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Thyroid Health depends on your Liver

Did you know a healthy thyroid gland depends on a healthy liver?

Your thyroid gland produces two main hormones: T4 (also called thyroxine) and T3 (also called triiodothyronine).  These hormones help to control your metabolic rate, that is the rate at which your body burns calories.  They also have a huge bearing on your energy levels and maintenance of normal body temperature.

T4 is not the active thyroid hormone; it must be converted into T3 in your body in order to exert its effects.  The majority of this conversion does not occur in your thyroid gland.  Most T4 to T3 conversion happens in your liver, kidneys and muscles.  If you have a fatty liver or a sluggish liver, this conversion will not be effective.  This can leave you feeling tired, depressed, puffy, overweight and with dry skin and thinning scalp hair.  Indeed you would have a thyroid problem caused by a faulty liver.

If you are taking thyroid hormone medication in the form of thyroxine, it too must be converted into the active form in your body.  Therefore if you are taking thyroid medication but still not feeling much better, your liver could be to blame!  It is vital that you work on improving the health of your liver if you want healthy thyroid hormone levels.

Apart from having a healthy liver, you can also keep your thyroid gland in good shape with the following strategies:

  • Obtain adequate iodine in your diet.  Iodine deficiency is becoming an increasingly common problem.  The thyroid gland requires iodine in order to manufacture the hormones T4 and T3.  Iodine is mostly found in the oceans, therefore is present in seafood (as long as it came from the ocean and was not farmed), and seaweed.  Kelp is a rich source of iodine and is available in supplement form.  Your doctor can organise a urine test for you to determine your body’s iodine level.
  • Obtain adequate selenium in your diet.  Selenium is a mineral that is required for the conversion of the thyroid hormone T4 into its active form, T3.  People taking thyroid hormone replacement such as Synthroid or Oroxine benefit from selenium supplementation because it enables their bodies to use the medication more efficiently.  Selenium also helps the immune system and can reduce the production of auto-antibodies in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease.  Brazil nuts are the richest dietary source of selenium, however supplementation is usually required to achieve optimal levels in the body.  Selenium and iodine are found in thyroid health capsules.
  • Consume good quality protein.  The amino acid tyrosine is required for thyroid hormone production.  Tyrosine is found in protein rich foods such as chicken, fish and cheese, and also in smaller quantities in avocados, bananas and almonds.  Protein rich foods are also a good source of zinc, which is needed by the thyroid hormone receptors in your cells, to allow thyroid hormones to bind there.  Eating enough protein is one half of the equation, the other half is to make sure you digest the protein properly.  Irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, heartburn and reflux can all indicate that you don’t digest protein properly.  Taking a digestive enzyme supplement, sipping some diluted apple cider vinegar before meals, and making sure you are relaxed while eating can all help.

11 comments

  1. I have been detected to have subclinical hypothyroidism and I’m on medication 50umg of euthyrox .. but still have no positive result in weight loss. How should I treat my liver ?

    • Hi Dinithi,

      We recommend you take
      Thyroid Health caps 1 cap daily with food as these contain selenium, iodine, vitamin D and zinc which are essential for healthy thyroid gland tissue and function.
      Livatone Plus 1 cap twice daily to improve liver function.

      There is more detailed information in Dr Cabot’s book: ‘Your Thyroid Problems Solved’.

      Kind Regards,
      Jessah Robinson
      Nutritional Consultant for Liverdoctor.com

  2. I am on Levothyroxine, Venlafaxine and Buporpian and am wondering about the potential effect a liver cleanse would have on these meds.

    • Hi Zoe,

      There is no problem with doing a liver cleanse while on that medication.

      Kind Regards,
      Jessah Robinson
      Nutritional Consultant for Liverdoctor.com

  3. My haemoglobin is 17.1 and rbc are also high. Bilirubin sgpt sgot high in blood. T3 and t4 mild low. Anti thyroid peroxide antibody elevated 105.40 and tsh are also elevated 6.182. My testosterones hormones low 216. Please tell me, What happen with me.

    • Hi Dev,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      Fatty liver can be reversed with the correct diet and supplements that support liver function and repair liver cells.
      Dr Cabot’s book ‘Fatty Liver – You Can Reverse It’ provides a complete eating plan with recipes.
      Eat less carbohydrate – including sugar, grains and other starchy foods, because the liver converts any excess carbohydrate into fat. Don’t drink too much alcohol.
      Eat more vegetables, protein and healthy fats.
      Drink raw vegetable juices 250 to 300mls 2 to 3 times a week. Dr Cabot’s book ‘Raw Juices can save your life’ has recipes for many different health conditions. Try the ‘Liver Cleanse’ or ‘Liver Tonic’ juices in the book.
      Dr Cabot recommends you begin taking
      LivaTone Plus – 2 capsules twice a day to help repair damage to the liver and improve the liver’s ability to metabolise fat.
      N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC 600mg) – 2 capsules twice daily well away from food, if any upset occurs take at the beginning of your meals. This supplement works well with Livatone Plus to get your liver better faster. This supplement hastens liver healing. This supplement is the precursor nutrient of glutathione; the body’s strongest anti-oxidant.

      Your thyroid tests indicate that you have Hashimotos Disease, an autoimmune thyroiditis that results in low thyroid function and Dr Cabot recommends you remove all gluten containing products from your diet and begin taking

      Thyroid Health Capsules – 1 capsule twice daily.

      Natural Thyroid Cream – 1 full pump 1 to 2 times daily. This cream utilises porcine thyroid extract to supply the hormones your thyroid is not producing in sufficient quantity.

      Testosterone tends to decrease with age and also with increased weight. If either of these are of concern, may we recommend you increase your daily exercise as this is a very beneficial way of raising your testosterone levels.

      Your primary care practitioner can also prescribe this hormone for you.

      You may purchase these supplements and book at http://shop.liverdoctor.com/supplements.html

      Kind Regards,
      Jessah Robinson
      Nutritional Consultant for Liverdoctor.com

  4. Can you recommend a thyroid medication that is mildest impact on liver enzymes? I am now taking Armor supplements and my liver enzymes have risen substantially (actually dangerously high) thanks in advance for advice.
    Ps- I have hashimotos

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