How Low Blood Sugar Affects The Thyroid Dr Hagmeyer Explains.
Just as high blood sugar can affect and alter thyroid function, chronically low blood sugar or hypoglycemia can also cause thyroid problems.
(If you missed our last post on high blood sugar and Thyroid function you can watch my video below)
Your body is genetically programmed to recognize low blood sugar as a threat to survival. Why? becaue glucose is absolutely essential for brain function. Without glucose your brain dies. Severe or prolonged hypoglycemia can cause seizures, coma, and death.
When your blood sugar levels drop below normal (85-100), your adrenal glands respond by secreting a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol will tell the liver to produce more glucose, bringing blood sugar levels back to normal.
*****Notice here the important role that healthy Liver function and Healthy Adrenal function play. ************
The problem is that cortisol (along with adrenaline) is also a sympathetic nerve system hormone involved in the “flight or fight” response.
This response will cause an increase in heart rate, increased respirations, dilate pupils, slow down gastric motility (constipation), decrease sex hormones (libido), decrease Immune function, and break down muscle tissue (muscle pain) to help us defend/fight against or flee from danger.
Can You Relate To Any Of These Symptoms?
Unfortunately for hypoglycemics, Reactive hypoglycemics, Insulin resistance this repeated cortisol release caused by episodes of low blood sugar suppresses pituitary function. And as I showed in a previous article, without proper pituitary function, your thyroid can’t function properly.
Together, too much sugar and too little sugar are referred to as dysglycemia.
Dysglycemia weakens and inflames the gut (leaky Gut), lungs (leaky lungs) and brain (leaky Brain), imbalances hormone levels, exhausts the adrenal glands, disrupts detoxification pathways, and impairs overall metabolism. Each of these effects significantly weakens thyroid function.
How Low Thyroid Function Affects Blood Sugar
We’ve seen now how both high and low blood sugar cause thyroid dysfunction. On the other hand, low thyroid function can cause dysglycemia and metabolic syndrome through a variety of mechanisms: it slows the rate of glucose uptake by cells; it decreases rate of glucose absorption in the gut; it slows response of insulin to elevated blood sugar; and, it slows the clearance of insulin from the blood.
These mechanisms present clinically as hypoglycemia. When you’re hypothyroid, your cells aren’t very sensitive to glucose. So although you may have normal levels of glucose in your blood, you’ll have the symptoms of hypoglycemia (fatigue, headache, hunger, irritability, etc.). And since your cells aren’t getting the glucose they need, your adrenals will release cortisol to increase the amount of glucose available to them. This causes a chronic stress response, as we described above, that suppresses thyroid function.
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