Tags: Thyroid Disorders | thyroid | blood pressure

Thyroid and Blood Pressure: What You Need to Know

By    |   Monday, 29 Feb 2016 07:07 PM

The thyroid gland plays an important part in many of the body’s functions. There is a well-known connection between thyroid function and blood pressure.

Located at the base of the throat, the small thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system. It produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism, Livestrong noted. When the thyroid produces too much hormone, hyperthyroidism results. In contrast, too little thyroid hormone from an underactive thyroid gland results in hypothyroidism. In either case, blood pressure can be affected.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The One Secret to a Healthy Thyroid

When hypertension, or high blood pressure is caused by another underlying medical condition, it is called secondary hypertension, Mayo Clinic said. One potential cause of secondary hypertension is thyroid disease.

According to an article by cardiologist J. Malcolm O. Arnold on the Thyroid Foundation of Canada website, an overactive thyroid gland causes the heart to beat faster and with more force. This condition can cause systolic hypertension, which is measured by the top number in a blood pressure measurement. An underactive thyroid gland results in typically the opposite result initially, low blood pressure and slower heartbeat. However, if the hypothyroidism remains untreated for a long period of time, metabolic changes can take place which eventually can cause the blood pressure to become elevated.

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The New York Times said patients with hypothyroidism have triple the risk of developing secondary hypertension. Because underactive thyroid can slow the heart down so dramatically, to a rate of less than 60 beats per minute in some cases, blood vessel walls become stiff as the heart’s pumping capacity is decreased. All patients with chronic hypothyroidism, especially pregnant women, are encouraged to have their blood pressure checked regularly.

Because secondary hypertension like that associated with thyroid disorders is due to an underlying medical condition, Mayo Clinic said treating the primary condition should be the priority. Once the thyroid condition is being effectively managed, high blood pressure may improve or even return to normal.

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The thyroid gland plays an important part in many of the body's functions. There is a well-known connection between thyroid function and blood pressure.
thyroid, blood pressure
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2016-07-29
Monday, 29 Feb 2016 07:07 PM
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