It's not your Thyroid, it's your Liver!
Your thyroid is acted upon by the immune system in 90% of thyroid cases. In our video, “Your Thyroid does not act Alone,” we talked about how dysfunction in other parts of the body can present as a thyroid issue, primarily as it’s the first thing that shows up on a not so specific integrative blood test.
We need to discuss the organ that underpins most of your thyroid function. Improving the function of this organ will prevent you from endless thyroid medication if addressed alongside your immune system. THE LIVER or what I refer to as the “Game Changer”.
I know many of you are going to say, "But I don't have a drinking problem, so how can I have a liver problem?"
Well, your liver deals with a whole lot more than just detoxing of alcohol. It also deals with the other toxins from your diet, internal and external environment. If your liver can’t get rid of toxins, you can get headaches, acne, and excess body fat. That’s right; your body will wrap fat around toxins as a protective mechanism. Stubborn viruses, bacterial infections and candida also love to make their homes in the liver and affect its functions.
One of the important functions of the liver is to convert inactive T4 thyroid hormone into active T3 hormone. The number simply refers to the amount of iodine molecules you have attached, for example, four iodine molecules for T4 and three iodine molecules for T3. The conversion of inactive T4 into fast metabolism high-energy active T3 isn’t processed in your thyroid, but 80% of it actually happens in the liver! So if it’s not a problem with your immune system, it’s going to be your liver 80% of the time and still NOT your thyroid! Therefore, giving your liver some love to help your thyroid hormones is going to be fundamental.
How the liver affects your thyroid:
1. The liver activates T3 from T4.
If you don’t have enough T3, which goes to every cell in your body, you slow down. This deficit is acknowledged by your brain to stimulate the thyroid by a hormone called TSH. TSH is a brain hormone that is increased because you are not producing enough T3 around the body, not by the thyroid! This is the difference. And is your T4 to T3 measured on your blood test? I think you already know that the answer to that is no.
2. The liver detoxifies oestrogen: a thyroid suppressing hormone.
Oestrogen dominance affects a lot of people since oestrogen is found everywhere, particularly in our foods and toxins. Hypothyroidism sufferers can’t detoxify oestrogen, so it continues to build up in their tissues and further suppresses their thyroid function.
Which organ detoxifies your oestrogen? You guessed it, your liver. So many issues like body fat, cysts, fibroids, breast cancers or lymphatic problems are actually because we can’t get rid of oestrogen. The liver is the main culprit here, but your thyroid suffers. Are hormones measured on your regular blood test? No. This is why your thyroid becomes the wrong guy arrested at the fight and is always the victim.
When you can’t detoxify oestrogen properly, your body dumps it through your bile into your digestive tract in the hope of excreting it. When certain infections in the gut recirculate oestrogen, it makes you more oestrogen dominant, no matter how much you detoxify the liver. This is why I insist you balance the gut bacteria before you detoxify the liver.
To heal your body from excess oestrogens, read this article for your correct solution. You will find oestrogens have multiple sources, other than your ovaries, that aren’t commonly talked about.
3. Blood sugar and the thyroid.
In our article, “Why you can’t go low carb with thyroid symptoms” we discuss the correlation between blood sugar and the thyroid gland more thoroughly. But essentially our sugar is stored in the liver, like iron, in the form of glycogen and ferritin respectively. This is why we can be low in sugar, hypoglycaemic and low-in-iron anaemic with liver issues because we can’t store them when the body needs it. Glycogen is your back up energy source that can be stored in the liver for about 24 hours. It is converted into sugar when your muscles, brain and heart need it in between meals or exercising. This is the main reason why you can get headaches from lack of sugar when you deplete sugar from the diet.
Glycogen and blood sugar balance is also very important when it comes to thyroid health. Glycogen can also be converted to glucuronic acid.
Glucuronic acid is necessary for the detoxification of oestrogen, which remember suppresses your thyroid function. It’s also in calcium D-glucarate, a supplement that is taken by many women to lower their oestrogen toxicity. This is one reason why hypothyroidism sufferers who restrict carbohydrates can’t detoxify estrogen. As oestrogen is fat-soluble, it will build up in your fat tissue as cellulite and will further suppress your thyroid function.
In times of hypoglycaemia and anaemia, your body will then produce the stress hormone cortisol to steal sugar and iron from the proteins around the body. Yep, this means it depletes your muscles, hair, skin, nails and even the lining of your gut. Anyone with thyroid issues with poor skin, hair loss, brittle nails and gut issues? It’s a stress cortisol issue that’s breaking your body down.
Two ways that cortisol stress hormone drops your thyroid hormones:
The solution? Increase your minerals.
Selenium is in the enzyme that catalyses your T4 to T3, and so it is essential for hypothyroid sufferers.
My favourite source of minerals is FHS fulvic humic blend, which you can find on our website.
So in order to fix your thyroid, you first MUST look at your liver function and find what is necessary to fix that.