First, the bottle says no calcium or iron for 4 hours after taking it. So does that mean I can never have eggs or cereal for breakfast again? I've also read you shouldn't eat a high fiber diet, and things like oatmeal and walnuts were included, which are both good for you and heart healthy. Also both are good for lowering cholesterol, and mine is slightly high. I'm also hypoglycemic so I'm eating more wheat pasta and bread, which is high in fiber. So I'm getting very frustrated thinking there's nothing left to eat. Now, a friend of mine is on Armour and says she has no food restrictions. Any input on either would be much appreciated.
As Reece said in your post about soy, you should tailor your medicine to your lifestyle and the foods that are part of that. Eat the healthful diet you want to. You may eventually need a higher dose of thyroid hormone than you would if you didn't eat anything at all with soy, iron, calcium, etc - which would leave you basically with a junk food diet. None of us has to resort to that. Eat what you choose and adjust the dose to the diet, not the other way around.
Don't give up a good diet because of your medication.
I took this same advise from her several months ago.
I eat a very high fiber diet. I just make sure that I don't start consuming the really high fiber until appx. 5 to 6 hours after taking my medication. That way your body has time to absorb the hormone properly. If you eat the heavy fiber too soon before or after taking your Levothyroxine it can interfer with the absorbency. I found this out first hand. I now distance the medication and fiber for several hours and also my doctor raised my dosage because of my high fiber consumption. My labs revealed that the fiber was affecting the medication absorbing so I had to adjust my fiber consumption time and my levothyroxine dosage.
I just called my doctor to ask if eating food with iron or calcium would interfere with taking Levothyroxin (I know supplements would, but I didn't know if it was the same as food). She said they would and to wait 2-4 hours before eating. I just left her another message saying that because of my low blood sugar, I can't wait that long to eat and if there were other suggestions. I mean, this eliminates every breakfast food. This can't mean I can never eat cereal or eggs for breakfast ever again can it? Every food has calcium and iron added to it, even bread. So what does that leave me to eat in the morning?
If you prefer to follow your MD's advice, that's fine; but I can assure you, if you ask five MDs, you'll get five different answers. But you're coming here asking us in the trenches what we do. So, I can tell you from 5 years of personal experience taking thyroid hormones, it won't matter in the least if you have a cup of milk on your cereal or the iron from 2 or 3 eggs. It really won't. It doesn't need to be as complicated as you're trying to make it.
Reece makes an excellent suggestion about taking it in the wee morning hours.
Thanks. I don't pee until my alarm goes off at 5:30, and I need to take the levo on an empty stomach, so morning is better, but I won't be as cautious about food. It's my first time taking this and I have so many other health issues, I just don't want to make this one worse than it is. I guess the blood tests will show if anything has changed a lot or not.
My doctor told me to be consistant with my eating. If I want to put a little milk/cream in my am coffee do it every day. Eat mile on my cereal okay. Just be somewhat consistant, so you absorb the about the same amount of hormone daily. Do not give up on good nurtition for your meds.
I am in research program at National Institute of Health. I have been taking Synthroid for almost 30 years. With calcium. At NIH my TSH level was 95. Supposed to be 0.40-0.400. So my thyroid is very low. I am exhausted and ache all over. I didnt realize you couldn't it with calcium. I have been taking it together for a while because it got high.
Hope this helps. It is really confusing.
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I found this really funny I have been on synthroid for over 18 yrs and the only thing I ever heard was take on an empty stomach. No one ever told me about any food restrictions. I usually don't eat in the morning though. Being hypo you usually don't want to eat in the am.Maybe that's why It hasn't affected me. So with vitamins I guess I should wait at least 5 hrs is this right??? I just started vitamins the other day
Here are the main cautions about thyroid meds and other foods/supplements ~
Iron: Many experts recommend you take vitamins or supplements with iron at least two to three hours apart from thyroid hormone; 4-6 hours is better. Iron can bind to the levoT if taken too close together and renders both unabsorbable.
Calcium: Calcium carbonate can bind to the levoT like the iron does. Be careful about taking calcium carbonate supps and calcium-fortified orange juice at the same time as thyroid hormone. Allow at least 2-3 hours apart; 4 is better. There is evidence that dietary calcium and cal citrate do not have the same binding effect. (I still never take my cal citrate before noon, however.) Antacids such as Tums contain calcium carbonate as the main ingredient, so the same time separation pertains.
Vitamins: There are no vitamins that have the same effect that iron and calcium have. If you take a separate vitamin D, B, or C supps, for example, you can take any of them 1 hour after your thyroid med. But if your multi-vitamin contains iron, the iron-timing rule applies.
High-fiber foods: You can have your high-fiber diet, but you must be consistent about it. If you make significant changes in the amount of hi-fiber foods you eat, get your thyroid rechecked, because it may change your absorption.
Goitrogenic foods: The list of these is long, and it includes dozens of healthy foods that we should eat every day. (Check the "Information Archive" sticky thread for a complete list of goitrogens.) It's ok to eat these in moderation while being treated for low thyroid, but if you markedly increase or decrease your consumption, get your levels checked. You may need a dose adjustment.
Thanks midwest. So as far as food that contains iron and/or calcium, is it ok to eat those an hour after taking the meds? I don't have time to cook breakfast or even sit down and eat it. I need convenience foods I can eat in the car on the way to work, so I usually eat a cereal bar or frozen waffle. Both contain small amounts of iron and calcium. Are these ok to eat since they're not supplements? How about milk with cereal? Is the calcium in milk the same as a supplement or different?
Any of those foods would be absolutely fine to eat 1 hour after your med, Tigger. Eat a varied, healthy diet and your body will adapt just fine to the med.
You know.... When I first started treatment, I asked the board the exact same question about cereal and milk that you did. And you know what? I know now that I was obsessing about it far too much. I'm fine today in spite of whatever I eat or don't eat for breakfast. Really! You'll get to this point, too. Just wait.
Has anyone had their thyroid medication help with weight loss? My doctor says it will, but I can't find anything on the internet to really back this up, so I'm asking those who have been on it to tell me if it has helped them lose weight. Please answer. I posted the question but noone is answering it.