My daughter has hashimotos and is having problems with her blood sugar dropping down into the 20s at times. This is very scary. She keeps a pop at her side at all times because she can drink it to raise her blood sugar if needed. Her doctors have told her that they don't believe that it is related and are upset with her for questioning them as well as they are trying to lower the med doses and stop the thyroid meds.The symptoms went away with the high thyroid doses. Is it possible for Hashimotos to cause these symptoms or affect the pancrease?
I think she must do a complete study of possible causes of hypoglycemia, there are some other endocrine deficiencies, certain disorders of the adrenal glands and the pituitary gland that can result in a deficiency of key hormones that regulate glucose production. I would recommend her to do much more tests (when the glycemia is low) to find out (exclude) the causes (ex. of some tests: insulin , C peptide, cortisol, ethanol, Hemoglobin A1c ....) . In a reactive hypoglycemia, usually there is no treatment.....
Have you heard of insulin resistance? This may be partially to blame for hypoglycemia if it is "rebound", meaning her blood sugars may not sharply exceed the high levels, but if she eats a heavy meal -especially one high in simple carbohydrates- several hours later it "crashes" giving her hypoglycemia. It was explained to me that the insulin triggers becomes overreactive and dump a large amount of insulin in response to the free sugars in her system. The insulin triggers are slow to turn off after the extra blood sugar is broken down thus, it also consumes the normal blood sugars dropping its levels. This is common in pre-diabetics as well as some other conditions. It is usually controlled with a change in eating habits (only high protein/fat food at night, no carbs after 6 PM) and often Chromium picolinate, a metabolic and blood sugar regulator, is recommended. In severe cases, the carbohydrate intake is limited to just vegetable and gluten-containing foods (potatoes, wheat, oatmeal, etc) are severely restricted or eliminated all together.
Several years ago, I experienced this from eating large quantities of carbohydrates over a long period of time (soda, donuts, cookies, rolls, juice,etc.). I had multiple episodes where my blood sugar would drop into the 40s and one time, after a Mother's day dinner, it hit 22. I felt BAD. Interestingly enough, I was "addicted" to sugar, and when I suddenly changed my diet to a restricted high protein, low carb one (Atkins was in "vogue" at the time), I actually went through withdrawels for about a week. Crazy, huh? But, after changing my diet, I lost weight, and I didn't have anymore blood sugar drops...The thyroid can affect blood sugar hormones, but so can the liver (stores the body's blood sugars), disorders with the pancreas, not to mention a few other factors. Have a glucose tolerance test done to insure this isn't diabetes starting and, like estralinha says, have her evaluated for other things as well.
Best wishes. ~MM
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