Thyroid hormones play a very important role in regulating your cardiovascular system. For this reason, thyroid hormone imbalance, whether hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, can lead to negative affects on your heart and blood vessels. In the general population, many people have heart problems that turn out to be related to a thyroid disorder. Research has shown that even sub clinical thyroid disease or low grade thyroid hormone imbalance can cause heart issues.
Severe hypothyroidism can cause significant cardiac problems such as heart blocks, pericardial effusion, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Hypothyroidism can also cause the heart muscle to stiffen up, rendering the muscle unable to completely relax. The stiffness of the heart may result in heart failure.
Hyperthyroidism can cause other types of heart issues including atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure, and very rapid heartbeat. Severe hyperthyroidism can even cause heart failure, especially in older people. Graves’ Disease can also promote cardiomyopathy (damaged heart muscle that becomes dysfunctional), and cardiomyopathy results in debilitating heart failure.
Because thyroid disease can result in different kinds of cardiac symptoms and affects, and because thyroid dysfunction can make a cardiac problem worse, anytime you have a cardiac issue, you should consider thyroid disease as a potential cause or contributing factor to the cardiac issue, and have your thyroid tested. Older patients and pregnant women should be screened more often for thyroid dysfunction to prevent serious heart issues.