The Diabetes-Hypothyroidism Connection

By: | Tags: , , | Comments: 0 | August 5th, 2011


Learn about the diabetes-hypothyroidism connection.

According to a recent study, the number of Americans with diabetes will double in the next 25 years from 23.7 million in 2009 to 44.1 million in 2034. The average medical expenditures among people with diagnosed diabetes in 2007 were 2.3 times higher than medical expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes.

According to research conducted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and American Diabetes Association (ADA), the total cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States in 2007 was $174 billion. Yes, the American diet is loaded with sugar and simple carbohydrates and yes, America is overweight; but 23.6 million? There has to be more to it and as usual the more questions we continue to ask, the more answers we will find.

Normal body functioning requires a certain level of sugar or glucose, which your body regulates with hormones. The pancreas releases one of these hormones called insulin, which rises when blood sugar falls. When insulin levels fall, blood sugar rises.

Hypoglycemia means low blood sugar or glucose. Common factors leading to hypoglycemia are large amounts of refined carbohydrates in the diet, allergies and hypothyroidism.

During his research, Dr. Broda Barnes found that the incidence of hypoglycemia is much lower when patients are treated with thyroid. This would suggest that hypoglycemia correlates with hypothyroidism. In addition, the thyroid has a profound effect on the liver, which can also lower blood glucose levels.

Thyroid problems occur more often in people with diabetes. The reasoning is that when the antibodies attack the thyroid gland, you may have higher risk of your immune system attacking another endocrine gland. In diabetes, antibodies attack the islet cells of the pancreas, decreasing the production of insulin.

A person with hypothyroidism may be at risk for metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance, both of which could lead to type 2 diabetes. Research correlates autoimmune thyroiditis to type 1 diabetes. Diabetes patients should receive a regular thyroid checkup.

Click here to take our symptom checker health quiz to find out if you have symptoms of hypothyroidism.

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