A life in the day

1/11/2005

Diabetes-Hypothyroidism Link

Filed under: — site admin @ 12:50 pm

Go away. You probably don’t want to bother reading this.

Still here, huh? Well, I just had a doctor’s visit, and I want to record what he told me before I forget it. If you care about the link between diabetes and hypothyroidism, go ahead and read on.

Dr. Lampugnale’s office referred me to an edocrinologist, Dr. Abourizk, who directs St Francis Hospital’s Diabetes Care Center. I was referred because after I was diagnosed with diabetes in May, I was diagnosed as hypothyroid in December; we want to find out if there is some underlying issue causing my endocrine glands to malfunction.

We don’t yet have answers to that question (I have some tests scheduled), but I did learn a bit about the potential link between these diseases. First of all, the type of hypothyroidism I have is what’s known as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which means that my immune system is creating antibodies to thyroid peroxidase (TPO). These antibodies are attacking my thyroid gland, gradual causing its destruction. So it sounds as though, barring some medical breakthrough, I will be on thyroid medicine for the rest of my life. I didn’t ask about possibilities of this being reversed. I imagine that with my immune system causing the problem, the most we can do is counteract the effects.

Since my immune system is attacking one endocrine gland, there is an elevated risk that it might be attacking another one, namely my pancreas. Something called GAD (glutamic acid decarboxylase, thanks Google) antibodies can attack the islet cells of the pancreas, decreasing production of insulin.

This would not match my diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, which is a problem in the use of insulin, not in its production. But it’s possible that I’m going through a slow onset of Type 1 diabetes, in which case I will at some point become dependent upon insulin. We’ll know more after two tests I’ll have at the end of the month, one testing for GAD antibodies and another scanning the pancreas itself for unusual growth.

I learned several other things in this visit: Hashimoto’s disease is significantly more common among women than men, and has a strong genetic component. If the immune system is attacking these endocrine glands, the adrenal glands are often in for some rough treatment as well. (The first symptom would be loss of appetite; no problem there.) Finally, I learned some about the relationship between the pituitary gland and the thyroid gland. The pituitary releases thyrotropin, a thyroid-stimulating hormone, also known as TSH. TSH induces the thyroid to create the hormone thyroxine (T4) as well as others. This T4 then inhibits the pituitary’s release of TSH, in a negative feedback loop. The most sensitive check for thyroid functioning is the check for TSH, since a drop of 50% in T4 corresponds to an 800% increase in TSH. The normal TSH range is 0.5 - 4 mIU/L. My reading was 9.75 mIU/L. I don’t have a sense of how bad that is, except that I’m now on the lowest dose of synthetic thyroid hormone generally prescribed. (And that mathematically, if the top of the normal range is eight times the bottom, having a level 2.5 times that of the top of the range might not be that bad.)

It sounds as though hypothyroidism won’t complicate the treatment of my diabetes, but it is likely to make certain of its symptoms worse. It’s going to be harder to lower my blood pressure, although today’s 105/88 reading is encouraging. It may also make it more difficult to lose weight. After losing 45 pounds in six months, I put eight back on in short order. Now I’ve taken three of those back off, but it’s very slow going. And hypothyroidsm may create cholesterol problems, although my cholesterol has been very good. Dr. Abourizk discussed putting me on statins. He’s very gung-ho on statins, and an article about the uses of statins, originaly published in the Hartford Courant with quotes from and a picture of Dr. Abourizk, is prominently displayed in his office. I will have to do more research first.

Still, I really am feeling old! I’m going to need one of those weekly pillboxes. :-(

49 Responses to “Diabetes-Hypothyroidism Link”

  1. A life in the day » Good health news Says:

    […] not getting enough exercise, I guess. The other news has to do with my hypothyroidism. I reported last month that there was concern that the Hashimoto& […]

  2. Rita Kelley Says:

    I have known that I have Hashimoto’s (hypothyroidism) for a long time now. But just recently I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I was wondering about the link between the two. Being that both are auto immune disorders. And does that put me at risk for more auto immune disorders.

    I have known I was hypothyroid since I was twenty-two years old. It was discovered by accident. I was having some knee pain. And the doctor x-rayed my knee and didn’t really see anything. Then she said that i might want to lose some weight. Because weight can casue joint pain. Well I had been over weight pretty much since puberty. And at eighteen gave birth to my first child.

    In talking about weight, she felt on my neck. Then she said “well let me check something”. So she sent me to the lab. And in a few days, she called me saying that me thyroid wasn’t working properly.

    I came back in and had the whole work up. And then I wasn’t diabetic. And the endocrinologist checked me every so often and I haven’t been. Now I am thirty-two and I have just been diagnosed.

    I have an awful time trying to lose weight. I am even considering weight loss surgery. I was told by my endocrinologist that if I lose just ten percent of my body fat that I could probably come off my metformin. Well easier said than done.

    If you can help me I would greatly appreciate it.

    Sincerely,

    Rita Kelley

  3. Scott Sauyet Says:

    I don’t know that I can offer any help, but you’ve certainly got my best wishes. Losing weight is a long drawn-out process, and can’t really be rushed. I was hoping to hit the doctor’s 75-pound recommendation within a year; there’s no hope for that now. Maybe 15 months…

    Good luck!

    — Scott

  4. Terri Says:

    Rita,

    In the research that I’ve done, you will not lose weight while on that medication. I have Type 2 diabetes and hypothyroidism and I told my doctor that I will never go on the medicine for diabetes. I regulate my blood sugar with diet alone. I was doing really well with losing weight until I got the hypothyroidism. I hoping that once we get the medicine for that regulated then the weight will start to come off again.

    Do a little research on the medication.

    Good luck

    Terri

  5. pamdaz Says:

    Last year I was told I have high tsh 7.14. I went on meds and then stopped not knowing much about the problem. This year I went for my yearly and found it was up to 13.5. I started back on sythyroid and after a month I started getting super tired achy joints, neck stiffness. I had a ultrasound done everything is fine there. My antibodies are in the 38 and 39. I am 40 years old and for the last 10 or more years I have been in and out of depression. My question is; Is it always Hashimoto’s that attacks the thyroid? Or is there other diseases that causes the immune system to attack it also. This is confusing but I am happy to have an answer to all the years of stomach issues etc……

  6. pamdaz Says:

    Last year I was told I have high tsh 7.14. I went on meds and then stopped not knowing much about the problem. This year I went for my yearly and found it was up to 13.5. I started back on sythyroid and after a month I started getting super tired achy joints, neck stiffness. I had a ultrasound done everything is fine there. My antibodies are in the 38 and 39. I am 40 years old and for the last 10 or more years I have been in and out of depression. My question is; Is it always Hashimoto’s that attacks the thyroid? Or is there other diseases that causes the immune system to attack it also. This is confusing but I am happy to have an answer to all the years of stomach issues etc……

  7. Karen Hall Says:

    I was treated for Hashimoto’s disease with radioactive iodine treatments to kill the gland over 30 years ago. Living with Hypothyrodism and daily pills of synthyroid have worked fine for me. I watch EVERYTHING I put in my mouth everyday of my life. I’ve managed to keep my weight under control. But, it is a struggle everyday. HOWEVER, in the last two or three weeks, I’ve lost about 15 pounds. I have not changed my diet at all. I’ve been terribly thirsty, which made me wonder about the posibility of diabetes. I’ve worn glasses for over two years. Now, I can see close up, but everything else is blurred. I have a doctor’s appointment scheduled, but not for another two weeks. I’ve NEVER in my life worried about losing weight. I’ve always worried about gaining it and maintaining it. I’m scared about gaining the weight back with more if the doctors put me on something.

    Can someone give me some advice and guidance? I had no idea that diabetes and hypothyroidism were connected until I found this website. I’d appreciate any advice or information.

    Thanks

  8. Scott Sauyet Says:

    Sorry I didn’t see this before. I have no real advice. The link between diabetes and hypothyroidism is simply that both the pancreas and the thyroid are endocrine glands. Anything which is generally debilitating the endocrine system could cause both conditions. I don’t think there is much more of a link than that. In my case, tests showed that it was essentially coincidence.

    However losing fifteen pounds in a few weeks sounds serious, and you definitely want to follow up with your doctor about that. I wouldn’t wait for a scheduled appointment. Call right away and ask if the doctor wants to see you sooner because of the weight loss.

    Good luck.

  9. Diabetes Says:

    I really found this site to be very helpful and full of good information. Thank you for taking the time to post this info. I look forward to you writing again soon.

  10. Jennifer Says:

    I sometimes feel like the only one with diabetes and hypothyroidism. There really isn’t that much information out there. I wish the ADA and Thyroid assoc. would get together and create an info page. I have so many questions.

  11. swati Says:

    Came across this article on internet..

    hi

    just came across this article on internet
    virgin coconut oil helps in losing weight

    HI,
    I would like to share my exp with you all suffering from thyroid.

    I have had SEVERELY low thyroid for nearly two years now , I did NOT want to end up taking Synthroid. When came to know about VCO (Virgin coconut oil ) from my friend, I was so excited to try the Coconut Oil. I took 3 tablespoons a day and within two months, I returned to my physician and she just couldn’t believe that EVERYTHING on my tests was once again normal! She was so enthused that she has prescribed your product to three other thyroid patients since then. Your product took me out of the doom and gloom I suffered for so very long! My muscles have returned to normal… The depression, hoarse voice, swollen face/eyes and all my other symptoms have disappeared! there are many brand available in market you need to choose the right one I have been using MeritVCO. Manufactured by www.excelcombine.com

    Here is what you should see for an Extra Virgin Coconut Oil:
    Colourless and crystal clear.
    Light, fresh coconut aroma
    Natural Coconut taste
    Quick absorption
    No oily feel
    Very light viscosity

  12. type 2 hypothroidism Says:

    […] hypothyroidism for a long time now. But just recently I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. …http://scott.sauyet.com/thoughts/archives/2005/01/11/diabetes-hypothyroidism-link/Pediatric Advisor 2006.2: Hypothyroidism Acquired TypeWhat is hypothyroidism? Hypothyroidism is a […]

  13. Natural Cures for Hypothyroidism Says:

    Did you know that thyroid health is a concern for nearly 11 million Americans? And, a healthy thyroid supports healthy weight and cholesterol?

  14. Jean Says:

    Hello,
    Thanks, great information, sharing and caring. I have been on Synthroid for over 20 years. I believe that aside from IT being a money cow, it has many side affects. It may cause the other endocrine glands to malfunction over time. I see and Endocinologist once a year and wouldn’t you think she would test my other functions? Oh No, let’s spread the fortune around and see a separate physician for each complaint! And, if I could have been placed on a natural thyroid hormone, my own thyroid may have regained function on its own. Oh!, but insurance doesn’t cover that! Furthermore, take a look at the error in Blood lab results. Thyroid function should be tested through saliva only for accuracy. When I presented this to the Endo Specialist she looked at me as if I were from outer space. Take a look folks. Let me know if anyone else agrees.

    Thanks

  15. Cheri Says:

    I have both. A few comments.
    Thank God for Armour Thyroid - MUCH better than Synthroid.
    Most docs have numbers that are waaaay off in terms of what they consider “normal”
    Do yourselves a favor and go here - http://thyroid.about.com/
    Lots of good information!

  16. Drugstore Pharmacy Says:

    Each one takes the decision about what they ingest. But I do think that medicine today is overrated. If everybody knew what drugstore pharmacy medications actually do to themselves, pharmacy medications would stop being so popular and so sold because people wouldn’t like to do that to themselves anymore.

  17. Pat Says:

    Have to say, “I have some genuine concern about my mother, who’s 82, and her Type II diabetes and our family connection with hypothyroidism”. I know that hypothyroidism can be passed from generation to generation. All my life I’ve dealt with Ichthyosis and as a child I was unmercilessly teased about the scaliness and look of my skin. I had ecxema, asthma, chronic sinus infections and terrible allergies. Since my mother has diabetes and almost losing her to this disease, I now have deep concern about our offsprings not getting correct diagnosis for skin, allergies, infections and maybe even resulting in diabetes, etc. that could possibly go along with thyroid/glandular issues. What really concerns me is that when T3/T4 tests are done (as was for my mother) indicating in normal range and from what I understand is that “What is normal for one individual, may not indicate a complete and correct diagnosis of these issues”. As for my Ichthyosis, I started on a regimen of raw thyroid about a month ago and my skin has improved 85% which is a miracle as I had a severe case of Ichthyosis. For 62 years I have dealt with issues that I now firmly believe may very well be connected with many of my own maladies and maybe even an progression to diabetes. How many thousands of dollars and suffering may have been attributed to thyroid, adrenal, pituitary, thymus and spleen glandular issues by well-intended doctors misdiagnosing many, many diseases and maybe even to include Lupus? When any of our tiny, important glands goes haywire, the checklist is so HUGE for the havoc is wreaks on our all over health and surely robs us of a good quality of life or even as much shortens our lives as well as potentially our families quality of life. I certainly hope my comments here can help someone out there who may be dealing with the many, many diseases created by glandular disorders. Our glands may very well be the culprit of many health issues. Maybe and hopefully someone else out there can help shed some light on how important it is to get a correct diagnosis as early as possible. Since there may also be a link to heredity and if we can shed light on these issues, it could potentially help us and our loved ones live a better quality of life. I personally being born with a predisposition to asthma, allergies, Ichthyosis and depression (don’t know if the depression was as a result of being bullied about my condition or if it was maybe from glandular disorders and possibly even both). I do so hope that I or anyone else out there can help address how hypothyroidism is or could be a direct link to a predisposition to diabetes. One thing I’m certain from my own personal experience, is that an individual doesn’t have to have each and every symptom that’s listed at: http://thyroid.about.com/cs/basis_starthere/a/hypochecklist.htm
    to be at risk. Note: This site is only checklist for HYPOthyroidism NOT HYPERthyroidism, for HYPERthyroidism go to and search:
    http://thyroid.about.com to find a checklist for hyperthyroidism. A good suggestion would be to consult an Endocrinologist if your current doctor can’t seem to give you a clear resolution to your health issues. Remember T3/T4 tests in normal range certainly need further investigation by an expert if symptoms persist with conventional treatment. Poor functioning of any of these important tiny little glands and their seemingly devastating physical and emotional effect is a call to action even T3/T4 tests show you’re in the normal range. Hope some of my research helps even one person and that someone else has had any of their own successes that might shed some light on these problems.

  18. Ann Marie Rose Says:

    I am 37. For a while now I have had the following symptoms and every doctor I’ve seen has told me everything is within normal ranges so nothing is wrong with me.
    - weight gain I can’t control
    - sensitivity to cold
    - puffiness in my face
    - cysts on my ovary
    - irregular periods
    - skin tags
    - anger and mood swings
    - hair loss on top of my head, hair growth on my chin and upper lip
    - frequent gas
    - always tired, lethargic and sleepy especially after eating any kind of carb
    - after I eat a carb I get dizzy, light-headed, tired, yawning, irritable, unable to focus, blurry vision, excessive thirt and constant urination
    - achy joints and muscles
    - no libido
    - dry skin, dry hair yet really oily face and acne
    - brittle nails
    - tingling extremities
    - bouts of vertigo
    - increased infections- sinus, ear etc
    - waist bloating despite doing situps every day- look five months pregnant no matter what I weigh
    - difficulty sleeping sometimes
    - anxious and depressed one minute, quick to anger and screaming the next
    - pain in my ovary and in left breast
    - pain in my lower right abdomen that feels like intense gas buildup (no ovary there, had it removed due to cyst)

    None of my doctors can tell me what’s wrong. The endo I tried to see yesterday told me it’s psychiatric. My Gyn says I don’t have PCOS because I am 5′2 1/2 and weigh 128 pounds (I used to weigh 108 only 12 years ago). I exercise every day, drink nothing but water, don’t eat sweets and barely eat any carbs at all. I’m tored of constantly feeling like I’m in a fog all day and especially after I eat. I’ve seen a GI doctor who reluctantly put me on Nexium and I takle a daily probiotic. I’m also lactose intolerant.
    I’m so frustrated and tired of getting nowhere with these doctors. Do I have hypothyroidism and some form of insulin resistance/diabetes/hypoglycemia/PCOS…and if so how do I treat it? What do I eat to make this all go away? How cna I lose these 20 pounds even though I’m already exercising and eating right? >>>

  19. Pat Says:

    This reply to Anne Marie Rose: Try Raw Thyroid, many of your symptoms are mimicking some type of glandular issue. I don’t have as many of the issues you indicated, I do have allergies, Ichthyosis, allergies, depression, sinus infections (all in that category). After taking Raw Thyroid by Natural Sources, 1 tab/day with meal and a glass of water, for about 3 weeks (this is not an advertisement, as you can see by my last response, I was careful not to mention what I was taking because I wanted to come across as sincere about this important issue), all of my symptoms are subsiding. Google Raw Thyroid and there are many websites for discounted Raw Thyroid. I personally like Natural Sources since it is a Synergistic Complex of all the glandular tissues. With this in mind, be sure to eat lots of raw vegetables and include good food sources high in protein. Also, I suggest to get a second opinion from a different Endocrinologist, however, I know they are far and few between. The issues you are experiencing, from what I can tell, cannot be all in your head because you have way too many physical issues pointing to some type of glandular problem.

  20. Franz Says:

    Hi, I have had Hashimoto’s for 17 years but it went three undiagnosed which led to 20 pounds of weight gain and depression, constipation, irritability, etc. I take synthroid. Anyway, recently I have been having what I think are blood sugar issues. I feel light-headed just two hours after eating. Strangely, in a recent blood test I had elevated fasting insulin levels, and lots of flora in my urine. I think it’s pre-diabetes, which happens a lot in hypothyroid patients, even under treatment. Any ideas?

  21. Shelley Says:

    Hi,

    I would get your doctor to check your AC1 level as soon as possible.

    About two years ago I had a realy good physical. I was telling the doctor about feeling a bit run down and that I noticed my skin was getting dry, and that there were some days when I had no energy. She ran several blood tests, did a venus doppler on my legs, and an one on my thyroid.

    The results came back, my veins are ok, but I now have Hashimotos Thyroiditis and she place me on Leveothyroxin. I have been on this med for two years now and I really dont feel much different but my TH levels are much better, actually normal. I went in for some routine blood work two months ago and get a call from my doctor and she wants to see me. Then I get the news that i have Type II diabetes; my AC1 was really high, and I am now taking Metformin.

    I do not like this med because I am having stomach aches (and I do take it with food) and I get really bad diarrhea. Isn’t there something else I can take?

    I am testing every morning and I am startting to notice that if I eat past 8pm at night my readings in the morning are higher. The lowest my readings have been are 143 and the highest 301, (that was because I tested soon after eating, just to see)

    I also have a famly hisotry of adult on set diabetes, my Uncle got it in his 40’s, my sister too, and now I found out that my dad also has it. None of them take insulin injections, but all take Metformin like me.

  22. Dawn Says:

    I was diagnosed with hashimoto’s thyroiditis in 1995 at 15 years old. I have been taking synthroid ever since, and occasionally my medication needs to be adjusted, but I recently discovered that there is a link between thyroid disease and diabetes. I am concerned I may be pre diabetic, and I had suspisions in the past of possible hypoglycemia. The doctor I spoke to about my symptoms at the time blew it of as all in my head and “they make medications for that” It made me so mad! a few years ago I bought a meter from walgreens, and I periodically test myself. Sometimes I go as low as 51, and my highest was over 200 (after a party and lots of food) but my average is between 94 and 149 at any time of day. I stay on top of my thyroid condition, having it tested a few times a year, and am wondering about the a1c and if this test would be indicated for someone like me, to determine if I need further evaluation….
    Thanks for your website.

  23. Dawn Says:

    I should also mention that I have two children. I was tested negative for gestational diabetes both times. My younger is about to be 6 months old. She was born preterm with critically low blood sugar (28) and had to spend the 1st 24 hrs in nicu. it is my understanding that this usually occurs when the mother is diabetic. I was re-tested 6 weeks after her birth because of this with a gtt and was normal…..

  24. Ray Says:

    I have just recently been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and on the lowest treatment dose. I am suppose to be tested every six weeks but I work out of the country and getting the results for the second test 6 months on.
    I feel very tired all the time. I recently hurt my knee and it is taking much longer than normal to heal which is worrying. I have in the last few days developed a thirst. I can only imagine this might be a symptom of pre-diabetes. I did use a urine strip last night which produced a negative result. I have not been successful at losing weight even though I am quite active.

    I am male which is strange as the vast majority of people with these problems are women. So, I’m not sure why my hormones should be in such a jumble.

    It would be nice if there was more information about the combination of hypothyroidism and diabetes.

    Do we live normal life spans? I haven’t asked my doctor as I am not sure if I want the answer to this question.

  25. Deb Says:

    Wow! I am another one that can say I thought I was the only one going through this. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos in 2005 after many years of fighting a losing battle withbeing overweight.Then a few months later diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I was totally suprised I had an A1C at that time of 10.5. now I have A1C as high as 13.9 crazy huh, daily blood sugars go as high as 609. Yes I am insulin dependent.But what is so discouraging to me is a few months ago,I was at my doc appt. and in talking with my doc I let her know how frustrated I am about the weight gain, not being able to lose weight. She ask how I was feeling, I said terrible, sluggish,tired,achy and so on. Told her I was stressed , looking for employment with no luck. Now the real good part, her response to me was “well I wouldn’t hire you either if you came to me looking for a job, look at you!. Look at your appearance.You need to lose some weight too. You need to go home and watch biggest loser and when you excercise as much as those people then we can say that it is not because of yor illnesses or medications”.
    Good one huh!!. Thats what we have to deal with, people with diabetes and hashimotos, basically your overweight cause you wanna be. Oh well needless to say I am looking for a new Doctor.

  26. Peg Says:

    I’ve been told I’m borderline for both (started as hypoglycemia). Basically, any symptoms I have get written off by my doctor because my test results are right at the edge. I relate to a lot of the above, but let me ask about one thing that I haven’t seen addressed anywhere- How is your memory? For decades, I have had memory problems. I’m not talking about little things, I’m talking about not remembering people that clearly knew me for years, or having very little memory of school (grade, highschool, college). I go on vacation and can’t talk about it a year later because I don’t remember. I’m wondering if it has anything to do with the combination of hypothyroidism and diabetes. Anyone??

  27. Tamera Says:

    I wish I had some wisdom to offer…I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in September of 2009. I went to the Doctor (internist) with pain in my upper left abdomen (in the area of my pancreas), and he tested me for a whole host of things. My TSH and other bloodwork was normal (except for elevated bilirubin), but my antibodies were 980! I was also experiencing achy joints, cold ALL of the time, extreme dry skin, occasional panic attacks (once or twice a year), and what I like to refer to as “the fog”. I was excited to find out that all of these things were not just a part of being me. I was given a prescription and sent home. My excitement was short lived. After being on a beginning dose of 50 mg for 4 weeks, my pain was gone, my skin was getting better, and I had more energy…but I felt like I was going crazy! The room would start spinning and I was having panic attacks every day! When I went back for my follow up appointment, the Doctor thought I probably just needed a higher dose. So I started taking 75’s and then 88’s. After 9 weeks of total compliance (taking meds every day) the spinning and anxiety were getting even worse. I couldn’t go anywhere… Finally I just called the Doctor in tears and he told me to go off them and see what happens. I went off them for 2 months, but never fully returned to how I was before I started the meds, aka MY normal. The fog was constant, and my vision was somewhat blurry, and the aches and pains of course came back full force. I guess reactions to thyroid meds is rare, and side effects usually go away with time, but 9 weeks! I just feel like there is something else going on with me, and I’m thinking maybe Diabetes may be the answer. I am hesitant to try anything right now because of the side effects. I am not overweight, but I used to be. After the birth of my 4th child I got depressed and put on alot of weight, and stayed heavy for about 2 years. I have always battled my weight because I LOVE food, but when I got up to 286, I knew I needed to do something. I started exercising and joined Weight watchers and lost 140 pounds (NO SURGERY!!) in a year and a half. I’ve kept it off for 5 years next month, but this thing with my thyroid etc. is really messing with my appetite. I am so confused and don’t know what to do. I went to an endocrinologist to get a second opinion, and he told me I didn’t need meds and gave me a bunch of (expensive) vitamins, herbs, etc., and had me do a detox. I lost weight, in fact got too skinny, and was still achy, tired, cold and foggy. I have searched the internet for all kinds of ideas, including diets, but I am frustrated. I would welcome any ideas. I am sorry this is such a long post, most of you probably didn’t make it past the first few sentences. It just feels good to write this down and get it out of my system. Thank you for your help :)

  28. Janie Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I know that many of you have Hypothyroid and Type 2 diabetes.

    Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disorder, which will eventually branch out to other parts of your body regardless of whether you take a replacement thyroid hormone.
    I am 36 and was diagnosed at 23 with Hashimoto’s. Now, I have symptoms of late onset Type 1 diabetes and Celiac disease.
    The connection is scary because the autoimmune disease will eventually affect, by brain and other parts of my body.

    We need to understand that gluten exacerbates autoimmune disorders and is often the cause.

  29. Christian Beyer Says:

    I know this is long after this thread has died down, but I was wonder if you could give an update on your diabetes/thyroidism situation. What worked, what didn’t and how you are doing? I am a type II metabolic poster boy and am self-diagnosing for hypotyroidism and asking my doctor to have me tested. It amazes me that this possibility has not been ventured by any of my doctors to date. It sure helps to be informed and thanks for this post.

  30. Lynne R Says:

    Hi, I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidsm in 2003 despite a good initial response to the low dose of levothyroxine for the first 6 months, the symptoms gradually returned over a period of about a year. The 50 pounds I managed to lose with low carb diet & exercise have slowly returned along with the other symptoms; always cold, chronic fatigue & lethargy, hair loss etc. Every annual check I plead with my Dr. to prescribe a higher dose of meds just so I can feel better, but they only treat the blood results not my symptoms ! Today after a routine visit due to an ear infection, the Dr. thinks I may have Diabetes. My brother has type 2 (no hypothyroidism) My sister & Mother both have the Hypothyroidsm but not diabetes (yet !) So many of the symptoms are also confused with my recent Menopause symptoms I feel as if I am going mad and just want to feel fit & well again.

  31. Sara Says:

    Hypothyroidism I am finding is a tricky little bugger. I was off and on both Synthroid and Thyroid (natural) and suffered side effects from both. Increased joint and muscle pain, stiffness, feeling hungry and insomnia. Finding the right dose, the right doctor, is like searching for a needle in a haystack. After suffering alarming symptoms, I am back on the Synthroid, except that I am still tired — still have the extreme dry skin, hives, and hair loss. I feel that Hashimoto’s needs to be studied more. Even with treatment the antibodies wreak havoc on the body, and the effects go well beyond damaging the thyroid.

    It doesn’t help that endocrinologists can’t even agree on what constitutes normal range, and that the impression is that hypothyroid is easy to treat. Nothing could be further from the truth! Taking your little pill every day may not and probably WILL not be enough. I know now that I have to educate myself, teach myself and learn from others experiences so as to get the most optimum treatment for my health. DV I will live another 20-25 years, and hopefully feeling as good as I possibly can.

  32. Donna Says:

    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto Hypothyroidism in 2004 and started on synthroid and have been taking it ever since. I had put on weight and was eating may 500-600 calories a day my endo told me to keep my calories under or at 1000 a day. So I kept going down in calories to lose weight and never did. I think this advise was bad and caused me to ruin my pancreas insulin function. So I was diagnosed with Type 2 in July of 2011 and have been taking Metformin and I have adema and take a water pill for that. Slowly losing weight 1 pound a month but my A1C is climbing but my blood sugar testing is in the 97-99 range in the morning ( only when uninterrupted sleep). blood sugar is higher when you have interrupted or not enough sleep. I was put on Metformin with a fasting blood sugar of 110. Had borderline gestational diabetes when pregnant. Diabetes runs in family also the thyroid problem and my dad has the adema issue. Hereditary. Just had tests run blood sugar readings are great but now cholesterol is up and the free TSH 4 is thru the roof. Had high blood pressure readings and fast heart rate. AIC highest yet. Taking the metformin always watch what I eat and still count calories keep it at 1000 or just a little over. To get the low reading in the morning eat 10 raw Almonds right before you go to bed. The high readings in the morning that you are getting is the length of time between meals is too long so your pancreas dumps the stored insulin into your liver and kidneys which gives you the high reading. I cut my synthroid dose in half and the heart rate is way down and blood pressure is good. I feel pretty good so far will report after my tests in May. Our lives are not easy and I used to be a size 3 prior to thyroid problem I am just now back into my size 8’s. This just sucks but got to deal. Make peace with yourself. Have you ever seen a skinny person with Hypothyroidism? Never. The endo’s will keep trying to tell you to lose weight it is an impossibility as with these endocrine issues comes the bone and joint issues and arthritis which keeps you from being able to exercise. Try and make peace and love yourself for who you are now. People will be cruel and tell you that you are fat. My daughter and my dad have told me that and it just hurts. Do they think I am choosing to be this weight? That is a big no. If this is done to you chalk it up to their ignorance to your condition. Take care and love yourself even if no one else does! Prayers to all with this affliction :-)

  33. Michael McCarthy Says:

    I have had Hypothyroidism all my life Since I was Born, It didn’t Work Now It am in my late 40’s & I have been srtuggling With Diabetes Problems.
    The more I try to control it, It goes higher Then lower
    they call it Brittle diabetes. It gets me so agravated
    that I just want to say forget it, but I still keep trying. I hope all your test’s come out well & I know what a struggle it is.

    Good Luck.

  34. Anonymous Says:

    If you have no thyroid, or one that is not working, and you are taking Synthroid, you are participating in your own abuse. 21st Century medical SCIENCE has proven: (1) the THYROID, itself, makes T0, T1, T2, T3 and T4; (2) T2 + T4 IN the liver = CONVERTED T3; (3) EVERY individual cell in the body AND brain NEEDS T3; and (4) Converted T3 canNOT cross the blood brain barrier. TSH is a PITUITARY test, NOT a thyroid test! A Free T4 test does not tell if you’re converting T4 into the T3 you NEED. A Free T3 test result can change every time you eat, have excess stress, go from AC to heat or heat to cold (winter), etc., so it’s not accurate either. If you have ANY thyroid antibodies, ALL other lab results are inaccurate, including the TSH. You will only get well by requiring that you be treated based on symptom relief or lack thereof, not based on A lab test result. The “acceptable” standard of “care” is based on studies of MEN, by MEN, with a medication created by MEN for MEN, in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Hello? This is 2012! Women with no thyroid canNOT make progesterone. Without 100% REPLACEMENT of both T3 AND progesterone, you will continue to get sickER, until you are disabled, bankrupted and finally die, with no accountability, responsibility, or acknowledgement by doctors. The ONLY way to change the “acceptable standard of care” is to educate yourself, refuse to ingest ANY version of T4, then take your T3 based on YOUR stress level, what and how much you eat when, etc., ONE day at a time, which the doctor cannot do “for” you unless you live with them and are around them 24/7/365. Estrogen unopposed by progesterone DEactivates T3, but it still shows up in lab results. Doctors DO know what excess estrogen does! Congestive heart failure (your swelling/adema) is a SYMPTOM of INsufficient T3. So are ALL of the other “side effects” of T4. Doctors can get away with only prescribing T4 because the only way to prove insufficient T3 is in an autopsy. Armour, Natural Dessicated Thyroid, etc. are MOSTLY T4. It’s important, so i’ll repeat myself: If you’re unable to convert T4 into the T3 you NEED, you will continue downhill, regardless of your lab results. Most commonly, symptoms from the neck up will appear: lack of equilibrium (falling); declining cognition, memory, learning ability and emotional control; decaying teeth, blurring vision, declining hearing (and most insurance coverage plans do not pay for dentures, eyeglasses or hearing aids, so these are bankrupting). The bottom line: ALL specialists practice this “acceptable” standard of “care” and only YOU can refuse to participate in your own abuse. It is my belief that T0 and T1 are somehow responsible for digestion in the stomach and duodenum, but there’s no money for research on that, or for a T2 test to know if you even have the CAPACITY to convert T4 into the T3 you need. ALL of the digestive aids ALSO DEactivate T3, but it still shows up in your lab result. I drink food-grade Aloe Vera juice for my ulcers–I have them whether I eat processed foods or not. I am NOT overweight and I have no thyroid, no diabetes, no bone loss, none of the other symptoms you all describe. I take T3 ONLY, my TSH is suppressed (suppressing the growth of any cancer cells), my Free T4 is 0.00, proving I have no thyroid, my Free T3 is through the roof whether I’ve eaten or not, and my thyroid antibodies “occupy” T3 receptors, preventing T3 from getting into my cells. I am treated according to symptom relief, not lab results. I decide my dose timing throughout the day based on my stress, what I eat, how much I eat and when I eat, etc. So, I know my body, I understand what I must do to live without a thyroid, I understand that NO doctor can do that for me, I do the research on myself by keeping track of everything and then share those records with my doctor so her malpractice company and peers can’t come down on her for not treating my lab result instead of treating me, the actual patient, and my symptoms. If you’re not prepared to “take charge” of your own health, one day at a time, then, by all means necessary, continue to ingest in T4 and get sicker, one day at a time. T3 lasts a MAXIMUM of four hours, and you can counter a too-high dose simply by eating. It takes only TEN DAYS to change a TSH result, only a day or two to change a T4 result and T3 results vary by the hour. If there’s a way to reduce thyroid antibodies, medical science isn’t sharing that information. They do not have to disclose before a mammogram that radiation increases them…. Rigorously screened, HEALTHY volunteers were tested, back in 2002, TEN YEARS ago. Their results established a “normal” range to which our lab results should be compared, but they are still not being used by laboratories, and doctors depend on the lab to tell them what a normal result should be. For instance, those volunteers tested between 2.0 and 5.0 for Free T3 results, but The Family Practice Notebook uses a range of 2.3 to 6.19 to interpret Free T3 results, probably because more women seek care from family practitioners and women need more T3 than men. A local hospital mistakenly believes that 2.4 to 4.2 is enough to sustain my heart. Those volunteers had ZERO thyroid antibodies, literally, UNdetectable. A local hospital says 0-9 is “normal” while another lab says 0-20 is “normal” when it SHOULD BE ZERO!!! My most recent check resulted in 11, but it should be ZERO! The medications you take for all the health problems you describe, are intended to make you sickER, so the pharmaceutical companies, their executive, researchers and stockholders can continue to make money. They are educating your doctor, because they didn’t learn this information in medical school, tomorrow’s doctors are not learning this information in medical school nd they are FOR profit. As with any product, follow the money! Your doctor’s product is their tie and epertise

  35. anita Clancy Says:

    Donna - hypothyrodism weight gain is mostly water - not fat - so very difficult to lose any weight. Can you get Free t3 and Free t4 tests. Ths TSH does not give you a good reading and you are probably undermedicated. I got this from MedHelp in their forum.

  36. Christine Says:

    I am asthmatic, hypothyroid, have diabetes 2, and unable to focus, all of which make me depressed. I hardly eat desserts, rarely drink soda, and when I do, I dilute it with a lot of water, which makes it tasteless. I am a visual artist, doing portraits in brushed charcoal. Ever since being diagnosed with Diabetes after more than 10 yrs of my right thyroidectomy and left one earlier, I have lost a lot of focus. As a result, I do not accept any commissions anymore, being unable to complete my work. I spend way too much on meications and lab, and have to be supported by my 72 year old mother. I cry myself to sleeo every now and then, as I feel helpless. I do not want to go to tha doctor anymore, and at 45, I feel me and my life are worthless.

  37. Andrew Shaw Says:

    Christine, please start doing yourself on strong Vitamin B complex. I was all over the place with my diabetes type 2 diagnosis and now have self diagnosed hypothyroidism. I was extremely stressed and my memory was like a sieve. I have calmed down, am sleeping better already and working on remembering more now that I am on the vitamins.

  38. Andrew Shaw Says:

    Take care Christine. Please get some emotional support for your stress and distress too. I have been referred for counselling.

  39. lorie Says:

    Read a book called Wheat Belly by Dr. Davis. Eliminate wheat from yourdiet and you may have relief from your ailments.

  40. Theresa Says:

    Lorie, you’ve hit the nail on the head there….Wheat Belly by Dr. Davis…..it’s the way to go….try it…eliminate the wheat…..read the book….wheat is in everything we eat…..not meant to be that way….has been genetically modified and is screwing with our health…..READ THE BOOK AND GET EDUCATED…ALSO TRY THE PALEO SOLUTION BY ROBB WOLFE

  41. Christine Ballo Says:

    I was hyperthyroid, but have had both thyroid removed for more than 10 years now. Recently I was diagnosed with diabetes 2, and have been on the insulin pen 1x a day. I have lost a lot of my energy, and as a result, have stopped painting ( i am an artist). I have trouble in hot temoeratures, and the recent heat wave has made things horrible to me. This site keeps me informed. Thanks!

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