It’s more common to hear about people needing Thyroid medication for low levels of thyroid hormones (Hypothyroidism), but when talking about thyroid hormones-how much is TOO much for your heart?
Here are some of the risks you or a loved one may face with elevated levels.
Graves’ Disease is an immune system disorder that results in the overproduction of thyroid hormones. Although a number of disorders may result in hyperthyroidism, Graves’ disease is a common cause.
➡ The excess thyroid hormone can throw your heart out of its natural rhythm and increase your risk for heart failure or stroke.
➡ In cases of hyperthyroidism, not only can the excess thyroid hormone speed up your heart (Tachycardia). but, it can also affect every other organ in your body.
Feeling extra anxiety, nervousness, and heart palpitations may all indicate a condition of hyperthyroidism.
➡ The extra thyroid hormone puts a strain on the heart by pushing it to work harder.
➡ If the excess hormone is not treated, the long-term effects on your cardiac health may cause serious complications.
➡ It’s important to discuss the risks to your heart with your physician, primarily because one of the options will be surgery, which is less risky than the standard “radioactive iodine ablation” (RAI).
The Heart and Your Thyroid: What You Need to Know
This is the most important finding, according to Essi Ryodi, MD, a cardiologist at Tempere Heart Hospital in Finland.
➡ Not only do patients with hyperthyroidism have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease that is sustained up to two decades after good treatment,” also important is that overall, “those patients treated with surgery fared better than those treated with radioactive iodine ablation (RAI).”
However, she adds that ”the patients treated with RAI more efficiently still had a similar risk of cardiovascular disease, compared to patients treated with surgery. And the medication, Levothyroxine will be needed to decrease and maintain normal levels of the hormone.
➡ The research results emphasize the importance of immediate and efficient management of hyperthyroidism, and an active follow up for cardiovascular risk after the treatment.
Patients Evaluated for Hyperthyroid Disease or Graves’ Thyroiditis
Regardless of the reason for the hyperthyroidism, the treatment that achieves a reduction in the thyroid hormone offers the lowest risk for a future Cardiovascular disease.
➡ Before treatment, patients with hyperthyroid symptoms were more likely than those with no thyroid disease to become hospitalized for heart issues
➡ By the time the patients with hyperthyroidism or thyroiditis were treated, those with thyroid issues were five times more likely to have been admitted to the hospital for cardiac arrhythmias than the non-hospitalized patients.
Tips to Lower Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Regardless of whether you opt for surgery or RAI, the goal of treatment must reduce the amount of thyroid hormone coming from the glad. And the sooner the better.
➡ After treatment, be sure to follow up with your doctor and don’t be surprised if he/she suggests you see a cardiologist. This is strongly advised, especially for those newly diagnosed.
1. Know that your risk of heart disease is high and will continue to be so for the next 20 years.
2. After thyroid treatment, any cardiac symptoms will subside but your risk will be lowest if your thyroid gland is fully functioning. The earlier you get treated, the better you will feel.
3. Make sure to have your blood pressure checked regularly; if it rises above140/90, make sure you follow the treatment plan.
4. Exercise regularly
➡ Follow a heart-healthy diet, including watching your dietary sodium (keeping it low) and eating plenty of fiber-rich foods (vegetables, fruit, and whole grains).
➡ Be aware of your blood cholesterol levels and get high cholesterol under control.
➡ If you smoke, quit. Talk to your doctor about what might help you be successful now.
Do’s And Don’ts
➡ DO take this seriously if you have been diagnosed with a thyroid-related condition.
➡ DON’T ignore any warning that concerns your health and may impact your longevity.
Health is precious. Give it a chance.
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