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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 390534, 9 pages
Review Article

The Relationship between Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Related Thyroid Diseases

Department of Endocrinology, Shanghai Pudong Hospital, Fudan University Pudong Medical Center, 2800 Gongwei Road, Huinan Town, Pudong, Shanghai 201399, China

Received 20 January 2013; Accepted 15 March 2013

Academic Editor: Åke Lernmark

Copyright © 2013 Chaoxun Wang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has an intersecting underlying pathology with thyroid dysfunction. The literature is punctuated with evidence indicating a contribution of abnormalities of thyroid hormones to type 2 DM. The most probable mechanism leading to T2DM in thyroid dysfunction could be attributed to perturbed genetic expression of a constellation of genes along with physiological aberrations leading to impaired glucose utilization and disposal in muscles, overproduction of hepatic glucose output, and enhanced absorption of splanchnic glucose. These factors contribute to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is also associated with thyroid dysfunction. Hyper- and hypothyroidism have been associated with insulin resistance which has been reported to be the major cause of impaired glucose metabolism in T2DM. The state-of-art evidence suggests a pivotal role of insulin resistance in underlining the relation between T2DM and thyroid dysfunction. A plethora of preclinical, molecular, and clinical studies have evidenced an undeniable role of thyroid malfunctioning as a comorbid disorder of T2DM. It has been investigated that specifically designed thyroid hormone analogues can be looked upon as the potential therapeutic strategies to alleviate diabetes, obesity, and atherosclerosis. These molecules are in final stages of preclinical and clinical evaluation and may pave the way to unveil a distinct class of drugs to treat metabolic disorders.