Is Your Thyroid KILLING You? Diabetes

Diabetes & Thyroid Disease

Dana, your blood sugar and cholesterol are very high. Do you have a family history of diabetes and heart disease?

Several months later…

Dana, your blood sugar and cholesterol are high again. You should start a cholesterol-lowering statin drug and diabetes medication. Let’s wait until your next lab test to decide.

347 million people worldwide have diabetes. The World Health Organization warns that its escalating rates around the world will result in the doubling of diabetes deaths between 2005 and 2030.1

Thyroid Disease and Diabetes

The frequency of thyroid dysfunction in diabetic patients is higher than that of the general population. The Journal of Thyroid Research published an article in 2011 reviewing the scientific research worldwide on thyroid disorders and diabetes mellitus.2

Perros et al. demonstrated an overall prevalence of 13.4% of thyroid diseases in diabetics with the highest prevalence in type 1 female diabetics (31.4%). A prevalence of 12.3% was reported among Greek diabetic patients and 16% of Saudi patients with type 2 diabetes were found to have thyroid dysfunction. In Jordan, a study reported that thyroid dysfunction was present in 12.5% of type 2 diabetic patients.

Thyroid disorders remain the most frequent autoimmune disorders associated with type 1 diabetes. Positive TPO antibodies have been reported in as high as 38% of diabetic individuals. Ghawil et al. documented that 23.4% of type 1 diabetic Libyan subjects had positive TPO antibodies and 7% had positive TG antibodies.

According to the World Health Organization, 50% of people with diabetes die of cardiovascular disease.3

In the legendary book Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness, Dr. Broda Barnes presented research that the cardiovascular complication of diabetes was due to low thyroid function rather than insulin. Just one look at the article Is Your Thyroid Killing You? Heart Disease will show you that there is a deadly link between hypothyroidism and heart disease. Dr. Barnes wrote that many diabetic patients are in fact hypothyroid and the heart disease that manifests in these diabetic patients is due to the thyroid deficiency. Dr. Barnes claimed that heart disease complications of diabetes could be prevented by treatment with natural desiccated thyroid.

Thyroid Screening for Diabetics

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetics have an increased risk of thyroid disorder. All diabetics, pre-diabetics, and those with family history of diabetes, should receive thyroid screening. I decided to look at the clinical guidelines to see if thyroid testing is mandated for diabetes. I was so disappointed with what I discovered that I felt compelled to write this post.

According to an article published in the online magazine Diabetes Forecast by the American Diabetes Association “Detecting Thyroid Disease: People with diabetes are prone to disorders of this gland”:4

Because of the high risk of thyroid disease among people with type 1 diabetes, it’s especially important for them to get tested. The American Diabetes Association recommends that everyone with type 1 be tested for hypothyroidism at diagnosis and, if the initial exam is normal, every year or two afterward. Testing isn’t thought to be necessary for everyone with type 2 because the risk of thyroid disease is less. However, it’s wise to be familiar with its symptoms so you can detect hormone abnormalities early before blood glucose levels worsen.

A simple blood test can detect thyroid disease. Too much of the thyroid-stimulating hormone, or TSH, indicates hypothyroidism.

Wait. Rewind. Read that carefully.

Where do I begin?

Multiple studies conclude that hypothyroidism shows a strong association with type 2 diabetes. Yes the association is greater with type 1, but what about all the type 2 diabetic sufferers who may be hypothyroid. Why should they not have the opportunity to be tested to rule out thyroid disorder? If their undiagnosed hypothyroidism is causing heart disease complications, simple testing may save their lives.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. A person with one autoimmune disease is more likely to develop other autoimmune diseases. Type 1 diabetics are at high risk of Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune thyroid disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland, and vice versa. Hashimoto’s is one of the leading causes of hypothyroidism in the world. With this recommendation to test only TSH, type 1 diabetics with Hashimoto’s may go undiagnosed. There is no mention of testing thyroid antibodies for Hashimoto’s.

TSH is the blood test recommended for diagnosis. There is no mention of conducting full thyroid testing, including Free T4, Free T3, and Reverse T3. There is also no mention of the fact that the TSH reference range is so broad that ‘normal’ doesn’t make it ‘optimal’ for every patient. So many hypothyroid sufferers go undiagnosed because mainstream medicine relies solely on TSH as the “gold” standard for diagnosis and treatment.

Dana, your high cholesterol and blood sugar levels are now normal.

My primary care physician shakes his head in amazement. (I had searched for a great thyroid doctor who was open to exploring the thyroid treatment options to find what was right for me. Thanks to a combination of natural desiccated thyroid and time-release compounded T3 my life changed.)

You won’t be needing the prescriptions for statins and diabetes medication.

The Thyroid Federation International estimates there are up to 300 million people worldwide with thyroid dysfunction yet over half are unaware of their condition.5 Given that close to 150 million people worldwide are estimated to be unaware of their thyroid dysfunction, how many diabetics are there right now worldwide unaware of their thyroid condition? Hmmm…


  1. World Health Organization. World Diabetes Day 2012
  2. Hage, M., Zantout, M.S., Azar, S.T. Review Article: Thyroid Disorders and Diabetes Mellitus. Journal of Thyroid Research Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 439463, 7 pages
  3. World Health Organization. Diabetes
  4. American Diabetes Association. Detecting Thyroid Disease: People with diabetes are prone to disorders of this gland
  5. Thyroid Federation International. International Thyroid Awareness Week

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About Dana Trentini

Who knew that little butterfly-shaped thyroid gland at the base of my neck could affect my life so completely? I founded Hypothyroid Mom in memory of the unborn baby I lost to hypothyroidism. Winner of two 2014 WEGO Health Activist Awards: Health Activist Hero & Best In Show Twitter. *Hypothyroid Mom includes Affiliate links. Connect with me on Google+


  1. I am very confused. I am 58 and my last TSH was 5.08. My TPO AB was 7 and AB was <20. I really don't have any glaring symptoms of Hypo. What is the ceiling number for Hashimotos on the antibodies? My LDL is high as is my HDL. I'm on a high fat, low carb diet. I was pronounced prediabetic back in 2010 but I finally got my A1C down to 5.5 and I'm striving to get it to 4.6. My fasting BG is always low as is my post prandial BGs. I'm getting a little worried reading all of this . I got my own blood tests from a chiropractor so I don't have an MD working on this for me. I don't trust or like MDs, so I got the blood tests on my own. I do eat Kelp regularly and I hope that is not adding to a looming problem.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Sharon, It is great to hear from you. Laboratories use different units for measurement so check on your lab results and to the right of your scores there normally appears the reference ranges. For my lab tests, for example, Thyroid Peroxidase AB reference range is <35 IU/mL and Thyroglobulin AB is <20 IU/mL. According to these ranges, assuming the same reference ranges are used by your laboratory, your levels do not show high antibodies for Hashimoto's. Just the same, it is said that there are some Hashi sufferers that show up with low thyroid antibodies but still have Hashimoto's and I've included a link below for you to read. However let's assume you don't have Hashimoto's for a moment, your TSH of 5.08 is higher than recommended. There is debate over what the "normal" TSH range should be with many mainstream laboratories using 0.5 to 5.0 while thyroid advocates are pushing for a narrowing of that range. Thyroid Advocate Mary Shomon wrote, "More innovative doctors are beginning to believe that a TSH of around 1 - 2 --- in the low end of the normal range -- is optimal for most people to feel well and avoid having hypothyroid or hyperthyroid symptoms. Similarly, some practitioners feel that optimal hypothyroidism treatment includes Free T4 in the top half of the normal range, and Free T3 in the top 25th percentil of the normal range." Your TSH 5.08 is well above that ideal range. Just the same it is just as important to note your symptoms. I am happy to hear you are not experiencing symptoms, although your high LDL cholesterol, prediabetes are potential symptoms of hypothyroidism. Although they may be caused by other factors, it would be worthwhile to get a second medical opinion from a doctor who tests not just TSH but also Free T4 and Free T3. I hope my posts attached below make things a little clearer. Welcome to Hypothyroid Mom!

      • Thanks so much for your response, Dana.
        I forgot to put my T3 and T4 numbers.
        My T3 (free) was 2.1. The bottom of the range is not good.
        My T4 was 1.11 . The range is .82 – 1.77

        Your lab and mine match values for the antibody tests, so that’s a relief as mine is low.

        Something interesting happens sometimes when I eat seaweed with dinner (contains lots of iodine) and I take my temperature the next morning, it runs pretty good. This morning it was 98.2. Usually runs 97.4-97.7.

        I will have to find a decent doc which is hard to do, but I’ll go for more tests in April and see what happens.

        Thanks for the links too!

  2. Hi mam,
    I’m Shamina. I’ve done my thyroid test. Total Triodothyronine (T3) shows value 89, total Thyroxine (T4) shows value 7.80 and Thyroid stimulating hormone (TCH) shows 5.08. Do I have thyroid and is the TCH showing too high, which need medication? Awaiting your reply soon.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Shamina, it’s great to have you on Hypothyroid Mom. I love your name Shamina, it’s a beautiful name. Normally the TSH normal range depending on the laboratory used and the country where you live is set around 0.5 to 5.0. So a TSH of 5.08 is high enough that you should discuss treatment with your doctor. It would be helpful to ask your doctor to test your Free T4, Free T3 and thyroid antibodies (TPO-Ab and TgAb) so that you have a complete picture of the thyroid condition. So the first step is contacting your doctor to request those additional tests. Best of luck Shamina.

  3. jill aguirre says:

    Hello Dana! My name is Jill. I am 47 1/2. I have had thyroid disorders on and off, throughout my life, since I was 15. All of my thyroid levels are at normal ranges, currently. I also have Glaucoma. Strangely enough, my opthamologist, was checking my pressure levels in my eyes, when he stopped, turned around, and asked me when was the last time I had been checked for diabetes. I told him I have always been Hypoglycemic. He said that I should get into my Internal Medicine doctor right away. I am a member of, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, so I am very, very Health-Food driven; as everything in moderation. However, I wasn’t always a healthy person. Geneaology is imperative to our lives; having said that, heart problems run rampant on both sides of the family, and a lot of my relatives, died, being just a few years older than I am now. Also, we all are Native-American. Unfortunately, I have researched the thyroid-diabetes connection, finding it is extremely bad for your heart, causing it to become weakened. I was struck from behind, by a young man driving a car; he having been on methamphetamines for 2 weeks. I was just walking to catch the city bus, from my mom’s home; I had been visiting her that day. I suffered horrendously broken legs, head injuries, and many other lacerations all over my body. After running over me, he backed over me, to try to get away before the police arrived. I was clinically dead, due to so much blood loss. In his whacked out mind, he thought I was a trash dumpster, and he had ran me over, thru someone’s front yard, which was lined with thorn bushes; which is the reason he wanted so badly to get his car un-jammed. He had no idea I was a human being. Needless to say, I spent years, having to be in bed so much, due to all of the operations. I am walking now, with a cane, but I still have at least 50 pounds that I need to lose, but I must be careful in what I do; I have a leg that had to be fused, and a leg that does not straighten, ergo; my physical exertion is extremely limited. Do you know of any site/webpage that might be able to help me with this? I know the weight is so hard on my heart. I have all these strikes against me. I just want to be the healthiest I can be. My daughter just gave birth to my first grandson, 3rd grandchild. I need to be around for them!! They are my whole reason for changing my life!!!!! Thank You!!

    • Dana Trentini says:


      I am so sorry to hear about your horrible accident. How scary. You could have been killed by that guy. WOW! Of course genetic plays a big role in thyroid conditions, but another very important trigger for thyroid conditions is stress, physical and emotional. Given the stress of what you’ve been through it is no surprise if your thyroid condition has worsened. The site Stop The Thyroid Madness is a great one. I recommend the first step is getting all the tests recommended in this article attached to be sure everything has been checked.

      It is particularly important for you to check your adrenals which produce cortisol to manage stress. Abnormal cortisol levels can wreak havoc on our thyroid during times of stress. The best test for adrenals is a saliva test for cortisol.

    • Severe blood loss can sometimes cause damage to the pituitary gland which makes the TSH, so it may not be able to produce that hormone optimally. In that case, it would be better to rely on the Free T4 and Free T3 tests and as Dana has mentioned in articles — Free T4 should be in the upper half of the range and Free T3 in the upper 25% of the range. Good luck in getting those tests — make sure that you get a copy.

  4. Searching for this for some time now – i guess luck is much more advanced than research engines 🙂

  5. kathleen wells says:

    my 25 year old autistic daughter has just been diagnosed with hashimotos she was type 1 diabetic from age 9 they say she has had hashimotos probably since age 17 i have been asking them repeatedly to check her thyroid as i wondered if she had graves like me her lack of sleep and hair loss had me very worried and finally an emergency doctor did all the tests not just the thyroid function test. her hb1c was 13 which i think was because her thyroid was not working properly and made us crazy trying to get her blood sugars under control. hopefully we are on the right track with medication for thyroid i wish doctors would listen sometimes.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Kathleen, I’m sorry to hear all your daughter has gone through. It is amazing really the lack of awareness there is about thyroid disease in general and then so little is done to spread awareness about the connection between hypothyroidism and diabetes. If your daughter is put on a Levothyroxine drug like Synthroid and yet she still doesn’t feel better, be aware that many do better on a combination of T4 and T3 medication.

      There is much written about the connection between gluten and Hashimoto’s that it would be worth it to try gluten free for your daughter.

      On Monday February 10 a mother with an autistic child will be including a guest blog post about her son’s hypothyroidism and autism. You may be interested in reading it. Stay tuned.

  6. I always felt lethargic and sluggish, and was blaming diabetes which runs in my family for my ailment, but soon discovered that an underactive thyroid can also be the culprit.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi hyipcore, better to get thyroid testing just to be sure. Be sure your testing includes not just TSH but also Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies.

  7. Hi! I had a thyroid nodule 8 years ago that resulted in a partial thyroidectomy. For a bit, my thyroid was apparently producing enough hormone. But after a while, the half that was left was unable to keep up and I was placed on levothyroxin (75 mcg). I still have symptoms such as cold intolerance and will be seeing a new dr. this month. Bloodwork that was done for an unrelated problem (gastritis/acid reflux) showed that I have “low kidney function”. Could this possibly be a result of my thyroid problem as well?

  8. A shout out to my fellow PWDs!

    I love this site and am happy to see this article on diabetes and thyroid disease.

    I just wrote a blog post on type one diabetes and thyroid disease:

  9. Hi,

    I am a 32yr-old mom and I have hypothyroidism that is being treated with medication. Everything was normal during my pregnancy – no gestational diabetes, no pre-eclampsia and eas on my regular thyroid medications. I don’t have diabetes yet, but my doc says I have pre-diabetes because I was diagnosed with insulin tolerance. In your research, does it ever go the other way around? (Hypothyroid patient getting diabetes in the future?)

  10. Caroline Voyles says:

    My grand daughter was born without a Thyroid and now she has T2 Diabetes, was this bound to happen?

  11. Robert Gift says:

    While in the military I was diagnosed with enlarged thyroid and ended up going on synthroid. Shortly after that I was diagnosed with high sugar levels and at first tried to control the levels by diet and exercise. This worked for a couple of years and then ended up going on insulin taking 4 shots a day. I continued the medications for the thyroid and a few years later I had trouble swallowing, losing my voice and shortness of breath. I saw my doctor at the VA hospital and told her about this and she put her hands around my throat, had me swallow and then she told me there was nothing wroing. I insisted I be checked because I knew something was wrong. She set up a consult in which I met with the ENDO doctor and the ENT doctors and both immediately told me they could see the problem without touching me. I then went and had the pictures taken and met with the doctors when the results came back. My thyroid was so large that it was putting pressure on my larnyx causing my breathing and talking problems and that it had grown to the point where it was putting pressure on my esophagus and had it arched causing the swallowing problems. I was told by one doctor that it was one of the bigest goiters he had seen and that it needed to come out. I went through and had a total thyroidectomy done a couple of weeks ago and I must admit I feel so much better. since having it done. I am currently taking an increased dosage of synthroid and also on calcium which I do not know if I will need to stay on or not. One thing I did learn, anyone with thyroid problems should have sugar levels monitored and anyone with diabetes should have their thyroid checked.

  12. Hi Dana, you have so much great information, including extremely helpful links here. During a recent blood test, my TSH was 6.0 and free T4 was .9 – I also had somewhat elevated glucose (100 and 99 fasting). My original doctor (rheumatologist) told me that I was pre-diabetic and need to make sure I’m working out and eating right. I have a very healthy BMI, work out regularly and am active with a 3yr-old and a 1-yr-old, and I have been gluten-free for 6 years (and rather low-sugar, low-carb rarely eating refined carbs or any fried foods), so T2 diabetes really makes very little sense. I’ve read about adult-onset T1, but don’t know much about it. I saw that you mentioned something about how thyroid can affect glucose, do you have any more information on that specifically? I now am seeing another doctor, and they together decided to re-test me in a few months before treating my thyroid, since I just finished breastfeeding a 2 months ago, but I am trying to educate myself in the meantime. My new doctor also mentioned that she doesn’t want to even look at glucose again until they figure out my thyroid, so I was just curious about how the two are related, and hoping that the elevated glucose might be caused by the thyroid issues…wishful thinking! Anything you have that could help with this would be extremely helpful! Thanks so much.

  13. Hi, I have a 17 year old daughter who has been diagnosed with hasimotos disease. It was originally found through blood tests whilst investigating gyne problems such as lack of menstrual routine, extreme pain and hot flushes, low energy and sleepless nights.
    She has been on thyroxine for 7 months and although her TSH has gone from 35.5 down to 2.76 her T4 has increased to 17.4. All her symptoms have been far worse since starting the treatment 7 months ago.
    Her TPO ab are at 2,655 – very high. She has just returned from hospital after problems with high temp, high resting heart rate of 102bmp but low blood pressure of 95/45. Bloods show no over cause than raised inflammation markers but medical teams are baffled as to what to do next.
    Looking at many of the above reports of levels it would seem Shannon’s are exceptional high but getting the medical professionals to act is taking time.
    She has had liver tests and adrenal gland tests which have come back ok.
    Would it be worth pursuing a diabetes test. Glucose was in her urine sample on admission but they dismissed my follow up questions.
    Any other advice would be useful as I am taking her back to Gyne next week to see if inflammation is linked to polycystic ovaries. She will be seen by the endo team middle of Nov and been told to sit it out.
    Sadly the days for a hasimoto’s sufferer are long especially when her employees have dismissed her for poor attendance despite having medical evidence and she cannot attend her drama college course due to low energy, palpations and lack of memory.
    Thank you in advance for any thoughts shared xx

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  15. Gary Conner says:

    Hello, well, does hypothyroidism cause an increase in fasting blood sugar levels? Please contact me if have a good medical reference. Thank you, Gary

  16. I have type1 diabetics since 8 years and hypothyroid since 2 years.
    Hba1c: 7.1, TSH: 13.9, LDL 157 mg (85-130),tsh before 6 months its 5.4 normal and hba1c 6.7 and LDL 145, I use 62.5 mg tablet, when my diet was changed in morning for types of sprouts , chapati wheat flour, brown rice, etc., 6 months recently for controlling type1 diabetics, but using this diet my TSH as increased to 13.9. Please suggest me the medication and diet for type1 and TSH for controlling

  17. Christine Pielenz says:


    I’m 54 years old. I haven’t been officially diagnosed with diabetes yet, but I have elevated BG/A1c and my insulin test just came back at 2.7, so I’m at the very low end. That makes me a candidate for Type 1. I’ll get my antibody results (GAD) back next week, so if that were positive, I’d be presumably LADA, which is considered an autoimmune disease, and if they’re negative, I’m presumably Idiopathic Type 1b, which isn’t autoimmune. My Free T3 (2.3) and 4 (1.1) are on the low end of the range. TSH is 0.94. If my GAD test came back negative (indicating no autoimmunity), what are your thoughts on a connection between a thyroid problem and a non-autoimmune type of diabetes?

    I’m asking all this because I’m desperate to create a connection between my thyroid and my diabetes, whichever type it is…

  18. Hi,,,
    U belong India and I m worried abt my mother
    She is 52 aged,And has level 2,Having tab Thyro 50 mg daily I m bit happy that she doesn’t has diabetic prob she has sweling all over his body.Iam not getting Jst wanna to know how can I Mke my mother free from this disease I mean what should I offer her to take as meal and what should not.
    Thanks in advance.

  19. Good Morning,
    Just read your article while getting ready for work. Did I skim or read correctly that with addition of T3 that blood glucose/A1C reversed the type 2 diabetes? Hoping that I read right. Since adding T3 to the regimen, I feel so much better. Every screening results in lower dosage of T4.

  20. Hi Am siti , and am having thyroid too. but i have already done my operation to remove both my thyroid glaze. and i now pregnant at 7 month . But i having a problem on my blood sugar. How to control you blood sugar level during pragnancy, as my sugar level is really high at 306 mg/dL. i really stress out cos i have follow all the proper meal that i need to have but still my blood sugar high. Please advice what should i do to make my sugar level normal thanks

  21. Dana, I’m so glad for you and this site. My heart goes out to you to hear about your loss. I’m also encouraged about how you turned your struggles into something so wonderful for yourself and other people. Before Armour was prescribed I would have low blood sugar attacks, frequent urination/had to drink lots of water. The blood sugar swings/headaches would also drive my appetite. I would feel like I was going to slip into a coma after not eating and exerting myself over long periods. The symptoms mimicked type 2 diabetes, but I never tested insulin resistant or having high blood sugar. I was never diagnosed as pre-diabetic, nor did I ever develop gestational diabetes. However, diabetes was prevalent on my paternal grandmother’s side only.

    Now that I’m on armour I have a calmer appetite, less blood sugar swings, and less headaches caused by blood sugar swings. I can feel hungry without feeling sick. I believe that hypothyroidism leads to insulin resistance, PCOS, diabetes, and eventually heart disease and cancer, and all sorts of accessory disorders. Since the thyroid is the master gland, involved with all hormone functions, I believe it all to be interrelated. It’s also why thyroid patients are often seen as hypochondriacs because there are so many awful symptoms of it. Hypothyroidism is very prevalent in my family, far more commonly found than diabetes. My mom, who is my hero, had it right all along. When I was around 9 or 10 I put on weight for no obvious reason and my hair was falling out. As I got older and starting having periods, they would average at 40+ days and I was always constipated. A lifetime of constipation. My mom knew all along that I needed thyroid, having had been on armour since she was 15, but it took until I was 31 to find the right endo and push for armour. She paid attention to my t3, not just my “normal” TSH and things have gotten miraculously better ever since. I’m only on 30mg of thyroid right now, though, and I’m beginning to get whooped again and think I need a boost in my dosage.

  22. I’m 17 and have been a Type One Diabetic for six years now.Before I was diagnosed my mother suggested that I was having a growth spurt, and that was why I was drinking and eating so much, I went on for months until I dropped to a stunning 48 pounds, the weight of now my 7 year old, 2nd grade brother. I was 11 at the time. The past two months I haven’t been able to sleep, and when I do I fall into such a deep sleep that nothing seems to wake me up. I sleep through alarms and in class my eyelids get so heavy it feels physically impossible to keep them open. I’m extremely tired all the time, have gained 13 pounds in the past month (I’ve been a steady 124 for 3 years now), I struggle to concentrate in school and at night I get extremely itchy for no reason and bust into hives. I’ve changed my sheets, my detergent everything I can think of. Just starting yesterday my thighs have become sore and I haven’t done anything to cause the pain. I don’t know what to make of my symptoms. I’ve talked to my endo and she says hypothyroidism could possibly be a problem for me. I’ve tried getting my mom to make me an appt. but she insists nothing is wrong with me. I guess my question would be is does this sound like what youre describing in your article? I can’t keep living like this but I also don’t believe in self-diagnosis. I’ve broken down crying in front of my mom telling her something is wrong and I can’t shake the feeling like it’s as bad as before I was diagnosed. I just know something isn’t right. Help please.

  23. Jess Marpl says:

    I have all the symptoms of an under active thyroid. I asked my DR to test my levels and he only put in an order for the TSH my level was .82. I know that’s not low enough for treatment is it possible to still have an under active thyroid with TSH of .82?
    Thank you,

  24. Hello,
    I just received some alarming test results. My Thyroglobulin level is 102.6.
    My Tsh, T4 Free, Triliodothyronine Free Serum, Reverse T3 serum levels are low but in normal range.
    Please share your thoughts with me if you would.
    I live in Northern Calif in Sonoma. Do you know a specialist.
    I prey I don’t have thyroid cancer.

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  26. Hi Dana!

    I have been diagnosed with High Blood Pressure, High Cholesteral, Low Thyroid, also my A1C shows im at 6.1 which my doctor says im pretty much a Diabetic ( pre-diabetic that is ). When I went into the doctor 3wks ago I was weighing 243, I am now at 229. Ive changed my eating habits drastically. I ve been taking high blood pressure med 5mlg, my cholesteral was a total of 255 ldl 187 hdl 41 tryglycerides were normal ( taking meds for high cholesterol) he did say my thyroid was very low i believe at 20%. Could my thyroid be the affect for being prediabetic?

  27. Hello Dana,

    I wrote you back in March about the article. My question was about whether optimal thyroid treatment would have an impact on Type 2 diabetes or perhaps reverse it.

    During the past 18 months I have experienced some deaths of several close friends as well as atypical stress from work and family. I had pneumonia in the fall and again in the spring.

    I have been treated with T4 and T3 for thyroid as well as medication for bp and type 2 and Lidex for an autoimmune skin condition. I don’t have my lab results in front of me, but I can tell you that my triglycerides were high and my cholesterol levels were out of whack. I had told my doctor that I knew they would be because I had not been eating right. My T4 and T3 looked good to me. My TSH was .89 to which my doctor finally responded and recommended a visit to an endocrinologist. This has been a concern of hers since I started combination of T4 and T3…that she would have to decide how long she could allow me to remain hyperthyroid (since my numbers were at or below 1 since beginning this combined treatment). Let’s just say that this has had me concerned since she first made that statement because I feel better than I have in years even though I have bursts of energy followed by a needed rest period. I had wanted to go to an internal medicine doctor at the university if this ever arose again, and her nurse advised against it. This nurse interpreted the notes she had added to my labs for my doctor: doc wants me to get serious about my diabetes and weight loss and that I couldn’t use stress in my l life as a crutch; she wants me to go on a statin even though she knows I am opposed and believe that I can keep things in line (and have shown her that I could) with behavior management; that she only recommended that I double my Metformin because I had told them I took only 500 mg a day when in fact I have taken 1000 mg daily since I was first diagnosed and they refill the prescription; and there was one other offensive statement which I can’t remember at this time.

    After reading an article (I think by a pharmacist named Wentz (I would have to look for my pdf file), it appears that with the T4/T3 combination I am taking the equivalent of 188 units of T4 when before the switch I was taking something in the reference range of 100-110 units of T4 before. Now I am taking 88 units of T4 and 25 units of T3.

    I have started a modified version of intermittent fasting and am using an estimated A1C spreadsheet. The only numbers I need to bring down are my morning readings which are raising my A1C. I am cautious about how far to go without medical supervision, but i also have made it clear that I am serious about my health in spite of this lapse of the last 9-10 months and that I want to eventually go off all meds but thyroid.

    I am sorry for venting and being long-winded. It is just that I have very little trust in my medical support at this time, and I am concerned that switching doctors will not make much of a difference.

    Thanks for listening.


  28. Beautiful blog, Miss Dana! Totally inspired a blog post of my own (, very grateful for that! I actually have type 1 diabetes and don’t wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Barnes claim that thyroid problems lead to heart problems, at least not in diabetics. It helps to know a little about what insulin is, what its purpose is, and what too much of it in your body can lead to (be it natural or man-made). For diabetics who were diabetic first then suffered from heart problems, suffice it to say, I’m pretty sure it’s caused by the insulin and not a bad thyroid. The thing about insulin is, it needs to get regulated or it will run amok and cause your blood sugar to drop too low. That’s where cortisol comes into play, your adrenals release enough cortisol to counter all that insulin; cortisol keeps the insulin from lowering your blood sugar too much. But in the case of type 2 diabetes, for starters, they have too much (ineffective) insulin in their body (due to gut inflammation that leads to insulin resistance–more or less–an imbalance of good to bad gut bacteria) and that causes their adrenals to release way more cortisol than needed and that adds to insulin resistance and leads to thyroid problems, over time. In the case of type 1 diabetics *raising hand* they don’t make their own insulin, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have too much insulin in their body! They take all sorts of different types of insulin throughout the day for the rest of their lives, and like it or not, dosing insulin is not an exact science! Plus, the long lasting insulin stays in your body anywhere from 12+ hours (intermediate) to 24+ hours (long-lasting) even when it’s not needed, and then you have all that meal-time insulin plus correction doses and well…it all adds up to way more insulin than you would normally need if you just ate food that didn’t require so much insulin, in the first place! (I’m talking processed and preserved foods that take your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride!) Well, all that insulin also takes your cortisol on a roller coaster ride and eventually, it exhausts your adrenals and they stop secreting any cortisol and that’s why type 1 diabetics can’t prevent hypoglycemia — their counterregulatory hormones are jacked from adrenal fatigue. Anyway, I talk in more detail about this on my blog; but the one thing I didn’t talk about on my blog is how YOU personally prevented your prediabetes…in my humble (yet, non-scientific) opinion: I don’t know if eating better and taking better care of your body led you to fix your thyroid first, or if it led to reducing gut inflammation and insulin resistance first. Because if you had insulin resistance for some time, then the insulin resistance could have led to the thyroid problem, first; and not the other way around. Again, insulin resistance is when you have way more insulin in your body than needed which leads to way more cortisol than needed, which may have led to a thyroid problem; and by treating what you believed was a thyroid problem that preceded insulin resistance, you actually reversed the insulin resistance which made your thyroid function properly, again; because it got your cortisol back on track. Who knows?! Not saying either way for sure. Just sayin’ … period! Again, great job on the blog; you have a lot of loyal followers! And thanks again for the blog post inspiration! Keep up the good work! 🙂

  29. Dana Trentini says:

    Thank you Forrest Beck for sharing my post with your Google+ community. I love your Hypothyroidism Help community with weekly video Q&A sessions, interviews, and new research.


  1. […] Is Your Thyroid KILLING You? Diabetes Blog post at Hypothyroid Mom : January is Thyroid Disease Awareness Month. This post is Part 2 of my 4-part series Is Your Thyroid KILLING You? This January 2013 I plan[..] This was posted on Google+… […]

  2. […] they been diagnosed with diabetes, and prescribed […]

  3. […] My thyroid has already tried to kill me several times in my 42 years of life – HEART DISEASE and PRE-DIABETES. […]

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