Many people with hypothyroidism have blood sugar imbalances. This frequently is related to poor dietary habits, as someone who eats a lot of refined foods and sugars, or someone who frequently skips meals, is more likely to have blood sugar issues. Hypoglycemia is a condition that involves low glucose levels. The "official" diagnosis comes when the levels are less than 70 mg/dl. But often times the person is symptomatic before the blood sugar levels become depressed.
Some of the common symptoms of hypoglycemia include double vision, headaches, fatigue, shaking, an excessive appetite, rapid heartbeat, and other symptoms. With hypothyroidism some of the common symptoms include fatigue, weight loss, memory and concentration problems, constipation, low libido, etc. This doesn't mean that people with these conditions will have all of these symptoms, but if someone has a combination of some of these symptoms then one needs to be suspicious of having one or both of these conditions.
Testing Is Important... But Not Completely Accurate
It really is a good idea to get a blood panel on an annual basis that does a fasting glucose, and also looks at the TSH and thyroid hormone levels. But it's important to understand that someone can have negative blood tests but still have blood sugar issues and/or a problem with their thyroid gland. One also has to consider the "functional" reference ranges. So for example, the true reference range of glucose is 70 to 99 mg/dl. However, the "functional" reference range is 85 to 99 mg/dl. It's important to look at the functional reference range because if someone's blood sugar levels are below 85 mg/dl, but above 70 mg/dl, then they don't officially have hypoglycemia, but they probably have some blood sugar issues.
Similarly, if the TSH is within normal range but on the high side, and/or the T3 and T4 levels are within normal range but are on the low side, then this is an important finding. And of course the thyroid antibodies should be looked at as well, as these are frequently positive when the thyroid hormone levels are within normal range. Most doctors would simply wait until the blood tests are out of range and then give synthetic or natural thyroid hormone to their patients. But the goal really should be to detect and correct these problems before someone is officially diagnosed with "hypoglycemia" or "hypothyroidism". So one should test regularly, but just remember that you shouldn't rely on the typical lab reference ranges.
Why Is Hypoglycemia More Common In Hypothyroidism?
There are a few different reasons why hypoglycemia is more common in hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. One of the reason has to do with the adrenal glands. When someone eats a lot of refined foods and sugars and/or skips meals, this will affect the adrenal glands. Over a period of months and years these poor dietary habits can lead to weakened adrenal glands. Weak adrenal glands can slow down the thyroid gland, thus resulting in a hypothyroid condition.
In addition, thyroid hormone plays an important role in liver health, and the liver is the site for excess glucose storage. So in a hypothyroid condition, the liver might not be able to store or release glucose like it normally should. This in turn can lead to hypoglycemia.
Certain nutritional deficiencies can also play a role in hypoglycemia. For example, chromium plays a very important role in the utilization of insulin. And so if someone has a chromium deficiency, then this can affect the hormone insulin, which in turn can lead to a hypoglycemic state. If this is the case then one will need to correct this deficiency through the use of chromium-rich foods and often times supplementation is necessary as well.
Eating Well Is Essential To Restoring One's Health
When trying to use natural treatment methods to cure hypoglycemia and hypothyroidism, diet is one of the most important factors. In fact, often times eating well will correct hypoglycemia, although not always. With a thyroid or autoimmune thyroid condition, eating well is also essential, although there usually are other factors involved as well. So usually one needs to do more than eat well to restore one's thyroid health. This is especially true when dealing with a condition such as Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, as eating well is very important, but other factors are necessary in order to suppress the autoimmune response.
Other compromised areas of the body may need to be addressed. So if someone has compromised adrenal glands, then this will need to be addressed in order to successfully help someone with hypoglycemia and hypothyroidism. If someone has digestive problems, such as leaky gut, then this will need to be addressed too.
In summary, many people have both hypothyroidism and hypoglycemia. When trying to correct these conditions through a natural treatment regime, diet is usually the most important factor. However, it is common for other areas to be compromised as well, and these areas will need to be addressed for someone with these conditions to receive optimal results.