High TSH levels can often be a warning of a heart attack or coronary artery disease or even other illnesses. Thyroid-stimulating hormone or TSH (thyrotropin) stimulates the thyroid’s level of thyroxine which regulates energy. It can affect many areas of our health.
Subclinical hypothyroidism can often be a precursor to heart disease. It a subtle disease where thyroid function is lower than it should be but not quite low enough to be classified as clinical hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism, or low thyroid, has symptoms of low energy, depression, low blood pressure, low heart rate, poor memory, sensitivity to cold, aching joints, high cholesterol, weight gain, constipation, lowered libido, dry skin, brittle nails and poor hair condition. It is such a subtle disease because although TSH levels are elevated, thyroxine levels appear normal yet tend to low. So tests show that something is going awry because it takes a lot of TSH to produce normal levels of thyroxine.
The way the thyroid works is like the electricity running your heater. The pituitary hormone TSH is the electricity and the thyroid gland is the heater with the hormone thyroxine the heat that is filling your room. When the thyroid works properly the TSH and thyroxine works fine meaning the electricity is running and the heat is working well. But if the thyroid gland is not working properly (the heater is broken in some way) then it may take more electricity to keep it going and get the room heated. Since the room is still warming up you may not realise there is anything even wrong with the heater.
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 heater) stops functioning properly. This could lead to heart disease.
There are contradictory studies as to whether this is true or not so you need to empower yourself to make your own decisions. Some studies show there is no association whilst others show strong associations with heart disease. High bad cholesterol (LDL) is often also present. Also high levels of C reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation in cardiovascular disease causing a tendency for blood to clot, are present.
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 term cardiovascular disease is not a concise one as it entails a number of things that can go wrong with the heart. 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 change of life. 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.