extreme thirst, polydipsia, anemia and diabetes
Dr. Srujana Yada for Health Central: How Anemia Can Cause Excess Thirst

There are numerous causes of unexplained increased thirst (polydipsia), including dehydration, anemia, dry mouth, and hypercalcemia. However, it is mostly commonly associated with diabetes. 

In a recent Health Central article, endocrinologist Dr. Srujana Yada explains that extreme thirst can be a result of severe anemia because when “blood pressure drops and blood volume decreases, one of the mechanisms our brain uses to maintain blood pressure is to increase water intake.” 

Dr. Yada advises people to drink two to three liters of fluid (about a gallon) a day, and  “if a person is drinking more than a gallon a day for several days and unable to quench thirst even after that, I would recommend seeing a doctor.”  

Read the article to learn about the causes of polydipsia and when to see a doctor.

For more information on our comprehensive endocrinology services, schedule a consultation with one of our board certified endocrinologists by requesting an appointment online or call (512) 458-8400. 

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link between non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and hypothyroidism
Study Finds Link Between Fatty Liver Disease and Hypothyroidism

One of the most common causes of liver disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) occurs when an abnormal amount of fat builds up liver cells. Affecting about 25% of adults, NAFLD often has no symptoms, especially in early stages, and can be easily missed in routine checkups. 

The condition can lead to liver swelling and damage, can cause liver cancer or failure, and puts patients at higher risk for heart disease.

Risk factors for NAFLD include high cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and high triglyceride levels. A recent study found that there is also a connection between this increasingly common disease and hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism

An endocrine disorder, hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is not making enough thyroid hormones, which regulate the body’s growth, development and metabolism. Some symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • Weight gain 
  • Fatigue 
  • Memory problems
  • Slowdown in heart rate
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Depression
  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • Joint stiffness, pain and swelling
  • Dry, thinning hair
  • Dry skin
  • Fertility problems
  • Menstrual cycle changes
  • Constipation
  • Elevated cholesterol

The Connection Between NAFLD and Hypothyroidism

Since researchers have only recently discovered the connection between NAFLD and hypothyroidism, more research is needed to learn exactly how and why the two conditions are connected. 

In the meantime, it is known that total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglyceride levels tend to be higher in those with hypothyroidism. Researchers believe hypothyroidism might cause NAFLD because of the increased levels of these types of fat in the liver. Leptin, a hormone produced by fat cells, may also be to blame since it can cause insulin resistance and lead to liver damage.

In hopes of shaping screening, prevention and treatment, future research is expected to study whether NAFLD causes hypothyroidism or vice versa, or if they simply occur at the same time. Researchers may also examine whether the connection exists because of general thyroid dysfunction or key thyroid functions themselves.

NAFLD Diagnosis

Whether discovered through routine blood work during an annual physical or blood tests specifically looking at the liver, NAFLD is usually found when liver enzyme levels are high. Further blood work can rule out other liver problems, and imaging — including MRI, CT scan, ultrasound and elastography — is typically used to diagnose NAFLD. 

One of the first endocrinology clinics in Austin to offer the non-invasive procedure, Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology provides FibroScan, an innovative elastography exam that evaluates liver health and identifies liver issues including NAFLD. 

FibroScan is conducted with an ultrasound to measure the amount of fat in the liver, identify any scarring, and evaluate other concerns.

NAFLD Treatment   

Lifestyle changes are usually recommended to reverse or stop the progression of the disease:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Lose weight, if overweight or obese
  • Lower cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Control diabetes
  • Avoid alcohol

For more information on Texas Diabetes thyroid services and imaging, schedule a consultation with one of our board certified endocrinologists by requesting an appointment online or call (512) 458-8400. 

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diabetes myths
Diabetes Myths: Seperating Fact from Fiction

With diabetes on a steady incline globally, knowing the facts is essential. Here are five common diabetes myths and how to take charge of your health.

Eating too much sugar causes diabetes

Although this myth is false, there are some complexities surrounding the matter. Eating too much sugar doesn’t cause diabetes directly. However, a diet consisting mainly of sugar can lead to excess weight and obesity, which are risk factors for type 2 diabetes. 

Prediabetes will always lead to diabetes

Prediabetes occurs in about one out of every three adults in the United States and means that your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered diabetes yet.

Prediabetes can put you at risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Luckily, proper diet changes and staying active can help prevent that from happening.

Being overweight causes diabetes

This is false. While being overweight puts you at risk of developing diabetes, it doesn’t always lead to the condition. Other diabetes risk factors include family history, age, race, lack of physical activity, and being diagnosed as prediabetic or previously having gestational diabetes. 

It’s not safe to exercise when you have diabetes

Regular exercise plays a key role in regulating blood sugar levels and therefore managing diabetes. Physical activity also helps lower your risk of diabetes-related complications, such as heart disease and nerve damage. The American Diabetes Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise per week. 

Our endocrinologists advise patients to keep the following recommendations in mind:

  • Always talk to your doctor before starting a new workout regime.
  • Prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Always check your blood sugar before and after being physically active, especially if you take insulin. You may need to adjust your dosage based on how your body reacts to exercise. 

I’ll know if I have diabetes

In a recent 2020 CDC report, 7.2 million adults who met laboratory criteria for diabetes were not aware of or did not report having diabetes.

Some diabetes symptoms can be hard to spot, take years to develop, or only appear when blood sugar levels are extremely high. Symptoms such as consistent hunger, thirst, blurred vision, and frequent urination should not be ignored. Routine wellness exams are critical in detecting diabetes early and preventing any long-term complications.

Endocrinologists in Austin, TX

If you’d like to learn more about our full range of endocrine services, please call Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology at (512) 458-8400 or request an appointment online

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Dr. Srujana Yada Clarifies How Ultra-Processed Foods Affect People with Type 2 Diabetes 

Ultra-processed foods are natural foods that have been changed by adding ingredients like salt, sugar, oil, and other additives. These changes result in longer shelf life and convenience. They make up about 60% of the average individual’s caloric intake. 

Research has indicated that eating ultra-processed foods can increase mortality risk in people with type 2 diabetes. The risk of heart disease is more than double with UPA’s.

In a recent Healthline article, endocrinologist Dr. Srujana Yada shares her knowledge about ultra-processed food’s effect on the body. Dr. Yada says “UPFs are loaded with sugar and have less fiber, which leads to rapid glucose spikes and can cause weight gain, increased insulin resistance, and worsened diabetes control.”

Read the article to learn about ultra-processed foods’ effect on people with type 2 diabetes.

For more information on our personalized approach to diabetes management, schedule a consultation with one of our board certified endocrinologists by requesting an appointment online or call (512) 458-8400. 

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and check back with us each month as we provide you with helpful wellness and health information.

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