.S.
However, the most widely-known causes of high cholesterol diet or insufficient exercise - are not necessarily the culprit for everyone. Hypothyroidism that is undiagnosed and under-treated can also be the cause elevated cholesterol. At least half of the estimated 13 million Americans with thyroid disease are undiagnosed, and millions more do not receive adequate treatment, exposing themselves to the risks and dangers hypothyroidism symptoms without treatment.
Additionally, less than fifty percent of the adults diagnosed with high cholesterol know if they have been tested for thyroid disease, although the connection between the two conditions is well-documented. It's unknown why, given that experts clearly recommend thyroid testing, more health care experts do not insist that their patients are tested for hypothyroidism once high cholesterol is diagnosed. This may be because of either the medical profession's broad lack of understanding about thyroid disease, or doctors tendency to disregard symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue and depression, especially in women.
How hypothyroidism affects you
Known as the body's thermostat, the thyroid gland is responsible for maintaining the right balance of hormones. When that thermostat no longer does its job known as hypythyroidism it's time to consider some medical intervention.
People with hypothyroidism may have some, all, or none of these signs and symptoms:
- Changes in the way you look or sound, including weight gain or trouble losing weight; dry or pale skin; hair loss, especially from the eyebrows; swollen face, hands, legs, ankles, or feet; and a hoarse or raspy voice.
- Changes in the way you feel, including feeling cold or having cold hands or feet; aches and pains in muscles or joints; constipation (trouble having bowel movements); and heavy menstrual bleeding or irregular periods.
- Changes in your energy level, including feeling worn down or very tired (fatigue); feeling depressed; slow thinking or memory problems; and slow speech or movement.
In addition, there may be further changes your health care provider may discover, including a distended thyroid gland, a lowering or raising of cholesterol levels, and a sluggish heart rate, and low blood pressure.
The good news
Fortunately, both hypothyroidism and high cholesterol are extremely treatable. There are a variety of medications that can help to control the thyroid gland; however, it's also possible to control symptoms using herbal remedies and other natural means that don't involve the use of drugs. Participating as an active partner in your healing can help reduce the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Photo Credit: qjhouse