Medical Gaslighting and Hypothyroidism: You May Have Hepatic Hypothyroidism

Hepatic hypothyroidism is not a thyroid disorder. Hepatic hypothyroidism - also known as "intrahepatic hypothyroidism" - is when an injured fatty liver is resistant to otherwise normal thyroid hormones. Medical gaslighting occurs when hepatic hypothyroidism is misdiagnosed as a Hashimoto's or a thyroid hormone conversion problem by functional medicine. At Atlanta Endocrine AssociatesDr. Scott Isaacs is a thyroid and fatty liver expert and offers accurate diagnosis and state-of-the-art treatment of hepatic hypothyroidism. To learn more, contact the office in Atlanta, Georgia or request an appointment online.

Many people struggle with weight gain or difficulty losing weight, fatigue, symptoms of a thyroid disorder or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. But thyroid tests may be normal or thyroid medications do not help. Functional medicine and naturopathic doctors claim that traditional doctors are gaslighting you when they say endocrinologists are ignoring your symptoms when they say it's not your thyroid. The solution functional medicine recommend is taking extra T3, special diets (avoiding gluten, dairy, cruciferous vegetables, and soy) and taking expensive thyroid supplements. But the truth is that functional medicine are gaslighting you about hypothyroidism instead of suggesting other possible causes for your symptoms. 

Hepatic hypothyroidism is not a thyroid disorder but can be misdiagnosed as Hashimoto’s by functional medicine. Avoid unnecessary thyroid supplements, thyroid diets or extra T3 and focus on established treatments for NAFLD.

The real problem for many is hepatic hypothyroidism caused by a fatty liver known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, NAFLD. The liver plays a major role in activating thyroid hormone, converting the inactive form T4 into the active form T3. But if the liver is filled with fat, it can’t convert thyroid hormone properly and creates more of an inactive thyroid hormone, reverse T3.

Some doctors who don't know better prescribe extra T3 medications and claim they are safe because they are natural. Natural thyroid medication comes from pig thyroid glands. Pigs need different ratios of T3 and T4 and what is natural for pigs is not natural for humans. You are being gaslighted when if you are told that you need extra T3 because your liver is not converting enough T3 from T4. Taking extra T3 does not fix the conversion problem and does not solve the root cause of a hypothyroid liver that is producing too much reverse T3.

Taking too much T3 can cause heart problems, strokes, bone, and muscle loss. If you focus on liver health, you are addressing the root cause allowing your liver’s thyroid hormone receptors to respond to your thyroid hormones and allowing your liver’s deiodinase enzymes to properly convert inactive T4 to the right amount of active T3 and inactive reverse T3.

Hepatic hypothyroidism is underdiagnosed.

Recent studies have shown that 38% of adults and about one in 5 teens have a fatty liver. The most common symptom of a fatty liver is fatigue. So, when a traditional doctor says the fatigue is not your thyroid, you may have a fatty liver.

Next: Treatment of Hepatic Hypothyroidism: 10 Steps to Healing a Hypothyroid Liver

At Atlanta Endocrine Associates, Dr. Scott Isaacs is a fatty liver expert and offers accurate diagnosis and state-of-the-art treatment of thyroid disorders. To learn more, contact the office in Atlanta, Georgia or request an appointment online.

Author
Scott Isaacs, MD Endocrinologist and Weight Loss Specialist

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