Thyroid Problems and Cholesterol Are Connected
Thyroid disease can cause high and possibly deadlylevels of cholesterol in the blood. Individuals withhypothyroidism—an inactive thyroid gland—will see theirbody's metabolism begin to slow down. The condition canlead to high cholesterol levels in the blood because thelacking thyroid hormone slows the liver's ability toprocess blood, according to Paul Jellinger, MD, presidentof the American College of Endocrinology. He explainedthat it causes an increased risk of cholesterol buildup inthe arteries and around the heart.
Individuals with an overactive thyroid gland—known ashyperthyroidism—are not without risk for cholesterolproblems. The condition causes a high metabolic ratethat can artificially lower cholesterol levels, said Dr.Jellinger. The goods news is that both types of thyroiddisease are treatable. Patients with hypothyroidism canavoid using cholesterol-lowering drugs by treating theircondition. Individuals undergoing treatment for hyperthyroidismmust monitor their cholesterol levels as theirmetabolism returns to a normal level.