By Dr. Pradeep Gadge, A leading Diabetologist, Gadge Diabetes Centre
It is no brainer that the thyroid diseases and diabetes are one of the most commonly encountered diseases in day to day life. Did you know? There is a connection between diabetes and thyroid. Diabetes and thyroid disease are both endocrine disorders. Both Diabetes and thyroid disorders influence each other. Here, we explain you in detail about it.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your lower neck just beneath your skin. It tends to regulate the body’s metabolism, which is the process of using and storing energy, by releasing a substance known as thyroid hormone. If it produces too much thyroid hormone, your metabolism quickens (hyperthyroidism), too little and your body functions slow down that is (hypothyroidism).
Know why diabetics suffer from thyroid disorders
Patients with diabetes may have a higher prevalence of thyroid disorders compared with the normal population. Because of patients with one organ-specific autoimmune disease are at risk of developing other autoimmune disorders, and thyroid disorders are more common in females. Also, thyroid dysfunctions are more prevalent in people with diabetes and particularly type 1 diabetes.
Thyroid hormone helps in regulation of pancreatic function and carbohydrate metabolism and diabetes is seen to affect thyroid function at variable levels. In fact, if you have type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, or metabolic syndrome, then this doubles your risk of developing thyroid disease, and thyroid disease raises your chances of developing metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes. This association is even stronger if one is overweight or obese. Your thyroid gland and thyroid hormones play a major role in regulating many of your body’s biological processes, such as growth, development, and metabolism. Because thyroid disease interferes with metabolism, it can alter your blood sugar. This increases your risk of developing diabetes, and it makes it harder to control your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes already.
Moreover, pregnancy-related thyroid dysfunction is three times more common in women with diabetes and should be anticipated in every pregnant woman with Type 1 diabetes. Postpartum thyroiditis may cause fluctuating thyroid hormone levels in the months following delivery. Women diagnosed with hypothyroidism who take thyroxine before pregnancy, often need to increase the dose of thyroxine during pregnancy. Adequate thyroxine replacement is vital for the baby’s neurological development.
Hyperthyroidism increases metabolism and can cause insulin to be processed and eliminated from the body more quickly than normal. Some people with type 1 diabetes who are also diagnosed with hyperthyroidism may need to take higher doses of insulin until thyroid hormones are stabilized.When metabolism is slowed in hypothyroidism, insulin may linger longer in the body, causing a greater risk of hypoglycemia (low glucose levels). Hypothyroidism has also been associated with an increased sensitivity to insulin, which can contribute to hypoglycemia.
Follow these vital tips
- If you have already been diagnosed with thyroid disease or diabetes, weight management is considered among the most effective strategies for the prevention of the other condition.
- Controlling glucose and thyroid hormone levels can help prevent diabetes if you have thyroid disease. Likewise, maintaining optimal glucose levels can reduce your chances of developing thyroid disease if you have diabetes.
Take note: It’s important to make sure you opt for screening for diabetes if you have thyroid disease, and vice versa, to ensure early detection and timely treatment. When one of the conditions is poorly controlled, it can make management of the other condition and reducing your risk of complications more difficult.