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5 Things You Need To Know Once You Start Taking Thyroid Medicines!

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on- 13 December 2022, Updated on - 17 January 2023

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The thyroid gland, positioned in the front of your neck, helps in producing hormones that regulate the growth, development, and metabolism of the body while also controlling other bodily functions like breathing, heart rate, muscle strength, and body weight. Several factors, such as iodine deficiency, inflammation caused by bacteria or a virus, and autoimmune diseases, can adversely affect the gland and result in various disorders. In such cases, the patients are usually prescribed oral thyroid medications to be taken in specific doses at specific times. If you have been prescribed thyroid medicines, keep the following things in mind for the best results. 

1. Take the Medicines on an Empty Stomach

The absorption of thyroid medicines is increased when you take them on an empty stomach. For this reason, it’s advisable to take your medicine 30-60 minutes before breakfast. It’s also fine if you prefer to take the medicine in the evening as long as you take it at least four hours after your last meal. Taking this medicine with or too soon after/before a meal can reduce its absorption. Also, it’s highly recommended to take your thyroid medication with water. Moreover, avoid taking antacids or supplements rich in iron or calcium within four hours of taking thyroid pills. 

2. Strictly Follow a Schedule

To ensure the maximum effectiveness of your thyroid medicines, it's essential to take them consistently and regularly. Skipping doses, taking the medication with food sometimes, or having it at different times of the day can affect its absorption. Make sure to take the dose prescribed in the same way and at the same time every day. This also reduces the likelihood of you forgetting to take a dose. 

3. Don’t Start or Stop Other Medicines Without Consulting With Your Doctor

Certain medicines including oestrogen, birth control pills, seizure drugs, testosterone, and anti-depressants affect the absorption of thyroid medication. While you can still take these other medicines, it’s essential to keep the doctor informed. Taking other medicines into account, the doctor would adjust the dose of the thyroid medication. Similarly, the dose will also have to be adjusted if you stop taking these drugs. 

4. Avoid Certain Foods

Usually, there won’t be a problem with eating most foods if you take your thyroid medicine at least 45 minutes before eating. However, in case you don’t wait long enough before having a meal, certain foods can adversely affect the absorption of the medicine, including cheese, milk, yoghurt, spinach, soy, broccoli, cabbage, and kale. 

5. Make Scheduled Visits to the Doctor

When you are first diagnosed with a thyroid disorder, it’s typical to see your doctor every 6 to 12 weeks for tracking your hormone levels and determining the right dosage for you. Make sure to attend all the appointments to enable your doctor to accurately assess just how well your body is responding to the current treatment plan. If no need for adjusting the dosage arises during a few consecutive visits, the frequency of appointments will be decreased. However, your dose may still need to be adjusted throughout your treatment. So, make sure to visit your doctor as scheduled. 

After you start your course of thyroid medicines, look out for any adverse side effects. If you do experience any, make sure to report it to your doctor right away. These side effects can manifest in a myriad of forms, such as rapid weight loss, palpitations, sweating, insomnia, and shakiness or restlessness. If you need expert advice,

Consult An Apollo Endocrinologist

 

Medically reviewed by Dr Sonia Bhatt.

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