Cholesterol and hypothyroidism : I was wondering... - Thyroid UK

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Cholesterol and hypothyroidism

Dshadzz07 profile image
25 Replies

I was wondering if there is any relationship between these, had mine checked they aren’t like really bad but my HDL is a bit low and my total cholesterol is a bit high. I don’t know, could be diet related also.

25 Replies
SeasideSusie profile image
SeasideSusieAdministrator

High cholesterol is a symptom of hypothyroidism.

Pearlteapot profile image
Pearlteapot in reply to SeasideSusie

Is there anything one can do to control it? Or the same as if not Hypo - which is basically exercise. Does exercise make any difference to reducing cholesterol levels if hypo is busy pushing them up?

SeasideSusie profile image
SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to Pearlteapot

I can't really add anything to the replies Marz and Greygoose have given. Being optimally dosed with thyroid meds should help reduce cholesterol. But it's the triglycerides that is the more important test rather than cholesterol.

Dshadzz07 profile image
Dshadzz07 in reply to SeasideSusie

I think my triglycerides were 1.2 which I think is good but I don’t know

SeasideSusie profile image
SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to Dshadzz07

Without a reference range I can't say I'm afraid.

Lulu2607 profile image
Lulu2607 in reply to Dshadzz07

Yes that's very good if the range is the usual one where it should be under 2.3.

Marz profile image
Marz

Majority of cholesterol is made in the liver as we need it for many functions. For the brain and for good hormone production. Very little comes from diet. Also when we are in the sun - the rays on our skin work with cholesterol to produce VitD - the body is so clever ...😎

greygoose profile image
greygoose

Don't worry about cholesterol, it is the least of your concerns. It is not the great danger doctors make it out to be. It does not cause heart attacks or strokes. It is essential to the body. But, doctors only get their information from Big Pharma sales reps, who want to seel statins!

Your cell walls are made of cholesterol, your sex hormones are made of it, even your brain is made of it! It is necessary for construction and repair in the body. Without it we would fall apart. And, it is said, that those with the highest cholesterol live longest. :)

Dshadzz07 profile image
Dshadzz07 in reply to greygoose

I just get worried of a heart attack because of this I’m obese and 20 and in constant fear of having one everyday. The cholesterol check didn’t give me anything to be happy about. Trying to work on my weight though.

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to Dshadzz07

How are you trying to work on your weight? A low-calorie diet? That will probably make things worse, because you need calories to convert T4 to T3. Are your thyroid hormones optimal?

Dshadzz07 profile image
Dshadzz07 in reply to greygoose

No my calories are still good, just doing more exercise to help. Nah my thyroid hormones are quite poor but only just been upped to 75mg Levo.

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to Dshadzz07

Well, be careful with the exercise because too much of that can make things worse, too, because it uses up your calories. And, there's no way, anyway, you're going to lose hypo-weight without optimal thyroid hormones.

Dshadzz07 profile image
Dshadzz07 in reply to greygoose

Some of the weight isn’t hypo weight as always been big and only started last October with hypothyroidism. My T3 levels are usually weirdly good. But need to test again mid July. Trying to focus on sorting out my health anxiety and fear of a heart attack atm tho.

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to Dshadzz07

You mean you were diagnosed with hypo last October? If so, you would have started it long before that. It's a disease that creeps up quietly, and by the time symptoms send you to the doctor, you've already had it for quite some time, but the adrenals took up the slack.

What was your last FT3 result and range?

Dshadzz07 profile image
Dshadzz07 in reply to greygoose

Yh I understand that, I think it was like 5.1 with a range of 2-6 I can’t remember exactly. My thyroid was slightly high last May at just above range then they checked it again and it was around 20 then it went down then now back up due to being under medicated. I’m obese so need to lose weight for my own health, I’ve lost 6 pounds in 2 and half weeks with my new exercise regimen. Keep the heart healthy and all.

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to Dshadzz07

If, by 'my thyroid' you mean your TSH, you should know that TSH is not a thyroid hormone, it is a pituitary hormone that is not a very good indicator of thyroid status. It is not your thyroid. And, doctors are very, very wrong to dose by it. The most important number is the FT3.

An FT3 of 5.1 (2-6) looks good on paper, but if you still feel hypo, and have hypo symptoms, then it is not high enough for you. :)

Jazzw profile image
Jazzw in reply to Dshadzz07

I think you’re being overly harsh on yourself. As greygoose has said, you’ve almost certainly been hypothyroid much longer that you think. I see you were diagnosed with health anxiety last year, just months before they finally picked up you have hypothyroidism. Did they ever test your thyroid before telling you you had health anxiety?

I’m going to bet that

• you don’t actually have health anxiety—it’s more likely that your mental health has declined because it does when you’ve had untreated hypothyroidism for a long time

• your folate and/or Vitamin B12 levels are also really low, because when you have untreated hypothyroidism you get poor gut absorption as a side effect—you won’t absorb as much nutrition from your food

• you’ve been brewing hypothyroidism for years—you may even have been hypothyroid since childhood. If it’s been a long time, that’s the reason you’ve gained weight. It isn’t because you’re greedy or because you haven’t exercised enough—it’s because your metabolism’s been shot. The weight isn’t all fat either—in cases of hypothyroidism you can carry a lot of what’s called mucin—it’s a sort of watery substance that builds up in the hypothyroid body.

So you see, when you finally get to an optimal level of thyroid hormone replacement it’s likely you’ll start to lose weight without having to kill yourself at the gym or reduce calories to a miserable existence. It will take a while—but a large part of what’s going on with your weight isn’t your fault.

Hang in there. x

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator

High cholesterol is linked to being hypothyroid and will improve as dose levothyroxine is increased in 25mcg steps upwards over coming months

nhs.uk/conditions/statins/c...

If you have an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), treatment may be delayed until this problem is treated. This is because having an underactive thyroid can lead to an increased cholesterol level, and treating hypothyroidism may cause your cholesterol level to decrease, without the need for statins. Statins are also more likely to cause muscle damage in people with an underactive thyroid.

Brightness14 profile image
Brightness14

Yes it could be related, my levels are good. I take Hawthorn extract to lower the bad and have for the past 20 years been eating nuts, I brazil, 2 walnuts, and 6 almonds mid afternoon.My old GP always laughed because of my very high good level and asked why I said it may be

the nuts, I was only joking at the time but he insisted that this was right. I also take a garlic capsule every day to lower the bad. All these work well.

Jazzw profile image
Jazzw in reply to Brightness14

Have you replied to the wrong post? :) I can’t see any other responses from you on this one but it reads like a reply to a question you were asked?

Petgirl2 profile image
Petgirl2 in reply to Brightness14

hi , very interested in your hawthorn Berry theory, did it lower your cholesterol?

I have some , but stopped taking it after I had my heart and arteries checked and deemed perfect.

Brightness14 profile image
Brightness14 in reply to Petgirl2

I don't know if I replied to the wrong question, Taking Hawthorn Berry Extract is a fact for lowering high blood pressure. I don't know about cholesterol mine is never high.

In Germany the GP's give it to people for high blood pressure it has been used for hundreds of years. Mine only became high as I have an ear tumour. It has worked wonders on my BP I take two a day.

Petgirl2 profile image
Petgirl2 in reply to Brightness14

yes I was taking it for High BP. Little bit of crossed wires there.

Seasons7 profile image
Seasons7

Yes, there is a connection. Before I started medication for my thyroid my ldl cholesterol was 690! No joke! I think I gave my doctor a heart attack! After being on my thyroid medication for 6 months I had my cholesterol checked and they all fell in the normal range. I didn't change anything.

Lulu2607 profile image
Lulu2607

Hi Dshadzz07. My cholesterol was 14 and no one thought to check my thyroid. I'd stopped taking statins that I'd been given a few years before as I thought they were making me ill. Bad digestive issues and very painful muscles. I was even referred to a statins clinic as they assumed there was some sort of tolerance problem. This was against my better judgment as I'm not a fan of statins anyway, but I was so ill I couldn't fight my corner.Eventually as I became more ill (all this during lockdown) a GP checked my thyroid and the TSH was sky high (three figures). After being on levo for six months my cholesterol was checked again and was 4.1. ( range suggests should be under 5)The doc just said 'must have been your thyroid'. All other values were in range too (HDL etc). So yes, hypothyroid and cholesterol are definitely linked.

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