Unexpected Symptoms of Thyroid Issues Include High Blood Pressure

Do you have high blood pressure but can’t quite figure out why? Blood pressure problems can be symptoms of thyroid issues, so be sure to get your thyroid checked.

symptoms-of-thyroid-issues

Recent studies show the doctors may be over-prescribing medications for elderly patients displaying symptoms of thyroid issues.

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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.[1]

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] [2] 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.[6]

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.[3]

What You Can Do About High Blood Pressure and Thyroid Problems

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 thyroid condition affected your blood pressure? What are your favorite natural remedies for thyroid conditions or hypertension? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


[1] Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Oct;15 Suppl 4:S354-60.

[2] Am J Hypertens. 2001 Oct;14(10):995-1002.

[3] Med Sci Monit. 2002 Jul;8(7):CR502-7.

[4] J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2006 Aug;8(8):596-9.

[5] J Hum Hypertens. 2010 Feb;24(2):134-8.

[6] Ann Endocrinol (Paris). 2011 Sep;72(4):296-303.

Originally published in 2015 and regularly updated.

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Comments
  • I was diagnosed at 28 with hypertension and was treated with beta blockers and then ace inhibitors until 35 years old. I wasn’t diagnosed with Hashimotos until I was 32. For years my general practitioner told me my Thyroid was “normal” but once I finally went to and endocrinologist they said your levels are in the normal range but they are too close together. After that they found my antibodies were extremely high and finally I was diagnosed with Hashimotos. It wasn’t until I began desiccated thryroid that I started to feel normal and my loss pressures dropped back into a normal range. It’s unfortunate that I went so many years testing the secondary issue of blood pressure before the real problem was uncovered. I think it would be great if the general practitioners were better informed if the blood pressure connection and thryroid. I feel like I would have been diagnosed immediately by an endocrinologist for a Thyroid disorder when presented with high blood pressure in someone so young. It’s seems like very few people in the medical community know about this relationship and even less know how to uncover Thyroid disorders.

  • I’m having the same issue you are. Out of nowhere, I have high blood pressure. I’ve asked about my thyroid with many doctors, only to be told it’s “normal.” My mother has to take thyroid meds and I suspect with other symptoms I”m having that I too am afflicted. I feel like when I ask about this, doctors think I’m one of those patients who want to have something wrong. I think my next step is an endocrinologist too. I wish us both well and appreciate the article. I’m really not willing to roll over and accept that I just suddenly have high bp and I wish more patients would take the proactive road and keep.asking.questions.

  • I think I’ve read 5.5% of uk females have an under active thyroid, and 90-95% of those will be hereditary. My mum had lots of the symptoms I get. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease. It’s diagnosed by testing for for antibodies. Lots of doctors only test the TSH circulating thyroid hormone, which invariably comes back ‘normal’, but normal for who? My TSH is always ‘normal’ but I still have a ton of symptoms. Doctors only prescribe T4 thyroid meds on the NHS (its cheap) but it doesn’t work for many; hence you will still get high blood pressure etc. The cause of the condition, food intolerances, etc etc, are NEVER investigated or treated by most GPs or Endocrinologists. You need to find your own integrated health GP or endocrinologist, they’re much more knowledgeable. Good luck

  • My new GP just lowered my thyroid meds against my will. It took years to get it were I felt good and no problems. Great blood pressure. After weeks at the lower dosage I have all the signs of thyroid disorder again. High blood pressure. He will not listen to me. Just says blood test shows different. This is only medication I take, I do not smoke or drink, never have. So stressed, no one will listen.

  • I would ask to be referred to an endocrinologist ,or change my doctor ,the problem with low thyroid is you lose the will to fight for your rights .and if you dont feel right and you did before the doctor lowered your meds its a no brainer really ,i really feel for you you must get help as high blood pressure is dangerous .incidently what was your T S H before he lowered it ?

  • I had a thyroidectomy 2 years ago.Since then high blood pressure and cholesterol as feeling awful most of time.My doctor says thyroid hormones are in normal range with replacement medication. Seems their only solution is medication for these symptoms.I am not over weight ,exercise have a varied diet lots of vegetables etc .Dont know where to go from here .

  • Unfortunately, doctors treat the symptom and will not look for the exact cause. . . insurance companies and pharmaceuticals are to powerful to let it happen. 30 yrs ago, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. In my own situation and everyone is different, I would flip between hypo, hyper and back to normal. You just had to ride it out per the doctor. The start of me being put on BP meds came from an espisode of a thyroid storm (I believe) that the hospital ER did not catch or research at the time of the incident. Kidney, heart and brain got the work up. No thyroid tests whatsoever. BP meds was the answer to the problem in their eyes. I started having episodes again and pushed for numerous tests of my thyroid. The scans showed 3 nodules. A biopsy was ordered and sent off to Stanford Medical Center. It wasn’t cancer but a thyroiditis that can last up to 16 months and causes a variety of symptoms. Towards the end I had heart racing symptoms. I couldn’t take the medication to stop the heart racing because I am highly allergic to sulfa. Cardiologist did a week long heart monitoring test to make sure the heart wasn’t having problems and gave me a medication that dropped the BP in case I got into trouble. I also believe Hashimoto’s causes nonstop bleeding in women’s cycles. Hysterectomy is not always the treatment!! Another thing with my case is I had a super low vitamin D. 5,000 IU’s a day has helped bring me back to balance. Blood work doesn’t pick up on everything that is happening. You have to be symptomatic and get the tests immediately to catch what is going on from my experience. Keep pushing for answers to your health issues. Research everything at a reputable medical site and homeopathic site.

  • I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism about 30 years ago. Had an iodine uptake done and ended up hypothyroid. Been taking synthroid since. BP had never been a problem until a few years ago when I had back then neck surgery. We thought it was from being in constant pain – and my thyroid levels were normal. About 8 months ago, my doc put me on low dose BP meds because it was slightly high and I had a couple BP spikes. My last blood test results came back and my thyroid numbers were low – meaning I was hyperthyroid/getting too much synthroid. I had been dealing with gastritis for 4 months. And I was starting to have the symptoms of hyperthyroid again. So my doc lowered my dosage. Only been a week – I just wish I could feel the difference. Just had another BP spike after feel revved up. Started going down quickly and was back to normal in about 10 minutes.

  • I HAVE MANY THYROID NODULES. THEY ARE HURTING, CAUSING A CHOKING FEELING.
    I HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE; diarrhea ; AND ALWAYS FEELING BEYOND exhausted I don’t have any energy of any kind.

  • My health seemed fairly normal even though I was diagnosed hypothyroid many years ago. Several endocrinologists agreed a higher dose of Synthroid should suffice since my thyroid fluctuated too much and too often. Upon relocation a physician decided I shouldn’t be taking medications I had taken for years and years. Those medications (opiates) were abruptly removed and my thyroid med was also lowered. My body went into such great shock it fought the process by later causing a too high thyroid issue. I was further instructed to stop taking thyroid. That progressed into serious life threatening myxedema. I was treated, however, that damage caused high blood pressure with other abnormal lab results. I’m still trying to normalize my body so now I suffer from high blood pressure and have a confused thyroid that goes up and down and so does the medication. I’m seriously sick from physicians thinking they can CURE the issue with titration. It’s my strong opinion that if previous medication prescribed is working to help you lead a normal life with a normal heart then leave it alone. Your heart is a very delicate organ that controls your very existence in this life.

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