Hormones keep under the control all processes and functions in your body.
These chemicals maintain proper metabolism, fertility, mental function etc. Moreover, they have strong correlations with each other. Thus, if one of the hormones becomes imbalanced, it can trigger incorrect functioning of other chemicals.
Your thyroid gland (butterfly-shaped thing in the lower neck) is a small, but really powerful organ, which releases hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine into the blood flow.
If there is too few of these chemicals in the body, you may experience causeless weight gain, lack of energy, menstrual irregularities and excessive hair loss.
In the most cases the reason is about autoimmune condition, in which your immune system begins to mistakenly attack your own thyroid tissue. The more cells are destroyed, the less hormones can be produced by the gland.
In addition to this, recent research found that having underactive thyroid gland may significantly increase risks of type 2 diabetes.
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In this disorder body cells become resistant to hormone insulin, designed to convert glucose from food into energy and transfer it into the cells.
This study, conducted in the Netherlands, involved approximately 8500 participants between 54 and 74 years old. They were followed by medical professionals during eight years.
According to the data, hypothyroid patients had 13% higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes. In those, who had prediabetes before the study had started, this number was even higher (about 35%).
It was surprising that even people with low-normal levels of thyroid hormones had elevated hazards of getting diabetes.
There are several hypothesis about hypothyroid-diabetes connection.
First of all, underactive thyroid gland slows down metabolism, leading to weight gain. Excessive weight, in turn, is a well-known risk factor for diabetes.
But it's probably something more than only body mass index issue.
Scientists say that thyroid hormone takes part in insulin releasing and glucose use. That's why hypothyroidism may reduce insulin sensitivity and impair glucose utilization.
However it's not clear enough, whether thyroid screening is a good option for individuals with prediabetes. More research is also needed to find out effectiveness of treating subclinical hypothyroidism (mild decrease of thyroid function) in reduction risks of type 2 diabetes.
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