Link between hypothyroidism and high cholesterol??

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It seems there may be a link between hypothyroidism and high cholesterol. My cholesterol was previously 3.5. This time it was 5.5 and coincided with thyroid hormone levels of T4 and T3 being below range. Has anyone else found this?

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37 Replies

  • Posted

    I believe that too! Hi blood pressure as well (which is a function of cholesterol, I think - decrease the pipe diameter and increase the pressure if you want the same flow).

    It may be a function of the weight increase we seen to experience. This is the topic of my next investigation, watch this space.

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  • Posted

    Hi Barbara, my cholesterol levels went up when I was diagnosed with thyroid disease. Still high as I am on the rubbish Levothyroxine. However, do not worry. There is no link between high cholesterol and heart disease. In fact, women need their cholesterol levels to be high. Don't take statins. There is a really good bood about this but I probs can't mention it here. I'll try and PM you, but have not been successful with this.
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  • Posted

    Hi Barbara .. Im 29 years old and was diagonised with hypo 4 years back.. everything was fine until recently i skipped some meds ..i was gaining weight like a pig .. n i jus went for a checup n found my thyroid haywire.. n my cholesterol and bp were way too high.. i read some articles online and found that untreated hypo or skipping meds would affect cholesterol levels. my ldl chol is way too high..

    hoping to reduce itn take my meds regualrly on time first thing in the morning.. i think if the thyroid is in check the cholesterol will reduce cuz thyroid harmone is all about metabolism

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    • Posted

      Deepa, thank you for your reply. Good luck with getting everything back under control. Watch out for:

      (1) that other levels of vitamins and minerals are ok, particularly iron, ferritin (should be greater than 70), vitamins D, B12,

      (2) 'not converting T4 to T3', (3) for 'reverse T3' issues. Basically, if you you don't feel better these are the next three areas to ask your GP to investigate.

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    • Posted

      If you're not converting T4 to T3 your TSH and T4 blood tests can be in normal range but you'll still have hypo symptoms and effectively be under treated. (I did).
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    • Posted

      Hi Deepa, are you aware you need to take your thyroid meds an hour before food or 4 houts afterwards? And need to avoid medications containing iron and calcium within 4 hours? I find it easiest to keep my thyroid tablets beside my bed, wake up an hour early, take them, then go back to sleep. The other thing to watch out for is whether your body is converting T4 to T3. If your blood get to the point where they are in range but you still have hypothyroid symptoms, then that will be wotth investigating. Good luck, I hope you feel better soon.
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    • Posted

      I noticed you mentioned that you have to take the thyroid medd one hour before eating. I have been taking it 30 minutes before eating. I take it that is not enough time? Also, do you think the amount of water one would drink with it effect its usefulness?
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    • Posted

      I think the advice is at least 30 minutes before eating but that an hour is preferable. It's because food impairs the absorption of thyroid hormones.

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  • Posted

    Hi Barbara, cholesterol levels can rise if you are not receiving adequate treatment for thyroid disease. Unfortunately in the UK the only drug prescribed on the NHS is levo, which has a lot of problems for lots of people. However, do not worry about a high cholesterol. There is no link between high cholesterol and heart disease, we are all being conned into taking the dangerous statins. PM me if you want the name of a really good book about cholesterol. 
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    • Posted

      Thanks Scazzoh, your post is well timed as I have 'health check' scheduled with my GP on 5th October. I already know my total cholesterol is 5.5 so statins might be on the menu! My other risk factors for heart disease are low (don't drink, smoke, no heart disease in family, blood pressure 110/70, weight good so I'm not convinced that the statins argument is valid for me.
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    • Posted

      110/70 is marvelous! I wouldn't mess with success.

      Find out what proportion of LDL (the bad stuff) you have before you try to lower your cholesterol. There are methods on the web (the right combinations of foods) which will reduce the "bad" cholesterol. 

      I am about to embark on this problem, I will post what I find out - if it works on me.

      I have been reading lately about statins and I do not think it is a good idea to mix statins with thyroxine (thx) medicine of any type be it L-T4 or NDT. The reason is that the protein which "carries" the thx meds round in your blood to your liver and then to your cells is also "hijacked" by the statin meds. Estrogens (birth control pills) and even aspirin do the same thing. This leaves less carriers (known as TBGs*) for the thyroxine to use.

      This is my current project - how to reduce bad cholesterol and lower my BP without screwing up the (good) effect of my Thx medication (which is NDT). Wouldn't it be good to have doctors who could work all this stuff out for us - instead of putting us on medications which interfere with each other!

      *For those who are interested, TBG stands for Thyroxine Binding Globulin.

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    • Posted

      Fascinating. I'm looking forward to finding out the results.

      Thanks for the encouragement re blood pressure. I think it's becuse I swim 30 lengths 2-3 times a week. Just need to get the LDLs down now. I've got to go for a fasting blood test and they'll do the calculation for me.

      I've just been to see my GP and he's added all the thyroid blood tests to my health check blood test form. I don't know how many of them the NHS lab will do but it was worth a try. The one's he's added are: TSH, free T3, free T4, reverse T3, Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), antithyroglobulin antibody, TPO antibody, ferritin and leptin. Once I've got thevresults, I'll be busy making sense of them!

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    • Posted

      Hi LAHs, exercise is reportedly good at lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. This is true for me re blood pressure: I've been going to a gym & swimming twice a week since April and my blood pressure was 100/65 today (26 Oct 2015); it was 110/70 in April. I'm going for a blood test tomorrow to check cholesterol and thyroid etc (providing I remember not to take my thyroid tablets!) so it will be interesting to see what the results are. I'm wondering how much effect my restricted diet is having on my cholesterol level.
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    • Posted

      Hello everyone, thank you for all your replies. I thought you would like an update with my latest blood pressure results which I think proves the hypothesis that low thyroid hormone levels are linked to high cholesterol, as nothing else apart from my thyroid hormone levels have changed. Diet and exercise levels have all been unchanged; I've had no other illnesses or medications. I'm taking bovine NDT ThyroGold of 750mg. I'm also taking: gamolenic acid (aka evening primrose oil) 320mg daily (recomnended by GP for breast pain and dermatologist for skin/eczema); and Viteyes2 (recommended by eye consultant for macular degeneration, it contains: vit C = 500mg, vit E = 400 mg, zinc = 25mg, copper = 2mg, lutein = 10mg, zeaxanthin = 2mg.

      Results of blood test taken on 27th September 2015: TSH=0.82 mu/L (range 0.4-4.9) [in range for the first time in 20 years!]

      Serum free T4 =13 pmol/L (range 9-19)

      Serum free triiodothyronine (T3) =3.8 pmol/L (range 2.6-5.7)

      TPO=7 iu/mL (range 0.0-6.0)

      Serum Cholesterol = 4.4 mmol/L

      Serum Triglyceride levels =0.9 pmol/L (range 0.00-1.7)

      Serum HDL Cholesterol =

      1.18 mmol/L (range > 1.2) [below range]

      Calculated LDL Cholesterol = 2.81 mmol/L (range <3.3)

      Serum cholesterol/HDL ratio = 3.73 (range <5.0)

      Serum non high density lipoprotein cholesterol =3.22mmol/L (range <7.5)

      Ferritin = 119 ng/mL (5-204)

      Serum Iron = 22.5 umol/L (range 9-30.4)

      Unsaturated IBC (Iron Binding...) = 26 umol/L (range 13-56)

      TIBC (Total Iron Binding...) = 48.5 umol/L (range 45-72)

      Percentage iron saturation = 46.4%

      Plasma glucose level = 4.7 mmol/L (range 3.9-5.8)

      Sodium, magnesium, potassium, urea, creatinine, calcium, phosphatase, total protein, albumin levels are all in range. The only other thing is my Platelet is low = 56 10*9/L (range 150-400). This has been low for last 20 years, I've been told my immune system is killing them off as soon as they have been made by my bone marrow.

      Serum sex hormone binding globulin level (SHBG) = 108 nmol/L (range 19.8-155.2).

      It's worth noting that niw my thyroid hormones are in range, the eczema is going and has nearly gone. The holy grail for me will be if my food allergies and intolerances also go! I'll stay on the restricted diet for 6 months to let my immune system settle down, then I'll slowly introduce a little of a food I'm reacting to until I can tolerate that one, then try the next food. Fingers crossed!

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    • Posted

      Barbara

      I was very intrested to read your message. May I ask you what food intolerances do you have? Are you allergic to latex by any chance?

      BTW latex is in most things that are rubber.Including the rubber seals on ampoules of injections.

      Kind regards

      Jean

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    • Posted

      Hi Barbara, Yes, I agree excercise should do it, it obviously has for you. I have decided to do an extra one hour per day - it's hard to get up and do it but I enjoy it after I have made the effort. It has not yet affected my BP but I think it will eventually (it has been two weeks).
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    • Posted

      Losing weight in those who are overweight can sometimes help to reduce the blood pressure. Please do not be offended as I do not know what you weigh.

      Jean

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    • Posted

      Hi Jean, yes absolutely. I am still trying to lose the 35 lbs I put on within 3 months 2-1/2 years ago when I was changed from a "good" Levo to a "bad" one at the wrong dose. Even my NDT which I often sing the praises of, isn't helping with the weight problem. It's probably the dose - which I recently increased a little and will report the results of this experiment.
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    • Posted

      Hi

      I didn't realise you were overweight. Trust me to put my big foot in it.

      I could do with losing some weight myself so know how you feel.

      Kind regards

      Jean

      Jean

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    • Posted

      The other thing I did was cut out processed foods. It often has hidden sugars and chemicals in it. I am of the opinion that even natural things should be taken at the levels nature intended. For example monosodium glutamate (aka MSG) is added to lots of things as a flavour enhancer. It is even in gravy powder. When I complained to the manufacturer they said it iccurred naturally in eggs. Which is completely mudsingbthe point - I don't have eggs at every mesl because it wouldn't be good for me, so why would I want MSG with every meal!
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    • Posted

      Which is completely missing the point - I don't have eggs at every meal because it wouldn't be good for me, so why would I want MSG with every meal!
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    • Posted

      Jean I'm not allergic to latex. I am allergic to dust, cats, oranges and almonds. I'm intolerant to maize/corn and lots of other foods. Currently I can eat fresh unprocessed chicken, beef, pork, carrots, cabbage, broccoli and oats.
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    • Posted

      Barbara

      Sorry, I thought that you might be interested . I am also allergic to the things you mentioned that you are allergic, intolerant to plus Gluten, yeast, soy, cows milk amaranth, .  I think my worst reaction was towards corn.

      I had some cornflakes two days ago 'for a change' fromgluten free bread and a banana and felt very ill I slept until 14.21 which is unlike me.

      jI was very suroprised to read that people with alatex allergy are often allergic to bananas. orgive the termiology I am new to this from my own personal exp3rience anyway. It has all come as rather a shock to my system.i

      I think you are wonderful coping with these allergies. I am just learning how to and it is not easy.

      Sorry if I have offended you.

      Kind regards

      Jean

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    • Posted

      Babara

      You are all right. You re not forgetful. If you kep saying that you will start believing it.

      Keep positive. I am your friend. Kind regards.

      Jeanx

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    • Posted

      BARBARA

      I have subclinicl hyperthyroidism which must be treated. An endoctinologist has suggested that I have RAI. I found out today that the reason he suggested this and not RAI is because I have Long QT syndrome and Carbimazole is implicated in causing Torsades de Pointes a very fast heart rate suceeded by a cardiac arrest in people with the Long QT syndrome . So it looks as though it is the RAI after all then thyroxine for life.

      I would welcome any comments from  anyone on this. Thanks. Jean

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    • Posted

      Jean unfortunately an overactive thyroid is not something I know about, so I'm not able to advise. All I kniw is the symptoms so I know if I'm overdosing on thyroxine.
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    • Posted

      Well the plan to re-introduce foods didn't work. I have been unable to tolerate re-introducing any of them. I'm still living on a meat & vgetable diet (not potato). No fruit, no grains. Blood pressure is now 110/60. I weigh 50kg and, for the first time in 40 years I am trying to put weight on, not lose it! Feels somewhat ironic.

      For some reason, the ThyroGold dose I need to get free T3 & free T4 in range has dropped to 450mg, not all of which can be explained by me weighing less. (I weighed 55kg when on 750mg in Oct 2015 and a year later I weigh 50kg and am on 450mg.

      For those who are interested, my blood test results are:

      1 Sep 2016:

      fT3 = 3.9 pmol/L (2.6-5.7)

      fT4=20.3 pmol/L (9-19)

      TSH <0.01 (0.4-4.9).

      Serum cholesterol level = 3.8 mmol/L (<5)

      Serum HDL cholesterol = 1.41 (> 1.2)

      Calculated LDL cholesterol =2.12 (<3.3)

      Serum cholesterol /HDL ratio = 2.7 (<5)

      Serum non high density lipoprotein cholesterol = 2.39 (<7.5).

      5 Oct 2016:

      fT3 = 5.1 pmol/L (2.6-5.7)

      fT4=18.4 pmol/L (9-19)

      TSH <0.01 (0.4-4.9).

      I have no idea why my fT3 & fT4 levels have changed - I've been on the same 450mg ThyroGold dose since 8th July 2016. Anyone got any ideas?

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    • Posted

      Could it be that any 'Reverse T3' has been corrected by the T3 element of the NDT I'm taking and the Reverse T3 is no longer blocking the thyroid receptor cells from accepting T3? (Sorry i can't remember all the exact terminology).

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    • Posted

      Have you had any luck with using foods to reduce your LDL? I didn't get prescribed statins and my cholesterol levels have dropped.

      Serum cholesterol level = 3.8 mmol/L (<5)

      Serum HDL cholesterol = 1.41 (> 1.2)

      Calculated LDL cholesterol =2.12 (<3.3)

      Serum cholesterol /HDL ratio = 2.7 (<5)

      Is this due to my thyroid levels now being in range? Or to the fact I'm eating very little carbohydrate? No biscuits, sweets, puddings, cake, chocolate...

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