Underactive thyroid connected to Fatty Liver

Posted by Melissa Callaghan on

Thyroid dysfunction can present in many ways in the body.

Some signs and symptoms that the thyroid is under-functioning include:


  • Fatigue even after a long night sleep
  • Difficulty losing weight or weight gain
  • Emotional imbalances such as mood swings, depression, anxiety
  • Hormone imbalances such as PMS, infertility, low drive, period irregularities
  • Pain such as muscle, joint, tendons
  • Cognition imbalances such as brain fog, poor concentration, memory
  • Skin imbalances such as dry, cracking skin
  • Brittle nails
  • Hair loss


How is the thyroid connected to the liver?

To understand this we first need to understand the pathway of hormones for thyroid function.

It all starts in the hypothalamus gland.  It sends ‘thyroid releasing hormone ‘ to the pituitary gland which triggers the release of ‘thyroid stimulating hormone ‘ or TSH (this is the first blood test that is requested to check thyroid function).  TSH activates an enzyme called thyroid peroxidase to create the hormones T3/T4.  T4 is inactive and T3 is active.  The small amount of T3 that is released from the thyroid can be used immediately but the T4 which is about 93% of what is released needs to be sent to the liver to be converted to T3 before it can be used.  

This is where things can go wrong.  If there is a toxin build up in the body either from foods or the environment then this enzyme can become blocked from converting T4 to the active T3.  This then is NOT a thyroid issue, this is a LIVER issue.

This also becomes very obvious in those who are prescribed the medication thyroxine which is T4.  This still needs to be converted in the liver to the active form of T3. This explains why I see SO MANY patients for thyroid issues who are on thyroid medication and not seeing any changes. IT’S NOT THE THYROID!!!



When I analyse your pathology results it gives me an understanding of liver function and then cross referencing this with your presenting signs and symptoms we can see if there are some possible blockages. Then a treatment plan is designed specifically for your needs.  Often is the case that more specific blood tests will need to be ordered to gain a full picture of where the blockages are.

If you have been struggling with thyroid and need further investigation then book an appointment today.


Who am I?

I am a Bachelor qualified Naturopath who specialises in improving metabolic processes in the body. Major areas for improvement include gut, thyroid, kidney, skin and liver health. Conditions such as hypothyroidism, fatty liver, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, & irritable bowel conditions. I help my patients by giving them symptomatic relief while working on repairing the underlying causes of metabolic stress and waste accumulation. Patients experience amazing results which are seen in their blood tests with improved thyroid markers, cholesterol, and liver markers.  As well as lower blood pressure and see relief from improved gastrointestinal symptoms like the ones that mean you need to know where every single toilet is before you leave the house. 

Melissa Callaghan ND, BHSc, BTeach
Clinical Naturopath


To book an appointment click here 



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