If you are diagnosed to have high cholesterol, ask your physician to have your thyroid checked. Even if you are physically active, healthy, and maintain the right weight, you can still develop thyroid dysfunction. The symptoms for thyroid problems can be mistaken for other health conditions so that it would help to confirm if you do have a thyroid problem. High cholesterol levels with a confirmed thyroid condition are difficult to lower or control unless your thyroid hormones are restored to normal levels.
Your thyroid-stimulating hormone or TSH and thyroxin blood levels can be measured using a blood test like those used to check cholesterol. The pituitary gland in your brain produces TSHs. If your bloodstream’s thyroxin level is low, your pituitary gland produces more TSH. If your thyroxin level is high, the pituitary gland produces and releases lower levels of TSH.
A slow down in your thyroid function can cause Hypothyroidism. It also slows down your body’s ability to process cholesterol. The LDL receptors that help remove the bad cholesterol in your body decrease and become inactive. When the amount of LDL receptors decrease, LDL is accumulated in your bloodstream, and causes an increase in both total cholesterol and LDL levels. Untreated or undiagnosed hypothyroidism can cause high levels of cholesterol.
Aside from just eating the right food and doing proper exercises, to lower your cholesterol level, it is important to have your thyroid function checked so the proper medication to treat the thyroid dysfunction can be given.
Some doctors treat hypothyroidism patients using synthetic thyroid problem medications. Most of the prescribed medicines have been proven to be safe even for pregnant patients. Some studies have proven that the patients who used therapy involving thyroid replacement to treat thyroid dysfunctions have experienced significant improvements in lowering their cholesterol levels.
Replacement hormones like Cytomel (liothyronine), Synthroid (levothyroxine) and Levoxyl, or Armour Thyroid (thyroid desiccated) are prescribed and the TSH levels monitored through repeated blood tests. The prescribed medication can increase hormones to normal range TSH levels, and reactivate and increase the amount of LDL receptors in the body. The body then is able to go back to its normal cholesterol processing function and the LDL cholesterol bad for the body, is produced outside the bloodstream. More LDL receptors become active and cause the drop in total cholesterol and LDL accumulated. Cholesterol levels are lowered to the healthy level.
Since other studies have also shown that for patients who have high cholesterol with only a mildly low thyroid dysfunction, thyroid replacement does not significantly lower their cholesterol levels, it is suggested that cholesterol-lowering medications need to be prescribed.
If medication can correct a thyroid dysfunction, cholesterol levels usually stabilize and simultaneously reduce the need for medications to lower cholesterol. Once a thyroid dysfunction is properly treated and the level of your thyroid hormone returns to normal, your cholesterol levels usually are lowered and return to the level before you had a thyroid dysfunction.
As a precaution, always consult a doctor to determine your illness before taking any medication. In this case consult a doctor specialized in the treatment of thyroid dysfunctions and lowering cholesterol levels.