Tuesday, May 14, 2024
HomeCauseCan Hypothyroidism Cause High Blood Sugar

Can Hypothyroidism Cause High Blood Sugar

Effects Of Th On Thermogenesis

Can Hypothyroidism Cause High Blood Sugar?

TH plays a significant role in energy expenditure through both central and peripheral actions. Obligatory thermogenesis is the generation of heat that accompanies metabolic processes. Facultative thermogenesis is important to maintain body temperature after cold exposure and increase energy expenditure after eating. The primary site of this adaptive thermogenesis in rodents is in BATs . The TH plays a major role in regulating both obligatory and adaptive thermogenesis by increasing the basal metabolic rate and by modulating the sympathetic nervous system activation of BAT . TH stimulates basal metabolic rate by increasing ATP production for metabolic processes and by generating and maintaining ion gradients. D2 is expressed in the WAT, BAT, and skeletal muscle and is required for adaptive thermogenesis. There is an important central role for T3 in stimulating adrenergic-mediated thermogenesis due to direct actions on BAT. A central administration of T3 in rats leads to sympathetic nervous system activation and upregulation of BAT thermogenesis via the reduction in the hypothalamic AMP-activated protein kinase activity. The inhibition of this pathway resulted in increased lipogenesis with a net effect of increased thermogenesis and energy expenditure .

Signs Of Low Blood Sugar

As well as hangriness, other symptoms of imbalanced blood sugar can include headaches, feeling faint and dizzy, feeling hungry again quickly after eating, feeling tired, grouchy and irritable.

Until recently, I wasnt aware that it was putting a lot of extra stress on my adrenal glands and also likely contributing to my high thyroid antibodies of Hashimotos.

Since realising that I needed to adjust my diet to allow more protein and less sugar and carbs, my up and down blood sugar pattern and symptoms are gone. And I feel so much better for it.

Free Fatty Acids And Insulin Resistance

Elevated plasma FFA levels have been shown to account for up to 50% of insulin resistance in obese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Lowering of FFAs in these patients or interfering with steps in the pathway through which FFAs cause insulin resistance could be a new and promising approach to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus.

If you want to blame diabetes on something, blame it on PUFA.

This is why we recommend avoiding polyunsaturated fats at all costs.

PUFA oils are generally oils that are liquid at room temperature and are used widely in restaurants, almost all packaged foods, and just about everything you eat.

Needless to say, much of the fats consumed today are in the form of PUFA.

And therefore there are high levels of PUFAs stored within your bodys fat stores.

So, when you are hypothyroid and compensate by secreting large amounts of adrenaline, it results in large amounts of PUFA being released into your bloodstream.

And as Dr. Raymond Peat points out, these PUFA are responsible for killing insulin producing beta-cells of your pancreas.

The antimetabolic and toxic effects of the polyunsaturated fatty acids can account for the insulin resistance that characterizes type-2 diabetes, but similar actions in the pancreatic beta-cells can impair or kill those cells, creating a deficiency of insulin, resembling type-1 diabetes.

Dr. Raymond Peat, PhD

This is also shown through research:

Also Check: Can You Get Diabetes If You Re Skinny

Screening Of Td In Pregnant Patients With Dm

The screening of TD and PPTD is recommended in pregnant women with T1D or other autoimmune disorders by the ATA/American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists , the Endocrine Society , the British Thyroid Association , and the American Diabetes Association . The ATA/ACE and the Endocrine Society also recommend the screening of TD in women with morbid obesity , TPO positivity, family or personal history of TD, and age > 30 years, before and after pregnancy . TSH and TPO Abs should be evaluated in women with T1D planning pregnancy or at the beginning of pregnancy. When thyroid function is normal, the screening should be repeated in the first trimester. In case of positive TPO Abs and normal serum TSH during pregnancy, it is essential to recheck thyroid function at 3, 6, and 12 months after delivery. Screening for postpartum thyroiditis is recommended in patients with T1D at 3 and 6 months postpartum .

Rachel Hill Thyroid Patient Advocate

1000+ images about Hypothyroid vs Hyperthyroid Symptoms on ...

Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and multi-award winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. Her thyroid advocacy work includes writing articles, authoring books, producing her Thyroid Family email newsletters and speaking on podcasts, as well as being a founding board member for the American College of Thyroidology. She is well-recognised as a crucial and influential contributor to the thyroid community and has a large social media presence. Her books include “Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate” and “You, Me and Hypothyroidism”.

Don’t Miss: Glyburide Metformin Dosage

What Is The Thyroid

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck, just below the Adams apple and above the collarbone. It produces two hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine , 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.

Diabetes And Thyroid Disease

Thyroid disease is common in the general population, but it is especially common in type 1 women with more than 20% having the disease. Many people with type 2, in particular middle-aged women, are also susceptible to a non-immune-based form of thyroid disease.

The thyroid, a small, butterfly-shaped gland that wraps around your windpipe, has a highly important job. As the largest gland in the endocrine system, it regulates hormones and ensures growth, metabolism and development all occur at normal rates.

Approximately one-third of type 1 patients have markers for another autoimmune disease at diagnosis. One of these diseases is thyroid disease.

When the thyroid gland is out of synch, its regulative functions are thrown off. The hormonal imbalance can result in either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism is caused by the thyroid gland producing too much thyroid hormone. It may be caused by Graves disease , one or more thyroid nodules, ingesting too much iodine, inflammation of the thyroid gland or taking too much thyroid medication.

Symptoms include:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Thick skin on the knees, elbows, and shins

Hypothyroidism is caused by thyroid gland producing too little thyroid hormone. The most common form of hypothyroidism is an disease called Hashimotos thyroiditis. Symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Slow pulse
  • Intolerance to cold

Topics featured in this article

Also Check: What Is Your Sugar Supposed To Be

Thyroid Disease And Diabetes

Thyroid Disease and Diabetes. Diabetes Spectr 1 July 2002 15 : 143.

Diabetes and thyroid disease are both endocrine, or hormone, problems. When thyroid disease occurs in someone with diabetes, it can make blood glucose control more difficult.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your lower neck just beneath your skin. It regulates your bodys metabolism, the processes of using and storing energy, by releasing a substance called thyroid hormone. If it produces too much thyroid hormone, your metabolism quickens , too little and your body functions slow down .

What About Thyroid & Low Blood Sugar

Thyroid Recovery: How blood sugar levels affect thyroid

Although low blood sugar is most common in people who are on insulin or oral diabetes drugs that increase insulin output, thyroid problems, especially hypothyroidism, can also trigger episodes of low blood sugar.

Just as an overactive thyroid hastens insulin clearance, an underactive gland may slow its breakdown, allowing insulin to remain active for longer and causing blood sugar to fall below normal levels. Reduced thyroid hormone production also slows glucose synthesis in the liver, gastric emptying, and intestinal absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.

The result? Hypoglycemia, which can make you feel jittery, irritable, and ravenous for sugar and other fast-burning carbohydrates.

Don’t Miss: Side Effects Of Too Much Metformin

How To Naturally Control Blood Sugar Levels

Specific symptoms may indicate you are on a blood sugar rollercoaster.

For example, you may experience:

  • Irritability if you miss a meal
  • Eating food to relieve fatigue
  • Feeling anxiety or nervousness
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Increased weight gain around the waistline

If you experience these symptoms, you can rest easy knowing that many of these symptoms can improve with lifestyle and dietary adjustments. Ideally, you catch yourself on this rollercoaster early, as waiting too long may lead to insulin resistance or, eventually, type 2 diabetes. Try these natural solutions to balancing your blood sugar.


Managing your diet is the most effective way to balance your blood sugar. Understanding our nutritional needs can be overwhelming, especially if you have a health condition like Hashimotoâs. We know that carbohydrates are the primary source of glucose, so limiting carbs is imperative. However, knowing good carbs from not-so-good carbs can be challenging. The Glycemic Index is an easy-to-use tool to help you choose carbohydrates that have minimal blood sugar effects. When you eat carbohydrates, always eat some protein, too, to keep blood glucose levels steady.


Get quality sleep

When we do not get enough sleep, our cortisol levels increase, and our metabolic hormones can be affected. Often, these disturbances can lead to poor dietary choices that inevitably increase our blood sugar.

Drink water

How Blood Sugar Affects Hashimotos Disease

Blood sugar imbalances are common in people with Hashimotoâs. Some research indicates that people with this autoimmune condition are more prone to spikes in blood sugar, followed by reactive hypoglycemia after eating a carbohydrate-rich meal.

People with Hashimotoâs are likely to develop hypothyroidism. Thyroid hormones play a significant role in metabolism and energy storage and production. These hormones are also both insulin antagonists and agonists in different organsâmeaning that they combine with insulin to render it active or inactive.

When thyroid hormones are too low, or insulin levels considerably fluctuate, the body becomes stressed. The adrenal glands release stress hormones like cortisol. When your body experiences high cortisol levels, it can increase inflammation, heightening the immune systemâs activity. In Hashimotoâs, the immune system is already hyperactive as it attacks its healthy cells in the thyroid gland. Thus, a delicate balance is required between thyroid hormones and blood glucose levels.

Don’t Miss: Is Mozzarella Cheese Good For Diabetics

Diabetes Is Not A Sugar Disease

Lets get one thing straight

Diabetes is not a disease caused by sugar.

You require insulin to deliver glucose to your cells.

This is why in type 2 diabetes, insulin injections are prescribed to treat the condition while doing nothing to solve the problem.

Diabetes is a dysfunction within your body that prevents your cells from using glucose.

So, just as the case with your clogged sink, blaming the water, or in this case sugar, doesnt make much sense.

If the underlying problem is that your cells are clogged, preventing you from being able to use glucose, then you cant blame glucose as the problem.

And if you think that turning off the water, or removing sugar from your diet is the solution then youre in for a big surprise as well.

Removing sugars and carbohydrates from your diet as a band-aid approach to forcing your blood sugar lower also fails to fix the underlying problem.

Regardless of what your blood sugar levels are, your cells are still clogged and the underlying problem still exists.

In fact, using a low-carb diet to manage your diabetes is actually quite dangerous in itself.

With the increasing popularity of low-carb diets today, Ive been seeing a higher prevalence of diabetes and especially pre-diabetes in my clients.

For example, I recently consulted with a couple who both followed a low carbohydrate diet, one for 2 years, and one for less, while both developed thyroid issues.

This is far more common than you think.

A Caveat About Thyroid Testing

Thyroid Storm: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment

Left untreated, both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can worsen blood sugar management and alter medication requirements. Therefore, individuals with diabetes should regularly monitor their thyroid functionand everyone with a thyroid disorder should be periodically screened for diabetes.

Theres one caveat about thyroid testing. If your TSH test results come back within the normal range but you have symptoms of hypothyroidism, request additional testing for total and free T3, T4, and thyroid antibodies.

Subclinical hypothyroidism causes symptoms in many patientsespecially womenand may increase the risk of diabetic complications. Yet many physicians rely solely on TSH results and refuse to dig deeper. Consequently, hypothyroidism often goes undiagnosed and untreated.

Read Also: How Many Points Does Metformin Lower Blood Sugar

Unanswered Questions And Future Needs

More studies are needed to better understand the possible role of TD in the development and progression of DM and vice versa. In the future, the use of more sensitive peripheral markers of thyroid function may help clinicians to identify and personalize the treatment of TD in patients with diabetes, particularly in those in which these disorders are difficult to manage.

Large prospective studies are necessary to clarify the adverse effects of TD and DM when associated. Randomized controlled trials could verify whether the treatment of thyroid disorders can counteract the expected risks. Futures studies assessing TD in the early stage and performing an adequate treatment of TD in patients with DM could help understand the prognosis of these associated disorders when appropriately treated.

The discovery of TH analogs to improve metabolic control may help clinicians improve the cardiovascular risk factors associated with DM, MetS, and TH deficiency.

Future studies could clarify the potential role of metformin to improve TSH suppression therapy with L-T4 in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer and the prognosis of medullary thyroid cancer.

Finally, specific guidelines are necessary to recommend a systematic approach for the correct diagnosis and treatment of TD in patients with T1D and T2D.

Effects Of Hypothyroidism On Blood Sugar Levels

Thyroid problems are present in 6.6% of the general population, with hypothyroidism accounting for most of the cases.

Unfortunately, this condition often coexists with type 1 and 2 DM. In fact, low thyroid function, as is the case in hypothyroidism, was pegged by Chaker et al as a risk factor in the development of DM, especially in people suffering from pre-diabetes.

In a 2014 study, Kalra stated that hypothyroidism leads to the development of hypoglycemia due to the numerous abnormalities that come with the former. These include: · Low cortisol and growth hormone responses which prolong recovery from hypoglycemia· Impairment in the processes of gluconeogenesis, or the creation of glucose, and glycogenolysis, or the breakdown of glycogen to glucose. · Adrenal insufficiency which worsens hypoglycemia · Reduced glucagon secretion and impaired glucagon effect on hepatocytes, resulting in slower insulin clearance · Slow gastric emptying which delays glucose absorption in the intestines

Recommended Reading: How Many Points Does Metformin Lower Blood Sugar

Thyroid Disease And Insulin

Diabetes can cause alterations in thyroid hormone levels. Insulin imitates the actions of thyroid hormones in some tissues of the body, which decreases the production of thyroid hormones. But insulin also functions in the opposite way thyroid hormones do in other tissues, which increases thyroid hormone levels.

Excess or deficient insulin can induce changes in thyroid hormone production and activity.

Looking at the association from another direction, the metabolic changes of thyroid disease can interfere with the effects of insulin, whether endogenous or taken as a medical treatment for diabetes.

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 . Hypothyroidism has also been associated with an increased sensitivity to insulin, which can contribute to hypoglycemia.

Its important that you discuss all adjustments in your prescribed insulin dose with your healthcare provider, if applicable.

Risk Of Postpartum Thyroiditis In Patients With Diabetes

Blood Sugar and Thyroid Problems

Postpartum thyroiditis is caused by a destructive autoimmune thyroiditis in the postpartum period, mediated by a rebound of both cellular and humoral immunity. The clinical presentation can vary from hyperthyroidism to hypothyroidism or both and is associated with a significant increased incidence of depression . PPTD developed in up to 25% to 38% of women with T1D . The incidence of PPTD is threefold to fourfold higher in women with T1D compared with unselected populations .

Recommended Reading: Sugar Counter For Diabetes

The Difference For Me

My moods definitely improved, and my hangry headaches stopped.

Making these small changes, such as having chicken in place of a sugar-filled cereal bar at 11am has really made a lot of difference. I feel fuller for longer, Im not irritable, I can concentrate at work better and Im not having sudden drops in blood sugar later disrupting my day. Thyroid brain fog is improved and my Hashimotos is even in remission with the help of this simple knowledge.

Making this simple change to how I eat has really made a lot of difference. Its been an important piece of my thyroid jigsaw puzzle.

How Hypothyroidism Leads To Diabetes

It all boils down to whats called the Randle Cycle.

In a nutshell, the Randle Cycle is a mechanism by which the presence of large amounts of free fatty-acids in your bloodstream compete with the sugar in your bloodstream and block your cells from being able to use or metabolize your blood sugar.

So, it should be no surprise to learn that diabetics have high levels of circulating free-fatty acids in their blood.

And as mentioned previously, if you cant get sugar to your cells then you wont be able to use thyroid hormone efficiently.

So, how does this occur in hypothyroidism?

Its well known that in hypothyroidism, your liver loses its ability to store and release its storage form of sugar, glycogen.

And its this liver glycogen or stored sugar that is supposed to be keeping your blood sugar stable, especially between meals.

This is why hypothyroidism sufferers lose the ability to properly regulate their blood sugar and instead are forced to compensate by over-producing stress hormones instead.

Those stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, are hormones of survival.

Consider the fact that your brain is the largest consumer of sugar in your body. And it requires a huge amount of sugar to function.

If your blood sugar continued to drop too low then your brain would not be able to function, you would lose consciousness, and you wouldnt be able to recover.

In other words, life as you know it would be over.

You May Like: Stopping Metformin Abruptly


Popular Articles