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Hypothyroidism increases risk of heart disease, attack or stroke

Susan January 15, 2013 Heart Health & Cholesterol, Thyroid Screens Comments Off on Hypothyroidism increases risk of heart disease, attack or stroke
Hypothyroidism increases risk of heart disease, attack or stroke

You probably know this: The thyroid gland produces hormones that act upon every cell in the body. When the thyroid is “underactive” as in “hypo” thyroid disease, metabolic processes are disrupted resulting in a range of symptoms.

But did you know, when one system goes awry, it can cause a domino effect in the body?

Too little folate leads to too much homocysteine

For example, hypothyroidism causes a decrease in a liver enzyme that breaks down folic acid to produce L-methyl folate. Low levels of l-methyl folate lead to excess levels of homocysteine—which can increase the risk for atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), heart attack or stroke.

Folate is an essential B vitamin that is important in helping the body make new cells. It is naturally found in many foods—including leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, legumes and enriched breakfast cereals, breads and flours. Folic acidis the man-made form of folate that is found in supplements and added to foods.

Homocysteine is a common amino acid in the blood that, when elevated, is considered an independent risk factor for heart disease—because it corrodes the main components of arteries.

What can you do? If you have or suspect you have an underactive thyroid, get a complete thyroid panel, test your folate and homocysteine levels and take your results to your doctor. And don’t forget to eat your fruits, green, leafy vegetables and grain products fortified with folic acid.

Learn more at: http://www.allthyroid.org/askthedoctor/homocysteine.html

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