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One’s thyroid hormone levels can affect one’s cholesterol levels.  

The thyroid gland produces the hormones that control the body’s metabolism and plays an important role in proper organ function. When the thyroid produces too much or too little thyroid hormone, it can have an effect on your cholesterol levels, causing them to rise or fall, depending on the case. So, how exactly does the thyroid affect cholesterol? And what can you do if you are experiencing thyroid-related problems?

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a substance that is found in each of the body’s cells. The body uses cholesterol to produce the hormones and substances that are necessary for digestion. Cholesterol also circulates in the blood.

There are two types of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. HDL cholesterol helps to remove cholesterol from the body and is good for the heart. LDL cholesterol, on the other hand, can build up in the arteries and contribute to issues like heart disease and stroke.

How does the thyroid affect cholesterol levels?

The thyroid gland has a number of important functions in the body. In fact, thyroid hormones are essential when it comes to the body’s ability to produce cholesterol and get rid of excess cholesterol. When the thyroid does not produce enough hormone, the body is not able to break down and get rid of LDL cholesterol as effectively as it should. This can cause a build-up of unhealthy cholesterol in the blood.

On the other hand, when the thyroid produces too much hormone, it can cause a decrease in cholesterol levels.

What are the symptoms of a dysfunctional thyroid?

Some of the symptoms of an underactive thyroid that is not producing enough hormone include unexplained weight gain; constipation; dry skin; slow heart beat; and sensitivity to cold. You may also suffer from muscle aches.

If your thyroid is overactive, you may notice different symptoms. These include weight loss; increased heart beat; sensitivity to heat; sleep problems; and an increased appetite.

How do you get your thyroid and cholesterol tested?

If you have noticed any of the symptoms of a thyroid-related problem, or know that your cholesterol levels are either overly high or low, it is advisable that you see your doctor. Your doctor will take blood tests to measure your hormone levels and determine if your thyroid is overactive or underactive.

In some cases, an underactive thyroid can be treated with thyroid replacement medicine. This course of treatment can also help to lower excessively high cholesterol levels.

If your doctor identifies an overactive thyroid, medicine may also be suitable. In some cases, however, surgery may be recommended to remove all or part of the thyroid gland. When the thyroid gland has been removed, thyroid hormone replacement is necessary in order to maintain optimal health. This hormone is given in the form of a daily tablet.

How can we help?

Associate Professor Navin Niles and his team of specialists are highly experienced in a range of endocrine surgeries. If you are experiencing thyroid-related issues and have been referred for a procedure, we encourage you to come in for a consultation so that Associate Professor Navin Niles can explain your treatment to you and address any concerns and questions that you have. The team will guide you through your entire treatment process and listen and respond to your needs to ensure that you feel comfortable and cared for throughout your journey.

Some of the procedures that Associate Professor Navin Niles offers include hemithyroidectomy; parotidectomy; parathyroidectomy; and thyroidectomy. If you would like to find out more about our range of services and speciality procedures, please have a look here.

To arrange a consultation with Associate Professor Niles, please contact us here or give us a call on (02) 9810 9839. We look forward to helping you achieve better health and an improved sense of overall wellbeing.