Hypothyroidism and Elevted Cholesterol Levels

Many Americans with high cholesterol levels may not know that their cholesterol is elevated due to undiagnosed thyroid problems. Hypothyroidism is associated with higher risk for high total and LDL cholesterol as well as triglycerides, and treating hypothyroidism has been shown to significantly decrease cholesterol levels.

A recent survey has shown that less than half of the adults who have been diagnosed with high cholesterol know if they had ever been tested for hypothyroidism, and 90% of those surveyed were unaware of the thyroid gland’s impact on cholesterol regulation.

The National Cholesterol Education Program and the Food and Drug Administration recommend thyroid testing for patients with elevated cholesterol levels. Furthermore, the prescribing information for many cholesterol-lowering drugs recommends testing for thyroid disease before beginning cholesterol-lowering drug therapy.

Since guidelines strongly recommend thyroid testing if you have elevated cholesterol, consider getting a thyroid test to rule out possible thyroid problems.  If you have symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, and depression, you may be due for a thyroid test.