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YES! There is a Diabetes and Thyroid Connection!


How many people do you know with diabetes who also have thyroid issues? Ever thought, is this is more than a coincidence? Well, researchers noticed this too and found that 20% of women with Type 1 Diabetes have some form of thyroid disease! There’s also a connection between people with “prediabetes” and hypothyroidism: they have a 40% greater chance of developing Type 2 diabetes. This is serious, people!

Wondering what thyroid disease is or how to tell if you might have it? Ok, let’s start with how important our thyroid it is! Located in the front of the neck, the thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland and part of our endocrine system. It's job is to keep our metabolism balanced. That balance is how our body uses and stores energy or fuel to run on! Too much thyroid hormone and your metabolism speeds up too fast (hyperthyroidism). When there’s not enough… your body functions slow down. That’s called hypothyroidism.

Because of this, the thyroid is important in controlling weight and cholesterol metabolism too! Thyroid hormones control the metabolism of lipids (such as cholesterol) by stimulating their mobilization and breakdown, and they aid in the synthesis of fatty acids in the liver. When a person has too little thyroid hormone or hypothyroidism, the BMR or basal metabolic rate in the body lowers, resulting in weight gain. If there's too much thyroid hormone, or hyperthyroidism, the BMR increases, resulting in weight loss.

So how would you know if you have a thyroid issue? Here are some symptoms of …

Low Thyroid or Hypothyroidism High Thyroid or Hyperthyroidism

*easily tired or lack of energy * sweating a lot

*depression * weight loss

*constipation * diarrhea

*weight gain *easily distracted/difficulty focusing

*low blood pressure *menstrual cycle changes for women

*slow pulse or heart rate * rapid heart rate

*inability to tolerate cold temperatures * thickened skin-knees, elbows, shins

When thyroid disease occurs in someone with diabetes, it can make controlling blood sugars more difficult. So, if you have symptoms of thyroid disease, talk with your health care Provider about checking your thyroid levels each year! More importantly, if you’ve been diagnosed with thyroid disease, it’s essential to take your thyroid medication daily as prescribed and don’t put off on having your thyroid blood levels checked at minimum once a year!

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