In recognition of National Wear Red Day February 3, 2017, Go Red For Women asks that women Go Red to fight heart disease. You bet Hypothyroid Mom is going red for all of us with hypothyroidism. Undiagnosed or insufficiently treated hypothyroidism increases the risk of heart disease. It’s time to shout louder, stand stronger, and demand change together. GO RED FOR WOMEN WITH HYPOTHYROIDISM.
One look at my post Is Your Thyroid KILLING You? Heart Disease will make it clear that hypothyroidism increases our risk of heart disease. Plain and simple.
Proper treatment of hypothyroidism will reduce your risk factors for heart disease. The key is ensuring you are properly diagnosed and treated. If you suffer from heart disease, get your thyroid checked. If you are being treated for hypothyroidism yet you still suffer from heart disease, it may be time to get a second opinion – 30 online resources to find a good thyroid doctor.
For this post I’ve decided to take quotes from two important sources, The Thyroid Federation International and Go Red For Women, and place them one after the other to show you just how serious the risk really is for hypothyroid women (and men and children too, of course).[1,2,3]
It’s time for women to stand together in the fight for their lives. Because heart disease is their No. 1 killer, affecting more women than men.
The thyroid produces hormones which are essential for keeping your heart working as it should. The most important thyroid hormones are thyroxine (T4), and triiodothyronine (T3). T3 is the more active thyroid hormone and responsible for growth, development, and virtually all cellular processes. It regulates the heart rate, pulse, blood circulation, heart contractility and oxygen consumption.
Heart disease kills approximately one woman every minute. It’s more deadly than all forms of cancer combined.
Hypothyroidism causes your heart to beat too slowly or irregularly, to flutter with missing or additional beats. As a consequence bradycardia may develop; this form of arrhythmia leaves your organs and tissues without enough oxygen and nutrients. Severe bradycardia can result in cardiac arrest.
Only 1 in 5 American women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat.
Hypothyroidism causes your blood pressure to change. Over time, high blood pressure will develop with the consequence of developing atherosclerosis, a risk for heart attack and stroke.
Only about 50 percent of women are aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
Hypothyroidism causes your cholesterol in the blood to rise and calcification, so called plaque, to develop in your arteries and makes them stiff. All these effects increase the risk for atherosclerosis, heart attack and heart failure.
Women are less likely to call 9-1-1 for themselves when experiencing symptoms of a heart attack than they are for someone else.
Warning Signs of a Heart Attack in Women
According to Go Red For Women:
Symptoms of a heart attack:
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
As with men, the most common heart attack symptom in women is chest pain or discomfort. But it’s important to note that women are more likely to experience the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
Every woman should watch this excellent video starring Emmy award winner actress Elizabeth Banks. Just a Little Heart Attack is a little film about a super mom who takes care of everyone except herself.
Women with untreated or insufficiently treated hypothyroidism are at risk for heart disease, yet few people know it and little attention is given to us in the media. Inadequately treated hypothyroidism increases the risk of heart complications, yet few thyroid sufferers are even aware they are in danger. This is why it’s so important for women (and men and children too) with hypothyroidism to ensure they receive optimal thyroid treatment. There are millions of hypothyroidism sufferers worldwide who don’t even know they have hypothyroidism. They are at risk of heart disease and have no clue.
1. Thyroid Federation International. How thyroid hormones impact your heart.
2. Go Red For Women. About heart disease in women.
3. Go Red For Women. Fact Sheet 2012-2013.
4. Go Red For Women. Symptoms of a heart attack.