Has anyone managed thyroid hormone replacement related raised blood sugar levels successfully?

Has anyone managed thyroid hormone replacement related raised blood sugar levels successfully?

Something I am finding now that I take thyroid hormone replacement is having to manage blood sugar. I read raised blood happens with synthetic t4, as well as t3 treatment... as well as also affected by hypothyroid state. And that taking thyroid hormone replacement can show up a pre-existing problem. I understand that raising metabolism raises blood sugar and if there is not an existing problem our bodies should make enough insulin to compensate? Another minefield. I also seem to remember reading that some patients monitor closely with blood sugar test strips. I have been tested but my practice says I am fine. I read that both hypo and hyper run a common risk with insulin resistance. I am a bit brain foggy today and wondered if there is anything that worked for you to manage raised blood sugar on thyroid meds, especially those containing t3. I am mainly vegetarian so paleo is not a good option, but I do replace majority of grains with nuts and seeds and eat raw and organic dairy etc. I'm OK (at the moment) so long as I follow the small and frequent option and low, low sugar releasing foods. I am even wondering if I should re trial t4 only.

Fangs in advance :)x

Oh and if if this is news to some readers: hindawi.com/journals/jtr/20...

15 Replies

  • Hi, after 20 years I have developed type 2 diabetis, when diagnosed with underactive thyroid it was explained that due to a faulty gene that causes the immune system to attack the thyroid it also can cause problem with the pancreas and stomach, this creates resistance to glucos in the body, may need to just make sure you have a blood check for diabetis at least every 2 years

  • Thanks for that Izart, and a bit more info I haven't read.

  • Do you take metformin?

  • Yes, I asked for the slow release as I found my tummy was happier, take 2 tablets twice a day, managed to finally reduce my sugars to 5.1 and am going to the gym 6 times a week since I retired

  • Brilliant!

    I still struggle with balance, fatigue and pain issues, but not all the time now. I must must start walking..

  • From what I know blood sugar testing is only a snapshot in time. So your practice saying that you're fine is them only going by how your blood sugar was at that moment the test was taken. It fluctuates all the time. You know in yourself if you feel ok or not. I suffer from the opposite: low blood sugar. I find following a low G.I./G.L. diet suits me. It may help you too? Perhaps have a further look into it? These links may help?:



    Of course if you're still feeling unwell and not able to manage this condition on your own and this issue is persisting, go back to your doctor and insist this is checked more thoroughly.

    Good luck :-)

  • Thanks you very much for the links...will peruse in a mo. Your right about how we feel. And it can be up and down in a flash. Looking back I was low blood sugar when Hypo. Now I do the up and down.

  • Right....I'm looking at Chromium

  • Hellbell, this is why I am off the T3. Even relatively small doses were causing major glucose roller coasters.

    On T4 only, (I just measured glucose because of your post.... first thing in the a.m. 4.9)

    With anything over 6.25 mcg T3 (as in when I was on 12.5 to 18.85 mcg per day) if I ate even part of a baked potato, glucose would go up to 15, 18, 19!! Freakout!

    Now taking 150 mcg T4 mostly (I take 125 mcg T4 twice per week and 5 days it's 150 mcg) glucose is totally normal..... ranging from 4.8 to 7.0.

    I'm even taking 5 mg Prednisone once a day for the past week due to flare up of pain and glucose is okay.

    What I noticed with the T3 is if I'd eat something like potato my sugar would spike like crazy for the two hours. Then it would crash. End up in the low to mid 3.0s. Which is totally unhealthy. So the insulin secretion happened, but late, and then would overshoot in response to the high glucose. After a year of experimentation my HbA1c went from 5.2 to 5.8.

    I'm trying to improve the T4 to T3 conversion by walking (and hoping to strengthen my back mostly). 4 to 8 kilometers per day. My endo told me to get moving... walking uses up 70kcal per kilometer (100 kcal per mile). Instead of sweating it out at the gym, I'm out getting fresh air.

  • Wow...close to my experience so far. Yes, those spuds rocket it up. I do much better on greens and oily proteins. Methinks a monitor...gah, this thing never really leaves alone.

  • I do a lot of physical work...thanks to thyroid replacement for getting me back to work, but it involves too much standing. Must make an effort to walk and get everything going properly. I am mainly lifting and up and down on my feet.

  • It's rather odd that the endo was mostly concerned about cardiac effect of T3 but was totally unaware of the blood glucose effect.

    I think anybody who is taking T3 should also monitor blood glucose effect and if it's okay, then fine. But when glucose spikes to high teens, that is damaging to the body. I'm sure it doesn't happen to everybody, and I did not have symptoms. But that's probably also because I only eat two meals per day. So the spikes were of short duration. If i'd be one of those people who eats frequent small meals or a snacker all day long, I'd probably have ended up becoming diabetic.

  • I, like you react to potato, also white rice is a shocker (brown is ok for me), also veg squash and too much fruit. I've got a big squash to get through this week, it was in my Riverford veg box delivery, which the veg comes pre-selected and squash are now in season, so I'm trying to adapt ways to eat it but not get the spikes. I find though if I eat high protein and good oils with these foods it balances the blood sugar out a bit better and makes the meal into a medium GI rather than high GI meal. That's what Patrick Holford talks about in the links I posted and his book on the low GL diet.

  • I find black Venus rice better than wholegrain basmati. Black Quinoa is good too. No spikes there at all. Hey, we are up against if gluten - free because grains look pretty high on the list of chromium. Just ate some raw broccoli...

    I have Patick Holfords low gi diet book and must settle to read it properly.

  • That's interesting on both counts. Yes...well, I wondered about my endo when I told him I was frequently hypoglycemic. He promptly added it on my notes (and I secretly suspect he was secretly thinking..hmmmm...enter metformin) but did not mention regular checks. Let alone be aware of how you feel. I think you really have something about fewer meals. I find if I am disciplined enough to have a big meal during the day it lasts much longer. Ironically the blood sugar effects wear off by early evening. Assume this might coincide with hormone slump and less exercise...maybe.

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