The thyroid is a small gland that produces thyroid hormones. If it over-produces, the condition is known as hyperthyroidism. This condition is treatable, but diabetics who develop it find it hard to manage their diabetic condition.
The thyroid is located in the lower part of the neck. The hormones manufactured by the thyroid gland help in regulation of the cell activity in our bodies. The regulation of metabolism, for example, is done by the thyroid hormones. Metabolism broadly encompasses all chemical reactions carried out by the cells in the body, one of which is digestion.
Similarly for proper growth, other cells in bones, hair and teeth need thyroid hormones.
Hyperthyroidism is production of excess thyroid hormone. The common symptoms of the condition are:
- Restlessness and insomnia
- A pounding heart
- Hair loss
- Tremors in the hands
- A sudden loss in weight
- Light or diminished periods in women
The treatment of this disease is through medication, radioactive iodine or surgery. An assessment for suitable treatment is made after a blood test.
Studies have indicated an apparent correlation between sufferers of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. A test to check TSH levels is normally recommended every 5 years to detect any starting symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism alters the way the body uses glucose. This makes it difficult for diabetics to control their condition.
The first sign of hyperthyroidism in a diabetic is a slight rise in blood glucose levels. If undetected and untreated, other symptoms may manifest themselves which will require more insulin or medication to lower blood glucose levels. There is no evidence that hyperthyroidism can be one of the causes of high blood sugar.
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