When you hear about someone who has had a sudden heart attack or someone who suddenly had to have open heart surgery due to a blocked artery, you have to wonder, how does something like this sneak up on you? And, naturally, what can you do to prevent this from happening to you?
You know that it is important to eat healthy, exercise, take heart-healthy vitamins, and reduce stress, but there is another risk factor that you don’t hear about in the media. There is a condition that greatly increases one’s chances of having heart disease, and it is not limited to men. Ladies – this is important for you to know, too. Hypothyroidism increases your risk of heart attack.
Here are two ways that hypothyroidism leads to heart disease:
1. Mucin Deposition
Mucin is a glue-like substance that is a normal part of your immune system and is present in your tissues. However, hypothyroidism 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 mucin, heart function slows, which leads to a weak heart that is unable to pump blood efficiently. This is also known as congestive heart failure.
Other complications that arise with 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 reduces the tissues to normal size, however, if the treatment is stopped then mucin again increases rapidly.
The second reason hypothyroidism can increase your risk for a heart attack is that individuals with low thyroid function have an increased incidence of infection and inflammation. It is well documented that coronary artery disease begins with an inflammatory process that damages the coronary arteries. The thyroid 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 create oxidative 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 attack, leading to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
Signs that You Could Have Hypothyroidism
These are some of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism:
Loss of energy (malaise/fatigue)
Difficulty losing weight
Enlarged tongue with teeth indentations
Cold extremities and cold sensitivity
Difficulty concentrating and short term memory loss
Muscle pain and cramps
Tiredness after a full night’s sleep
Recurrent and chronic infections
Decreased mental sharpness, “brain fog”
Brittle fingernails with ridging
Low basal body temperature
Elevated cholesterol and triglycerides
Depression or mood swings
Enlarged thyroid gland
Not Getting Properly Diagnosed for Hypothyroidism?
So, to find out if you have hypothyroidism, you just go see your doctor and get tested for it, right? Here is where another big risk factor lies – not getting the proper diagnosis for hypothyroidism. This is a big problem in America today. 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.
How do you properly diagnose hypothyroidism?
Dr. Hotze always says, “If you want to know what’s wrong with a patient,
just ask them! They will tell you what is going on with their health.”
To find out if you have hypothyroidism, visit a doctor who will listen to your symptoms and evaluate your clinical history and basal body temperature, and not just rely on a single lab result. It is important that your doctor listen to you and take into consideration how you feel. Click here to watch as our doctors discuss four ways to properly diagnose hypothyroidism.
Treating Hypothyroidism Saves 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. 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, and compared to similar patients in the Framingham Heart Study. 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 percent in patients who received natural thyroid hormone.
Find Out Your Heart Disease Risk
A heart scan is the only non-invasive way to determine whether you have coronary artery disease. If you find out that you have plaque buildup, then you can do something to reverse it. It’s best to catch it as early as possible.
If you are over 40 years old, then you should have a heart scan performed. At Hotze Health & Wellness Center, we offer heart scans with an EBCT scanner. EBCT is non-invasive, open, and safe, and emits the lowest radiation in the CT industry. Have peace of mind knowing that heart disease can be detected, safely and comfortably, in its earliest stages.
If you have not had a heart scan, then call us today to schedule your heart scan at 281-579-3600. Don’t wait – having a heart scan can save your life!
Take our symptom checker health quiz to find out if you have symptoms of hypothyroidism. Call our Wellness Consultants for a complimentary wellness consultation at 281-698-8698.