Both thyroid and blood sugar issues involve a complex interplay of hormones in the body. If you have a condition like hypothyroidism, it can make managing your blood sugar levels more difficult.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck. It produces hormones that are essential to growth, development, and metabolism. For this reason, impaired thyroid function may impact a person’s blood sugar levels and is closely
Keep reading to learn how these two conditions are linked, as well as how other related conditions and medications may affect your blood sugar.
While hypothyroidism does not directly lower a person’s blood sugar, it may contribute to low blood sugar episodes.
This is because the thyroid gland produces hormones that affect metabolism, which is how the body converts food into energy. With hypothyroidism, a person’s metabolism decreases. When this process slows down, excess insulin hormone circulating in your body may cause blood sugar levels to drop and result in symptoms of hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemia in people without diabetes is
- low growth hormone or cortisol levels
- impaired hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal response
- reduced glucogenesis, glycogenolysis, or glucagon secretion
- slowed insulin clearance
A person with
As a result, people on diabetes medications who also have hypothyroidism may experience hypoglycemia from the slow metabolism of these glucose-lowering drugs.
What is hypoglycemia?
Hypoglycemia affects different people in different ways. If you experience low blood sugar, you may find it helpful to write down the symptoms you experience so you can spot an episode before it becomes severe.
- rapid heart rate
- anxiety or nervousness
- weakness or sleepiness
More severe symptoms:
- vision issues
- coordination issues
Researchers share that glucose intolerance affects up to
On the other end of the spectrum, hyperthyroidism is a condition where the body produces too much thyroid hormone. This may lead to symptoms like increased appetite, weight loss, reduced cholesterol, and insulin resistance.
Levothyroxine is a drug used to treat hypothyroidism and thyroid cancer. It’s a synthetic form of the thyroid hormone thyroxine or T4, and it’s a generic drug for the brand name medication, Synthroid.
Also, speak with your doctor if you take diabetes medications, whether they’re oral drugs or insulin. Levothyroxine may change how these medications work, and your doctor may need to adjust your dosages.
Hypothyroidism and hypoglycemia are related health conditions that impact the endocrine system.
If you’re experiencing symptoms that concern you, make an appointment with your doctor. You may be referred to an endocrinologist (a specialist who treats conditions of the endocrine system) who can diagnose thyroid disorders and blood sugar issues using blood tests.
Appropriate treatment can help stabilize your thyroid function and blood sugar levels, allowing you to feel your best again.