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Hypothyroidism and High Blood Pressure: Why Salt Restriction and Diuretics Can Be Deadly (Do This Instead)

By | 2017-04-24T22:38:19+00:00 March 1st, 2017|Hypothyroidism|17 Comments
  • hypothyroidism and high blood pressure

So, I’ll come right out and say it…

If you’re trying to lower your blood pressure through salt restriction or diuretics, then you’re in for a big surprise.

When working with clients, I see both low and high blood pressure.

It’s all about how YOUR body compensates for YOUR hypothyroidism, which is different from one person to the next.

It’s one of the many things that make understanding hypothyroidism difficult for many.

It’s also one of the many reasons why treating high blood pressure the wrong way can be deadly.

Restricting salt and using diuretics won’t solve the underlying problem.

Both work to lower your blood pressure by removing water from your blood.

It’s simple physics…

Reduce your blood volume and the pressure decreases.

But, it’s like being trapped in a sinking boat and bailing water all day every day.

As long as you keep bailing water, you’ll keep your blood pressure lower and your boat afloat.

But it doesn’t do anything to fix the underlying problem.

Plus, salt restriction and diuretics come with some significant risks and can even be deadly.

The research on salt is quite conflicted.

Maintaining a low sodium diet has long been recommended for heart health, yet there is really no evidence supporting salt restriction.

In fact, some studies show that salt restriction increases your risk of early death.

The same goes for diuretics.

There are many studies showing that diuretics increase both hospitalizations and mortality for those with heart conditions.

Since when does it make sense to treat any condition in ways that are known to increase premature death?

The real underlying problem for most is a hormone called aldosterone, which is the hormone that regulates water balance in your body.

The Hypothyroidism – Aldosterone – High Blood Pressure Connection

Aldosterone is a hormone that is part of your renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system.

In short, the hormone aldosterone is responsible for regulating your sodium levels and blood pressure.

hypothyroidism-high-blood-pressure-connection

When elevated, aldosterone works to re-absorb and retain sodium while wasting potassium in the process.

This loss of potassium actually causes your arteries to constrict, increasing your blood pressure.

Elevated aldosterone also promotes both inflammation and edema (water retention), and suppresses your metabolism.

All of these further promote hypothyroidism.

To regulate both water balance and blood pressure, you must regulate aldosterone.

Aldosterone rises in response to many things including:

      • Sodium Loss
      • Elevated Parathyroid Hormone (via low calcium)
      • Hypoglycemia
      • Estrogen Dominance
      • Elevated Serotonin
      • Bacterial Endotoxin

All of these are commonly found in hypothyroidism.

In hypothyroidism, sodium is lost rapidly and calcium is deficient.

Estrogen becomes dominant and commonly increases serotonin production.

Hypothyroid sufferers also have higher incidence of Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), leading to higher levels of bacterial endotoxin.

To top it all off, high levels of adrenaline or stress (also common in hypothyroidism) can increase blood pressure even further.

Needless to say, there are many factors in hypothyroidism that can make you prone to elevated blood pressure.

Restricting salt and using diuretics only causes your body to fight sodium deficiency even harder.

As a result, they contribute to the problem by forcing your aldosterone even higher.

Sure, your blood pressure may decrease a little, but you’re also inhibiting your thyroid at the same time.

Let’s look at some simple ways to help correct these underlying causes of your high blood pressure while supporting your thyroid in the process.

5 Safe Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure and Support Your Thyroid

1. Increase Your Calcium

Based on the research of Dr. David McCarron, it’s very clear that calcium (not sodium) has the largest influence on your blood pressure.

In his studies, Dr. McCarron showed that adequate calcium intake is the number one factor in preventing high blood pressure. (He also showed that adequate sodium is also important.)

Blood pressure and nutrient intake in the United States.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6729459
“Across the population, higher intakes of calcium, potassium, and sodium were associated with lower mean systolic blood pressure and lower absolute risk of hypertension.”

2. Don’t Forget Potassium

Along with calcium, potassium also has a strong influence over blood pressure.

Remember, when aldosterone is high your body wastes potassium causing your arteries to constrict and your blood pressure to rise.

Getting more potassium from foods like orange juice can make a big difference.

(NOTE: Want a more advanced method to boost your thyroid using only 3 simple foods a day? Download our proven 3 Food Triple-Thyroid Boosting Protocol now and learn how to start every day right, feeling calm clear and full of energy.)

3-Food-Triple-Thyroid-Boosting Daily Protocol

3. Thyroid Hormone (T3)

Dr. Broda Barnes showed through his research that using adequate thyroid hormone can relieve high blood pressure.

For starters, thyroid hormone helps to prevent sodium wasting and hypoglycemia.

Yet, it also has the ability to correct many of the hormonal imbalances associated with hypothyroidism such as helping to regulate estrogen, serotonin, and parathyroid hormone (PTH).

4. Balance Estrogen Dominance

Estrogen causes veins and arteries to constrict, increasing your blood pressure.

Progesterone has the opposite effect of causing veins and arteries to relax, reducing blood pressure.

Estrogen and progesterone also play a role in regulating mineral (sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) balance in your body.

Too much estrogen, without adequate progesterone, promotes high blood pressure.

5. Bag Breathing

Most of us live with a lot of stress.

Remember, stress will increase your blood pressure.

As adrenaline rises, your blood pressure rises with it.

A simple way to help reduce your blood pressure (albeit over the short term) is to practice some bag breathing.

Simply breathe in and out through your nose into a paper bag, for 2 to 3 minutes, 2 to 3 times daily.

Don’t force it, and take a break between periods of breathing if needed.

After practicing this for a week you should start to see a difference in your blood pressure.

You should also feel calmer and less stressed.

Bag breathing is a great way to lower adrenaline and help support a healthy metabolism and blood pressure.

While bag breathing does help, getting your minerals in balance is essential for permanently correcting your blood pressure.

This means no more restricting sodium.

That just elevates your aldosterone even more.

Instead, increase your calcium, potassium, and even magnesium… and be sure to get adequate sodium too.

(NOTE: Want a more advanced method to boost your thyroid using only 3 simple foods a day? Download our proven 3 Food Triple-Thyroid Boosting Protocol now and learn how to start every day right, feeling calm clear and full of energy.)

3-Fodd-Triple-Thyroid-Boosting Daily Protocol

About the Author:

Tom Brimeyer is the founder of Forefront Health and the creator of the popular Hypothyroidism Revolution program series. Specializing in thyroid and metabolism disorders, Tom's work has impacted over 50,000 people spanning more than 60 countries. Tom is also a highly sought after practitioner who runs a successful health consulting practice where he continues to help clients across the globe to take back control of their lives from their devastating health conditions.

17 Comments

  1. Sheila March 2, 2017 at 7:02 am - Reply

    Wow — that is very informative! That explains why I had problems during pregnancies many years ago (toxemia) with the crazy hormones. I’ve always suspected I had a mineral imbalance and ended up with osteoporosis at age 50 and problems with my teeth. Thanks for sharing this important information!

  2. Randal March 2, 2017 at 8:11 am - Reply

    Hi Tom. I’m a 54 year old male with Hypothyroidism. I’m on NDT and T3 which has made a significant difference in how I feel and function. My last blood lab has shown I’m low in aldosterone, (and have been for many previous years of labs). I take supplemental magnesium but I still struggle with controlling my high blood pressure. I don’t supplement with potassium or calcium. Also, my pet dog loves to lick my legs which I was told by a fellow Hypo sufferer means I have salt leaching from my body. So what can I do to increase Aldosterone levels?

  3. vidya March 2, 2017 at 8:23 am - Reply

    Thanks Tom. Great insight into the Blood pressure & HypoT connection. I have been HypoT( for 20 yrs) & Type 2 DM ( past 12 yrs) & my blood pressure hovers around 140/80. Taking Natur-throid (81.25)& Levothyroxine(25mcg) & Metformin ( 2 * 1000mg) a day.What is the recommended dosage for supplementing with Calcium ( in its best form) &/ or Potassium.? My diet is low lacto-vegetarian with emphasis on raw leafy greens and low sugar fruits.

    • Tom Brimeyer March 2, 2017 at 9:00 am - Reply

      Here’s a recommendation for calcium: http://www.forefronthealth.com/eggshell-calcium-supplement/

      Fruit (not necessarily low sugar), orange juice, milk, are all good source of potassium, but as mentioned in the article, it’s important to regulate aldosterone to prevent potassium wasting.

  4. Maria March 2, 2017 at 8:49 am - Reply

    What can help with too low blood pressure?

    • Tom Brimeyer March 2, 2017 at 8:53 am - Reply

      Hi Maria, thyroid and progesterone can both help.

  5. Kathy March 2, 2017 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    Hi Tom,
    You mentioned increasing calcium, potassium and magnesium. What is a good source for
    increasing magnesium?
    Thanks

  6. Darlene Gail March 2, 2017 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    Hi Tom
    How can I convince my doctor to give me T3 and progesterone. I have been to thyroid specialist for cysts and problems with thyroid but neither doctor have considered any form of treatment. I am 58 and loosing ground with joint pain and high blood pressure and have worsening condition since going off salt. I am allergic to a number of hb pills thankgod.

    • Tom Brimeyer March 2, 2017 at 1:50 pm - Reply

      Hi Darlene, I run into this problem with clients all the time, which is why I’m working on a new training that can help. You don’t need a doctor to prescribe progesterone and we have a desiccated thyroid supplement that I also use with clients. You can find them here: http://www.forefronthealth.com/shop/

  7. BJ March 2, 2017 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    So this is associated with adrenal? Burnout? Do you recommend taking Vitamin K2 and D if you take Calcium?

    • Tom Brimeyer March 3, 2017 at 8:17 am - Reply

      Hi BJ, yes vitamin D3 and K2 are important for calcium absorption and regulation, but don’t make the mistake of trying to connect blood calcium levels and dietary calcium. That’s a big mistake that most make because they aren’t aware of the calcium paradox. The calcium paradox is actually caused by calcium deficiency and the secretion of parathyroid hormone to raise blood calcium levels. Increasing calcium intake, getting adequate magnesium, and thyroid hormone (T3) all help to keep calcium out of the cells and prevent this disease process. See the study below as well.

      Calcium paradox: consequences of calcium deficiency manifested by a wide variety of diseases.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10874605
      “Calcium deficiency is readily connected with osteoporosis, which is a decrease of bone calcium content. Less well known is the calcium outflow from bone that occurs to prevent decrease of blood calcium in calcium deficiency caused by the parathyroid hormone, with consequent calcium overflow into soft tissues and the intracellular compartment. Such intracellular paradoxical Ca overload as a consequence of nutritional calcium deficiency may give rise to a number of diseases common in old age: hypertension, arteriosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, neurodegenerative diseases, malignancy, and degenerative joint disease.”

  8. chuk March 2, 2017 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    have HIGH cholesterol & blood pressure, question off the wall, when younger wad a pot head with normal blood pressure. stopped using 28 years ago and now the pressure issue, could there be some type of relationship?

  9. Luke Sweet Machine Fit March 3, 2017 at 5:05 am - Reply

    Wow! Never had any thyroid problems but I do have blood pressure issues due to genetics and stress so I’m going to add at least a quality calcium supplement into my daily routine. Thank you, very informative.

  10. Lisa March 3, 2017 at 6:28 am - Reply

    WOW!!! This is me to a “T!” I have been fighting with docs for 9 months to stay off of BP meds. I just got a script for T3 but it is so small, I don’t think it will make a difference. I am going to increase calcium and see if that makes a difference. Good timing!

  11. Lisa March 3, 2017 at 9:59 am - Reply

    Okay, one more comment…as I try to space out my thyroid during the day, I also am trying to keep up my calcium. Any tips, Tom for how to get the right amount of calcium AND get your thyroid in many times a day???I am following your eating plan BUT then need to not take thyroid near calcium. Thanks!

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