May 12

Are Your Arteries Being Damaged By High Thyroid Hormones?

If you’re in the mid to late age range, elevated thyroid hormone may now be a concern for some people. More commonly in practice we see patients with underactive thyroid function that can cause weight gain, poor energy and brain fog. But high levels of hormones such as thyroxine (or T4) may be detrimental as well if early findings from a recent study hold true.

Preliminary results from a Dutch investigation presented at a meeting of the Endocrine Society suggested that elevated levels of thyroxine may contribute to a higher risk of developing atherosclerosis, or hardening of the blood vessels. So, in addition to possible complications from an overactive thyroid, these people may also be at risk for greater chances of stroke or heart attack! While they can fluctuate due to several factors at different times of life, ideally our hormones should stay in a proper state of balance. But if they are consistently high or low, sometimes from our own causing, then we are opening the door for health problems on several levels.

Roughly 9,200 Dutch men and women (average age 65) were tracked over an eight-year period and cause of death was recorded. The result of the findings showed that 580 participants died of atherosclerotic buildup in the arteries. Just over 1,100 experienced some type of atherosclerotic event (fatal and nonfatal coronary heart disease or stroke). Elevated free thyroxine (FT4) levels were present in these individuals.

The study itself was not designed to determine the cause of the plaque buildup or “blame” the thyroid, but only to see if there was a relationship between the two factors. Since coronary heart disease is still a leading cause of death, having early indicators that a patient may be at risk would give the opportunity to take corrective action before a fatal incident occurred. If the results of the study prove to be a direct link, then monitoring T4 levels may be a new way to help identify people at risk for atherosclerosis and heart disease complications.

Proper thyroid function is key to so many aspects of our health that annular checkups should be warranted for more people when there are indicators of poor health from a cardiovascular nature. Risk factors such as being overweight or obese, smoking, poor diet and lack of exercise could all be tipping the scale in favor of your arteries accumulating plague buildup that narrows the passage for blood flow and makes the artery walls stiffer. These lead to increased blood pressure as the heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. This increased stress to the heart can then lead to more serious problems like a heart attack.

If you’re not sure where your thyroid values are, or if you’re feeling like you’re running at less than optimal health, it may be time to have a closer look at some of the basics. We offer the opportunity to come in and talk to one of the doctors to see if a blood panel may be indicated, or if you’re struggling with any health issues, to see what you may be missing in an approach to help get you feeling better than you have been. All it takes is a phone call! And if there are some early indicators of more serious health issues, you’ll have the opportunity to take control of your health and quite possibly avoid a more serious consequence. Click HERE to schedule your Free Discovery Day today!



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