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You eat healthy, exercise regularly, and try to take good care of your health. But for some seemingly unexplainable reason, you have high blood pressure. In some cases, hypertension can be caused by an underlying health condition that you might not even know you have, like hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Your high blood pressure may be one of the unexpected symptoms of thyroid issues; treating an underlying thyroid disorder may help resolve your high blood pressure problem.
What Does the Thyroid Have to Do With the Heart?
The body uses many different hormones to communicate between different parts of the body. To maintain proper cardiovascular function, for example, hormones tell your heart when to pump harder, tell your blood vessels when to constrict or dilate, and more.
The thyroid hormone T3 (triiodothyronine) is intricately involved in this process, and it has both indirect and direct effects on the heart and blood vessels. Because of this, proper thyroid function is necessary for proper cardiovascular function.
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The Association Between Hypertension and Thyroid Disorders
When thyroid hormones get out of balance, a variety of cardiovascular problems can occur. One of the common symptoms of thyroid issues is high blood pressure. When thyroid problems cause hypertension, it is called secondary hypertension, which refers to cases of hypertension caused by an underlying health condition.
Numerous studies have identified this link, showing that both hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) are associated with elevated blood pressure.[2,3,4]  Even subclinical hyper- and hypothyroidism may raise the risk for high blood pressure.[1,5]
Treating the Symptoms of Thyroid Issues Can Help Lower Your Blood Pressure
The good news is, if you have secondary hypertension caused by a thyroid problem, getting your thyroid hormone levels back to normal will usually bring your blood pressure back to normal as well.
In one study, blood pressure was compared between patients with hyperthyroidism and healthy individuals. Unsurprisingly, the systolic blood pressure was higher in hyperthyroid patients. However, after treating the hyperthyroidism with hormone therapy, the researchers found that blood pressure readings returned to normal.
What You Can Do
If you suspect your high blood pressure may be due to a thyroid problem, find out whether you thyroid is functioning properly right away. For a list of symptoms of hypothyroidism, along with information on how to determine whether you have an underactive thyroid, click here. Hypothyroidism is often caused by an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s disease, which you can learn more about by clicking here.
To get started, read this blog on How to Find a Thyroid Doctor or Endocrinologist. It includes practical tips on finding a healthcare practitioner who can help you diagnose and treat a possible thyroid condition.
Share Your Experience
Do you have a thyroid problem? Did you find that the condition affected your blood pressure? What are your favorite natural remedies for thyroid conditions or hypertension? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Originally published in 2015 and regularly updated.