Thyroid medication is one of the top 5 medications prescribed in the US today. Here are are some interesting facts which you may or may not know and which you may want to discuss with your healthcare provider.

1. Take your thyroid medication on an empty stomach. Thyroid medication is best taken on an empty stomach because it ensures optimal absorption. It should be taken 30 min to 60 min before breakfast and it should be taken 4 hours before or after drugs that interfere with it’s absorption (i.e.: iron, calcium, antacids, etc..)

2. Your thyroid medication may have gluten in it.

Certain brands of thyroid medication are not certified gluten free. They may contain excipients such as maltodextrin, dextri-maltose, pre-gelatinized starch or starch. These ingredients may be derived from wheat and therefore you have to be careful if you are on a gluten free diet or have Celiac disease. The medications which most likely do not contain gluten are desiccated thyroid and compounded thyroid medications. Check with your pharmacist if you are unsure.

3. The most commonly prescribed thyroid medication is biologically inactive.

 Levothyroxine is a T4 medication. Your cells are responsible for converting the storage form of the hormone, T4, into its active form, T3. This is a process dependent on optimal cortisol and nutrient availability such as iron, iodine, zinc, selenium, B vitamins, C, and D. Therefore if you are deficient in any of the above nutrients, you may not be benefitting from your T4 based medication since it is not being converted to the active T3 form.

4. A compounded thyroid medication or a desiccated thyroid medication may be more suitable for some individuals.

If you have been taking levothryoxine and you still have thyroid symptoms, you may not be converting the medication to the active form (T3). Talk to your practitioner and functional medicine provider to find out why you are not converting your thyroid hormone (i,e: nutrient depletions). You may also want to consider switching to a compounded thyroid medication (contains T4 and T3 that is specific for your needs) or switching to a desiccated thyroid medication.

5. Some individuals may benefit from taking their medication at bedtime.

Two important studies — a 2007 study published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology, and a follow-up larger randomized trial reported in the December 2010 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine — have found that taking the same dose of levothyroxine (i.e., Synthroid) at bedtime, as compared to first thing in the morning, may be better. These are some of the reasons: Even when waiting at least 30-60 minutes to eat, your breakfast may be interfering with the intestinal absorption of levothyroxine. “Bowel motility is slower at night,” which means that it takes longer for the levothyroxine tablet to transit through the intestinal system, resulting in longer exposure to the intestinal wall, and therefore, better uptake of the medication. The conversion process of T4 to T3 may be more effective in the evening. Please talk to your doctor before switching the timing of your medication and please also note that the studies were only done with levothyroxine. As always do not make any changes to your medications dosing/timing without the direction of your physician.

Our Approach
In our office we help so many people who were told their labs were normal and there wasn’t anything else that could be done for them. We are able to help by focusing on addressing the underlying cause. Attend our upcoming Advanced Wellness Hormones Seminar by clicking here or call us at 734-779-1650 to schedule a complimentary hormone consultation.

Whether you want to reverse disease, lose weight, or just live healthier, we encourage you to take part in the community.


About The Doctor

Dr. Josh Shields D.C., C.F.M.P is the clinic director and owner of Integrative Wellness Centers. He is a board certified functional medicine practitioner (1 of only 8000 in the U.S.) and has traveled the country as a consultant and educator of functional medicine for other professionals. Dr. Shields is recognized as an industry leader for pioneering and developing natural programs geared toward helping people reverse chronic disease and helping “healthy” people who want to become healthier. Don’t be surprised if you see doctors from other clinics spending the day and doing rounds trying to discover why Dr. Shields’ care is so effective.Dr. Shields has been helping patients for over thirteen years and has helped more than 2,000 patients successfully. Dr. Shields has been featured as an expert on several health and wellness topics for fortune 500 companies like GE capital and Comerica Bank. He is also a registered speaker for the American Diabetes Association.He and his wife have 3 children and currently live in the Novi, Michigan area.

To watch Dr. Shields own testimonial and why Integrative Wellness Centers was founded click this VIDEO button.