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Naperville, IL Diabetes and Thyroid Disease. Why Diabetics Need to Have Their Thyroid Properly Tested. Dr Richard Hagmeyer.

Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome And The Connection To Thyroid Disease-

Dr. Hagmeyer explains why all diabetics and patients with metabolic syndrome receive a comprehensive Thyroid evaluation.

type 2 diabetes

According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, 27 million Americans suffer from thyroid dysfunction – half of whom go undiagnosed.

Subclinical hypothyroidism, a condition in which TSH is elevated but free T4 is normal, may affect an additional 24 million Americans. Taken together, more than 50 millionAmericans are affected by some form of thyroid disorder.

Metabolic syndrome (MetS), also affects 50 million Americans, and insulin resistance, one of the components of metabolic syndrome, affects up to 105 million Americans. That’s 35%of the population. Metabolic syndrome has become so common that it’s predicted to eventually bankrupt our healthcare system. Both metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance are risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, two of the leading causes of death in the developed world.

With such a high prevalence of both thyroid dysfunction and metabolic syndrome, you might suspect there’s a connection between the two. And you’d be right. Click on the “Learn more about Our Thyroid Help system” to Learn more about Thyroid Treatment.

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Studies show an increased frequency of thyroid disorders in diabetics, and a higher prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome in people with thyroid disorders.

That’s because healthy thyroid function depends on keeping your blood sugar in a normal range, and keeping your blood sugar in a normal range depends on healthy thyroid function. This is very often the reason why diabetics never truly get better. Conventional medicine does not look at the whole picture and often ignores the Thyroid connection.

How high blood sugar affects the Thyroid. Dr. Hagmeyer Explains

metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is defined as a group of metabolic risk factors appearing together, including:

  • abdominal obesity;
  • high cholesterol and triglycerides;
  • high blood pressure;
  • insulin resistance;
  • tendency to form blood clots; and,
  • Inflammation.

Metabolic syndrome is caused by chronic hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Chronic hyperglycemia is caused by eating too many carbohydrates. Therefore, metabolic syndrome could more simply be called “excess carbohydrate disease”. In fact, some researchers have gone as far as defining metabolic syndrome as “those physiologic markers that respond to reduction in dietary carbohydrate.”

When you eat too many carbs, the pancreas secretes insulin to move excess glucose from the blood into the cells where glucose is used to produce energy. But over time, the cells lose the ability to respond to insulin. It’s as if insulin is knocking on the door, but the cells can’t hear it. The pancreas responds by pumping out even more insulin (knocking louder) in an effort to get glucose into the cells, and this eventually causes insulin resistance.

Studies have shown that the repeated insulin surges common in insulin resistance increase the destruction of the thyroid gland in people with autoimmune thyroid disease. As the thyroid gland is destroyed, thyroid hormone production falls. This is one of the mechanisms by which diabetics often complain of  fatigue, weight gain, mental sluggishness and pain.

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If this is happening to you or a loved one contact our office today at 630-718-0555.


The increased frequency of thyroid dysfunction in diabetic patients and its likely deleterious effects on cardiovascular and metabolic function calls for a systematic approach to thyroid disease screening in diabetes. Routine annual thyroid testing should be targeted at diabetic patients at risk of thyroid dysfunction, such as patients with Diabetes, positive thyroid antibodies or high-normal TSH concentrations.

Int J Clin Pract. 2010 Jul;64(8):1003-4.

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