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The Thyroid - Cholesterol Connection

Updated: Oct 8


Has your Cholesterol been creeping up? You might be trying to eat right and exercise and find that our total cholesterol keeps climbing. Perhaps you have not considered that your issue with cholesterol might actually be related to your Thyroid...


Let me explain. As the value of your Thyroid Stimulating Hormone or TSH goes up, so can your cholesterol. In fact, it's a pattern I see every day in my practice. Slightly elevated TSH (still very much within normal "reference range" but outside of healthy functional levels) can show up with elevated total cholesterol and LDL or what gets labeled as the "bad cholesterol".


Why in the world would that happen? It is your liver's job to synthesize cholesterol. This process is heavily dependant on Thyroid hormones. When you TSH levels are high, this indicates that your body has low levels of Thyroid hormones. TSH increases the activity on an enzyme called HMG CoA reductase. This increases cholesterol production. There is a lot more to the story than this, but that is a very simplified explanation.


Another interesting note is that the issue is usually noticed by those who would be considered to have "subclinical hypothyroidism". This is just a fancy way to say that they haven't been officially diagnosed because their TSH numbers are still "In range". They are told, everything looks great. If you have read any of my other articles on the thyroid, you will find that I have an issue with the reference range that is commonly used for TSH. It's very wide, and I believe there are quite a few people walking around with values "In range" that actually feel very sick and have struggling thyroids.


If you have high or borderline high cholesterol and suspect you might have an issue with your thyroid, I would encourage you to work with a functional health care provider to see if that is part of the issue. I believe that finding the root cause of your health issues is always better than waiting until major issues show up!


If myself or my team can be of assistance to you on this journey, please feel free to book a FREE consultation to speak to us and figure out if we can help. We are happy to help however we can.



(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3109527/

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