This week we are looking into the earth element which involves the spleen and pancreas and how this relates to thyroid and autoimmune disease.
A new study in the news this week has found that drinking soda and other sweet beverages (2 or more per day) doubles the risk for getting diabetes regardless of whether or not it is an artificial sweetener or not.
This was a case-control study within a population-based Swedish cohort study that aimed to see whether consumption of sweetened drinks was associated with risk of a lesser known form of diabetes called latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA).
LADA is sometimes called Type 1.5 diabetes because has features of both type 1 diabetes, where the body’s own immune cells destroy the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas and type 2 diabetes, which usually develops later in life and is most commonly caused by eating too much sugar.
But unlike type 1 diabetes, which normally develops in childhood, in LADA the cell destruction is much slower.
Also, the condition often develops later in life and shares many features with type 2 diabetes. For example, the person doesn’t always need treatment with insulin straight away. This study reports that in the Swedish diabetes registry, LADA accounts for 5% of all cases.
Data was available for 1,136 people with type 2 diabetes, 357 people with LADA, and 1,371 diabetes-free controls.
Average age was 59 for people with LADA and controls, and 68 for those with type 2 diabetes.
Just under two-thirds of all people reported consuming sweetened (including artificially sweetened) drinks.
In general they found that consumption of sweetened drinks was linked with higher body mass index (BMI) and other poor lifestyle factors like smoking, low physical activity and consumption of processed meat and sugary foods. (Birds of a feather flock together, as do unhealthy habits.)
One problem with the study is that, as you can see, there are many other potential factors that could also lead to poor health and the development of diabetes, so it’s hard to say it’s just soda and other sweet beverages, though these are certainly very high in sugar.
How does this relate to Hashimoto’s?
There are few interesting links between these two diseases.
Firstly, as we noted in a previous post, when you have one autoimmune disease there is a higher risk of developing others.
What’s interesting is that insulin resistance has been found to increase destruction of the thyroid in thyroid autoimmunity, and it can also clearly be a trigger for Hashimoto’s.
These don’t usually develop at the same time and often take years to progress, just like other autoimmune diseases.
In one study of autoimmune polyendocrine diseases it was found that type I diabetes manifested first in half the cases and autoimmune thyroid disease manifested first in 17% of the cases.
And the most common combination was type I diabetes and autoimmune thyroid disease at 33%.
So, it’s another reminder of how important sugar balance and sugar control is for people with Hashimoto’s.
We explore this idea in depth in this post.
Something else that is really fascinating is that candida is also a common denominator in many autoimmune polyendocrine disorders.
What does candida thrive on?
Adding another layer of reasons why sugar should be taken seriously. It can not only lead to more autoimmunity, it can also lead to secondary conditions that are both causes of the disease and hindrnaces to getting better.
Finally, I think what’s also an interesting revelation from this is that there is a kind of myth that diet soda is a safer alternative.
Well, various research reviews and a case study have found this not to be true.
In fact, here’s one case study that showed dramatic improvement in Hashimoto’s symptoms when the patient stopped drinking diet soda.
BOTTOM LINE IS THIS
Excessive sugar consumption (and this includes artificial sugar substitutes) is a potential threat not just for Type II Diabetes or LADA, but also for autoimmune thyroid and polyendocrine thyroid diseases.
It can also foster secondary infections like candida and SIBO (Small Intestine Bascterial Overgrowth).
Treat sugar like the potentially dangerous substance that it is.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15182509 LADA and Thyroid autoimmunity
beverage consumption and LADA
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/313612.php Diabetes risk doubled with soda consumption-diet doesn’t change anything
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18800291 Sucralose alters microbiome
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20693348 Previous research on soda and type 2 diabetes
http://media.aace.com/press-release/cause-and-effect-case-report-shows-association-between-sugar-substitutes-and-common-th Case study on artificial sweeteners and Hashimoto’s
https://www.sav.sk/journals/endo/full/er0301e.pdf LADA and Autoimmune Thyroiditis
So now, not only is it my profession, it’s my passion, and it’s personal. I’ve been joking with people lately saying it’s a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I really get it, and a curse because I really got it! ?