When it comes to treating an underactive or overactive thyroid, your doctor may prescribe daily thyroid medication to maintain optimal thyroid hormone levels.
Most people consume their prescribed thyroid medication right after waking up for better absorption. In contrast, others recommend taking it at bedtime as there is enough time for absorption.
Either way, you have to know which one suits your lifestyle because different things work for different people.
In this article, let's understand the facts on thyroid conditions, thyroid treatment, when to see a thyroid specialist, and most importantly when to take your thyroid medication.
Symptoms associated with thyroid conditions:
Let’s start with the symptoms and problems associated with thyroid conditions. Although the symptoms of thyroid disease can be diverse, here’s a rundown of the common ones:
- Tiredness and Sleeplessness
- Gaining weight or losing weight
- Enlarged thyroid glands
- Experiencing heavy and frequent menstrual periods
- Hair loss
- Joint pain
- Pregnancy issues
Different types of medications based on Thyroid Levels
Each individual is different and so the medications and doses might be different for various thyroid conditions. However, the following are the most commonly prescribed Hashimoto's and hyperthyroidism disease medications.
Hashimoto's disease Medication:
Levothyroxine and T3/T4 combination therapy are the best medications for Hashimoto's disease when taken consistently every day.
If you are diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, your doctor might advise antithyroid drugs like methimazole. This directly controls your thyroid to stop excessive thyroid hormone production.
When to start your thyroid medication?
If you’re getting ready to go to the chemist, aren’t you missing an important step? Thyroid medication should only be taken as prescribed by a medical professional.
Consult a thyroid doctor if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above. After a detailed history and examination, your doctor can prescribe the dose best suited for you.
You can start your thyroid medications after your doctor's guidance. If you’re already on thyroid medication, consult your doctor regularly to make sure your hormone levels are maintained.
When is the best time to take thyroid medication?
Now coming to the most asked question, "When is the best time to consume thyroid medication?". You must have been told to take thyroid medications in the morning for many years. While it's no secret morning is an ideal time, a recent study worked on the possibility of taking medications at night. Let's see what's the difference in the timing.
Your thyroid medication should be taken as soon as you wake up. To ensure better absorption, don't consume any food or coffee for at least an hour.
Many thyroid specialists recommend morning as you have not had anything in your stomach for nearly 10-12 hours.
In the morning rush of cooking and getting ready, it’s easy to forget your medication. So what if you had an alternative?
A recent study confirmed taking Hashimoto's disease medications at night is as effective as taking them in the morning. If your doctor recommends night, then you might need to take the medicine at least 2-3 hours after dinner.
This timing would suit you better if you don't like waiting for an hour to have your breakfast/coffee in the morning. Also, you don't have to worry about medications messing with supplements like calcium and iron.
There is no one best time to take thyroid medication. It is more important to ensure that you fix the timing for your medication and take it at the right time. The key here is selecting a time that suits your lifestyle better.
Consult your thyroid specialist and choose whichever timing (morning or night) is convenient for you. Follow consistently without breaking or switching the timing.
Disclaimer: Taking medicines one day in the morning, the next day at night is not advised. Choose a timing and stick to it.
Some important things to remember while taking thyroid medications:
You should take your medicine only with water. Never with milk or coffee. A study reveals how cow's milk can reduce the absorption of Hashimoto's disease medication.
You need to be consistent with your medications and follow-up. It's like taking the stairs instead of a lift. Only with consistent use can you be free from your symptoms.
Missed a dose and worried about what the effects might be? Don't worry. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. But if the timing nears the next dose, then it's better to skip one dose instead of taking two. However, skipping doses frequently can cause serious problems.
If you are taking supplements like calcium and iron, it's ideal to wait for at least 3 hours after your thyroid medication.
According to ATA, switching different brands for levothyroxine might alter the absorption of the medicine. The fix? Consult your doctor and stick to a single brand.
Don't eat right after taking your medication. Wait for an hour or two. Though there is no problem, you don't want to reduce the absorption of your medicine.
Set an alarm or keep your medications and a water bottle near your bed to not forget it.
Don't stop your medications abruptly without the suggestion of your doctors.
Never ever rely only on medications to cure your thyroid conditions. You don't need to. Work on your lifestyle, thyroid diet, and exercise. That's why Jeevam health aims to cure the root cause of your thyroid disease so that you don't have to fear if your condition would return.
If you want to relieve the symptoms and cure thyroid problems, it is a must to remain consistent with your daily medication, at the same time along with maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Consistency is the key to cracking the code of the thyroid. Also, just suppressing the symptoms with medications will not be enough. Consult a doctor to help you cure your disease's root cause.
Diet, lifestyle changes, better sleep, exercise, meditation, and yoga altogether can help you cure your thyroid conditions and its root cause. So what's stopping you?