Thyroid – the link between diabetes

2019-06-14 Health No comment

According to researchers at the 20th Annual Meeting and Clinical Congress of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists [AACE], if you have type 2 diabetes, you should be screened for thyroid abnormalities. The proposal was made after a new study involving more than 5,000 people found that the prevalence of hypothyroidism was about 6% in patients with type 2 diabetes, compared with no hypothyroidism. The prevalence rate is only 2%.

Hypothyroidism is a recognized risk of type 1 diabetes, but this condition generally does not extend to type 2 diabetes – until now.

What is the relationship between your thyroid function and diabetes?

Both thyroid disease and diabetes involve dysfunction of the endocrine system. The most common cause of type 1 diabetes and hypothyroidism – Hashimoto's disease – is an autoimmune disease, and having an autoimmune disease increases the risk of developing another disease.

For type 2 diabetes, coexisting hypothyroidism may increase your risk of heart disease, and the researchers point out that early identification of both diseases can improve heart function, blood pressure and blood lipids. [1]

Thyroid hormones also affect glucose homeostasis, including effects on circulating insulin levels, intestinal absorption and glucose intake in fat and muscle tissue. [2]

Even subclinical thyroid disease may be associated with diabetes

Patients with hypothyroidism often develop insulin resistance. This is true even at the subclinical level. How do you know if your thyroid is working at a subclinical level?

Usually, you don't.

This condition is usually diagnosed when thyroid hormone levels are normal but thyroid stimulating hormone [TSH] is elevated. This usually indicates that your pituitary gland is trying to keep your thyroid hormone levels within the normal range. In time, if left untreated, your TSH level may continue to increase until your thyroid gland stops responding and your subclinical hypothyroidism becomes a generalized hypothyroidism.

This is a tricky situation because subclinical hypothyroidism may not cause any symptoms at all, or may cause fatigue, memory problems, weight gain, dry skin, constipation, and a host of other seemingly unintended problems. Similarly, this often undiagnosed and misdiagnosed condition is also associated with insulin resistance, which usually occurs before type 2 diabetes.

As the researchers wrote in clinical diabetes: [3]

"Thyroid dysfunction is common in people with diabetes and may cause significant metabolic disorders." Therefore, regular screening for thyroid abnormalities in all diabetic patients will allow early treatment of subclinical thyroid dysfunction. "

Like subclinical hypothyroidism, you may be infected with insulin for many years before you have a complete disease, and people who are usually diagnosed with type 2 diabetes first show that they are actually insulin resistant.

Because cases of subclinical thyroid disease are often overlooked, they may increase the health risks of many people with diabetes or insulin resistance [and no diabetes], and researchers in the UK Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Diseases recommend “individualized treatment” as the best solution. Program.

What is the bottom line?

If you currently have type 2 diabetes, you should understand the relationship between thyroid disease such as hyperthyroidism and subclinical hypothyroidism. At the subclinical level, many people have no symptoms at all, others do not know their fatigue, memory problems and other seemingly unexplained symptoms are due to thyroid problems.

You may need to check with your doctor because it is not part of the standard treatment that is usually offered for people with type 2 diabetes. However, even if you have tested your thyroid level and the laboratory results return to normal, it may still have a dysfunctional thyroid gland. In fact, this situation is often completely missed due to inadequate testing and a general lack of understanding of the complexity of thyroid function in traditional medicine.

There is some debate about whether there is a need to treat subclinical hypothyroidism, which I would definitely emphasize. At least, if you have type 2 diabetes, subclinical hypothyroidism can lead to insulin resistance and increase the risk of cardiovascular events.

In addition, if no action is taken, many will continue to develop into a comprehensive hypothyroidism in the early stages of thyroid imbalance… and will miss the vitality and energy they deserve in life.

At least 15 million Americans have subclinical hypothyroidism, which may be related to diabetes and may not be related to diabetes. Fortunately, dietary changes and other lifestyle changes can help restore your thyroid function to its normal range and help you prevent, control, and even reverse type 2 diabetes. It is highly recommended that you familiarize yourself with the guidance of the overall health care practitioners of thyroid disease and diabetes to help you develop an effective lifestyle plan and stick to it.


1. DocGuide.com April 18, 2011

2. British Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Diseases. 2010; 10[4]: 172-177.

3. Clinical diabetes VOL. 18th winter 2000

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