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Journal of Thyroid Research
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 152850, 9 pages
Review Article

Why Can Insulin Resistance Be a Natural Consequence of Thyroid Dysfunction?

Department of Endocrinology, Dr. César Milstein Hospital, La Rioja 951, C1221ACI, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Received 21 April 2011; Accepted 5 July 2011

Academic Editor: Masanobu Yamada

Copyright © 2011 Gabriela Brenta. 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.


Evidence for a relationship between T4 and T3 and glucose metabolism appeared over 100 years ago when the influence of thyroid hormone excess in the deterioration of glucose metabolism was first noticed. Since then, it has been known that hyperthyroidism is associated with insulin resistance. More recently, hypothyroidism has also been linked to decreased insulin sensitivity. The explanation to this apparent paradox may lie in the differential effects of thyroid hormones at the liver and peripheral tissues level. The purpose of this paper is to explore the effects of thyroid hormones in glucose metabolism and analyze the mechanisms whereby alterations of thyroid hormones lead to insulin resistance.