How to take your thyroid medicine safely and correctly? Know what doctors have to say

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The thyroid is an integral, often overlooked part or gland of the body, located in front of the neck, just above the collarbone. It helps make hormones that regulate your body’s metabolism, growth and development, as well as regulate various bodily functions, including heart rate, respiration, body weight, muscle strength, and more.

That being said, a variety of factors can negatively affect your thyroid, leading to a variety of disorders. An iodine deficiency, autoimmune disease, inflammation caused by a virus or bacteria can all cause your thyroid problems, in the light of which doctors may prescribe oral medications at specific times. To discuss the same topic, we spoke to established physicians at ETimes Lifestyle, who provide helpful insights into what thyroid disease is, when to take thyroid medication, and what is the right time to take it and why.

When should people take thyroid medication?

Dr. Shaibal Chandalia, a consultant endocrinologist and diabetologist at Jaslok Hospital, said: “People should start taking thyroid medication as soon as they are diagnosed with hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. This should be done in consultation with their doctor.”

Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid is a condition in which the thyroid gland fails to produce certain important hormones for the body. Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, is a disease that occurs when the thyroid gland produces excess thyroid hormone. Therefore, it is also known as overactive thyroid.

Hypothyroidism is one of the most common endocrine disorders, says Dr. Chandalia. According to him, the drug that is given for this condition is a thyroxine which is basically a supplement of thyroid hormone. “So it’s not like allopathy like natural medicine because what I’m doing is supplementing your natural thyroid hormone with thyroid hormone from outside in the form of a pill,” the doctor explained.

Is there a right time to take medicine?

Dr. Chandalia recommends taking thyroid medicine on an empty stomach in the morning to achieve maximum efficacy. If it is taken after meals or with food, the drugs will not be absorbed properly, not allowing the thyroid gland to reach its optimal level, he explains.

However, in the case of hypothyroidism, if a person takes a full dose of thyroxine on an empty stomach in the morning, one may have palpitations, which can be divided into two doses – on an empty stomach in the morning and before bed, the doctor adds.

Dr. Binu Gupta, Consultant Internal Medicine, Manipal Hospital, Gurugram, says, “Taking thyroid medicine may seem fairly easy, but there are several things to know to make sure the medicine works the way it does.” According to him, whether it is hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, taking the drug properly helps one to absorb the drug better and limits one’s risk of side effects.

In the case of hypothyroidism, Dr. Gupta recommends the drug levothyroxine, which works best if a person takes it at the same time every day. “Even a day or two of your thyroid medication may trigger symptoms that are missing. Try combining or taking your medication with something you do every day, such as brushing your teeth which can help you get in the habit. If you forget, try setting an alarm.” Do, “he says.

He added, “If a person misses taking the medicine, they can take it 2-2: 30 hours after the meal. And if a person takes supplements, there should be an interval of at least 3 hours.

Things that may make thyroid medication less effective

According to Dr. Gupta, certain foods, medications, supplements and medical conditions can ruin how well your body absorbs medications. Poor absorption can make your medication less effective.

“It is generally recommended that you take levothyroxine in the morning if you follow that advice, eat on an empty stomach, then avoid foods and beverages with coffee for at least an hour. Some recent research supports taking thyroid medication at bedtime to maximize absorption. It remains to be verified, “he said.

In addition, your doctor warns against eating high-calcium foods within three hours of your thyroid medication. He recommends avoiding glycogenic foods such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, corn, mustard greens, spinach, sweet potatoes and some fruits such as strawberries, peaches and flax seeds and peanuts and lima beans.

In addition, although many dietary supplements such as calcium, iron, biotin, vitamin C and even iodine may interfere with drug absorption, many medical conditions such as lactose intolerance, celiac disease, pancreatic and liver disease may be affected. Doctor

Common mistakes people should avoid

Treatment of a hypothyroidism usually targets thyroid hormone replacement, which is the inability of the thyroid gland to produce. However, there are some important things to keep in mind to ensure high performance.

Dr. Chandalia says that when people take thyroid medication in the morning, they often take calcium, iron and multivitamins with them, which makes it harder for the body to absorb the medication. “The amount of iron in a multivitamin, although low, can lead to disruption of thyroid hormone absorption,” he said. He said he strongly advises against taking iron, calcium or multivitamins with thyroid hormone medications in the morning, as, according to him, thyroid hormone will interfere with absorption.

Similarly, Dr. Gupta recommends taking the medicine at the same time every day while avoiding calcium intake within three hours of taking the medicine. “If the symptoms of thyroid disease start to get worse, he advises doctors to change the dose.”




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