The thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped organ, located just beneath the Adam's apple. Shaped like a butterfly, the organ plays a vital role in individual's health and affects every organ tissue and cell in the body. It makes hormones that regulate metabolism. When the thyrois is not working properly if can affect your body weight, energy level, muscle strength, skin, memory, heart rate, menstrual cycle and cholesterol levels. Thyroid disorders are classified as underactive or hypothyroidism or over-active, heperthroidism, Thyroid disorders are much more common in women then men.
Thyroid disorders are generally diagnosed following a simple blood test, called a TSH for Thyroid stimulating hormone and is most often treated with medication, surgery or radioactive iodine.
Hypothyroidism is the most common disorder of the thyroid, where the thyroid makes to little of the thyroid hormone. It is most often caused by Hashimoto's disease, where the bodies immune system see the thyroid as an invader and attacks the thyroid, making it ill and under active or non-functioning. Hyperthyroidism ir underactuve thyroid us generally caused by goiter or Grave's Disease and again usually affects women more than men.
Thyroid disorders and diabetes are involve a dysfunction in the endocrine system. Studies have demonstrated that both of these diorders tend to co-occur in patients. In fact 1/3 of the general population of people with type 1 diabetes tend to have throid disease also. This is because as an auto immune disorder, once present in someone usually produces another type of auto immune disorder in the same individual. Thyroid disorders are also more commonly found in type 2 diabetics also as we see both of these illnesses occur in people as they age.
Thyroid disorders can have a major impact on diabetic management. Hypothyroidism can decrease insulin requirements in people with type 1 diabetes. Underlying thyroid disorders often go undiagnosed as the signs and symptoms are common and familiar to diabetes. This causes the problem often to go undiagnosed and untreated, which only worsens or causes more problems for the individual. So, if you are having significant problems with control of your diabetes, talk with your Dr. about thyroid disease and the ADA recommend TSH testing for all diabetics.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Maybe you should be tested. Make an appointment if necessary and talk with your Dr. about this issue.
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