What Has Your Doctor Missed?
Cholesterol (lipid) is a waxy substance found in animal foods, and is also manufactured in the liver. It is transported by fat-carrying proteins in the blood. Cholesterol helps us make and maintain nerve cells and manufacture natural hormones.
When the body cannot metabolize (break down) cholesterol (lipids) properly, or foods containing too much cholesterol are consumed, an excess of cholesterol – known as hypercholesterolemia, or high cholesterol – can occur.
Cholesterol can be deposited in the walls of arteries, especially around the heart, and potentially block blood flow, increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. High cholesterol is a key risk factor for heart disease.
Typically, your lipid levels (HDL, LDL) can effectively be controlled by improving your diet and exercising on a regular basis, but this is not always the case for everyone.
Undiagnosed Thyroid Disease May Be the Reason for Your High Cholesterol
Millions of Americans are trying to lower their cholesterol through improved diet, exercise, and even cholesterol-lowering drugs. For some of these patients, even though they have completely revamped their diet into a much healthier one and have added cardio exercise, 4-5 times per week, their cholesterol levels have not changed. Their HDL (good cholesterol or ‘happy’ cholesterol) is way too low and their LDL (bad cholesterol or ‘lousy’ cholesterol) may still be too high. How can this possibly be?
Millions of Americans with high cholesterol levels may not know that their cholesterol is elevated due to undiagnosed thyroid problems. The most commonly known cholesterol raisers — diet or insufficient exercise – are not necessarily the problem for everyone.
Hypothyroidism can elevate your cholesterol levels
Undiagnosed and undertreated hypothyroidism can cause elevated cholesterol, and of the estimated 30+ million Americans with thyroid disease, at least half are undiagnosed and millions more are not sufficiently treated, opening them up to the risk of continued hypothyroidism symptoms despite treatment.
Your body needs thyroid hormones to make cholesterol and to get rid of the cholesterol it doesn’t need. When thyroid hormone levels are low (hypothyroidism), your body doesn’t break down and remove LDL cholesterol as efficiently as usual. LDL cholesterol can then build up in your blood.
High Cholesterol –Thyroid Connection
Thyroid hormone levels don’t have to be very high to increase cholesterol. Even people with mildly low thyroid levels, called subclinical hypothyroidism, can have higher than normal LDL cholesterol. A study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM) found that high TSH levels alone can directly raise cholesterol levels, even if thyroid hormone levels aren’t high.
Some experts even believe that the numbers of undiagnosed are underestimated, and that the current thyroid diagnostic criteria are too narrow and rigid, and are missing many millions more with subclinical and low-level hypothyroidism.
In 2009, as part of Thyroid Awareness Month, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) released the results of a survey on the thyroid-cholesterol connection, looking at the connection between undiagnosed hypothyroidism and high cholesterol. The survey had several important findings:
Fewer than half of the adults who had been diagnosed with high cholesterol know if they had ever been tested for thyroid disease, despite the well-documented connection between the two conditions.
Ninety percent of those surveyed were unaware of the thyroid gland’s impact on cholesterol regulation.
According to AACE’s president at the time, Richard A. Dickey, M.D., “Patients who have been diagnosed with high cholesterol should ask their physician about having their thyroid checked. If they have an underlying thyroid condition in addition to their high cholesterol, the cholesterol problem will be difficult to control until normal levels of thyroid hormone are restored.”
The National Cholesterol Education Program and the Food and Drug Administration recommend thyroid testing in patients with high cholesterol levels.
The prescribing information for the popular cholesterol-lowering drugs also recommends that patients be tested for thyroid disease before beginning cholesterol-lowering drug therapy.
It’s unclear why, given that guidelines strongly recommend thyroid testing, more doctors are not insisting on thyroid testing upon the finding of high cholesterol. This may be a result of the medical profession’s general lack of understanding about thyroid disease, or the tendency of doctors and patients to write off general symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, and depression, particularly in women.
Common symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Weight gain, or inability to lose weight
- Fatigue, exhaustion
- Feeling run down and sluggish
- Depression, anxiety, mood swings
- Menstrual irregularities, including more frequent or heavier periods
- Dry, coarse and/or itchy skin
- Dry, coarse and thinning hair
- Feeling cold, especially in the extremities
- Muscle cramps, joint pain, carpal tunnel or tendonitis
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Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.verywell.com
MANY THYROID PROBLEMS COMMONLY MISSED BY DOCTOR
Approximately, 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease, however, 60 % of adults are unaware that they have thyroid disease. Either they have never been diagnosed because the appropriate lab work was never run or they may have been misdiagnosed by their doctor.
Most Thyroid Tests, Insufficient and Incomplete
Most doctors who run thyroid test do not run a complete thyroid panel, and even worse, do not truly understand how all of the thyroid hormones work. It is very common for a patient to come into my office with their blood work, but their doctor has only ordered TSH and T4. This is an incomplete thyroid panel and does not give you a clear picture as to how well your thyroid may be functioning.
Most Doctors – Outside of Endocrinologists- Do Not Know How To Order or Correctly Interpret Thyroid Tests.
If you suspect that you may have hypothyroidism, or if you haven’t had any success reducing your Triglycerides, LDL, Total cholesterol-inspite of eating completely healthy and exercising daily- you need to have a complete thyroid work up done.
Here are the test your doctor should be ordering for a full thyroid panel (these tests are covered by your insurance)
T4 (free) [this is very different than just T4]
T3 (free) [also very different than just T3]
rT3 (reverse T3)
TPO (Thyroperoxidase Antibodies)
TBG (Thyroxine Binding Globulin)
If your doctor refuses to run these test for you, it’s time to find another doctor.
If your cholesterol (lipid) levels are not iimproving, inspite of all the lifestyle choices you have made, hances are you have a thyroid problem. Once it is accurately diagnosed and treated, not only will you feel fantastic (great energy, losing weight, etc.) but your cholesterol levels will quickly return to normal, without having to take dangerous cholesterol medication (see: http://nervedoctor.info/statins-red-alert-widely-prescribed-drugs-act-as-cellular-poisons-promotes-diabetes-nerve-damage-and-muscle-damage/)
It’s important to treat the cause of the problem and not just the symptom. Your high cholesterol may merely be a symptom of an under active thyroid gland.
To learn more, visit: http://nervedoctor.info/abc-australia-exposes-cholesterol-lowering-statin-drug-scam-and-pharmaceutical-criminal-activity-health-impact-news/