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There is an association between thyroid and gallstones. Hypothyroidism leads to a decrease in liver cholesterol metabolism causing serum hypercholesterolemia, with 90% of hypothyroid patients having elevated cholesterol levels.
Studies have shown an increase in the number of gallstones in the common bile duct. Thyroid hormones have a direct effect on the opening of the gallbladder, the sphincter of Oddi. This causes delayed bile flow and increases the likelihood of stones forming in the bile duct. Bile also helps to break down cholesterol, hence the high incidence of elevated cholesterol levels. The combination of low bile flow and a sluggish gallbladder gives rise to the high incidence of gallstones in hypothyroidism.
There is also a gender specific relationship between subclinical hypothyroidism and gallstones. There is an increase in prevalence among females in the age group of 40 and over. Thyroid hormones and cholesterol can be found in the Hormones & Glands Testing Kit.