February is American Heart Month. As you may already know, heart disease is the leading cause of death in both women and men. You may often hear of someone suddenly passing away of a heart attack, and you want to prevent this from happening to you. It is important to be proactive by eating healthy, exercising regularly, and reducing stress in your life. However, there is a risk factor that you don’t hear about: hypothyroidism. I am going to share this vital information with you about two ways that hypothyroidism can lead to heart disease.
1. Mucin Build Up in Your Tissues
Mucin is a glue-like substance that is a normal part of your immune system and is present in your tissues. However, hypothyroidism, which slows down your metabolism, causes an abnormal accumulation of mucin in your connective tissues. The result is swelling that eventually spreads to all your tissues, including your heart.
Mucin also leads to injury of the arteries. As tissues become engorged with this glue-like substance, your heart function slows down, which leads to a weak heart that is unable to pump blood efficiently. This is also known as congestive heart failure.
Other complications caused by the accumulation of mucin include atrial fibrillation, palpitations, and an increase or decrease in heart rate. It has been documented that treatment of an enlarged heart using natural thyroid supplementation can reduce the tissues to normal size.
People with low thyroid function have increased occurrences of infection and inflammation. Research shows that coronary artery disease begins with an inflammatory process that damages the coronary arteries. Thyroid function is responsible for the body’s metabolism, and normal thyroid metabolism helps to prevent recurrent infection and chronic inflammation.
Your body’s natural defense against inflammation is to produce antioxidants to fend off dangerous free radicals that cause damage in your body. A slow metabolism not only affects the efficiency of the cardiovascular system, it also lowers the rate at which antioxidants are produced. This leaves your arteries and blood vessels open to further damage, leading to hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Are you wondering if you might have low thyroid function? Take a look at some of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism:
- Loss of energy (malaise/fatigue)
- Difficulty losing weight
- Weight gain
- Fluid retention
- Enlarged tongue with teeth indentations
- Cold extremities and cold sensitivity
- Cold intolerance
- Difficulty concentrating and short term memory loss
- Muscle pain and cramps
- Joint pain
- Tiredness after a full night’s sleep
- Recurrent and chronic infections
- Decreased mental sharpness, “brain fog”
- Hair loss
- Dry skin
- Brittle fingernails with ridging
- Low basal body temperature
- Elevated cholesterol and triglycerides
- Depression or mood swings
- Menstrual irregularities
- Enlarged thyroid gland
If you suspect that you might have low thyroid function, your first step would be to go see your doctor. However, here is where another big risk factor lies – . Most doctors rely on one single blood test to diagnose hypothyroidism, the TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) test. This is not the best way to determine if you have low thyroid function because the lab range is so wide that it includes the majority of people who are hypothyroid, and this test fails the patient. Unfortunately, it is all too common for people to be told “your blood work is normal” and not get the right diagnosis of hypothyroidism.
To find out if you have hypothyroidism, visit a doctor who will listen to your symptoms and evaluate your clinical history and , and not just rely on a single lab result. It is important that your doctor listen to you and take into consideration all of your symptoms.
Treating Hypothyroidism Can Save Lives
The association between damaged arteries and hypothyroidism dates back to 1877 when doctors discovered accelerated atherosclerosis in animals that had their thyroid glands removed. Research showed that administering thyroid hormones to the animals halted the progression of atherosclerosis.
In 1970, Dr. Broda Barnes had 1,569 patients on natural thyroid hormone who were observed for a total of 8,824 patient years. These patients were classified by age, sex, elevated cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Based on the statistics derived in the study, seventy-two of Dr. Barnes’s patients should have died from heart attacks; however, only four patients had done so. This represents a decreased heart attack death rate of 95% in patients who received natural thyroid hormone.
So, as you can see, it is extremely important to keep your thyroid function at its best. Take our to find out if you have symptoms of hypothyroidism or other hormone imbalances, all of which can affect your health.
HEART HEALTH EVENT
Don’t Miss our HEART HEALTH EVENT with Dr. Steven Hotze and Dr. Derrick DeSilva on Thursday, February 24th from 5 to 7 pm at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center! Learn about a new groundbreaking tool to help you reduce plaque and decrease your risk of heart disease.
RSVP today at 281-698-8698 to reserve your spot. We hope to see you there!
To schedule a Free Wellness Consultation with the Hotze Health & Wellness Center—call us at 281-698-8698 or visit hotzehwc.com. To learn more about heart-healthy supplements, call our Certified Holistic Nutritionists and Vitamin Consultants at Physicians Preference Vitamins, formerly known as Hotze Vitamins, at 281-646-1659.