Many patients with thyroid disorders also have insulin resistance or issues with blood sugar regulation. Produced by the pancreas, insulin is the hormone which regulates the amount of glucose in the blood. Insulin resistance occurs when the the body is impaired, or unable to utilize insulin, thus resulting in elevated levels of glucose in the blood.
Glucose is the primary fuel for most cells in the body. When you eat a meal, your food is broken down by acids, enzymes and microbes and absorbed within the GI tract. The proteins, carbohydrates and fats you consume are the substrates for energy production and cell growth.
In a state of optimal function, your body converts food into glucose. The glucose is then transported into the cells and converted into cellular energy. Regardless of how glucose is generated and released into the blood, it must be transported into the cells to be useful. In fact, high levels of glucose in the blood are not just unhelpful to your cells and tissues, high levels of blood glucose can be extremely toxic.
In order for your cells to utilize glucose, you must have sufficient levels of thyroid hormone inside your cells, specifically T3 (the active thyroid hormone). In patients with cellular hypothyroidism, as more cells come under stress due to physical, emotional, chemical or microbial triggers, signals are sent throughout the body activating a Cell Danger Response. This protective mechanism of the body results in inflammation and stiffness of the cell membranes. In turn, sufficient levels of T3 hormone is unable to reach the nucleus of your cells. Without sufficient T3 hormone, glucose transport into your cells is reduced. The insulin resistance that develops is the direct result of cellular hypothyroidism, not a separate or isolated condition.
Hi, I’m Dr. Eric Balcavage, owner and founder of Rejuvagen. If you’re struggling with health issues or have questions, let’s chat. You can schedule a 15-minute call with me to get started.