A Group Of Warm Blooded Animals With Fur Or Hair The Link Between Diabetes and Thyroid Problems (and What You Can Do About It)

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The Link Between Diabetes and Thyroid Problems (and What You Can Do About It)

People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing a thyroid disorder. In the general population, approximately 6% of people have a thyroid problem in one form or another. However, this percentage increases to more than 10% in people with diabetes.

Indeed, thyroid disorders are very common in the Western world…second only to diabetes as the most common condition affecting the endocrine system.

of endocrine system is a group of glands that secrete hormones that help regulate the use of nutrients by cells, so these glands play a central role in the proper functioning of your metabolism.

Abnormal thyroid function can have a major impact on diabetes control… Untreated thyroid disorders can increase the risk of diabetic complications and can worsen diabetes symptoms.

But thyroid problems can be easily diagnosed through simple blood tests and effective treatment is available. Anyone with diabetes should be checked periodically for thyroid disorders.

What is thyroid?

of thyroid gland it’s shaped like a butterfly sitting around the tube in your neck between your Adam’s apple and your collarbone. It produces two hormones, T3 and T4, which determine your metabolic rate… how fast your heart beats, how deeply you breathe, your body temperature, and how your body uses insulin are thyroid-related functions.

Hyperthyroidismthat is, too much thyroid hormone that is produced, increases insulin resistance, while hypothyroidismtoo little of the hormone that is produced raises cholesterol.

Hypothyroidism is much more common than hyperthyroidism.

Both hypo- and hyper-thyroid greatly increase the risk of heart disease.

Symptoms of thyroid problems

Symptoms vary by age and gender, and whether you have hypo- or hyperthyroidism.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include feeling tired, feeling cold, weight gain, depression, dry hair and skin, and constipation.

With hyperthyroidism you tend to experience weight loss, fast heart rate, shortness of breath, sweating, muscle weakness and diarrhea.

Both types of thyroidism, hyper- and hypo-thyroidism, can cause a goiter, a swelling of the neck as the thyroid enlarges.

Many of the symptoms are very similar to the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. For example, one symptom of a thyroid problem is cold feet. But someone with type 2 diabetes can easily confuse this symptom with diabetic neuropathy.

Testing for thyroid problems

Because you can’t tell if you have a thyroid problem by symptoms alone, you should have your thyroid checked regularly through blood tests. This is usually done by testing your blood for TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone.

TSH is the hormone your pituitary gland uses to tell your thyroid to start working. If your thyroid function is low, the TSH level in your blood will be high, which signals that your thyroid needs to produce more thyroid hormone. If the thyroid is overactive, TSH will be low, trying to slow it down.

A TSH level between 0.4 and 4.0 mU/L (millions per liter) is considered normal. But some people may have significantly low thyroid function with a TSH of 2.0-4.0mU/L. Levels in this range can already raise your lipids to harmful levels and possibly your glucose. In some European countries, patients with TSH above 2.0 mU/L may be given thyroid medication.

How to manage thyroid problems

There are three things you need to do to manage your thyroid problems…get tested periodically…take prescribed medication and…eat a thyroid-friendly diet.

TestingAccording to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), anyone diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should be screened for thyroid disorders and at five-year intervals thereafter. Those with type 1 diabetes should be screened annually. It’s also a good idea to get tested whenever you have unexplained changes in your glucose levels.

Bar… hypothyroidism can be treated with levothyroxine, a synthetic version of T4, the main thyroid hormone, which is produced and released by the thyroid gland. However, you should try it at different doses to find the best dose for you, which may take several months.

But levothyroxine does not work for everyone. However, there are other medications, such as liothyronine, that can be used instead.

Note that it is important to take your thyroid pills at the same time each day.

There are also medical and surgical treatments for hyperthyroidism.

diets… eating the right foods makes a difference.

Iodine it is the most important nutrient for your thyroid. It is added to the best-selling commercial salt in Europe and North America. If you use other, more specialized or salt-free salts, you may need to take more iodine. Sea vegetables (seaweed) and sea animals are the best sources.

Medicine, food and exercise

The most common form of thyroid problems is hypothyroidism, ie. a sluggish thyroid that doesn’t work well.

In order for your thyroid to function quickly, you need to:

Bar… take the right amount of medicine as directed by your doctor. Do not skip doses and take at the same time of day. Taking it at different times of the day may prevent it from working as well as it should. Since you will probably need to take it for the rest of your life, make it part of your daily routine.

Take thyroid medication on an empty stomach. Food can decrease its absorption, especially high-fiber foods. High fiber foods are good for you, so don’t stop eating them… just eat them a few hours before or after taking your thyroid medication.

Avoid taking calcium supplements or iron-containing supplements (such as multivitamins) along with your thyroid medication as these can also block the absorption of the medication.

Food… cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage can affect thyroid hormone production. These are very healthy foods, so you should continue to eat them…just don’t eat them at the same time you take the medicine. Cooking these vegetables appears to reduce this effect.

Go easy on me soy foods… soy contains genistein, which can decrease thyroid hormone production… and while you should still eat them, limit them to a few times a week.

Eat foods that stimulate thyroid hormone production. These foods contain nutrients such as B vitamins, selenium, zinc, tyrosine and iodine. Poultry, seafood, lean meats, whole grains, onions, beans, almonds, avocados, seeds, and low-fat dairy foods can be helpful.

Avoid or limit fatty and sugary foods… just as you would to control your diabetes.

Watch your portion size. Not eating too much seems like a no-brainer. If you need to lose weight, cut back on the amount you eat.

Iron deficiency is one of the causes of hypothyroidism. Ask your doctor to check your iron levels if you have hypothyroidism.

Do not take dietary supplements, such as iodine supplements, aimed at treating thyroid problems without first discussing this with your doctor. Also, don’t stop taking thyroid medication in hopes of “treating” hypothyroidism with diet alone.

exercising… it is not necessary to solve thyroidism (or diabetes) but it helps the process. Keeping fit with a daily exercise routine will add to your efforts… and you’ll feel even better about it.

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