Being diagnosed with diabetes increases your risk of acquiring other health complications, and one of these is involving the thyroid gland. The body’s endocrine gland, the thyroid, is usually associated with diabetes when it faces different medical problems. Health conditions involving the body’s blood sugar levels and thyroid are linked to one another as either of these bodily conditions can mutually cause the mentioned diseases or illnesses.
But before delving into the connection between thyroid problems and diabetes, let us first explain the definition of thyroid and its functions in the body. How does the thyroid work? What are the bodily operations of this gland? Read on to know more.
Recognized as an endocrine gland, the thyroid refers to a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck, just below Adam’s apple. It plays a vital role in the growth and development of children, as well as influences the protein synthesis and metabolic rate in adults.
The thyroid gland has different functions. One of these functions includes the production of thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine, thyroxine, and peptide hormone calcitonin. The thyroid hormones also portray significant effects to the human body, which include metabolic, cardiovascular, developmental, and sexual functions.
Some of these factors below are the recipients of the functions of the thyroid hormones:
- Weight (the hormones regulate the number of calories burned)
- Heartbeat (the hormones influence the speed of the heartbeat)
- Body temperature
- Muscular functions
- Cell replication and production
How is thyroid connected with diabetes?
One of the major roles of the thyroid gland is to regulate the metabolism process of the body. However, if the thyroid encounters an infection or illness, how the body processes its blood sugar can be altered. If this phenomenon occurs, an individual will increase his/her risk of acquiring diabetes. Additionally, if diabetes has already been existent, this will only make the condition worse. Managing the disease will be a hard undertaking.
One of the known thyroid diseases is hyperthyroidism. It refers to a condition where the thyroid has an overactive hormonal status. It is highly linked with abnormally high blood sugar levels, also known as hyperglycemia. This is one complication that diabetic individuals should prevent acquiring.
Note that if thyroid disease causes high levels of the body’s blood glucose, a certain medical condition known as a metabolic syndrome can happen. And if this condition is not administered by immediate medical care, it can advance to a more chronic disease called type 2 diabetes.
Aside from thyroid disease that causes harm to the body’s levels of blood sugar, diabetes can also impact how the thyroid functions. As you already know, insulin is needed for diabetes to get treated; however, too much insulin intake or production can also decrease the functions of the thyroid. It alters how the said endocrine gland does its daily purpose, which can lead to other health complications.
In the case of hyperthyroidism, the metabolic activity of the body is further increased. It eliminates the functions of insulin, and this hormone is secreted immediately. Additionally, in full reverse, if hypothyroidism occurs, the metabolic activity is decreased. This phenomenon leads to hypoglycemia.
How to prevent thyroid disease?
There are different ways to prevent thyroid diseases, most especially if the condition is highly correlated to diabetes. Consider the following:
- Consuming enough insulin – Since insulin is the major treatment for diabetes, taking enough of this hormone is necessary. The patient must ensure that it will not harm or impact how the thyroid gland functions.
- Healthy balanced diet – It doesn’t hurt you to only follow the best meal plan for your daily food consumption. In doing so, your blood sugar levels are not affected, which also means a healthy thyroid gland.
- Regular check-up – If you are already diagnosed with diabetes, ensure that you are also having a regular check-up with your healthcare professional. Doing so will help you prevent other diabetes-related complications.
Managing diabetes also includes the prevention of other health dilemmas. Although this process can be overwhelming and challenging, it helps you to stay healthy and remain functional. Always practice the needed healthy measures, and you’ll surely be on your way to recovery. It is also one way of inhibiting more illnesses from emerging.