Thyroid/ diabetes

I'm new to this folks so please have patience with my ignorance! Been on Levothyroxin for some time now and I think it needs reviewed. Went to the Docs and had bloods taken. Result was a long lecture on my Type 2 diabetes and absolutely nothing about my Thyroid. Can anyone tell me how much,if any,my Thyroid affects my type 2 or vice versa. Getting zero help/advice from my local surgery. 

25 Replies

  • Welcome to our forum stew98

    A member who has diabetes too will most probably respond.

    The first thing to do is get a print-out of your most recent thyroid hormone blood test from the surgery. Some charge a nominal sum - mine charge 30p. Post them on a new question and make sure the ranges are stated. Always get copies from now on.

    When you have a blood test for your thyroid hormones, get the very earliest possible appointment and don't eat before it, although you can drink water. Also allow 24 hours between your last dose of levo and the test and take levo afterwards.

    If your GP hasn't tested your vitamin B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate ask for these to be done as we are usually deficient which can then cause problems too. Everything has to be towards optimum levels not just somewhere in the 'range'.

  • Thanks for the reply,but I don't know if they tested my sample for Thyroid problems and I honestly can't remember the last time they checked exclusively for it. Surgery seem to be fixated on Diabetes!

  • If you get a print-out of your blood tests with the ranges and post for comments they will show whether you've had thyroid hormones tested.

    If not, you can ask. If we have one autoimmune condition we can get others.

  • I believe Type2 Diabetes is auto-immune - so do you have auto-immune thyroiditis as well  ?  Both the pancreas and the thyroid are endocrine glands - so of course there is a connection ....

    Are you taking Metformin ? - of so then you will have low levels of B12 ....

  • It is Type 1 diabetes which is Auto-immune, there is in addition a newish classification called LADA (Late onset diabetes, again autoimmune)  which is usually  diagnosed as Type 2 initially and comes on later on in life than the normal Type 1 in younger people.  

    Type 1 diabetics will always be treated with insulin whereas Late Onset diabetics will usually end up on insulin after a short period of time.

    I am now diagnosed as LADA and have Hashimotos among other auto-immune conditions such as Reactive Arthritis and Psoriasis.

    Your right to say that both the pancreas and the Thyroid are endocrine glands and both are treated by Endocronoligists of one description or another.


    There are many more posts on this topic on the internet ....

  • That is very interesting Marz (thank you).   My diabetes (type 2) is hereditary, all my mothers family including her mother had it, my sisters and I have it and now my son has it.     So if we all have a defective gene that sounds reasonable.    I can now understand why my sister who spent a lifetime trying to avoid it by doing exercise (swimming, walking, aerobics) all her life and eating healthily still got it.    I doubt doctors will go to the trouble of finding out what causing the condition.    They only address symptoms so if the symptom is the same (high blood sugar) they will just give you more and more medication to bring it down.   Again a win win situation for the pharmaceutical companies.

  • Have read that healing the gut and the adrenals plays a part - but of course I read so much and cannot always remember where !!   Leptin ?? - could be another link ??

    Have you heard about the diabetes summit to be aired soon on the Internet - Brian Mowll is the guys name.  Loads of global speakers with up to date news ....

  • Lilian15, sounds as if your diabetes is actually MODY rather than type 2 - this is a dominant gene so if you have the gene you will develop the diabetes whatever you do.  That would explain yours sisters predicmanent.  Generally type 2 is a response to environmental factors working on a latent tendency so it doesn't show the very strong hereditary feature you describe.  There are a number of sub-forms/genetic variants that have been identified.  It is frequently mistaken for type 2 because onset can be later in life but is actually closer to type 1 and each variant tends to respond to medication differently.

    MODY affects about 2% of the diabetic population.

    The variant that runs in my family was formally identified around 10-15 years ago - onset is generally between 30 and 45.  It runs in my mothers side of the family - coming from her father.  My brother had the gene - I didn't inherit it.  He was treated as type 2 initially and found it impossible to control his blood sugars and kept getting told it was his diet but it wasn't his diet - it was being on the wrong drugs.

    Its closer to type 1 because in general it is about the pancreas not functioning rather than about what seems to be an auto-immune response to sugar levels in blood that interferes with the operation of insulin.  Some forms are best treated with drugs that try to stimulate and promote remaining ability of pancreas to produce insulin.

  • That is extremely interesting Gambit. 

  • It is type 1 that is auto immune, not type 2.


    Lots more articles like the one above on the internet ....

  • It is type 1 that is auto immune, not type 2.     I have already sent this but it did not appear, so sending again.   apologies if two appear.

  • Hi Marz,thanks for the reply. Yes I'm currently taking Slow Release Metformin 200mg a day. Don't think I've ever been tested for B12 deficiency.

  • Very important that you do and when you have the result do not accept normal from your GP.  It needs to be around 1000 and over 500 at the very least.

    What your GP does not know about B12 can harm you .....

  • I have both and the docs always go on about diabetes, never any help about thyroid. Beginning to feel that they don't know any thing much about thyroid and they don't want to/ don't have to know about it. There is enough info about diabetes. I never know if some symptom is a result of thyroid or diabetes. It's confusing. Seams we have to fumble through. Not good really. People on this forum are very helpful. Good luck stew


    Lots more articles on the internet about the topic - I just chose one !

  • There is interesting stuff about T2D if you watch a series of lectures by Jason Fung on YouTube called The Aetiology of Obesity.  Basically he explains the mechanisms involved in the disease process.  There is increasing evidence that T2D is autoimmune,  but that does NOT mean it is inevitable and there is nothing you can do. This is one where your susceptibility to glucose is heightened rather than its exactly the same for everyone,  and T2D sufferers are entirely to blame for their own misfortune.   A low carb diet can and will slow or reverse T2D. 

    But you cannot effectively reduce carbs without doing damage to your adrenal system if your thyroid levels aren't optimal.  So we need to see those to help you get there,  and then you could tackle the diabetes. 

  • Thanks Ruthi,really needed to be told It's my own fault I have type 2 Diabetes! I take 150mg Levothyroxin to take care of my Thyroid problems,and,after reading all the posts answering my questions I feel I'm no further forward. What is Autoimmune and what does it mean for both of my conditions??????? Confusion reigns again!!

  • No, that is not what I meant. It is NOT your fault, I phrased it badly. But unfortunately you are one of the unlucky ones that can't get away with a high carb diet, whereas others can.

    Right, crash course in technicalities. An autoimmune disease is where the body's immune defences get confused and start to attack their own body, rather than stuff from outside. There are lots of autoimmune diseases, each affecting different parts of the body.

    80-90% of hypothyroidism is due to autoimmune disease, where the thyroid glad is gradually destroyed from within.

    And if you are unlucky enough to have one autoimmune disease there is a higher chance of your developing another - it kind of stands to reason that an immune system that is confused in one area, can get confused elsewhere.

    New research suggests that type 2 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. But its not like type 1, where the part of the pancreas that produces insulin is destroyed. Instead, the mechanism is not yet fully understood, but seems to have to do with the way the body responds the insulin. What is known is that in T2D the body starts to need more insulin in order to control blood sugar than it does when healthy. Insulin levels rise, but so do blood sugar levels. 

    What Dr Fung is saying, in a very small nutshell, is that you need to stop eating the things that make you produce insulin, so the levels can drop down again. And that is carbohydrates - sugars and starches. He also suggests that fasting is very good at restoring insulin sensitivity so the insulin you do produce keeps blood sugar down properly.

  • I have both and also pernicious anaemia.    I find the doctors seem to blame everything on the diabetes.     I think it is because they can blame the patient for non conformance (regardless of whether the patient is conforming or not), they cannot do that with PA or hypothyroidism.    Unfortunately all three of these conditions have very similar symptoms.

  • My type 2 was diagnosed 18 years ago and I was told at the time by an endocrinologist that it was an autoimmune disease, I was told that my body was attacking my pancreas and distroying the cells that produce the insulin, hence the diabetes. I also have mum dad and brother that are type 2 and a sister that is pre diabetic, I think my diabetes came on sooner due to my thyroid being under active for years and not being Treated, I gained 8 stone over the 7-8 years when it wasn't treated, probably longer looking back, but the interesting thing is my dad mum and brother all have hypothyroidism and so does my daughter and my niece and a couple of cousins. I'm worried that my daughter will go on to develope t2 even though she excersise live a demon and is stick thin......

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