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Diabetes and Heart disease: The Influence of Thyroid Treatment on Chronic Diabetes Management

Diet and lifestyle changes are the cornerstone of living well with type 2 diabetes, but even if you do everything right, an overlooked connection between your thyroid function and diabetes control could hamper optimal management.

When you have diabetes, your partnership with your healthcare team and willingness to proactively engage in your care is crucial to effectively manage your condition and stay as healthy as possible. 

Internal medicine and endocrinology specialist Sam Morayati, MD, is devoted to providing the highest quality of care to the Burlington, North Carolina community. Dr. Morayati can help you manage diabetes. The goal is to help you maintain a target blood glucose and reduce your risk of complications so that you feel and function at your best.

How well your thyroid functions is an often overlooked piece of the puzzle when it comes to effectively managing diabetes. Read on to learn more about the connection between your thyroid and diabetes management and why thyroid treatment is a vital part of diabetes control. 

Importance of thyroid assessment in diabetes management

Your thyroid, situated at the base of your neck, is an endocrine gland that produces hormones and controls the rate of various body activities, including how fast you burn calories and how fast your heart beats.

Thyroid evaluation is not only simple and reliable, it may be the missing part of the puzzle in your diabetes management plan. Thyroid disease is incredibly common, and if left undiagnosed and untreated it can make it harder to manage diabetes.

What is the connection between the thyroid and diabetes?

Individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes have higher rates of thyroid disorders than the general population. Thyroid dysfunction affects diabetes control in a number of ways. Hyperthyroidism, which occurs when the thyroid produces too much hormone, increases the release of glucose from the liver, reduces insulin sensitivity, and causes rapid absorption of glucose during digestion. 

Hyperthyroidism may increase insulin requirement and cause complications such as hypoglycemia. 

Likewise, hypothyroidism -- too little thyroid hormone -- causes widespread changes in the way the body absorbs and uses carbohydrates. Additionally, hypothyroidism causes increases in the amount of cholesterol circulating in your blood, further raising your risk of heart disease.  

Assessing thyroid function in patients with diabetes

Dr. Morayati believes in the importance of assessing thyroid function in patients with diabetes. Simple blood tests provide insight into your thyroid function. If your tests indicate thyroid dysfunction, you’re in good hands. As an endocrinology specialist, Dr. Morayati has extensive experience diagnosing and treating thyroid disease. 

The goal of thyroid treatment is to restore your thyroid levels to normal. This may involve taking thyroid replacement hormone if your levels are too low, or taking anti-thyroid medication if your levels are too high. 

Treating thyroid dysfunction improves thyroid control

Treating thyroid dysfunction is key if you have diabetes. Doing so improves glucose control so that your diet and lifestyle changes and glucose-regulating medication are effective. If you have diabetes, discuss thyroid assessment with Dr. Morayati. 

Even if your diabetes is currently managed effectively, undiagnosed thyroid dysfunction can cause subtle changes in glucose metabolism that affects how your body absorbs, uses, and stores sugar. 

If you’re concerned about your thyroid health or diabetes management, we can help. Get started today by calling our Burlington office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Morayati. Here at Burlington Medical Center, we offer in-person and telehealth appointments.

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