How to take thyroid medication safely and correctly? Know what doctors have to say – Times of India

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The thyroid is an integral, often overlooked part or gland of the body, located in the front of the neck, just above the collarbone. It helps to produce hormones that control your body’s metabolism, growth and development, while also controlling various bodily functions, including heart rate, breathing, body weight, muscle strength, and more.

Having said that, many factors can negatively affect your thyroid, leading to various disorders. Iodine deficiency, autoimmune diseases, inflammation caused by viruses or bacteria can all cause problems for your thyroid, with your doctor prescribing oral medications over a specific period of time. To discuss the same, we, at ETimes Lifestyle, spoke with established doctors about what are thyroid disorders, when one should resort to thyroid medications and what is the right time to take it and useful information about why. provide.

When should people resort to thyroid medications?

“People should start their thyroid medications after being diagnosed with hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. This should be done in consultation with their physician,” says Dr. Shaival Chandaliya, a consultant endocrinologist and diabetes specialist at Jaslok Hospital.

Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid is a condition in which the thyroid gland fails to produce some of the vital hormones vital to the body. On the other hand, hyperthyroidism is a disease that occurs when the thyroid gland produces an excessive amount of thyroid hormone. Hence, it is also called as overactive thyroid.

Hypothyroidism is one of the most common endocrine disorders, says Dr. Chandalia. According to him, the drug given for this condition is thyroxine which is basically a supplement of thyroid hormone. “So it is not as much allopathy as naturopathy because I am only supplementing your natural thyroid hormone by giving you thyroid hormone externally in the form of a pill,” explains the doctor.

Is there a right time to take medicines?

Dr. Chandalia recommends taking thyroid medications in the morning on an empty stomach to get maximum effectiveness. If it is taken after a meal or with a meal, the drugs will not be absorbed properly, causing thyroid levels to not reach their optimum levels, he explains.

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

Dr Veenu Gupta, Consultant Internal Medicine, Manipal Hospital, Gurugram says, “Taking thyroid medication may seem simple enough, but there are several things one needs to know to ensure that the medicine works as it should. ” According to him, whether it is hypothyroid or hyperthyroid, taking the medicine properly helps the drugs to be absorbed well and limits the risk of side effects.

In case of hypothyroidism, Dr. Gupta recommends the medication levothyroxine, which works best when taken by a person at the same time every day. “Missing even a day or two of your thyroid medications can stir up symptoms. Try doing or taking your medication every day like brushing your teeth that can help you establish a habit if If you forgot, try setting an alarm,” she says.

She adds, “If a person misses a medicine, they can take it 2-2:30 hours after a meal. And if a person is taking a supplement, there should be a gap of at least 3 hours Needed.

Factors that can make thyroid medications less effective

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

“It is generally recommended that you take levothyroxine in the morning. If you follow that advice, take it on an empty stomach, then avoid eating and drinking, including coffee, for at least an hour. Some recent research suggests absorption To the max, support taking thyroid medication at bedtime. That hasn’t been verified yet,” she says.

In addition, doctors warn against eating high-calcium foods within three hours of your thyroid medications. She also suggests avoiding goitrogenic foods such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, corn, mustard greens, spinach, sweet potatoes and certain fruits such as strawberries, peaches and flaxseed and peanuts and lima beans.

Additionally, while many dietary supplements such as calcium, iron, biotin, vitamin C and even iodine can interfere with the absorption of drugs, several medical conditions such as lactose intolerance, celiac disease, pancreatic and liver disease can affect the same. can. Doctor.

Common mistakes people should avoid

A hypothyroidism treatment usually aims to replace the thyroid hormone, which the thyroid gland is unable to produce. However, there are a few important things to keep in mind to ensure high effectiveness.

Where people take thyroid medications in the morning, they often carry calcium, iron and multivitamins with them, says Dr. Chandalia, making it difficult for the body to absorb the drugs. “The amount of iron in a multivitamin, even if it is small, may result in decreased absorption of thyroid hormones,” he said. That said, he strongly suggests against taking iron, calcium or multivitamins along with thyroid hormone medications in the morning, as that, according to him, will inhibit the absorption of thyroid hormones.

Similarly, Dr. Gupta suggests taking the medicine at the same time each day, avoiding calcium consumption within three hours of taking the medicine. She recommends asking doctors about a change in dosage if symptoms of thyroid disease begin to worsen.”