- What is Diabetes?
- What are Thyroid Gland Disorders?
- How do Thyroid Disorders Affect Diabetes?
- Can Diabetes and Thyroid Disorders be Cured?
- Managing Diabetes and Thyroid Disorder
- Don’t Have Time To Read?
Thyroid disorders and diabetes are some of the most common hormonal disorders that go hand in hand in a large number of people. Though both thyroid conditions and diabetes have several well-defined treatment strategies, it becomes harder to manage when these conditions co-exist in people. In this article, we will read more about how thyroid disorders affect your blood sugar and insulin levels.
Diabetes is a condition that affects your body's ability to produce or use a hormone called insulin, which causes high blood glucose (sugar) levels. Your body digests the food you consume and turns it into glucose (sugar). Insulin, a hormone produced by the beta cells in your pancreas, helps the sugar in your bloodstream to enter your cells where it is converted into energy.
When you have Type 1 Diabetes, your pancreas produces little to no insulin. If you have Type 2 Diabetes, your cells become insulin resistant, i.e. they are unable to utilize the insulin present in your body.
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped organ that is present over your windpipe. It releases hormones (T3 and T4) that help control your metabolism, hormone regulation, absorption of glucose from food, stimulating the production of protein and carbohydrate, breakdown of substances like cholesterol, triglyceride, insulin, etc.
When your thyroid gland is overactive, it produces high concentrations of thyroid hormones. This condition is called Hyperthyroidism.
When your thyroid gland is underactive, it produces very low concentrations of thyroid hormones. This condition is called Hypothyroidism.
Having Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes can increase your risk of developing thyroid gland disorders by reducing the levels of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) in your body. TSH, as the name suggests, acts on your thyroid gland to stimulate the production of thyroid hormones. Insulin resistance, which is a common characteristic of Type 2 diabetes, can lead to abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland (goitre).
Similarly, having thyroid gland disorders (hyperthyroidism) can make you more likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes due to increased insulin resistance. Thyroid hormones influence the uptake and breakdown of glucose and insulin.
Thyroid hormones play a role in breaking down and eliminating insulin from your body.
Both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes are lifelong conditions that cannot be cured, but can be effectively managed with medication and lifestyle changes. Some thyroid disorders can be managed with medication, but sometimes hyperthyroidism may require surgical intervention.
You can take the following measures to manage your diabetes and thyroid disorders:
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