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March 30, 2003

Daily Care, Thyroid

Question from Athens, Attika, Greece:

Prior to being diagnosed with diabetes, my son had hyperthyroidism for about eight years and has been on medication, but nine months after the diabetes was diagnosed, the hyperthyroidism suddenly changed to hypothyroidism and has made a complete mess of the insulin injection schedule, dosage, etc. Its been about one month now that we are unable to control his blood glucose levels despite the efforts of diabetes specialists here. What can we do? In our desperation we are thinking of taking him to a specialised diabetes center abroad (U.S, U.K., etc). Is it a good idea? Where can we search for such centers?

Answer:

It is not unusual to go from hyperthyroidism to hypothyroidism and we know that both thyroid and diabetes are autoimmune disorders — and can frequently co-exist. If he is hypothyroid now, it should be very easy to provide synthetic thyroid hormone treatment and balance him out within a few weeks. It should also be easy to control his diabetes once his thyroid system is re-balanced.

SB