Thyroid is a gland located just above the collarbone, which is responsible for metabolic functions. In case of hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland produces too little of thyroxin. This can slow down metabolism and again cause uncomfortable symptoms.
Hypothyroidism develops over a period of time. Older people especially may attribute the slow metabolism and other changes to age but with time, they may develop other complications as well.
Hypothyroidism and Diabetes
Diabetes is one of the complications that can arise due to hypothyroidism. Thyroid hormones are responsible for body’s metabolism and functioning. Low levels of thyroid hormones mean low energy expenditure and low metabolism, which is connected to having a high Body Mass Index (BMI). High BMI may increase the risk of diabetes.
Thyroid hormone is also directly involved in the control of insulin secretion and glucose homeostasis. Hypothyroidism is associated with decreased insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance and treatment of hypothyroidism has shown to improve these effects. Which shows that hypothyroidism may lead to diabetes.
It is also known that having one autoimmune disease can leave you at the risk of developing another one. Hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease, therefore can directly contribute to Type 1 diabetes.
It is important to note here that women and older adults are more at risk of developing these conditions.
How can you prevent Hypothyroidism from progressing to Diabetes?
The simplest answer is often the correct one. Even though one may have hypothyroidism, the simplest way to prevent it from progressing to diabetes is by making lifestyle changes.
Here are a few steps you can take:
- Get screened for thyroid and diabetes annually once you have crossed 40.
- If you have hypothyroidism, start on the medicines immediately. It is the first step to manage thyroid levels.
- Exercise regularly. Indulge in outdoor activities like walking, swimming or even yoga. It is important to keep moving.
- Practice meditation since stress can further aggravate thyroid problems and can eventually give rise to diabetes.
- Eat a nutritious and healthy meal as per your activity level. Avoid fried food/junk/sweets and choose lots of vegetables and fruits over them.
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