Sluggish Thyroid and Congestive Heart Failure

February 7, 2013 | Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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 Sluggish Thyroid and Congestive Heart Failure
A study shows that a poorly functioning thyroid is a contributing factor to worsening cardiovascular health. The most surprising finding in the study is that the thyroid did not have to be clinically out-of-whack for this problem to occur. A slightly off thyroid, one doctors don’t think of treating, was adequate to make heart health significantly worse.

The study evaluated 338 patients who already had congestive heart failure and were in stable condition with medication treatment. They were followed on average for 15 months. The study found that 79 people had serious progression of their cardiovascular problems (including 18 deaths in the follow-up period). Analysis of thyroid scores in all patients showed that those with progressing cardiovascular illness had elevated TSH. Even the slightest elevation of TSH above normal resulted in risk (subclinical hypothyroid).

Your thyroid hormone sets the metabolic pace at which cells make energy and use oxygen. Your heart pumps oxygenated blood around your body. Thus, both systems are integrated in how oxygen is used. This study predicts that having a sluggish thyroid is cardiovascular stressful and would contribute to worsening cardiovascular health as time goes by.

Based on the idea that you would like to keep everything in your body working as close to optimum as possible, using nutrition to help maintain optimal thyroid function is supportive of cardiovascular health.

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