I have been researching diabetes and thyroid illness and been shocked to see the recommendations, that never get followed through! Yet 79 million people in the US alone, could need this information! Diabetes can lead to blindness, amputation and chronic kidney failure. Yet if they have undiagnosed thyroid issues, their lives will still be blighted by tiredness and up to 300 other symptoms of thyroid illness.
Tests done on 58 people with Type 1 Diabetes showed that they were 30% more likely to have a thyroid problem than patients without diabetes. They were tested using blood tests
- thyroid-stimulating hormone [TSH]
- thyroxine T4
- triiodothyronine T3
- thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibodies
The recommendation was made that all diabetes patients should be checked for thyroid health! That particular reference should be taken when the TPO results were elevated.
In another study of 605 patients the results again said that
‘In type I diabetes, the prevalence of subclinical primary thyroid failure is considerably greater than has previously been suspected, with female late-onset insulin-dependent diabetics being at the greatest risk.’
Finally a study in Germany of 495 children, also showed that there were increased risks of thyroid issues in children with diabetes and diabetes is a growing disease due to more childhood obesity. Again it strongly recommend that the TPO test should be used to ensure thyroid health.
Diabetes is the most common disorder of the endocrine (hormone) system and occurs when blood sugar levels in the body consistently stay above normal. It is brought on by either the body’s inability to make insulin (type 1 diabetes) or by the body not responding to the effects of insulin (type 2 diabetes). Insulin is one of the main hormones that regulates blood sugar levels and allows the body to use sugar (called glucose) for energy.
Symptoms are often not taken seriously and include
- Excessive thirst and appetite
- Increased urination (sometimes as often as every hour)
- Unusual weight loss or gain
- Nausea, perhaps vomiting
- In women, frequent vaginal infections
- In men and women, yeast infections
- Dry mouth
- Slow-healing sores or cuts
- Itching skin.
So there are some similarities in the symptoms and like thyroid illness at first we don’t take these symptoms seriously. They are both illnesses in the endocrine system of the body.
Thyroid illness devastates the life of the person with it and also all of those supporting them. It leads to loss of functioning ability, jobs, homes and friends.
It’s amazing that diabetes recommendations are exactly the blood tests that thyroid patients want and need yet we find them hard to get. With TPO we can find out how much our thyroid is under attack and also the likelihood that we are a poor converter of the non active thyroid pill that we are given and told to get on with!
In both cases we need to watch what we eat, avoid sugar, be aware of carbohydrates and try to exercise. So many similarities and yet no one is making the connection.
The question is, when are the results of these studies going to be used for the benefit of diabetes patients and with 79 million in one country then that is a lot of help that can be given. When that happens then just maybe we thyroid sufferers will also get the tests we need without arguments and fighting!