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Is there a connection between your thyroid and high cholesterol?

Posted on October 16, 2022

Cholesterol is a substance that your body needs to build cells and produce hormones and vitamin D. You’ve probably heard about the importance of monitoring your cholesterol levels, but did you know that there can be a connection between your thyroid and high cholesterol? In some cases, treating an underactive thyroid could resolve cholesterol problems.

What causes high cholesterol?

There are a few main causes of high cholesterol to consider:

  • Diet – Consuming too many foods that are high in fat.
  • Genetics – Some people inherit genes that cause them to produce too much cholesterol.
  • Hypothyroidism – The decreased metabolism caused by this condition can impact your levels of total cholesterol. 

What is the connection between your thyroid and high cholesterol?

Thyroid hormones regulate your body’s metabolism. If you are affected by hypothyroidism, your metabolism is slowed. This impacts the breakdown of cholesterol and triglycerides in your body, leading to high cholesterol levels.

If you have high cholesterol levels, it’s important to talk with your doctor about whether a thyroid screening can be ordered to avoid undiagnosed hypothyroidism and to ensure you are receiving the correct treatment.

What are some lifestyle changes that will help lower cholesterol?

If you still have high cholesterol after testing for and treating a thyroid diagnosis, there are some steps you can take to help get your cholesterol back into balance – the biggest changes being your diet and exercise routine.  

Incorporate more foods into your diet that substitute monounsaturated fats and try to eliminate trans fats, which are often found in processed foods. It’s also helpful to make sure you are getting enough omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber in your diet. Eating more foods like salmon, almonds, oats, beans, and vegetables will help you to accomplish this. 

Consistent exercise is also an important step to lower your cholesterol. Try incorporating more walks into your day or take a yoga class! Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day can make all the difference.

We know that these big lifestyle changes can be overwhelming, but we’re here to help! Our NextStepMD Weight Loss Program is designed to help you lose weight, maintain weight loss, and gain better control of your health. We offer one-on-one sessions and work closely with our patients to recommend the methods that offer the greatest opportunities of success. We’ll educate, motivate and support you as you establish new habits. Our medical team will help guide you through the program with ease and support!

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