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Sub clinical hypothyroidism, fatty liver, liver protection products

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 436 Questions

I am a 34 year old male and I regularly have my blood test done every year. I have not had any health problems so far however my last blood test indicated "sub-clinical hypothyroidism".
* Free T4 = 13.2 pmol/L
* TSH = 4.9 mU/L

It also indicated a "fatty liver".
* ALP = 67 U/L
* AST = 45 U/L
* ALT = 66 U/L
* GGT = 58 U/L
* LDH = 239 U/L
* Cholesterol = 6.0 mmol/L

All other blood test results are normal.
I do not have hepatitis, diabetes or hypertension.
I am not overweight
I do not drink or smoke.
I have been walking 30 mins a day for the past 2 years.
In recent weeks I have felt indigestion on the odd occasions which I quickly resolved with ENO.

My GP has asked me to have another blood test done in 3 months.

From the research I have done in the last couple of days, I have found that:
Milk Thistle supplements will help regenerate and protect liver cells.
Dandelion root and tea will help detox liver.
Lemon juice will help production of liver enzymes and detox liver.
Wheat Germ Oil contains vitamin E which will help liver with its antioxidant properties.

I have not found any natural way of improving my thyroid function so far.

Are you able to tell me how bad the above blood test results are and if the above products will acutally help me recover?

Also, could the above blood test results indicate another problem? What other tests should I undertake to rule out any other related problems?

Is there anything else I should do to improve my thyroid and liver functions?

Posted Sat, 21 Apr 2012 in Liver and Gall Bladder
Answered by Dr. Radhika 4 hours later

Thanks for the query,

Good to know that you are maintaining a Healthy life style.

The above blood tests are slightly above normal. The normal range for AST ( 8-20), ALT (8-20), LDH (45-90 ). The values of liver function test has to be three times above the normal range to be considered significant. These slight increase in the values could be due to the fatty liver.

Yes, the above mentioned products by you do help in liver protection and regeneration of the cells and can help you in recovering. You can go ahead with the above mentioned products after discussing about this with your doctor.

I do not feel that you might be suffering with any other problems as you are healthy and present with no other symptoms and please discuss with your doctor regarding subclinical Hypothyroidism as in few cases Thyroid hormone supplements are required.

Increase in ALT, AST levels are seen in liver abnormalities like Viral hepatitis and Obstruction of bile duct but as I stated you before that the values has to be raised three times the normal range to consider it to be significant and no other tests would be required as you get investigated yearly and can go for the blood test as advised by the doctor.

You can follow these measures as this will help you:
1. Consume Iodine fortified salts as these will supplement the required Iodine.
2. Avoid fatty food and fried food items.
3. Consume Organically produced food items as non organic food items consists of ferilizers or chemicals which can harm the Liver.
4. Consume lots of XXXXXXX leafy vegetables and fruits.
5. Continue with the physical exercises.

Hope my answer is adequate, I am available for follow up should you have anymore concerns.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Sub clinical hypothyroidism, fatty liver, liver protection products 18 hours later

Thanks for your reply.

It is reassuring to know that I will most likely recover if I act now.

I am however trying to find the possible root cause of my "fatty liver". Considering I am not overweight, could the liver enzymes be elevated for a reason other than diet?

I currently take the following supplements everyday:

* WWW.WWWW.WW au/products/sustained-release-multi
* WWW.WWWW.WW au/sugarless-c-500mg
I used to take the following supplements while going to the gym but stopped taking them in December 2010:

* WWW.WWWW.WW au/en/Products/Protein-powders/is08-lean-muscle-wpi
* WWW.WWWW.WW au/Products/Protein-powders/hybrid-92-sustained-release
* WWW.WWWW.WW au/micronised-creatine-monohydrate-pr-87.html

I still go for my 30 mins walk everyday but work commitments in the last six months have made it hard for me to go to the gym.

Could the above supplements be the cause of my "fatty liver"?

My GP has booked me in for an ultrasound on 21/06/11 - 11 days from now and has asked me to do a follow up blood test in 3 months time. In the mean while some hopeful thoughts have crossed my mind:

* Maybe there was an error in the blood test results - this is unlikely but has happened to another person I know in Australia.

* Maybe the gym supplemental's had an affect on my liver and now that I have stopped taking them my liver will slowly recover?

* I was asked to fast for 12 hours before the blood collection. I had a late night and only fasted for 9 hours. Maybe this affected the test results?

Also, online forums suggest that an elevated GGT may indicate a problem in the bile ducts. Could this be true in my case? If yes, what tests should be performed to rule out problems with the bile duct?

Once again thanks for your help.
Answered by Dr. Radhika 3 hours later

Your liver enzymes are high normal.

One of the supplements can be the reason as well. Too many supplements cannot be metabolized by the liver.

My answer to the questions:
1) Errors in the blood tests are not uncommon. It is ideal to repeat it as your GP suggested.
2) It generally takes a month or two for the liver to recover if supplements are the cause and you have stopped them.
3) Fasting is done routinely and one time fast for 12 hours may not be a good reason to comment upon

Raised GGT indicate bile duct damage, but your GGT is not so disturbing to warrant further test.

I would go with your doctor suggestion of repetition of LFT and Ultrasound after 3 months. Meanwhile take good food, less fried food, regular exercise and stop the supplements.

Let us check if these changes are reversed partially or totally.

Hope it helps.
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