How low thyroid hormone increases your risk of diabetes

Research published in the journal Hindawi in 2018 stated that 11% of the total Indian population is suffering from hypothyroidism.

Myupchar January 09, 2020 18:34:30 IST
content powered by
How low thyroid hormone increases your risk of diabetes

Research published in the journal Hindawi in 2018 stated that 11% of the total Indian population (that accounts for around 42 million people) is suffering from hypothyroidism.

It’s an alarming situation as that means that more than one in every 10 Indians is suffering from a dysfunctioning thyroid.

How low thyroid hormone increases your risk of diabetes

Representational image. PTI

As if that isn’t worrying enough, scientists have found a link between hypothyroidism and diabetes recently. 

Thyroid dysfunction

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the front of the neck, right below the Adam’s apple. It helps regulate many body functions by constantly releasing a steady amount of thyroid hormones into the bloodstream.

Thyroid dysfunction can present itself either as hyperthyroidism or as hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism occurs when your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine which accelerates the body’s metabolism and may lead to various changes in the body including weight loss. Hypothyroidism is marked with decreased production of thyroxine leading to slowing down of the metabolism, thus, causing weight gain and cold insensitivity.

The link between hypothyroidism and diabetes

Diabetes mellitus and thyroid disease are the two most common endocrine disorders and are often seen co-existing in patients. Many studies have shown that people with hypothyroidism are at more risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus). Most women with subclinical hypothyroidism (an early form of hypothyroidism) are more likely to develop diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes).

Scientists believe that thyroid dysfunction may alter carbohydrate metabolism by influencing insulin in such a way that it results in the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus and vice versa.

Various conclusions 

Various scientists have drawn many conclusions on how thyroid hormone could affect insulin metabolism in the body.

  • Some scientists believe that since thyroid hormones are crucial for our body’s metabolism and energy expenditure, low thyroid hormone levels are associated with higher Body Mass Index (BMI). High BMI is associated with a higher risk of diabetes. 
  • Another study claims that hypothyroidism is responsible for decreased insulin sensitivity. This means that insulin does not absorb as much glucose, which might lead to excessively high blood sugar levels. Hypothyroidism also decreases the ability of insulin to increase the utilization of glucose, mainly in muscles.
  • Some studies state that individuals with a low to normal thyroid function (hypothyroidism or at risk of it), which includes a large proportion of the population, are at an even higher risk of progression from prediabetes to diabetes. 

Reducing the risk

Scientists believe that for individuals who have prediabetes and low thyroid function, diabetes treatment or lifestyle adjustments (like proper diet and exercise) could be prompted in an earlier stage. 

They further stated that thyroid treatment should be started for people with both subclinical hypothyroidism and prediabetes to prevent the chances of getting type 2 diabetes. 

For more on this topic, please read our article on Hypothyroidism.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.

Updated Date:

also read

Addicted to TV? Watch out, you could get diabetes!
Life

Addicted to TV? Watch out, you could get diabetes!

Researchers found that for each hour a person spends watching TV, his or her risk of developing metabolic syndrome increases. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of cardiovascular disease predictors linked to the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Mutations in insulin gene have made most people susceptible to type 2 diabetes, claims study
Health

Mutations in insulin gene have made most people susceptible to type 2 diabetes, claims study

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic health condition that occurs when your body either does not produce enough insulin or is not able to use insulin well

Diabetes and heart diseases might be linked, reveals new study
Life

Diabetes and heart diseases might be linked, reveals new study

Type 2 diabetes and cardio-vascular disease often occur together and scientists have now discovered that the two diseases may be related at the level of genes, proteins and fundamental physiology.