Can Thyroid Problems Cause Low Blood Sugar?

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Low Blood Pressure (hypotension)

Print Overview Low blood pressure might seem desirable, and for some people, it causes no problems. However, for many people, abnormally low blood pressure (hypotension) can cause dizziness and fainting. In severe cases, low blood pressure can be life-threatening. A blood pressure reading lower than 90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) for the top number (systolic) or 60 mm Hg for the bottom number (diastolic) is generally considered low blood pressure. The causes of low blood pressure can range from dehydration to serious medical or surgical disorders. It's important to find out what's causing your low blood pressure so that it can be treated. Symptoms For some people, low blood pressure signals an underlying problem, especially when it drops suddenly or is accompanied by signs and symptoms such as: Dizziness or lightheadedness Fainting (syncope) Blurred vision Nausea Fatigue Lack of concentration Shock Extreme hypotension can result in this life-threatening condition. Signs and symptoms include: Confusion, especially in older people Cold, clammy, pale skin Rapid, shallow breathing Weak and rapid pulse When to see a doctor If you have indications of shock, seek emergency medical help Continue reading >>

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  1. Ken S

    Low Thyroid Function and Diabetes

    This is something we don't talk about much and instead of trying to take over another thread I thought a new one on this would be better.
    So let's start from a snippet from Chris Kesser, this talks a bit about the interplay between the thyroid and adrenals, and low thyroid will stress the adrenals of course, which further stresses thyroid metabolism, and certainly stresses blood sugar in diabetics.
    Now the interesting thing is that he says this presents as hypoglycemia, well in non diabetics it may, but in diabetics we see the reverse happen, and this is due to hepatic glucose. So if your blood sugar is normal and your uptake is less, you will have a glucose deficiency at the cellular level.
    So what happens with us? Well our liver floods our blood with glucose and that actually helps the problem a lot, but blood sugar gets thrown under the bus.
    Slowing the clearance of insulin from the blood is actually a big deal here I think, so now you've got high insulin as well, another thing we don't want.
    How low thyroid function affects blood sugar
    We’ve seen now how both high and low blood sugar cause thyroid dysfunction. On the other hand, low thyroid function can cause dysglycemia and metabolic syndrome through a variety of mechanisms:
    it slows the rate of glucose uptake by cells;
    it decreases rate of glucose absorption in the gut;
    it slows response of insulin to elevated blood sugar; and,

    it slows the clearance of insulin from the blood.
    These mechanisms present clinically as hypoglycemia. When you’re hypothyroid, your cells aren’t very sensitive to glucose. So although you may have normal levels of glucose in your blood, you’ll have the symptoms of hypoglycemia (fatigue, headache, hunger, irritability, etc.). And since your cells aren’t getting the glucose they need, your adrenals will release cortisol to increase the amount of glucose available to them. This causes a chronic stress response, as I described above, that suppresses thyroid function.

  2. ronpfid

    Hey ya beat me to it
    OK, let me toss some info. in.
    Hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is typically associated with worsening blood glucose control and increased insulin requirements. The excessive thyroid hormone causes increased glucose production in the liver, rapid absorption of glucose through the intestines, and increased insulin resistance (a condition in which the body does not use insulin efficiently). It may be important to consider underlying thyroid disorder if a person has unexplained weight loss, deterioration in blood glucose control, or increased insulin requirements.

  3. ronpfid

    And in relation to thyroid, since so many interact...
    Functions of Cortisol & DHEA
    Cortisol is a primary stress hormone produced by the adrenals, and is also a potent anti-inflammatory hormone. Cortisol's action can suppress immune function. Another of its primary functions is to raise blood sugar through gluconeogenesis. High amounts of glucocorticoids can suppress thyroid function, chiefly the inhibition of the conversion of T4 into the active T3. CRH (cortico-tropin releasing hormone), which is a hypothalamus precursor to cortisol can inhibit thyroid function as well, suppressing TSH.
    DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is called an androgenic hormone. It is a precursor for testosterone and the estrogens. DHEA antagonizes the effects of cortisol. DHEA is a very powerful anti-aging hormone. Low levels of DHEA are found among those with Cancer, CVD, Alzheimer's, Diabetes, Depression, Hypothyroidism and Adrenal Fatigue.
    Since cortisol and DHEA have opposing effects, they should be viewed together as a ratio. Like with every major control system in the body, cortisol and DHEA work through their alternating, dualistic balance.
    The ratio between cortisol and DHEA has numerous effects in the body. When cortisol is elevated disproportionately to DHEA, the ratio is higher. When the cortisol to DHEA ratio is elevated, the numerous biological effects that this ratio has in the body is augmented. Here are some of the major effects of the Cortisol to DHEA ratio:
    The balance of pro/anti-inflammatory stasis
    Immune Regulation. Remeber that cortisol suppresses immune function
    Protein, Fat and Glucose metabolism. Evidence suggests that hyperglycemia, which can result in diabetes, in many cases can be caused specifically from imbalanced cortisol and DHEA levels
    Thyroid, Pancreas and ovarian function
    Detoxification capacity. Since the body needs energy to properly deal with toxic metals, the hormones produced by the adrenal glands are considered to be the cornerstone to heavy metal and xenobiotic elimination.
    Skeletal health. High levels of cortisol can cause breakdown of bone as well as the collagen matrix that holds bone together.
    Memory. DHEA is a critical component for brain function and cognition.

    Cortisol and DHEA have intrinsic relationships with numerous other steroidal hormones such as progesterone and aldosterone. If adrenal function is compromised, the body may bypass the pregnenelone > progesterone > cortisol pathway and "steal" pregnenelone. This can cause numerous complications including the transference of progesterone into androgenic testosterone.

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