A significant and in some instances severe disturbance of carbohydrate metabolism has long been recognized in many patients with hyperthyroidism. Glycosuria, postprandial hyperglycemia and impaired dextrose tolerance occur in these patients and suggest the presence of diabetes mellitus. According to published data, the incidence of the first two factors varies greatly. However, the more or less uniform results of the dextrose tolerance test obtained by different investigators show that reduced tolerance to sugar is found in about one half of the patients with hyperthyroidism. A low respiratory quotient in the fasting state and a tendency to acidosis increase the resemblance of these symptoms of hyperthyroidism to diabetes. Finally, the aggravation of diabetes when hyperthyroidism is superimposed on it also points in this direction.
On the other hand, according to several metabolic criteria, the capacity of the tissues to utilize sugar is reduced in diabetes, while in hyperthyroidism it is increased.
ALTHAUSEN TL. THE DISTURBANCE OF CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM IN HYPERTHYROIDISM: NATURE AND MANAGEMENT. JAMA. 1940;115(2):101–104. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810280013004
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