Thyroid Disease and Diabetes

Thyroid disease and diabetes are two common conditions involving hormonal problems. Studies suggest that if you have diabetes, you are most likely to develop thyroid disease. The risk of acquiring thyroid disease is high, whether it be type 1, type 2, insulin resistance, or any type relating to blood sugar.

On the other hand, the presence of thyroid disease can also lead to type 2 diabetes. Additionally, the development of varying blood sugar levels is high if a person is obese or overweight.

In this article, you will learn how these two conditions are related. Read on to learn more.

What are thyroid disease and diabetes?

Thyroid disease refers to a medical condition that prevents the thyroid from producing the correct number of hormones. It is identified by two main types – hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. It specifically targets the thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland located in the lower neck just beneath the skin. Like other glands, it produces hormones that play a vital role in the metabolism process.

In diabetes, it is the blood sugar levels that are at stake. The disease can be of different types depending on how the body uses blood glucose. It can be type 1, type 2, gestational diabetes, or prediabetes. If it’s type 1, it is an autoimmune disease. However, if it’s type 2, it is connected to insulin resistance, which is largely dependent on the lifestyle we follow..

Diabetes affects the functions of the pancreas. It is a gland that produces the hormone insulin to help blood sugar enter the cells. This process provides the cells and the body with stored energy. The hormone helps stabilize the amount of blood sugar that the body takes. Diabetes occur when there is a deficit in the supply of insulin. 

How is thyroid disease related to diabetes?

Thyroid and diabetes are correlated in two ways.


As mentioned, the thyroid gland plays a significant role in the regulation of bodily processes, such as metabolism. However, if there is an imbalance in the hormones produced in the organ, thyroid disease occurs. The development of thyroid can interfere with metabolism, which can lead to the accumulation of glucose. This phenomenon can lead to diabetes.


Aside from blood sugar, thyroid disease can also negatively impact insulin production. How? It is due to the development of hyperthyroidism, a condition referring to the high number of hormones in the thyroid gland.

When hyperthyroidism occurs, metabolism increases. What happens next is the elimination of insulin from the body more rapidly than expected. Note that a deficient supply of insulin can cause high blood sugar and may also pave the way for type 2 diabetes. If you are already following insulin treatment, the condition may require you to have higher doses of medications to manage hyperthyroidism-induced diabetes.

On the other hand, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can happen if hypothyroidism (fewer thyroid hormones) occurs. When hypothyroidism develops, insulin stays longer, leading to a drop in blood sugar. Symptoms like dizziness, unconsciousness, and disorientation follow.


If you are diagnosed with either diabetes or thyroid diabetes, the best to manage and prevent the onset of the other disorder is to maintain an ideal weight. Besides weight management, keeping blood glucose and thyroid hormones in a healthy range can make a big difference.

Here are other ways you can do to prevent any of the mentioned conditions:

  • take your daily thyroid or diabetes medications
  • quit smoking
  • stop alcohol addiction
  • follow a healthy meal plan
  • exercise regularly
  • check blood sugar levels regularly
  • visit your healthcare professional frequently