If you have diabetes, you probably already know that it’s the most common disease of the endocrine system. But thyroid disease is the second most common endocrine disorder. And the conditions often are found together.
If you have diabetes, talk with your doctor about scheduling screening for thyroid disease—and learn why hypothyroidism can be problematic for your diabetes management.
While people with type 1 diabetes are more likely to have issues with their thyroid, hypothyroidism can affect both type 1 and type 2 diabetics.
Prediabetes and hypothyroidism
A recent study finds that adults with hypothyroidism (not enough thyroid hormone) are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than the general population. This likelihood increases for individuals with prediabetes.
Prediabetic adults with hypothyroidism are 40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Treating the hypothyroidism lowers the risk of developing full-blown diabetes.
Hypothyroidism affects blood lipid levels
Hypothyroidism typically makes the already atypical lipid proportions in diabetic individuals even worse. This lipid pattern includes low levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides, and a high amount of “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Because hypothyroidism typically makes this lipid pattern more problematic, that increases the chance of someone with hypothyroidism and diabetes having heart disease as well.
Treatment during and after pregnancy
If you are pregnant and diabetic, you should know that thyroid issues during pregnancy are three times more common for diabetic pregnant woman than other pregnant women.
You may need to increase your level of hypothyroidism treatment during your pregnancy, and it’s important to closely monitor your thyroid levels during and after pregnancy. The postpartum period is a particularly important time to keep an eye on your thyroid function. Women who develop postpartum thyroiditis are at an increased risk of permanent hypothyroidism within a few years of diagnosis.
Your doctor should be paying close attention to your thyroid health if you are diabetic. The complications of having both conditions can often be mitigated with proper treatment, but will create dangerous issues if left untreated.
If you’re diabetic or even prediabetic and you are concerned about your thyroid health, give us a call. We would love to partner with you in your pursuit of health.