The Long Term Risks of TSD: Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Laurie Heap, MD

Individuals with TSD seek medical help for the symptoms that decrease their sense of wellness in the present, but TSD’s silent effects may have an even more devastating impact on their future health. We all try to do things that are heart healthy—and for good reason. Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in both men and women. Currently, wearing red in February for women’s heart disease awareness month is almost as popular as wearing pink in October. As health-conscious individuals, we focus on eating right and exercising to lower our blood pressure and cholesterol. But what does this have to do with the thyroid?

TSD goes hand in hand with increased blood pressure, increased cholesterol, and increased triglycerides. All the problems we are trying to avoid by hitting the gym and taking the time and energy to eat right could be better controlled by correcting an under-active thyroid. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed an increased number of heart attacks in patients with “subclinical hypothyroidism.” Based on this information, it is reasonable to say that TSD not only undermines our sense of well-being, but also our efforts to live a heart-healthy life.

In addition to the increased risk of heart disease, some scientists suspect TSD is associated with elevated rates of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes. Although these suspicions have not been definitively proven, raising an awareness of the potential risk is important. Awareness of a link with cancer is especially significant, because early detection can save lives.