Thyroid Disorders and Diabetes

. It isstated thatit is second only to diabetes as the most common condition to affect the endocrine system — a group of glands that secrete hormones that help regulate growth, reproduction, and nutrient use by cells. As a result, it is common for an individual to be affected by both thyroid disease and diabetes.

Since the thyroid gland plays a central role in the regulation of metabolism, abnormal thyroid function can have a major impact on the control of diabetes. In addition, untreated thyroid disorder can increase the risk of certain diabetic complications and can aggravate many diabetes symptoms.

The thyroid produces two hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which enter the bloodstream and affect the metabolism of the heart, liver, muscles, and other organs. The thyroid gland operates as part of a feedback mechanism involving the hypothalamus, an area of the brain, and the pituitary gland, which is located within the brain.

Thyroid hormone regulates the way the body uses energy. It works by attaching to specific proteins called receptors that are present in cells throughout the human body. Therefore, thyroid hormone exerts wide-ranging effects in regulating the function of virtually every organ. Consequently, any changes in the blood level of thyroid hormone can affect many body systems and cause a wide range of symptom

THOSEintersted may read further in diabetesselfmanagement.com/...

36 Replies

  • Please continue with your good efforts.

    Best wishes.

  • thyroid and diabetes are co-morbidities rather than cause effect -related.

    but one thing is accepted somewhat unanimously :

    diabetes management becomes difficult

    if one has thyroid problems.

    in hypothyroidism

    diabetes management becomes easier with the treatment for thyroid.

    [ one doubt -

    diabetes selfmanagement may not be a website one can blindly accept like the universities or national institutes.]

    good luck.

  • i will explain the word co morbidity.

    co morbid diseases are diseases

    present simultaneously in a patient.

    for example diabetes and hypertension.


    interested in unpleasant subjects, especially death.

    in other words

    what i meant was

    a diabetic need not be a thyroid patient and a thyroid patient need not be a diabetic.

    their coming together is seen in many people.

    good luck

  • a memory aid.


    hyper hyperthyroidism.

    hyper =more

    in this there is a small rise in bs[rise=more]



    in this the bs goes down[bs goes less]

    , as such you may have to reduce the medicines.

    a confusing situation.


    hyper thyroid patient has symptoms similar to hypoglcemia

    then what?

    the hyperthyroid person will go and eat more food.

    wrong treatment!!!


    -------------bs measurement before eating more.

    but true hypoglycemia comes in hypothyroid patient.

    good luck

  • thus same set of symptoms come in both cases.[hypoglycemia and hypoglycemia like]

  • I am a HYPOTHYROID patient too and as usual have done all the research to get my drugs down to 25 mcg when doctor wanted me to take 100 mcg based on UNIVERSITY literature.

    Doctors want me to take SOYA OIL. I say NO WAY!!! Soya is harmful for thyroid. I take VCO which helps in both diabetes and Hypothyroidism .... but OMG it's Saturated Fat :)

    BTW, Hypoglycemia doesn't come in my case, despite being a thyroid patient also :)

  • Actually you missed one important point. Thyroid secretes hormone as a result of TSH which come from pituitary gland. t4/t3 doesn't get secreted on its own. Finer management is based on FT3/FT4 and not even T3/T4, though UNIVERSITIES just push drugs based on TSH levels, which isn't a thyroid hormone as such.

  • this article given by ragiv rao

    is trustworthy and is from a professional ,Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego.

    and also the date is given

    July 8, 2014 by Patricia Wu, MD

    Dr. Wu is an endocrinologist with the Southern California Permanente Medical Group in San Diego, California, and Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego.

  • how often we should check up thyroid function by a diabetic?

    from the article by mr. rao.


    For people with Type 1 diabetes, annual screening is advisable.

    For people with Type 2 diabetes, screening should be done at the time of diagnosis and then repeated every five years thereafter.

    The frequency of screening should increase with advancing age, since the incidence of thyroid disorder increases with age.

    For people over the age of 60, annual screening is recommended.

    thanks to mr rao.

    good luck

  • Since an issue has been raised here I have tried to understand what is TSH and it is as under:

    pituitary glandt is attached to the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls its activity. The posterior pituitary gland is actually part of the brain and it secretes hormones directly into the bloodstream under the command of the brain.

    1.It is called the ‘master gland’ as the hormones it produces control so many different processes in the body. It senses the body’s needs and sends signals to different organs and glands throughout the body to regulate their function and maintain an appropriate environment. It secretes a variety of hormones into the bloodstream which act as messengers to transmit information from the pituitary gland to distant cells, regulating their activity. For example, the pituitary gland produces prolactin, which acts on the breasts to induce milk production. The pituitary gland also secretes hormones that act on the adrenal glands, thyroid gland, ovaries and testes, which in turn produce other hormones. Through production of its hormones, the pituitary gland controls metabolism, growth, sexual maturation, reproduction, blood pressure and many other vital physical functions and processes

    2.Thyroid-stimulating hormone (also known as thyrotropin, TSH, or hTSH for human TSH) is one such pituitary hormone that stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroxine (T4), and then triiodothyronine (T3) which stimulates the metabolism of almost every tissue in the body

    3.I understand that for diabetics the doctors usually recommend T3 T4 tests to ensure thyroid gland is working normally.

  • Most doctors prescribe drugs based on TSH or TSH T3/T4 at best. When I asked multiple doctors about Armor thyroid drug and asked them to prescribe that instead of Levothyroxine (or its cousins), _ALL_ said what's that? And, this is the trend all around the world


    And, I am talking of great endocrinologists in my city and not some jhola chhaaps. Not just T3/T4, even FT3/FT4 needs to be looked at, but 99% doctors don't look at it.

    I am talking as a well read patient, who reduced drug from 100 mcg that doctor prescribed to 25 mcg and doing fine on that low dose. Doctors don't like that I get my tests done directly from Thyrocare (probably because of ZERO commissions), but I insist that I will not get it done from anywhere else.

  • It always easy to criticise a doctor as doctors don't waste time on reacting. An amateur reaction.

    Armour tabs are pure thyroxine hormone obtained from pork.

    Generally it is not prescribed to diabetics,as diabetic drugs eg. Insulin.glyburide etc interact with armour.

    It is also not prescribed to ladies, if pregnant,lactating or taking birth control pills etc.

    So, many things are taken into consideration before prescribing.

    Bookish knowledge and sound clinical experience and practice are two entirely different things.

  • It is not only thyroxine. It contains both T4 and T3.

  • Only a self educated patient who reads and understands would know this.

  • raoji,

    being on insulin reduced .,

    better check up - your annual thyroid check up-as dr Patricia wu suggested.

    it may be the recommendation of national institutes of European union.

    i have checked with a member country.but an age based advice i could not get.

    "If you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, it is a good idea to have your doctor check your TSH levels every 5 years to pick up any hypothyroidism that might be starting." from N Z

    "the American Diabetes Association recommends that everyone with type 1 be tested for hypothyroidism at diagnosis and, if the initial exam is normal, every year or two afterward. "

    people like dr wu

    may be giving opinions based on statistics of the national institutes of some country.

    good luck

  • A very good discussion was going on ,so I avoided to butt in. Though I was tempted to talk about ft4 and ft3. I refrained because for most it will go over their head. So it is better to stick to the rhyme " bhookh lagi hai papa, roti Kha le beta".

  • dear patliputra,

    i dont read responses which i know


    that will be of no significance.

    and you know ,how to know

    which response will be of no significance.

    Bertrand Russel once said about science [or physics ? don't remember.]

    most of the laws of physics are like the horse's

    knowledge :

    which turn it's master would take.


    which are the few that are not like the horse's knowledge.that will be too much outside our scope to elucidate.

    i think i have compiled all that a diabetic has to know

    about thyroid ,in a preliminary understanding.

    good luck

  • i am not a medical professional. i dont want to be as well.

    my purpose is to impart standard diabetes education to people .just as they give there in the west.

    i think you and sharmaji and many others who messaged me in private have succeeded,

    have been of help to me.

    good luck.

  • You know you and Rao have done a great job,high lighting the relationship between thyroid and diabetes and why thyroid examination is essential. It's an informative and constructive article achieving its objective despite some disruptions.

    Very well done.

  • Pataliputra

    I saw your replies as well as that of indiacratus and others who responded to your replies. Thanks for your positive response to my post.

    Thyroid problem appears to be basically problem of harmone disorder like insulin which also is a harmone.and lack of it causes a disorder of sugar metabolism

    I was surprised that one of the bloggers is a thyroid patient. Earlier this blogger had explained in some other posts that the diet pattern this person and other 400 + had followed got rid of sugar disorder without diabetic drug/injection and further had said this diet pattern helps kidney,heart and even brain to function efficiently . In this context had challenged indiacratus who was not convinced about this diet pattern and instead advocated in favour of balanced diet. I wonder if the diet followed was a “one cure for all ills” of the body how come it did not cure thyrod problem in this bloggers case. Any way the truth is out about this claim.

    Regarding comments that diabetics do not need education but only solution, if diabetics want to “self manage” their sugar problem, they need to get educated first by whatever means available including” copy –paste facility” from other internet sources if direct education is not possible/feasible. I do not know what solution was given by one Medifree” (mentioned by the blogger)to his followers without educating them why he went out of forum and why he did not want to return back inspite of demand. The comment appears to be a provocation to pick up quarrel..

    Regarding Armor drug and criticism against the doctor what this blogger says is to my feeling not true. This is because all the doctors are favourite targets including ADA,USDAetc., for several months. What are the chances of this blogger having approached them to prescribe armour drug for her impaired thyroid gland? it is not worth responding at least by you..

    Regarding the armour drug itself, I understand this was a desiccated and dried harmone extracted from pigs -only one used in pre world war!! days.When insulin was invented in1920it was also extracted and named”bovine insulin”and was in use rill 1950/1960 and with the advancement of medical science and discovery of new alternatives went into disuse after 1950 1960 or so. Naturally the modern doctor may not be aware of this old drug. Possibly either this drug is either not now manufactured or if manufactured may not be in wide circulation as compared to modern drug.

  • Armor drugs is still manufactured and still in use. But this would only be known to a self educated patient.

  • Armour drugs,still to be proved clinically superior to thyroxine. T4 is pro hormone of T3 ,perhaps unknown to many so called self educated.

  • Mere thyroxine treatment is useless for those who have T4 to T3 conversion problems.

  • shrisamarth --

    Precisely. It's only the self educated "patient" who would know these things. Proof lies in the numbers and not what ADA says!

    No need to teach the so called educated :)

  • Can you explain please.

  • I knew you can't explain . No problem.

  • dont worry patliputra ,

    it is a syndrome.

    my hindi is poor but i can quote

    "eisi bimari keliye dava nahim milegi."

    do you know who said this to whom.

    good luck

  • 5 Key Areas for Improving Thyroid

    I went through the mentioned website. I found the following para

    can you explain the significance.What is auto immune diet?How does it interfere in thyroid functioning?

    Hormone Conversion

    I Liver Detoxification and Function

    In the liver D1 is involved in converting T4 into T3 and selenium is an important part of this process. Reverse T3 is also broken down there.

    n addition, there are 2 metabolic pathways in the liver that can have an impact on thyroid hormones. One such pathway is the glucoronidation pathway. This pathway is supported by B vitamins, magnesium, and glysine.

    In addition, there are 2 metabolic pathways in the liver that can have an impact on thyroid hormones. One such pathway is the

    glucoronidation pathway. This pathway is supported by B vitamins, magnesium, and glysine.

    Vitamin B6 and magnesium are important for sulfur amino acid metabolism, as are foods containing sulfur such as: eggs, meat, poultry, nuts and legumes. (Eggs, nuts and

    legumes might be a problem if you are on the Autoimmune diet.)

  • the admins have removed the disrupting responses. thanks to them. the purpose of opening such a discussion is depicted in my compiled form of responses.


    what a diabetic should know about


    that is what is done in the west. we must educate our people about the dos and don'ts in diabetes.

    i do not understand what is there to object to diabetes education!!

    may be indirect, but it is anti national activity.

  • "i do not understand what is there to object to diabetes education!!"

    Educate based on your own experience. that's what diabetics on LCHF diet do and that's why it's so easy for others to follow and that why so many switched and succeeded.

    Are you diabetic?

  • @cscon

    Ultimately what is important is that what help diabetics in controlling their diabetes. People have lot of sources on the net to get information. They join forums for practical solutions.

  • shrisamarth --

    Yes - keyword is "practical solutions", and struggling to starve or trying to force oneself against hunger pangs for life long is definitely not one of them.

  • Pataliputra

    When one does not know but still wants tobutt in for the sake of it, you will receive this kind of evasive reply.Knowing well that you will always require detailed answer, i have tried to find the as below:

    If there is a deficiency of dietary iodine, the thyroid will not be able to make thyroid hormone. The lack of thyroid hormone will lead to decreased negative feedback on the pituitary, leading to increased production of thyroid-stimulating hormone, which causes the thyroid to enlarge (the resulting medical condition is called endemic colloid goiter;

    The thyronines act on nearly every cell in the body

    Thyroxine is believed to be a prohormone and a reservoir for the most active and main thyroid hormone T3. T4 is converted as required in the tissues by iodothyronine deiodinase. Deficiency of deiodinase can mimic an iodine deficiency. T3 is more active than T4 and is the final form of the hormone, though it is present in less quantity than T4.

    Both T3 and T4 are used to treat thyroid hormone deficiency (hypothyroidism).

    Today most patients are treated with levothyroxine, or a similar synthetic thyroid hormone. However, natural thyroid hormone supplements from the dried thyroids of animals are still available.[16][17][18] Levothyroxine contains T4 only and is therefore largely ineffective for patients unable to convert T4 to T3.[19] These patients may choose to take natural thyroid hormone as it contains a mixture of T4 and T3, or alternatively supplement with a synthetic T3 treatment.] In these cases, synthetic liothyronine is preferred due to the potential differences between drug lots of natural thyroid products. Some natural thyroid hormone brands are F.D.A. approved, but some are not. The web site link talks of auto immune system attacking thyroid cells which is not relevant here.

    There can be other diseases as well such as cancer etc., which is a separate topic .

    Hope this will close the chapter of debate

  • dear ragivji,

    just ignore the persons who butt in for butt in.

    kindly go ahead with your presentations.

    good luck

  • bodyecology.com/articles/sl...

    For "practical solutions." see the above

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