Gestational Diabetes And Thyroid
Since there is a link between Type 1 diabetes and thyroid disease, and a link between Type 2 diabetes and thyroid disease, then there must be a link between gestational diabetes and thyroid disease. Some researchers at the University Of Southern California Keck School Of Medicine in Los Angeles set out to find out.
Researchers are learning the difference in the incidence of gestational diabetes for patients with hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. They performed a chart review on women with clinical thyroid disease that were delivering babies at Johns Hopkins from 2005 to 2008.
Of the women with hypothyroidism, 14.3 developed Gestational Diabetes Mellitis. Comparatively, 5.8 percent of women with hyperthyroidism developed GDM. Patients with hypothyroid were more likely to have a caesarian section. Preterm delivery, hemorrhage postpartum or hypertensive pregnancy disorders showed no difference between the groups.
This would suggest that screening for GDM should begin early in those women with thyroid disease.3
Thyroid Disease And Type 2 Diabetes
Those with Type 2 diabetes are also at risk for thyroid disease, although the risk is not as great as that for a Type 1. Of people with Type 2 diabetes, about 12 percent have thyroid disease. Researchers are not sure what the exact link between Type 2 diabetes and thyroid disease is, but they currently think that it may be due to the aging process.
The Link Between Hypothyroidism And Cholesterol
Even though the link between hypothyroidism and cholesterol has been well known and documented since 1936, very few people today understand this connection or are even aware of it.
The truth is that you are being left in the dark when it comes to your cholesterol. Just mentioning the word cholesterol is enough to make most people cringe in disgust. But have you ever thought about WHY we have cholesterol in the first place?
Cholesterol happens to be the precursor to every vital protective hormone that your body produces. Without it, you would not be able to produce these protective hormones and you would die. Its as simple as that. So, cholesterol is not quite as bad as you may think.
Your body needs cholesterol, vitamin A, and active T3 thyroid hormone to produce the multitude of protective hormones that play an integral role in preventing and overcoming hypothyroidism. Some of these protective hormones include:
Think about it for just a minute
Your body NEEDS active T3 thyroid hormone to use cholesterol. If you are hypothyroid and therefore lack active T3 thyroid hormone then your body simply cannot use cholesterol to make the hormones it needs. As a result of not being able to use cholesterol, it naturally rises.
Heres a simple graph that shows this effect. Using TSH as an indicator of thyroid function, you can see that bad cholesterol increases as thyroid function decreases in both men and women.
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The Link Between Thyroid Disease And Cholesterol
- High cholesterol is linked to hypothyroidism .
- A sudden drop in cholesterol can be a warning sign of hyperthyroidism .
- Treating thyroid disease can correct cholesterol levels.
- Cholesterol drugs can affect thyroid disease and its treatments.
This article talks more about why thyroid disease and high cholesterol are linked, the problems that can cause, and how to manage both conditions at once.
Testing For Thyroid Problems
So how can you ensure that your high cholesterol isn’t from your thyroid?
It starts with testing.;
It is possible to rule out your thyroid as the cause of high cholesterol provided your doctor orders the right tests.;
Just looking at the TSH is not sufficient to say if your thyroid is working or not.;
When you go to your doctor to check your thyroid make sure you ask for these tests:;
- Thyroid Stimulating Hormone – Your TSH should be less than 2.5.;
- Free T3 – Look for a free T3 which is in the top 50% of the reference range provided
- Free T4 – Look for a free T4 which is in the top 50% of the reference range provided
- TPO antibodies – The presence of these antibodies may mean that you have an autoimmune disease known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Thyroglobulin antibodies – The presence of these antibodies may mean that you have an autoimmune disease known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
It is particularly important that you ask your doctor to order all of these tests but pay close attention to your TPO antibodies and your thyroid peroxidase antibodies.;
If either of these tests is positive then it may mean that you have an autoimmune thyroid disease known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.;
Women with this autoimmune condition often have normal other thyroid lab tests and the only sign of this condition is the elevated antibodies.;
It’s also possible for women with this condition to have thyroid problems even though their thyroid lab tests look “normal”.;
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Thyroid Dysfunction And Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease
While cholesterol is an important component of heart health, thyroid hormones also have a direct impact on cardiovascular function. A team of scientists at Erasmus University in the Netherlands found that as T4 increases, the risk of developing heart disease is doubled, and there is an 87% greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke. ;Similarly, thyroid hormones also have an effect on blood pressure, insulin tolerance, and body mass index.
Helping Yourself Beyond Medication
As Ive said the 2014 study indicated that levothyroxine had a positive effect on cholesterol but not in 25% of cases.;A more recent study in 2018 suggested that doses of Levothyroxine which normalised the thyroid function did not always normalise serum LDL and total cholesterol levels.
Patients are always strongly advised to actively seek ways of lowering the risks of high cholesterol and of trying to address the condition. This means:
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Hypothyroidism And High Cholesterol: A Look At The Relationship
Most of the cholesterol circulating in your blood is produced in your body, specifically the liver.; The body needs cholesterol to carry out all sorts of important functions, such as: strengthen cell membranes, make hormones, fat-soluble vitamin, and bile acids that are needed to help digest fat.; But like all good things, too much cholesterol can become a bad thing, even deadly. You may have heard that there are two types of cholesterol. The so-called bad cholesterol is known as low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is the kind of blood cholesterol you want more of since it is protective. Too much bad cholesterol or not enough good cholesterol typically leads to a buildup of the cholesterol plaque in the arteries, which raises your risk for heart disease and stroke.
So, what does this have to do with your thyroid?;
The effect of overt hypothyroidism on cholesterol has been well documented for years.; At an American Thyroid Association Symposium, John H. Lazarus, MD said, There is a huge emphasis on lipid screening, and one cannot assume that all of this is just due to a rise in lipids for no obvious reasonyou might be uncovering a thyroid problem. It is very important to appreciate that.
According to Dr. Bano, our findings suggest that thyroid hormone measurement can help identify individuals at increased risk of atherosclerosis.
Risks Associated With Low Cholesterol
Before putting your faith in any drug, its important to also look at the potential side effects. In most cases, using a drug to avoid one health problem only exposes you to an increased risk of developing a number of other health problems.
Statin Drugs in particular have been linked to an increased risk of:
- Progressive Muscle Disease
- Memory Loss
- Lou Gehrigs Disease
Maybe youre a betting man and youre willing to take the risk of developing any of these other health issues and you truly believe that cholesterol lowering drugs are saving your life.
Maybe youre of the mindset that whatever doesnt kill you will only make you stronger?
Maybe you still believe that the lower your cholesterol the better?
Heres some more research for you
Low cholesterol is also associated with increased death due to both cancer and suicide. So, even if, by any stretch of the imagination, cholesterol lowering drugs were to improve your risk of dying from Heart Disease, you may just be increasing your risk of developing cancer or one of the many other degenerative diseases.
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Thyroid Disease And Type 1 Diabetes
A study demonstrated an overall prevalence of 13.4% of thyroid diseases in people with diabetes with the highest prevalence in type 1 females with diabetes . That is a 1 in 3 chance of having thyroid disorder if you have Type 1 diabetes, and are female. Researchers have found that because Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, and people with an autoimmune disease are more likely to have thyroid disease.
Are Thyroid And Diabetes Related
Now that you know most of what there is to know about thyroid disease, lets talk about the link that exist between thyroid disease and diabetes. The pancreas and the thyroid are both in the endocrine system. The following is the prevalence of thyroid disease in people with diabetes, and breaks the numbers down by the type of thyroid disorder:
Thyroid disease in diabetes:
Postpartum thyroiditis: 11%
Association Between Thyroid Disease & Cholesterol
Association between thyroid disease and cholesterol
The composition and transport of cholesterol is severely disrupted with thyroid dysfunction. As discussed above, cholesterol is mostly synthesized in the liver. In order to ensure proper functioning, this process is heavily regulated by thyroid hormones. Thyroid-stimulating hormone increases the activity of an enzyme called HMG CoA reductase, which helps control the rate of cholesterol synthesis. Because you have increased TSH with hypothyroidism, the amount of cholesterol produced in the liver is increased. This is then taken out into the bloodstream via VLDL cholesterol.
VLDL travels in the bloodstream until it encounters an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase . T3 stimulates LPL to break down the VLDL, turning it into low-density lipoprotein , once the majority of triglycerides are removed. With hypothyroidism, there isnt enough T3, which will increase the amount of VLDL in the bloodstream as there wont be enough LPL enzymes available.
The VLDL-turned-LDL cholesterol circulates in the blood until it finds cells that have LDL receptors. Once it binds to the cell, the LDL is used for cell membrane maintenance or converted to other steroid hormones to be used elsewhere in the body. T3 increases the number of LDL receptors, which reduces the total amount of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream. With hypothyroidism, the number of LDL receptors will be reduced, increasing the amount of LDL in the bloodstream.
High Cholesterol By Itself Is A Warning Sign Of Hypothyroidism
Your thyroid gland is one of the primary controllers of cholesterol in your body.;
What does this mean?
When there is a problem in your thyroid gland it will manifest as a problem in your cholesterol level.;
The bigger the problem in your thyroid the bigger the change in your cholesterol.;
Thyroid hormone, specifically the most powerful thyroid hormone T3, regulates an enzyme known as HMG-CoA reductase;.;
This is the SAME enzyme that medications like statins, like Lipitor, interfere with.;
But thyroid hormone doesn’t just stop there.;
It also regulates HDL metabolism, LPL, VLDL, and triglyceride metabolism.;
You don’t have to know the specifics but you should know that changes in your thyroid can dramatically impact your cholesterol at many levels.;
Several studies have shown that an abnormal TSH, even in the upper level of what is considered “normal”, increases the risk that you will have high cholesterol.;
What does this mean for you?
If you have high cholesterol the FIRST thing that you should look at is your thyroid level as the primary CAUSE of that problem.;
Does it mean that your thyroid is always the cause of high cholesterol levels?
Not necessarily, but you can’t just assume that it isn’t.;
Every patient with high cholesterol should undergo screening for low thyroid the CORRECT way .;
If your doctor hasn’t done that, and you are currently taking a medication for high cholesterol, you should go back immediately and get tested.;
Benefits Of Pro Omega
Essential Fatty Acids are nutritional cornerstones of human health. Two major families of fats are comprised under this designation, omegas 3 and 6. They are deemed essential because we need them for proper healthmuch like certain vitamins and mineralsbut cannot produce them on our own. We must therefore consume these fats through diet or supplementation.
Most people associate omega-3s with cardiovascular health, but their benefits go far beyond the heart. The two main omega-3seicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid promote a healthy immune response that is behind the relief of many chronic conditions but that is too often inhibited by poor nutrition. Extensive research has documented the health benefits of EPA and DHA, which include not only a healthy heart, but brain and cognitive function, joint mobility, eye health, pregnancy and lactation, healthy skin and hair, and a normally functioning immune response.
What Causes High Cholesterol
High cholesterol is often caused by poor diet. ;Eating too many foods that are rich in LDL leads to a build-up of this fatty substance in the blood, which can cause blockages in the veins and arteries and significantly increase your risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
Fatty foods, high in LDL, not only lead to high cholesterol but to weight issues and other health concerns. Smoking and drinking too much can also lead to high cholesterol. ;It can also be a hereditary problem, running through families.2
Thyroid disorders can also be a cause of high cholesterol.1 ;Your body needs thyroid hormones not only to make good cholesterol but to get rid of the bad cholesterol.; The connection between the thyroid and cholesterol is explained in more detail below.
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Low Thyroid & High Cholesterol
One measurement of thyroid function is a hormone called thyroid-stimulating hormone . Made by a small gland at the base of the brain called the pituitary, TSH tells your thyroid how hard to work.
High TSH levels mean you have an underactive thyroid. Symptoms include:
- Weight gain
- Slow heart rate
Studies show that people with high TSH levels have much higher total cholesterol and LDL levels than people with normal thyroid tests.
Any of these can be fatal.
High cholesterol raises heart disease and stroke risk even more.
Some Less Common Conditions
We have two kidneys, and they’re responsible for cleaning our blood by filtering out waste products which are then removed from the body as urine.
Chronic Kidney Disease . This is the name for a gradual decline in kidney function. People with CKD often have abnormal blood fats raised LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and lower HDL cholesterol. Heart and blood vessel diseases are common in people with CKD so statins and other cholesterol-lowering treatments are recommended if you have CKD.;
Nephrotic syndrome.;This happens when our kidneys become leaky. It results in protein leaking into the urine. People with nephrotic syndrome often have raised levels of cholesterol and triglycerides too.
The liver is a very important organ. It is where cholesterol and triglycerides are processed, made or broken down. Bile, a breakdown product of cholesterol, is made in the liver, stored in the gall bladder and released into the gut when we eat a meal. Its role is to help break down fat from food into small drops which can then be easily digested.
Sometimes the production of bile or its release into the gut can become blocked, for example, if gall stones develop from crystallised cholesterol. Symptoms include pain, especially after a fatty meal. The medical name for this is cholestasis, where bile is unable to flow from the liver, and it can cause blood cholesterol levels in the blood to rise.
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Thyroid And Low Blood Sugar
When the term blood sugar comes to mind, we usually think of high blood glucose levels, insulin resistance, and other problems.
While these issues are common and pose a major threat to our wellbeing, it is also important to bear in mind low blood sugar isnt good for your health either.
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a potentially dangerous condition indicated by insufficient glucose amounts for production of energy in the bodys cells.
Main causes of low blood sugar are certain medications, tumors, endocrine disorders, and some medical conditions.
Studies reveal that hypothyroidism is associated with different hormonal, biochemical, and nervous system abnormalities which have the potential to contribute to hypoglycemia.
For example, hypothyroidism is related to low growth hormone and cortisol responses to insulin-induced hypoglycemia, thus blocking the proper counter regulatory protection.
When blood sugar levels decrease, the adrenal glands address this issue by secreting hormone cortisol. Then, the hormone sends a signal which tells the liver to produce higher amounts of blood sugar, thus bringing the levels of glucose to normal.
The problem occurs when the repeated release of cortisol in patients with hypoglycemia suppresses pituitary function. The thyroid gland cant operate properly without adequate pituitary functioning.
Evidence suggests that dysfunction of pituitary could be a direct consequence of hypothyroidism, rather than a cause of thyroid dysfunction.