Male Hypothyroidism ~ What are the Symptoms?

Can a man have hypothyroidism and what would the symptoms be? How would this affect my Diabetes?

Yes, men can get hypothyroidism, although the rates are much higher for women. Men can experience a variety of the most common symptoms shared by both genders, such as:

Hair Loss
Fatigue
Dry Skin
Weight gain
Constipation
Cold intolerance

As well as ED, premature ejaculation and infertility issues. In a recent study, Low sex drive, delayed ejaculation and erectile dysfunction was a complaint in 64.3% of men and premature ejaculation was a complaint in 7.1% of men. An uncontrolled thyroid can lead to other endocrine complications, such as type 2 diabetes, weight gain, and depression. Many of these complications cross over with Diabetes, such as eye problems, and swelling of the extremities.

There are probably some good books out there, on this, as well as a few websites. One good site I found that addresses male issues, such as hypothyroidism was http://www.bodylogicmd.com/for-men/thyroid-health.

so, if one had hypothyroidism and recieved treatment, could that cure or reduce one’s symptoms of diabetes type 2?

It certainly would probably help improve many symptoms, but one cannot deny the power of keeping blood sugars under control in order to relieve most of the aggravation associated with them. I believe both things need to happen. One example is, that I have Clinical Depression. Once I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism (in my teens) and went on Levothyroxin, my symptoms diminished, and were actually quite manageable. However, unbeknownst to me, I was having diabetic issues developing (now in my 30s)… and I didn’t know it. My depression got very aggravated, even though I was still taking my thyroid medication, even going so far as taking some pretty seriously strong medications to try and treat it. I guess doctors did not think to check my blood sugars, at that time. Once I discovered that I had Diabetes, and I got my blood sugars under reasonable control, my depression symptoms have gone down greatly to the manageable levels of when I was first diagnosed and placed on hormone replacement medication. There can be a lot of crossover from symptoms, when it comes to Endocrine illnesses.

so what type of testing should I ask my Dr. about to see if i might have hypothyroidism?

A basic thyroid check includes testing TSH levels (which can vary from 0.5 - 5), and T3 and T4 levels. An Endocrinologist can go from there, and determine if more testing is needed.

The way all of this works is that he function of the thyroid gland is to take iodine, found in many foods, and convert it into thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Thyroid cells are the only cells in the body which can absorb iodine. These cells combine iodine and the amino acid tyrosine to make T3 and T4. T3 and T4 are then released into the blood stream and are transported throughout the body where they control metabolism (conversion of oxygen and calories to energy). Every cell in the body depends upon thyroid hormones for regulation of their metabolism. The normal thyroid gland produces about 80% T4 and about 20% T3, however, T3 possesses about four times the hormone “strength” as T4.

When the level of thyroid hormones (T3 & T4) drops too low, the pituitary gland produces Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) which stimulates the thyroid gland to produce more hormones. Under the influence of TSH, the thyroid will manufacture and secrete T3 and T4 thereby raising their blood levels. The pituitary senses this and responds by decreasing its TSH production.

If you have a very slow thyroid, which is not producing enough T3 and T4, the pituitary gland will produce a large amount of TSH trying to indicate to the Thyroid to produce more hormone.

could a lack of T3 or T4 or over abundance of TSH cause cell walls to become hard making them resistant to absorbing insulin?

Yes, Hypothyroidism can lead to insulin resistance and impaired beta cell function, as a vicious cycle of poor metabolism (metabolism resistance). In addition, Subclinical hypothyroidism (which is the most prevalent kind) may interfere with beneficial adaptations on muscle metabolism and physical fitness that typically occur with weight loss and increased physical activity.

Thanks for all the great info, i will have to have this checked. you would think the Dr. would have checked this considering how much insulin I take! 200 units of lantus a day. not to mention my cholesterol is out of whack as well. have a great weekend, and god bless you!

No problem! Definitely, you should have had a TSH test done at diagnosis, since hypothyroidism is soooo prevalent in diabetics. One useful site relating to diabetics, and how often to test the TSH suggests that:

“Thyroid dysfunction is common in diabetic patients and can produce significant metabolic disturbances. Therefore, regular screening for thyroid abnormalities in all diabetic patients will allow early treatment of subclinical thyroid dysfunction. A sensitive serum TSH assay is the screening test of choice. In type 1 diabetic patients, it is helpful to determine whether anti-TPO antibodies are present. If these are present, then annual TSH screening is warranted. Otherwise, a TSH assay should be done every 23 years. In type 2 diabetic patients, a TSH assay should be done at diagnosis and then repeated at least every 5 years.”

Thyroid disease in the general
population: 6.6%

Thyroid disease in diabetes:
Overall prevalence: 10.8 13.4%
Hypothyroidism: 36%
Subclinical hypothyroidism: 513%
Hyperthyroidism: 12%
Postpartum thyroiditis: 11%

http://journal.diabetes.org/clinicaldiabetes/v18n12000/Pg38.htm

I am a male with type 1 diabetes (diagnosed 8/58) and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (Diagnosed 10/72) which resulted in hypothyroidism (diagnosed in 1997). The main symptom I noticed was fatigue. I was teaching a course at Georgia Tech during a faculty development program for teachers at other Georgia Colleges (I was at North Georgia College). Because I commuted about 60 miles I found that the fatigue made it difficult to drive.

Welcome, Paul. :slight_smile:

I am getting very good control on Dr Bernsteins diet. I am a T-2. My fasting is now around 83-100. On MET 1500 a day. I am rarely spiking above 130 mainly in the 120’s and am often back in the 100s or 90’s on my two hour post parandial. So my carb intake is low but I still get his feeling of fatigue especially in the afternoons. Of course when I would eat sugars fatigue was huge. I have lost over 75 pounds since DX.

I notice a few of the symptoms such as cold, and constipation but it is mainly fatigue when it comes. I shouldn’t feel this way and I still think something is not quite right. My TSH came back like 1.4 I believe but I am still suspicious. The clinic said “everything is ok with your T Cells” My dietiecian says you are not eating carbs and that is the problem. Right now I dont think it is the diabetes because I am eating fine and (feeling except for the fatigue) fine. Blood pressure is normal and sleep is undisturbed.

My mother, and many on her side have had Hypothyroidism. I know Bernstien talks about in his webcasts that if you have diabetes there is a good chance you have Hypothyroidism. At least a 50% chance or better…

I suspect I need more testing with the T-3’s and T-4’s and want to drill down with the clinic. Anyone have advice on how to turn the heat up on this so they listen at the clinic ??? Or what has worked for you? Comments

Thanks

Sometimes, it can be very hard to get across to doctors that you are having some concerns with symptoms, especially if they think that the TSH is highest authority in thyroid disease detection, or if they want an opportunity to knock on your diet. While certainly, testing a TSH is an important component of one’s annual Thyroid check up, other indicators such as T3 and T4 are important as well. Do not rely in people like dieticians to tell you that you are okay. Their training is not on the thyroid. Some GP’s are very astute, and well kept up on the data, but by far… By far… the better doctors to talk to are Endocrinologists. They are acquainted with the nuances of what causes these different types of diseases, and the symptoms, and will test a battery of things. I would suggest becoming assertive, and perhaps, write a list of all your symptoms that you suspect are related to a possible thyroid imbalance. Then, when you show up, do not back down on what you want. Ask for a full TSH, T3, and T4 examination, along with autoimmune thyroid antibody testing. Many, many times people with autoimmune Hypothyroidism (like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis), show up with normal levels of TSH, and even normal levels of T3 and T4. State how you need this testing for your peace of mind, and to treat all possible variables of your Diabetes, and how if you are not given this testing, you want a referral to a specialist. Sometimes, you just have to get tough. I don’t ask anymore, honestly. I simply state: “I want to have my thyroid tested, because I am concerned about symptoms I am feeling,” and my doctor has never argued with that. If you do end up having Hashimoto’s, or another form of thyroid disease, you might benefit from seeking an Endocrinologist, anyway, as most general practitioners,and physician’s assistants are clueless as to how to treat the varying scopes of thyroid disease (aside from giving out hormone therapy to bring down a high level of TSH). Good luck to ya. :slight_smile:

Hey Lizmare, thanks for the detailed post. I am going back in a couple of weeks and walk through this again with my GP and see if he will do the T’s individually. He insisted that the TSH was all that needs to be done however more exploration should be done. If I cant get it from him I will ask for a refferal to an Endo for followup on this. I hate making a da#$%#$ pot of coffee every afternoon to stay awake!!

I will keep pressing forward.