When and How to Take Thyroid Medication

Let me start off by saying the answer varies from person to person. I’m sure you’ve heard to take your medication 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to eating anything, or drinking anything other than water. That’s definitely a good rule of thumb, but did you ever consider that what you consume, even after the magic hour, can still affect your thyroid medication absorption?

How convenient, right? *cue the eye roll.*

Obviously, you need to eat. However, what you eat could be detrimental to your thyroid health if you eat anything within 4 hours before or after taking your medication. As if it couldn’t get any more inconvenient.

Thyroid hormone replacement is a sensitive little bugger. There are certain minerals that can affect the absorption of your medication. Looking at you iron and calcium. Skip taking your multivitamin until lunch time, or at least 4 hours after taking your thyroid medication. In fact, take your medication by itself completely! Considering how badly thyroid disease can affect your quality of life, it is definitely worth the effort to get the most out of your medication.

If you want the cold, hard truth, any food fortified with calcium or iron can affect thyroid medication absorption. I’ve heard mixed things about supplemental iron and calcium vs naturally occurring iron and calcium (red meat, beans, cheese, and yogurt). Just to be extra safe, I’m not taking any chances. This is what made me choose to take my medication in the early morning (think between 4 and 5 am). I have heard of people taking their medication before bed, in the middle of the night, and in the morning. All of these times can totally work as long as there is a 4 hour interval between consuming food or drinks besides water.

Here’s what works for me:

5:00 am – 7:30 am Sleep

4:00 am – 5:00 am Take thyroid medication

7:30 am Wake up, take a shower

8:00 am – 8:30 am Coffee (with 2 scoops collagen peptides and Nut Pods creamer)

10:00 am Breakfast – I don’t like to eat early, plus the collagen peptides in the coffee keeps me full for a while.

2:00 pm Lunch – This is when I take my multivitamin that contains 100% iron, and minimal calcium (they block each other’s absorption, too!) More on my current supplements here.

6:00 pm Dinner – I take a calcium supplement that contains vitamin D, since I’m deficient. I also like to take omega-3 capsules at this time.

10:00 pm – 11:00 pm Bed time!

There you have it! Please take everything I say with a grain of salt. This is what works for me and helps me feel my best, however I’m not a medical professional. Here are a few resources for clarification…

Guide To Dietary Supplements and Thyroid Disease from Very Well Health

8 Things That Can Mess With Your Thyroid Medication from Good RX

Treating Hypothyroidism: Can Vitamins and Supplements Help? By Everyday Health

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