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hypothyroidism and prediabetes

Hypothyroidism and Prediabetes

Can't lose weight? Your thyroid might be to blame! Many people with blood sugar problems also have Hypothyroidism. Learn about Hypothyroidism and Prediabetes, how you can find out if you have it, and what to you can do about it below.

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Is there a connection between Hypothyroidism and Prediabetes?

Yes, for many women there is!

What is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a deficiency or malfunction with your Thyroid Hormones.

The thyroid secretes two hormones (T3 and T4). Problems with these hormones can make your metabolism run VERY slowly.

You can also have Hypothyroidism and thyroid issues if your hypothalamus or your pituitary gland is malfunctioning (these are both located in your brain).

Hypothyroidism happens because of inflammation of your thyroid gland or from an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto's Disease.

I'll talk about Hashimoto's later in the post.

Hypothyroidism is quite common and happens more in women.

Thyroid hormones are essential for the regulation of YOUR metabolism!

This includes the conversion of the food you eat into energy or fat storage.

If your thyroid hormones don't work properly, you don't get energy into your cells and you tend to store excess fat.

This is why Hypothyroidism and Prediabetes sometimes go hand in hand.

Many studies have linked hypothyroidism to insulin resistance (which happens in the early stages of developing Type 2 Diabetes).

To learn more about Insulin Resistance, click here.

How Your Thyroid Works (and where it all starts)

1. Your hypothalamus releases TRH (thyrotropin-releasing hormone).

2. The TRH tells your pituitary gland to release TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone).

3. The TSH stimulates your thyroid to function.

4. Your thyroid releases 2 hormones as it controls the metabolism of your body.

-T4 (thyroxine)

-T3 (triiodothyronine)

Hypothyroidism Decreased Insulin

Hypothyroidism and Prediabetes. Do You Always Get Both?

It's important you know that IF you have Prediabetes or Insulin Resistance, it DOES NOT means you have ALWAYS Hypothyroidism!

But...if you have any of the symptoms below, including the inability to lose weight, you need to get checked out to see if Hypothyroidism is hindering your progress.

Most times, thyroid meds and/or supplements can solve or at least make your thyroid function properly.

As well:

1. Avoiding specific foods and making sure you're eating lots of specific others helps TONS too. More on that below.

2. Removing hormone disruptors from your life makes a HUGE difference too. More on that below.

3. Getting daily exercise helps BIG time. But did you know you can over do it? More on that below.

I tell you more about the meds, supplements, food stuff, exercise stuff and hormone disruption stuff in a minute.

Hypothyroidism Symptoms

You can have all or just some of the following symptoms with Hypothyroidism.

However, the biggest red flag would be the inability to lose weight or weight gain no matter what you eat.

Other symptoms of Hypothyroidism can include:

  • You are anemic
  • You are constipated frequently
  • You are depressed
  • You are overly irritable
  • You are tired all the time
  • You feel cold all the time
  • You feel numbness in your hands or feet and feel 'pins and needles'
  • You feel weak most of the time
  • You frequently suffer from brain fog, or the inability to think or remember things clearly
  • You have achy joints and muscles or muscle cramps
  • You have been told you are infertile or have had issues getting pregnant
  • You have carpel tunnel syndrome
  • You have high blood pressure
  • You have high cholesterol
  • You have high homocysteine (see your blood tests)
  • You have high triglycerides
  • You have lost your desire for sex
  • You have noticed an increased lack of coordination
  • You have repeated infections
  • You have had repeated miscarriages
  • You have sleep apnea
  • You have very heavy periods
  • You suffer from mood swings
  • You suffer from panic attacks
  • Your eyebrows have gotten thin, or you have lost the outer eyebrow edge
  • Your face has become 'puffy'
  • Your hair is dry and brittle
  • Your hair is falling out at an alarming rate
  • Your monthly periods are abnormal, absent are irregular
  • The palms of your hands are 'yellowish'
  • Your periods have stopped (under 45 years old)
  • Your skin is dry
  • Your voice has become deeper or hoarse
In a recent study, low thyroid function boosted the risk for Type 2 Diabetes by 13%. If the study participants had Hypothyroidism AND Prediabetes, the risk was boosted 40%.

So, Do You Have Hypothyroidism?

It's easy to find out!

Specific blood tests can tell you if have this disorder.

But not all doctors interpret the results the same, so you might get left out if you don't know what to look for OR which tests to get.

Make sure you pay VERY close attention the TSH result! (this is very important)

Remember how I mentioned Hypothyroidism can be caused by autoimmune issues? It can, and it's called Hashimoto's disease which is an autoimmune disorder.

While you can get Hypothyroidism from inflammation of the thyroid, you can also get it when your body attacks your thyroid gland, which means you have an autoimmune disorder.

Hashimotos

BUT you can control it with meds.

AND in MANY cases, you can GREATLY reduce the autoimmune attack and your symptoms (more on how in a bit).

To find out if you have Hashimoto's you must get tested for thyroid antibodies (see Hypothyroidism Tests below)

Tired of facing your Prediabetes or Insulin Resistance alone?

Then our Healthy U Group is your health's new best friend...

Hypothyroidism Tests

The most common thyroid test is the TSH test.

Unless your test result is over 5.5 IU/ml, your doctor will likely NOT diagnose you with Hypothyroidism.

But!

If your TSH is above 2.0 IU/ml (but less than 5.5), you may get many of the above symptoms.

In fact, in 2002 the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommended thyroid testing guidelines be changed to reflect taking action with a lower TSH result.

But most doctors still use the older testing guidelines.  

That totally sucks if you're suffering!

If you're in this situation (a TSH around 2, but less than 5.5) and your doctor will not give you thyroid meds, there are supplements you can take that will greatly help you. (see below - Supplements You Can Take for Hypothyroidism).

But the TSH test doesn't tell the whole story.

The thyroid hormones T3 and T4 must be tested as well!

Thyroid Hormone Tests:

  • Free T4
  • Free T3
  • Reverse T3 (RT3)

Your doctor can interpret the T4, T3, RT3  tests for you.

Mild Hypothyroidism = High Normal or High TSH, Normal T4, Normal Free T3

Hypothyroidism = High TSH, Low T4, Low or Normal T3

Thyroid Antibodies Test:

You need this test to find out if your problems are autoimmune and you have Hashimoto's.

These are the antibodies you'll get tested for:

  • TPO: Thyroid peroxidase antibody
  • TgAb: Thyroglobulin antibody 

Your doctor can interpret these tests for you and let you know if your thyroid problems are autoimmune related.

See an endocrinologist if this situation applies to you!

There are also many things you can do to reduce your autoimmune symptoms while you're taking your meds.

I talk more about that below in Supplements, What to Eat, How to Exercise and Other Tips for Hypothyroidism.

Meds For Hypothyroidism

Your doctor will prescribe either synthetic thyroid hormone (commonly known as levothyroxine) or desiccated thyroid (most commonly known as Armour).

While some people prefer to not take synthetic drugs, sometimes the desiccated thyroid is too strong and causes overactive thyroid (Hyperthyroidism).

Speak to your doctor about what is right for you.

Supplements For Hypothyroidism

There are several vitamins, herbs and minerals that are very helpful for Hypothyroidism.

The most economical way to get these is in a pre-formatted thyroid supplement and a good quality multivitamin.

THYROID SUPPLEMENT:

YOU CAN take this thyroid supplement even if you are taking thyroid medication since this supplement was developed for that purpose.

Thyrosmart

QUALITY MULTI-VITAMINS AND MINERALS:

You also need a good quality multivitamin with zinc, selenium and vitamin A as well as the other common vitamins and minerals.

This specific brand has a higher amount of selenium in it. This is good because selenium is needed to convert T4 to T3!

Eve Now Foods Multivitamin

ADRENAL SUPPORT:

Many women also find combining the Thyrosmart (above) with companion Adrenasmart is very helpful and they see better results when they take both.

Adrenasmart is safe to take with thyroid meds as well.

Adrenasmart

IRON DEFICIENCY ANEMIA:

If you are anemic (which is common with Hypothyroidism) take a good quality iron supplement too.

MegaFood Blood Builder

MAGNESIUM:

All ladies with Prediabetes should take daily magnesium supplements since it REALLY helps your metabolism to function properly (including improving your blood sugar control).

And if you have Hypothyroidism AND Prediabetes, you need Magnesium even more!

To learn more about Vitamins and Prediabetes, click here.

Magnesium Ciitrate

What to Eat for Hypothyroidism (and what not to)

Your thyroid needs real food!

Thyroid_Queen_Nutritious_Food

Eat whole foods like in the 95-5 Wellness Solution = Lots of veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains (non-gluten) and just a wee bit of meat.

You REALLY need to eat real food when you have Hypothyroidism and Prediabetes!

Make sure all your meat is hormone and antibiotic free and all your fish is mercury free!

Many foods tend to irritate the thyroid by causing inflammation. You want to avoid these foods like the plague!

Avoid These Foods:

  • ALL dairy products
  • ALL Gluten-containing grains (wheat, rye, kamut, spelt, farro, durum, bulgar, semolina, barley, triticale and oats)
  • Alcohol
  • Artificial colors, preservatives, processed foods
  • Coffee and caffiene
  • Fake sugars
  • Fried foods
  • Processed meats – bacon, ham, sausages, processed lunch meats, jerky
  • Refined flours
  • Refined grains
  • Refined oils
  • Sugar
  • Vegetable oils (olive oil is ok)

NOTE! Even if you've been tested for celiac disease and the tests came back negative…avoiding gluten makes a HUGE difference when you have thyroid problems.

Inflammatory Foods:

Some women find they do better without nightshade vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and hot peppers). You can test by eliminating one of these food items at a time and seeing if you feel better.

For example, some women feel quite achy when they eat potatoes. If they stop eating potatoes, the achiness goes away.

Some women, meanwhile,  find they do better avoiding spicy foods.

How To Exercise With Hypothyroidism

It's NOT good to do strenuous exercises when you have Hypothyroidism!

Walking, swimming, light bike riding and similar exercises are gentler on the thyroid and increase your insulin sensitivity without stressing out your thyroid.

The easiest things to do is get a Fitbit and start walking everyday!

If you have Hypothyroidism and Prediabetes, walking is the PERFECT exercise for you! 

Fitbit Alta Buy Now

Flouride and Hypothyroidism

Fluoride has been associated with underactive thyroid.

Get a water filter, shower and bath filters, and use a fluoride-free toothpaste like Earthpaste.

Earthpaste Toothpaste

Endocrine Disruptors and Hypothyroidism

Many modern household products are laced with chemicals. These chemicals affect your thyroid hormones (in a bad way.) 

Cleaning products, hair dye, makeup, nail polish, plastics, teflon pans and many more common household products are packed with known hormone disruptors.

To learn more about Hormone Disruptors and how they affect your health including your thyroid, your weight, menstrual cycle and blood sugar control. Click here.

So Is it Possible to Make All These Lifestyle Changes?

Yes!

Women in our Diabetes Prevention Program Healthy U Group are making lifestyle changes like these everyday! Many of them have hypothyroidism too!

To become a HUG sister in our Healthy U Group click here.

HUG features and benefits

To learn what the HUG sisters in our Healthy U Group are eating click here.

About the Author Joan Pasay

As a Nutrition & Lifestyle Therapist I felt compelled to start Power In The Group. Why? To guide and support women like you with Prediabetes or Insulin Resistance so you can regain and nourish your health...without all the confusion. Together we can enjoy the richest quality of life for ourselves, with our families, and within our society...wanna come along?

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