Is there a link between hypothyroid and cholest... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

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Is there a link between hypothyroid and cholesterol. Should I succumb to taking statins?

Ploggy123 profile image
18 Replies

My diet is really not bad and I feel that my cholesterol levels are heredity and not diet related. While I can have a cake and a chocolate now and again, I really dont indulge. Very occassional butter, only skimmed milk and low fat yogurts.

18 Replies
shaws profile image

A higher cholesterol is a symptom of hypothyroidism and should fall when properly medicated.

This is a link

Ploggy123 profile image
Ploggy123 in reply to shaws

Not going to work. Cant convince the Doctor to up the dose. Using TUK to become educated and know the arguments. Thank you.

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator in reply to Ploggy123

Hi Ploggy

Can you get a print-out of your latest thyroid gland blood test results complete with the ranges and post on a new question, so that some can give their comments upon them. You are entitled to it and just ask the Receptionist for a copy.

Make sure you have had Vitamin B12 and Vit D, ferritin, folate and iron done if you haven't already done so.

Ploggy123 profile image
Ploggy123 in reply to shaws

Thank you. Will do this. Learning all the time.

wrestlehealth profile image
wrestlehealth in reply to shaws

Shaws, those links are broken, can you repost?

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to wrestlehealth

Afraid that in the more than six years since shaws posted that, the Thyroid UK website has changed significantly.

There have been many, many posts on the forum about statins. Try the search box (top right on a PC screen).

Try this:

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator in reply to wrestlehealth

This is information from NHS - many doctors do seem to prescribe statins due to a higher cholesterol without seemingly to know that it is a clinical symptom of hypo and patient needs either a higher dose to bring TSH to 1 or lower and the frees in the upper part of the ranges.


"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."

Maybe the professionals you consult need to get a copy of the link.

Hi, I was told by my GP that in his words,'thyroid problems can bugger up cholesterol levels' so on that basis I would say definitely yes! Haven't been on treatment long enough to have had it checked to see if it lower though but he seemed optimistic that in may well lower it in time and we didn't want to go down statin road yet. My level was 6.4 I think and ratio HDL/LDL was not great.

dogtired profile image

Plant sterols have lowered mine......most large pharmacies stock them.

Ploggy123 profile image
Ploggy123 in reply to dogtired

Do you just ask for "plant sterols". Any side effects?

dogtired profile image
dogtired in reply to Ploggy123

Lestrin and boots, holland & b are 3 that i can remember.....I don't know of any side effects but you should ask the pharmacist for interactions or side effects.

hooper profile image

Hi, when I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism my cholesterol level was 7.1 but after about a year on levothyroxine it had lowered to 5.5 which wasn't too bad.

Jen x

Ploggy123 profile image
Ploggy123 in reply to hooper

Thanks to everyone who has responded. I have been diagnosed for 7 years now when I went to BUPA for an MOT for my 50th birthday and I have been on 75mcg Levothyroxin for several years. My latest results


TSH = 1.68

HDL = 1.1

LDL = 5.7

Ratio 7.2

Triglyc. 2.5

I asked if we could increase the Levothyroxin to reduce cholesterol but Doctor says my levels are balanced, any more would cause toxity and worse health problems. She seems to advocate the use of statins but obviously allowed me to say no thanks and so I am off to have more oats and exercise.

So, any thoughts on these levels and any advice would be much appreciated.

Marz profile image

....before the blood tests for TSH ruled the world of medicine it was assumed that if your cholesterol was high then you possibly also had an UAT. Cholesterol is mostly produced in the body - over 80% I believe - and very little from food. The Food Agencies are almost as bad as the Drug Agencies and just want to make money out of the unsuspecting public ! But of course we all know better !

Cholesterol is there for a reason - the brain needs lots and VitD cannot be produced without it and lots of other very good things. How are your vitiamins ? I know many people disregard Homocysteine - which MAY be a better indicator of Heart/stroke problems. If it's high then the treatment is just Folic Acid and the B Vitamins. Probably why it is not present as a regular test in mainstream medicine as there is no drug to lower it !

Usually high Homocysteine accompanies raised cholesterol. It was also found in the plaque of blood vessels in the early research - so it was not cholesterol alone that was causing the problem. Many think it is oxidation - rust ? - that blocks the arterial system....from inflammation somewhere in the body. Lots of information out there .... has some information and Chris Kresser also.

Ploggy123 profile image
Ploggy123 in reply to Marz

Thank you. Dr. did say 85% I couldnt do anything about and 15% I might influence with diet and execise.

Re. testing for vitamin levels and homocysteine is this a blood test at the Doctors?


Marz profile image
Marz in reply to Ploggy123

....yes maybe - but as Shaws says in an earlier post - when you are being sufficiently treated for the UAT then your cholesterol will be lower.

Yes it is worth asking the GP to test for Ferritin B12 Folates VitD and Iron. All these need to be OPTIMAL and not just in range. Lots and lots on this forum about this and what is needed to help thyroid hormones at a cellular level. Possibly not Homocysteine - worth asking. Have a read up about it and see what you think. It is probably available privately

I am able to have things tested more easily as I live in Crete and they know about Homocysteine....or certainly didn't question it when I asked ! It's a naturally occurring protein that needs to chelate efficiently from the body. So again when things are going slowly so does the chelation/removal.

In my situation as my cholesterol rose - so did my homocysteine. We are all different of course.

Ploggy123 profile image
Ploggy123 in reply to Marz

Thank you. I am working my way through lots of information but its good to get pointers for short cuts.

You really need FT4 & FT3 tested too. Any chance with your GP? If not, you can get some private testing done. :)



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