Thyroid Problems and the Relation to Diabetes
Thyroid problems and diabetes are sometimes closely connected to one another.
Just like diabetes effects the endocrine system, thyroid problems fall into that category. The thyroid gland secretes hormones to help promote growth, cell nutrient uses, and also reproduction.
Your thyroid plays a large part with regulating your metabolism. Thyroid function that is abnormal has a huge bearing on your diabetes control. A thyroid dysfunction not treated will increase your chances of diabetic complications. Thyroid dysfunction can easily be diagnosed with a simple blood test.
Your thyroid gland is butterfly shaped, and found in your neck. There are exactly two hormones which are thyroxine, referred to as T4, and triiodothyroidnine, the T3. These hormones are in the bloodstream and therefore the metabolism of the liver, heart, and muscles are affected. Your hypothalamus, (part of the brain that controls temperature, blood pressure, and other hormones), is controlled by the thyroid gland. Your pituitary gland is involved in the process of stimulating the thyroid hormone as well.
The process is that the hypothalamus tells the pituitary gland by signalling it through a TRH hormone. After your pituitary gland receives this message, it then will secrete TSH, which is your thyroid stimulating hormone. The thyroid portion TSH, will connect by producing the thyroid hormones you have as I mentioned, T3 and T4. The pituitary gland is the "mother" of what the thyroid levels are in the blood. That means it will either decrease, or else increase TSH. The TSH then controls amounts of hormones by the thyroid which are produced.
Your thyroid hormone controls the way energy is used inside the body. There are also proteins which are the receptors that live in cells in the body. The thyroid then, has a broad scope in regulation and functions of every organ. This is why any type of changes at all, can vastly affect your the body's working systems and cause a variety of illnesses and unwanted symptoms.
How organs are being affected varies between individuals. Ask your doctor if you need to know. The degree of symptoms when the thyroid is functioning abnormally depends on how long the problem has been going on.
Disorders of the thyroid include hyperthyroidism, and hypothyroidism, which is an underactive thyroid gland. In hypothyroidism, the more common, symptoms will vary between each individual. Some common signs in kids, are being overly tired, difficulty with concentration levels or not paying attention in school, and there can also be an unexplained change in the rate of growth.
In a woman that is still in her reproductive ages, the hypothyroidism can stop fertility, and the risk of miscarriage is high. Some other signs that may appear are a goiter which is a large lump on the side of the neck. Gaining weight is very common as well as mood swings, depressive states, dry skin, fluid rentention, muscle weakening, constipation and brittle dry hair that sometimes falls out.
Hyperthyroidism is where the thyroid gland becomes overactive. Hyperthyroidism can affect all age groups, but women are the ones which seem to have the problem most of all. In children, it projects the same symptoms as in hypothyroidism. In women, the overactive thyroid will cause hot flashes, mood swings, fast heart rate, and weight loss in spite of overeating. There is also problems with sleeping, frequent bowel movements, and lack of energy. There may also be a goiter that comes up as in hypothyroidism.
The reason people with diabetes type 1 have a higher risk of thyroid trouble is because as I mentioned, it is an autoimmune disorder. Thyroid problems are another autoimmune disorder, and the two problems are connected.
In us type 2 diabetics, this is likely to occur, though type 2 is not an autoimmune disorder like type 1. Many reports have shown type 2 diabetics to have a thyroid-related problem. For what reason is yet to be found.
Hyperthyroidism makes blood sugar control difficult, and therefore, means increased insulin requirements. The thyroid hormone which is overactive, will cause the liver to secrete extra glucose.
Hypothyroidism does not cause the big changes in blood glucose control that hyperthyroidism will. It does cause some greater abnormalities concerning lipid levels in the blood as well as increased bad cholesterol, (LDL), levels. Type 2 diabetics have diabetes that worsens by hypothyroidism. This means a greater chance for cardiovascular problems.
There are several treatments available for thyroid problems.When TSH, (the lab test), is abnormal, there are several options. There are pills that deliver a synthetic derivative which helps the problem. Once medication is started, you'll need a TSH test about every three months at first. Once the proper drug is found to work in your system with the right dose, testing can then be done every 6 months.
Anyone with diabetes needs to be screened once a year for thyroid problems or sooner if they are showing unusual symptoms.
Autoimmune hepatitis is of concern in some type 1 diabetics. Check this page for information.
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