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Belly Fat, Liver, and Thyroid Explained

By Lucy Rose Clinic

December 9, 2020

Do you find you have a spare tyre around the belly that you never used to have?

Have you been told that your thyroid is ‘normal’ yet you are living with symptoms such as fatigue, mood swings, low libido, and weight gain?

A simple TSH test can miss so much when it comes to thyroid!

Today I want to explain why, and what your liver has to with it.

>>> Check your signs and symptoms below to see if you could be in this boat.

Why the liver sometimes fails thyroid hormones

There are actually many reasons why thyroid hormone conversion can be suboptimal. 

The majority of conversion of T4 to active T3 happens in the liver and kidneys, and then some will also happen in the gastrointestinal-tract and peripheral tissues, and at the blood-brain-barrier.

It is dependent on these systems working well, and having access to the needed nutritional co-factors, as well as good enzyme function.

Enzymes – they make it all happen

Enzymes are proteins that act as biological catalysts. I think of them as the work men at a building site. Hormones are the mortar and vitamins are the bricks – if you get my drift.

Three enzymes catalysing deiodination (converting thyroid hormones) have been identified, called type 1 (D1), type 2 (D2) and type 3 (D3) iodothyronine deiodinases. D1 is largely expressed in liver and kidney. Its main role is clearance of rT3 from the circulation and it also contributes to production of plasma T3.

These vital enzymes are affected by pathophysiological conditions such iodine insufficiency, thyroidal and non-thyroidal illness and malnutrition.

There are several drugs that affect the function of these enzymes resulting in low active thyroid hormone circulation, yet will keep TSH stable. These drugs include PTU (treats hyper thyroid), dexamethasone, propranolol, many antidepressants, the contraceptive pill, and radiated iodine contrast used for imaging.

Glucuronidation and Fatty Liver

Glucuronidation is a phase II metabolic reaction that increases the water-solubility of endogenous and exogenous compounds to increase their biliary or urinary excretion. 

Basically, it a reaction that occurs to eliminate unwanted elements from our system, such as drugs, pollutants, estrogens, androgens, mineralocorticoids, glucocorticoids, fatty acid derivatives, retinoids, and bile acids.

And it all happens through the liver.

If this process is not working well, or is too taxed to work efficiently, it a can lead to a build up of toxins and fat in the liver. When we are wanting to lose weight, we need this to be working well for us, and reducing chemical exposure is a great assistance to the burden on the body.

Sulfation – keeps your liver squeaky clean

In addition to environmental toxins, sulfation is also used to detoxify some normal body chemicals and is the main pathway for the elimination of steroid hormones, thyroid hormones, neurotransmitters and in the elimination of toxins from intestinal bacteria.

Sulforaphane – from broccoli sprout extract – induces phase 2 proteins to conjugate estrogens, remove chemical carcinogens and quench reactive intermediates and reactive oxygen species. 

Most of our Lucy Rose Clinic patients are prescribed a supplement containing sulforaphane to enhance their detoxification.

Nutritional Co-Factors

The liver will need access to nutrients as needed in order to run efficiently.

Selenium is the major cofactor for D1 enzyme activity, and studies have proved that people on a selenium deficient diet have a significant decrease in serum T3.

Levels of selenium varies in different tissues of the body, and dietary intake in the population in Australia is typically low due to low selenium stores in the soil where our food is grown.

Zinc. It has been shown that low zinc status compromises T3 production. Studies have also demonstrated that zinc supplementation improves thyroid hormone production. These effects may be due to the cofactor role zinc plays with D1 enzyme activity.

The Clincher

All the above can be happening, but the pituitary gland doesn’t see it. This means that the feedback loop that allows our body to self regulate hormones is somewhat broken.

This is why you can have a normal TSH level and still have a thyroid problem!

Plus it is a self perpetuating issue, because low T3 slows down liver detoxification pathways. It’s a catch 22!

This is why a liver detox is so important for our hormone health, our metabolism, and our weight loss

Are you ready to work with a team who is specially trained to deal with hormone imbalance, weight loss and detoxification based on individual pathology and symptom picture? Then click the button and book your first appointment 🙂

Signs that your liver is not converting thyroid hormones well:

  • Fatigue – sluggish
  • Waking between 1:00 – 3:00 am
  • Low libido
  • Weaker and flabbier muscles
  • Weight gain
  • Poor digestion
  • Thinning hair, shedding hair, or hair loss
  • Headaches
  • Puffy eyes, hands, or feet

Other Factors

The Liver is one BIG part of your health, but it’s not usually the only system out of balance. Depending on your current health picture, we run pathology testing to cover what is needed to get your hormones back into balance.

When testing, we also look at the following factors;

  • Nutrient deficiencies or excesses
  • Thorough thyroid hormone testing
  • Sex hormone balance – E1, E2, E3, Progesterone, Testosterone.
  • Cardiovascular risk markers
  • Inflammatory Markers
  • Food intolerances
  • Methylation factors and detoxification capacity.

When you work with a Lucy Rose Practitioner, you work with a TEAM of hand picked and specially up-skilled naturopaths.

Most people on a Lucy Rose program meet their goals in 12 weeks!

Where would you like your health to be in September? If feeling lighter, brighter and more energetic is the answer, act now!

Feel free to book a call in with a specially trained naturopath practitioner to find out more about our unique approach to wellnessClick here

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