The Link Between Thyroid Problems and the Liver

liver and thyroid connection

Most of the people who suffer from thyroid problems only focus on healing their thyroid gland. However, research has shown that there could be a connection between a sluggish, overloaded liver and hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. According to endocrinologists, your unhealthy lifestyle and exposure to heavy metals can mess with the liver detox pathways and lead to chronic illnesses.

The liver-thyroid connection:

The liver plays a crucial role in thyroid hormone metabolism. The level of thyroid hormones also affects hepatic function and bilirubin metabolism. According to a study, thyroid diseases are often linked to liver injuries and biochemical test abnormalities.

Liver diseases are commonly linked with thyroid test abnormalities, especially the increase of thyroxine-binding globulin and thyroxine. Hepatitis C virus infection has also been linked to thyroid abnormalities. Sometimes, the thyroid-liver connection also causes diagnostic confusions.

This can result in misdiagnosis of thyroid disease as a liver disease, and vice versa, and can consequently cause errors in patient care. If such a situation arises, doctors measure thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and free thyroxine (FT4), which are normal in euthyroid patients with liver disease. Euthyroid patients are those who have a normal thyroid gland function.

Doctors often monitor patients receiving IFN therapy or those with autoimmune liver disease for the development of thyroid dysfunctions, and the patients undergoing antithyroid therapy for the development of hepatic injuries.

Stress plays a role in liver and thyroid problems:

When your liver is under duress, it loses the ability to store sugar in the form of glycogen and then your body develops blood sugar problems. This results in low energy, and to deal with this, your body over produces stress hormones to provide you energy.

This overproduction of stress hormones doesn’t just affect your thyroid, it also causes adrenal fatigue.

Overtime, the stress hormones break down muscle tissues and stifle thyroid function by preventing your liver from converting thyroid hormone into active T3.

Moreover, the increased production of stress hormones also results in overproduction of Reverse T3, which blocks active T3 from going to the cells. For the uninitiated, T3 and T4 are important hormones made by the thyroid gland. T3 is the active form of thyroid hormone in that affects many body processes.

So when the active T3 is prevented from going to the cells, it leads to many complications, including blood sugar swings.

“Stressed liver” suppresses thyroid function:

When the liver is stressed and it can no longer store sugar in the form of glycogen, the production of glucuronic acid is impacted. Glucuronic acid is needed for the detoxification of hormones that affect the thyroid functions, especially estrogen.

When your liver is unable to get rid of extra estrogen, it builds up in your tissues and suppresses your thyroid function further. Estrogen can directly block the thyroid gland from discharging thyroid hormone. Moreover, estrogen also promotes the creation of stress hormones that suppress the thyroid.

Consult a if you suspect that your liver is not healthy. You can find and book an appointment with top endocrinologist in Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad through

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About the Author: Dr. Arooba

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