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Hypothyroidism and Heart Disease

If you suffer from heart disease, you may also be at risk for hypothyroidism, a disorder in which the thyroid produces too little thyroid hormone.

“Hypothyroidism can cause significant cardiac symptoms, especially for people who already have heart disease,” says Ahmad Z. Sheikh, MD, FACE, ENCU, CCD, endocrinologist at Saint Francis Medical Center. “These symptoms include shortness of breath, slow heart rate and high blood pressure. It can also cause heart failure or worsen existing heart failure.”

Ahmad Zaki Sheikh, MD, FACE, ECNU, CCD
Ahmad Zaki Sheikh, MD, FACE, ECNU, CCD

The typical symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, depression and unexplained weight gain. However, older people may not experience these symptoms, yet they still have a serious problem. “That is why it is important to report any cardiac symptoms to your doctor,” says Sheikh. “He or she can run tests to determine the root cause.”

Doctors usually can easily treat hypothyroidism with thyroid hormone medication.

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