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Can hypothyroidism cause high blood pressure?

Written on March 24, 2023 by Gillian (Gigi) Singer, MPH. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

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When untreated, hypothyroidism can put you at risk for other health problems, like high cholesterol and heart issues. Keep reading to learn more.

What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, is a condition in which “the thyroid gland doesn't make enough thyroid hormone” [1]. About 10% of people live with hypothyroidism, and half of them aren’t aware of it.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland found internally in the front of the neck and is part of the endocrine system, which is responsible for the production and release of hormones [2]. When the thyroid isn’t functioning as it should, the whole body can be impacted.

The thyroid’s primary job is “to control the speed of your metabolism (metabolic rate), which is the process of how your body transforms the food you consume into energy. All of the cells in your body need energy to function” [2]. It creates four hormones using iodine and water [2]:

  • Thyroxine (T4): “This is the primary hormone your thyroid makes and releases. Although your thyroid makes the most of this hormone, it doesn’t have much of an effect on your metabolism. Once your thyroid releases T4 into your bloodstream, it can convert to T3 through a process called deiodination.”
  • Triiodothyronine (T3): Less T3 is produced compared to T4, but it has “a much greater effect on your metabolism than T4.”
  • Reverse triiodothyronine (RT3): A very small amount of this hormone is produced, and it reverses the effects of T3.
  • Calcitonin: “This hormone helps regulate the amount of calcium in your blood.”

These four hormones all affect your [2]:

  • Metabolism
  • Heart Rate
  • Breathing
  • Digestion
  • Body temperature
  • Brain development
  • Mental activity
  • Skin and bones
  • Fertility

Effects of an underactive thyroid

According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of hypothyroidism include [1]:

  • Fatigue/tiredness
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Weight gain
  • Puffy face
  • Hoarse voice
  • Coarse hair and skin
  • Muscle weakness, aches, tenderness, and stiffness
  • Heavy/irregular menstrual cycles
  • Thinning hair
  • Slowed heart rate, also called bradycardia
  • Depression
  • Memory problems

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is common. It means that “the force of the blood pushing against the artery walls is consistently too high,” which makes the heart work harder to pump blood.

The Mayo Clinic explains, “Untreated, high blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other serious health problems. It's important to have your blood pressure checked at least every two years, starting at age 18. Some people need more-frequent checks” [3].

If you have high blood pressure, you will likely not notice symptoms, but you may notice headaches, shortness of breath, and/or nosebleeds. Since symptoms don’t always occur, your healthcare providers should take your blood pressure at visits, or “you may be able to get a free blood pressure screening at a health resource fair or other locations in your community” [3].

For prevention and treatment, “Healthy lifestyle habits — such as not smoking, exercising, and eating well — can help prevent and treat high blood pressure. Some people need medicine to treat high blood pressure” [3].

Effect of thyroid function on blood pressure

You may wonder, can hypothyroidism cause high blood pressure? A study from 2018 published their findings that the T3 and T4 thyroid hormones may contribute to the development of elevated blood pressure (BP), but there was no evidence that thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) contributed to the development of elevated blood pressure (BP) [4]. Meaning, when the thyroid creates more T3 and T4, blood pressure tends to elevate, and when the thyroid creates less T3 and T4, blood pressure tends to decrease.

Is your thyroid function normal?

If you are interested in learning about your thyroid or blood pressure, you can get all your questions answered by using Everlywell’s network of telehealthcare providers. You can get convenient telehealth consultations that are eligible for coverage by major insurance plans. Where applicable, your provider may prescribe thyroid medication online. You’ll receive medical attention from a licensed healthcare provider through secure technological means that safeguard your confidentiality, and it's all accessible at your fingertips.

With telehealth from Everlywell’s network, you are just three simple steps away from talking to a provider about your prescriptions:

  1. Create your profile online, fill out your medical history, and check to see if your insurance is accepted.
  2. Schedule your online visit.
  3. Receive a care plan to address your needs and symptoms, which may include testing, prescriptions, and lifestyle recommendations.

Everlywell’s At-Home Thyroid Panel

Everlywell’s At-Home Thyroid Panel measures 3 main thyroid hormones plus thyroid peroxidase antibodies. Your test results will measure your levels of 3 main thyroid hormones plus thyroid peroxidase antibodies. These circulating thyroid hormones have an impact on many functions of the body. By measuring each type of hormone level, this thyroid function test can help you understand if you may be experiencing thyroid dysfunction.

How to test for hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism vs. hyperthyroidism: the key differences explained

Can thyroid problems cause headaches?


  1. Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). Mayo Clinic. URL. Published December 10, 2022. Accessed March 20, 2023.
  2. Thyroid: What it is, Function & Problems. Cleveland Clinic. URL. Accessed March 20, 2023.
  3. High blood pressure (hypertension). Mayo Clinic. URL. Published September 15, 2022. Accessed March 20, 2023.
  4. Gu Y, Zheng L, Zhang Q, et al. Relationship between thyroid function and elevated blood pressure in euthyroid adults. J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2018;20(10):1541-1549. doi:10.1111/jch.13369. URL.
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