Understanding The Link Between Hypothyroidism And Cholesterol Can Decrease Your Risk For Heart Disease
There is a definite link between hypothyroidism and cholesterol levels. Ultimately, the connection is between hypothyroidism and heart disease. I have been hypothyroid for many years, which developed after my first child. There seems to be a lot of inadequate care given for the thyroid, but your thyroid is critical for many functions. Tom has devoted himself to providing helpful information for people dealing with thyroid problems. I’d like to share his very informative article on the link between hypothyroidism and cholesterol.
Learning about this link between hypothyroidism and cholesterol can very well decrease your risk for heart disease. I’ll let him explain below.
Hypothyroidism and Cholesterol – What You Don’t Know CAN Kill You!
Written by Tom Brimeyer
The topic of cholesterol is one that has been near and dear to my heart for more than a decade now. I have a family history of high cholesterol and heart disease and when I was younger and didn’t know any better, I always feared my “genetics” were going to get the best of me.
As I got older, my cholesterol did become a problem but I’m happy to say that using the very principles that I now teach, my cholesterol has normalized to within normal range without the use of drugs.
For me, cholesterol was never a problem until I graduated college, got my first job, started a family, and began enduring the common stressors of everyday life. This is a common theme for most people which should go to show you that your cholesterol levels have a lot to do with stress.
As my cholesterol continued to rise, I tried a number of diets to help lower my cholesterol and improve my health. I tried low-fat diets, low-carb diets, the blood-type diet, gluten-free diets, the newer “fad” paleo diet, etc. What I discovered is that not only did none of these diets improve my cholesterol, but many of them actually caused my cholesterol to reach all-time highs.
But within a few months of using the same dietary principles that I use today, my cholesterol dropped more than 30 points to within “normal” levels for the first time since my college years.
Little did I know at the time, but previously poor diets and stress had made me hypothyroidism which was really the underlying cause of my high cholesterol. And by simply improving my thyroid function, my cholesterol normalized.
The Link Between Hypothyroidism and Cholesterol
Even though the link between hypothyroidism and cholesterol has been well known and documented since 1936, very few people today understand this connection or are even aware of it.
The truth is that you are being left in the dark when it comes to your cholesterol. Just mentioning the word cholesterol is enough to make most people cringe in disgust. But have you ever thought about WHY we have cholesterol in the first place?
Cholesterol happens to be the precursor to every vital protective hormone that your body produces. Without it, you would not be able to produce these protective hormones and you would die. It’s as simple as that. So, cholesterol is not quite as bad as you may think.
Your body needs cholesterol, vitamin A, and active T3 thyroid hormone (sorry Synthroid users but your inactive T4 thyroid hormone doesn’t cut it) to produce the multitude of protective hormones that play an integral role in preventing and overcoming hypothyroidism. Some of these protective hormones include:
Think about it for just a minute…
Your body NEEDS active T3 thyroid hormone to use cholesterol. If you are hypothyroid and therefore lack active T3 thyroid hormone then your body simply cannot use cholesterol to make the hormones it needs. As a result of not being able to use cholesterol, it naturally rises.
Here’s a simple graph that shows this effect. Using TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) as an indicator of thyroid function, you can see that “bad” cholesterol increases as thyroid function decreases in both men and women.
The bottom line is that high cholesterol is nothing more than a sign and symptoms of Hypothyroidism.
What You Don’t Know About Cholesterol, Hypothyroidism, and Heart Disease
There is a simple saying that you need to understand when it comes to Heart Disease…
“Correlation does not imply causation.”
Just because a study may show that people with elevated cholesterol have a higher risk of Heart Disease, it does not IMPLY that cholesterol is the CAUSE of Heart Disease.
I just explained how Hypothyroidism is the underlying cause of high cholesterol, so it’s sufficient to say that Hypothyroidism is also the true underlying cause of Heart Disease. High cholesterol is nothing more than a symptom of the real problem.
Using cholesterol lower drugs or even suppressing your cholesterol through diet does NOT solve the underlying problem of Hypothyroidism. It only makes matters worse because as you suppress cholesterol, you further suppress your body’s ability to produce those vital protective hormones that you desperately need to survive.
By suppressing cholesterol, you’re only adding the problem and taking one step closer to death.
This is why so many men at high risk of Heart Disease suffer from low testosterone and many associated symptoms including:
- Fatigue and Low Energy
- Loss of Libido
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Excessive Muscle Wasting
- Inability to Handle Stress
This is also why so many women at high risk of Heart Disease suffer from low progesterone and many associated symptoms including:
- Fatigue and Low Energy
- Weight Gain
- Breast Cancer
Between the extremely high prevalence of Hypothyroidism and the extremely high use of Statin Drugs and other cholesterol lowering medications, it is no wonder that today we’re seeing more and more cases of Hypothyroidism being misdiagnosed and mistreated.
Cases such as the one below reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine are becoming a common day occurrence:
Hypothyroidism Misdiagnosed as Statin Intolerance
Case Report: A man age 56 years presented to a specialty lipid clinic for management of combined hyperlipidemia and myositis…. Over the next several years, the atorvastatin dose was increased to 40 mg/d. During this time, the patient developed leg fatigue while walking up stairs, diffuse muscle pain, and weakness.
What You Don’t Know About Cholesterol Drugs
Drug manufacturers have published a lot of research in order to persuade your doctor to prescribe you their cholesterol lowering drugs and to help make you feel all warm and fuzzy about taking these drugs daily.
You’re taking these drugs because they prevent heart disease, make your healthier, and improve your quality of life, right?
You might want to think twice and educate yourself…
There have been a number of independent research groups that have analyzed the research data that these drug companies are using to promote the effectiveness of their cholesterol lowering drugs in preventing Heart Disease. Their results tell quite a different story.
In most cases, independent researchers have reported that there are just as many non-supportive research trials as there are supportive trials and the non-supportive research has been largely ignored while the supportive trials are being cited 6 times more frequently. It has also been brought to light that there has been NO non-supportive research cited after 1970, while such research does exist.
This only goes to show you that if there is research that does NOT support the efficacy of the drug, it can simply be ignored and disregarded in order to obtain the desired statistical results.
It doesn’t matter how you look at it. It’s biased research.
Because of independent research, there is now evidence that Statin Drugs do NOT prevent heart disease and some even show that they actually worsen your risk. Below are just a couple of studies showing this:
Statins for primary prevention: at what coronary risk is safety assured?
Results: The regression line describing the relationship between mortality benefit and risk suggests that statin use could be associated with an increase in mortality of 1% in 10 years. This would be sufficiently large to negate statin’s beneficial effect on CHD mortality in patients with a CHD event risk less than 13% over 10 years.
Cholesterol lowering trials in coronary heart disease: frequency of citation and outcome.
Conclusions: Lowering serum cholesterol concentrations does not reduce mortality and is unlikely to prevent coronary heart disease. Claims of the opposite are based on preferential citation of supportive trials.
Risks Associated With Low Cholesterol
Before putting your faith in any drug, it’s important to also look at the potential side effects. In most cases, using a drug to avoid one health problem only exposes you to an increased risk of developing a number of other health problems.
Statin Drugs in particular have been linked to an increased risk of:
- Progressive Muscle Disease
- Liver Damage
- Digestive Problems
- Immunological Disorders
- Memory Loss
- Lou Gehrig’s Disease
Maybe you’re a betting man (or woman) and you’re willing to take the risk of developing any of these other health issues and you truly believe that cholesterol lowering drugs are saving your life.
Maybe you’re of the mindset that whatever doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger?
Maybe you still believe that the lower your cholesterol the better?
Here’s some more research for you…
Low cholesterol is also associated with increased death due to both cancer and suicide. So, even if, by any stretch of the imagination, cholesterol lowering drugs were to improve your risk of dying from Heart Disease, you may just be increasing your risk of developing cancer or one of the many other degenerative diseases.
Protect Your Thyroid and Protect Your Heart – It’s That Simple
We could go on for days about cholesterol and heart disease but the bottom line is simple, correct the underlying problem of Hypothyroidism and you won’t have to worry about Heart Disease.
If modern medicine would place a little more focus on understanding Hypothyroidism and the underlying cause of the disease instead of trying to merely treat these various symptoms, we might start seeing some major improvements in our health and health-care system.
Endocrinologist and thyroid expert, Dr. Broda Barnes, said it perfectly when stated that if you suffer from Hypothyroidism and you don’t die early from infectious disease then you’ll die a little later from Cancer or Heart Disease.