What is Thyroid Hypertension?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 13 October 2019
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Thyroid hypertension is a form of high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, linked with problems in a patient's thyroid gland. This condition is most commonly seen in patients with hyperthyroidism, where the thyroid is overproducing hormones, but in a small number of people with hypothyroidism and low hormone production, it is possible to see the development of hypertension. Treating the high blood pressure requires addressing the underlying thyroid problem in the patient.

Patients with overactive thyroids can develop thyroid hypertension as a result of increased activity of norepinephrine and epinephrine in the body. These hormones act to elevate blood pressure. Low thyroid hormones can cause other imbalances in body chemistry leading to an increase in blood pressure. As blood pressure rises, patients can experience symptoms like irregular heartbeats, chest pain, difficulty breathing, swelling in the extremities, and kidney problems.

In cases of secondary hypertension, diet and lifestyle adjustments will not resolve the high blood pressure, and high blood pressure medication may not be as effective. If a patient's unusually high blood pressure is not responding to treatment, a doctor can run tests to look for underlying causes like thyroid problems. In cases where thyroid hypertension is diagnosed, supplemental hormones can be used to treatment patients with underactive thyroids, while medications and surgery can be used to suppress overactive thyroids and bring hormones back down to a normal level.


If a patient has a known thyroid problem, screening can be performed to check for thyroid hypertension. Catching the rise in blood pressure early will allow doctors to intervene more effectively and can reduce the risk of complications associated with chronic high blood pressure. If blood pressure is allowed to rise and stay high, patients can experience organ damage and other serious complications and may eventually die as a result of their untreated high blood pressure.

Cases of thyroid hypertension can require some trial and error for treatment. The patient will also need to be monitored in the long term to check on thyroid hormone levels. As levels change, medication and treatment regimens can be adjusted to compensate and keep the patient's hormones within normal and safe levels. People in treatment for thyroid conditions may want to note their history on a medical alert card, as the problems with the thyroid could potentially be a problem in a medical emergency and it will be useful for emergency services to know about the thyroid issues.


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Post 3

The connection between hypertension and thyroid is so confusing. I understand how hyperthyroidism causes hypertension, because too much thyroid hormones speed up all the processes in the body. If we go by this logic, then the opposite of hyperthyroidism-- hypothyroidism-- should lower blood pressure. But like the article said, that doesn't always happen.

My doctor said that because I don't have enough thyroid hormones in my body, my blood vessels have stiffened and that somehow leads to hypertension. I'm not exactly sure how though.

Post 2

@SarahGen-- I'm not a doctor but I think that completely depends on how the patient is responding to treatment. When I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and hypertension, my doctor began treating me for hyperthyroidism. I took my medications regularly and my blood pressure returned to normal along with my thyroid levels.

But it might not work for everyone and the doctor might want to reduce hypertension with additional medication. So it depends on the individual patient.

Post 1

When someone is diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and hypertension, is it enough to treat the hyperthyroidism? Because if the underlying condition is treated, blood pressure should go back to normal right? Or is it necessary to treat the hypertension too?

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