What Is Hypothyroidism? What Can We Do About It?

The thyroid- stimulating hormone, Thyrotropin or TSH stimulates the thyroxine levels which is what regulates energy in the body. High levels of this can cause many health problems including heart attack. When the thyroid function is lower than it should be, but not low enough to be classified as clinical hypothyroidism, is called subclinical hypothyroidism. This can often be the pre-curser to heart disease.

Having low energy, depression, low blood pressure, low heart rate, poor memory, sensitivity to cold, aching joints, high cholesterol, weight gain, constipation, low libido, dry skin, brittle nails and poor hair can all be signs that you may have Hypothyroidism. It is a very subtle disease as it shows TSH levels are elevated, thyroxine levels appear normal yet tend to low. So, tests show that something is going on because it takes a lot of TSH to produce normal levels of thyroxine.

The way the thyroid works is like the electricity running your toaster. The pituitary hormone TSH is the electricity and the thyroid gland is the toaster, with the hormone thyroxine the heat that is cooking the toast. When the thyroid works properly the TSH and thyroxine works fine meaning the electricity is running and the heat is working well. However if the thyroid gland is not working properly (the toaster is broken in some way) then it may take more electricity to keep it going and get the toast cooked. Since the toast is still cooking we don’t often realise there is anything even wrong with the toaster.

When there is more electricity needed or TSH levels are high but the heat output is still normal (meaning your thyroxine level is normal) you would not know that there is something amiss. This is what subclinical hypothyroidism is and you may not know you have it but your body does and there is increasing TSH in your system. Eventually this will affect your health. The thyroid gland (the toaster) stops functioning properly. This could lead to heart disease.

There are a lot of contradictory studies which make it important to do your research to be able to make an informed decisions yourself as to what you believe. Some studies show there is no association and some show there are strong associations with heart disease. High cholesterol is also often present and adds to the risk of heart attack. High levels of C reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation in cardiovascular disease causing a tendency for blood to clot, are also present.

The term cardiovascular disease is not a concise one as it entails a number of things that can go wrong with the heart. A recent study amalgamated all the results trying to find the risks for myocardial ischemia which is a condition of insufficient blood flowing to the heart and is life threatening. The outcome of the study was that it is possible and there is evidence to back up the fact that the thyroid not working properly will affect your heart. It can also affect other hormone levels in your body which is not good for women going through menopause. So why take chances?

The good news is that subclinical hypothyroidism can be treated. You can take thyroxine, which is either chemical or natural. The natural is best and often contains other important hormones as well. It should be available through your qualified natural therapist.