What is the Relationship Between Thyroid and Diabetes?
Thyroid and Diabetes seem unrelated however I was surprised to learn that if you have either disease you may be at risk to develop the other. It is important to get the true facts if you’re diagnosed with either of these common medical conditions……
Researchers have discovered the potential link between Thyroid and Diabetes
is our endocrine system. You may know that thyroid hormones influence
metabolism of glucose. One example is that Hyperthyroidism can heighten
our risk for hyperglycemia. Hypothyroidism, on the other hand, may
create vulnerability to hypoglycemia.
Also disturbing is that our thyroid hormones may change the way we metabolize carbohydrates (I know mine do…)
The facts add-up to substantiate that this underlying dysfunction
can negatively influences Diabetes. People who have been diagnosed as
diabetics are more susceptible to thyroid disease as well.
When your thyroid does not produce adequate hormones the medical
consequence is Hypothyroidism. This is the most common thyroid
A good example is Hashimoto’s Disease, which arises when
our immune system manufactures antibodies that assault the thyroid
gland. As a result, chronic inflammation injures the gland and
causes either excess or or insufficient amounts of hormones to
course through our body.
Recent statistics show in excess of 4 million Americans are
Hypothyroid. Hyperthyroidism, where the thyroid over-produces hormones,
isn’t as common however.
When compared with normal, healthy individuals, diabetics are more
prone to Thyroid Diseases. Statistics show that 30% of females with
type 1 diabetes have irregularities. Reportedly, the risk also
increases for people with type 2 diabetes.
Thyroid Disease that is not treated may also increase your risk of
cardiovascular disease as well. Many Hypothyroid patients have elevated
cholesterol levels as a result of their disease.
Thyroid and Diabetes
Undiagnosed Thyroid Disease can thwart efforts to control Diabetes.
When hyperglycemia progressively gets worse without apparent cause in
persons with diabetes, Hyperthyroidism should be suspect, as it has been
linked with the need for more insulin. Hypothyroidism, where the
thyroid gland does not manufacture necessary hormones to fire-up our
metabolism, can result in Diabetes.
I have found personally that my body is very resistant to processing
carbohydrates as part of my Hashimotos Disease. I feel tired and
sluggish and notice that my heart rate increases when I eat simple
As a result I just feel better limiting my carbohydrate
intake to low glycemic index carbohydrates such as berries, apples and
pears. I was shocked when my thyroid doctor mentioned that I was at a
higher risk for developing Diabetes as a result of having Hashimoto’s
Importance of Vitamin D
You’ll be interested to know that the Tufts Medical Center in Boston has uncovered the importance of Vitamin D in Thyroid and Diabetes. The sunshine vitamin is vital in the management of Thyroid Disease and it reduces the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
A deficiency of vitamin D has been coupled with Thyroid Disease, as
the risk of auto-immune diseases, such as Graves and Hashimoto’s
Disease, increase exponentially.
The blood sugar levels of participants in the Boston study who were
deficient in vitamin D, tested pre-diabetic. Over a span of 3 years,
researchers found that for each 5 milliliters of vitamin D, the risk of
diabetes lowered by 8%.
A Final Thought…
We have explored some hard truths. But, these were good and necessary
to bridge the gap between what you may have suspected and what research
I hope I have inspired you to get medical help if
you have either of these conditions. Ask your doctor to check not only
your glucose levels but also your vitamin levels as well. I take a
Vitamin D3 supplement everyday (as prescribed my doctor) to ensure my
vitamin D levels are adequate.
Thyroid and Diabetes are like childhood bullies – they cluster together and don’t play FAIR!
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