February 9


How is Type 1 Diabetes Connected to Thyroid Disorder?

By Gabriela

February 9, 2022

According to the Centers for Disease Control in the USA, around 86 million people have pre-diabetes, and around 29 million people have diabetes.

Also, according to estimations 5 to 10 percent of all people who have diabetes actually have type 1 diabetes. Moreover, if one person has one autoimmune disease, they can likely develop another autoimmune disease.

As a matter of fact, the most common autoimmune diseases which often go together are ATD, i.e., autoimmune thyroid disease and type 1 diabetes. ATD can manifest itself as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Graves disease.

Both autoimmune thyroid disease and type 1 diabetes classify as organ-specific autoimmune diseases. This means that the immune system attacks a certain organ.

More About Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common thyroid disorder in America which affects around 14 million people.

The primary risk factor for obtaining this disorder is previously having an autoimmune condition like type 1 diabetes.

Thyroid Might Be the Cause of High Blood Sugar Levels and Weight Gain

The thyroid is actually a small gland that makes thyroid hormones. This hormone is vital for many aspects of metabolism.

More people are diagnosed with diabetes type 1 in their 40s and 50s. Therefore, thyroid disorder might come first.

Untreated thyroid issues might influence the blood glucose levels in people that have type 1 diabetes. In case a person has problems controlling blood glucose levels, the reason behind it might be the thyroid.

People with type 1 diabetes usually work hard to control their blood glucose levels. However, if they do not know about an underactive thyroid, these people might experience unexplained low blood glucose levels.

And in case someone is hyperthyroid, these people might experience unexplained high blood glucose levels. In some cases, people that have type 1 diabetes gain weight from taking insulin, but weight gain might also occur because of an underactive thyroid.

Symptoms of underactive thyroid are difficulty concentrating, decreased energy, heavy periods, hair loss, dry skin, inappropriate weight gain, constipation, and feeling cold.

Symptoms of an overactive thyroid are irregular menstrual periods, trouble concentrating, nervousness, heat intolerance, visible lump in the throat, frequent bowel movements, restlessness, excessive sweating, unexpected weight loss, and increased appetite.

Often these symptoms are mistaken for other conditions.

What If You Have Both Conditions?

All people that have type 1 diabetes need to do tests for thyroid disorders. They need to test their blood levels of thyroid hormone and anti-thyroid antibodies right after they get their diabetes diagnosis.

In case you have type 1 diabetes, make sure to do regular screening every 1 to 2 years.

Moreover, since adequate levels of thyroid hormone in women are necessary for the proper development of the brain in a fetus, all women that have type 1 diabetes need to do tests early in their pregnancy.

The fact you are aware that there is a possibility of other autoimmune disorders might aid in getting the proper treatment. Consult your doctor, do some tests, and get the proper treatment.

Remember, prevention is the key.


  • Gabriela

    Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Health Page, Fitness trainer and instructor has dedicated her career to educating and informing people for over 10 years. As one of the most passionate diabetes advocates, Gabi has worked tirelessly to ensure that those people receive the education and support they need to properly manage their diabetes and achieve their health, fitness and weight loss goals.

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