The human body is a complicated system of organs that rely on each other to function effectively. When one of these systems has a problem, it can create severe complications for other areas in the body. While many patients aren’t aware of the impact that your thyroid has on heart health, the two have an important connection.
One of the primary jobs of the thyroid gland is to produce hormones. These hormones affect our growth and metabolism. When the production of these hormones is thrown off, a condition called hypothyroidism (not enough hormone production) or hyperthyroidism (too much hormone production) occurs.
The symptoms related to these conditions can create problems for your body and heart. When left untreated, these thyroid conditions can contribute to decreases in heart function, cardiovascular disease and even heart failure.
Thyroid and Your Heart
The way your thyroid affects your heart will depend on what thyroid condition you have. Many symptoms of thyroid conditions are felt by the impact of these hormone abnormalities on the heart.
- Hyperthyroid: Increased production of the thyroid hormone thyroxine can create a racing heartbeat, weakness, more fatigue and intolerance to exercise. The increased amount of blood that is pumped during this condition may contribute to heart failure.
- Hypothyroid: Low hormone production may increase your cholesterol, add fatigue and decrease the ability of your heart to function. This condition may lead to an enlarged heart and eventual heart complications that may be fatal.
Proper balance of these thyroid hormones is essential to the healthy function of your blood vessels and the contraction of the heart muscle. Patients with thyroid problems should receive regular heart check-ups from their doctor to make sure that their condition doesn’t progress into a life-threatening illness.