January 26, 2023

How long does it take thyroid medication to work? That’s the question we will be exploring in today’s video.

Hey guys it’s dr. child’s here and today i want to talk about how long about rather i want to answer the question how long does it take thurid medication to work so the quick answer is that most people will notice a difference after starting thyroid medication within four to six weeks now they’ll notice some difference within that time period i would say based

Off of my experience about 60% of people fall into that category then there’s about 20% who will notice improvement even faster and then there’s about 20% which will take even longer than that four to six weeks to notice any effects so what i want to do now though is talk a little bit about the nuances and and why it changes from person to person so let’s jump

Into that topic so first of all you need to understand that thyroid medication is different from other medications out there so it should not be considered in the same class as medications such as blood pressure medications or cholesterol medications these because thyroid medication is different and unique in that it is a hormone now doctors you know they use

Hormones for prescriptions but they’re an uncommon medication even though they’re technically all under the same umbrella term medications are different than hormones so thyroid medication don’t let the name confuse you it really is just a hormone and hormones work differently from other medications so traditionally when you consume a medication you go you know

You take it by mouth or something usually by mouth and can go on other routes but you take it by mouth it gets absorbed into your system into your bloodstream and then it goes through your bloodstream to where it needs to go and then it impacts the cell and then boom there’s some effect so that could be for blood pressure or whatever but hormones are different they

Go through that whole cycle and process that i just mentioned however instead of getting to the cell and activating something right away what they do is they especially thyroid hormone it activates and changes your genetics and your dna that’s a little bit and so as you can imagine it takes a little bit of time for that to kick in that’s not quite as immediate

As let’s say altering a pump or a channel that’s on the outside of the cell membrane those type of medications impact your your body and you’ll see the effects you know within an hour or two of administration but that’s not how i read hormone work so it has to go into your body and alter your genes through genetic transcription and that just takes some time now

There are other things that can impact that though so this is why so traditionally let’s say let’s say you get diagnosed with hypothyroidism and your doctor gives you a hundred micrograms of t4 then yeah it might take four to six weeks for you to notice that effect however what if your doctor gave you 25 micrograms of t4 what if he started you out on a smaller dose

Well then obviously it’s going it’s not going to fill you’re not going to feel the effects as quickly as you would otherwise if the dose was higher so feeling so if you just take 25 micrograms and you take it for four to six weeks then it doesn’t mean you might end up taking that dose for three months and you’ll never feel it feel any difference it’s not because

The medication is wrong it’s because your dose is wrong so one of the number one reasons that the doe or number one of the number one reasons which impacts how quickly you will feel the effects of thyroid medication is your starting dose so generally the higher your starting dose is the quicker you will feel those you’ll start to feel better on your fill those

Effects you know those effects such as your hair loss may reduce your energy may go up your brain fog may dissipate you may start losing weight although probably not but these are these are the things that might happen to you if your dose is higher but there’s one problem with that if i give you let’s say you come in and you have hypothyroidism and i give you 100

Micrograms which is what i suspect that you will need there’s a high risk that you may have some side effects because we’ve given you so much so quickly it doesn’t mean that 200 that hundred microgram dose is too much for you but what it does mean is that generally people you need to get there slowly because you need to adjust to the to the nuwave the hormone is

Being released into your body because remember normally your body is releasing a little bit of thyroid hormone as it needs it it’s but when we give it to you by my mouth as a medication you’re taking the whole dose for the day in you know what a couple minutes right boom you’re just swallowing it and it’s going in your body so it’s flushing your system with all

Of this thyroid hormone and it’s different from the way that your body produces it naturally so we have to be careful about how much we give you which is why most doctors start with a much lower dose so if they if they if you they want to ultimately get you to 100 micrograms they’re probably gonna start you off at 25 or 50 and then they’ll go up every couple weeks

So but just realize that this method of titration can impact how quickly you start to feel better so that’s number one number two what type of thyroid medication are you taking so the vast majority of people listening to this and the vast majority of people taking thyroid medication take a t4 only thyroid medication which is usually called level thyroxine or

Synthroid they contain only the hormone t4 and this takes a lot longer for your body to utilize then then do other thyroid medications which contain t3 so remember t3 is the active thyroid hormone so medications which like leiyo thyroid inor side amel which contain t3 usually work way faster than medications which contain t4 only such as synthroid or level thyroxine

And so i’ve seen and this is generally what i do when i’m treating patients is i started them off on a combination of usually t4 plus t3 at a low dose that way they get the benefits of using the t3 and they start to feel better quickly and but the t4 is sort of like the the the long and sustained thyroid hormone that needs to be in the background but it doesn’t do

Really good for for quickly enhancing and you know impacting your your symptoms whereas t3 does again one of the downsides of using t3 is that t3 because it’s the most active medication if you don’t it’s harder to get the dose right it’s not a bad thing don’t get me wrong it’s not bad to use but it’s a little more difficult to get that dose right initially so it’s

Safer to start out lower and then titrate up just like we were talking about with the t4 but just realize generally if you start with t3 you’ll probably notice results and improvements in your symptoms on two to four weeks instead of four to six weeks and then of course the last one number three which impacts how quickly your thyroid medication will work is your

Lifestyle and the question i asked here is easier lifestyle healthy and the reason i need to bring this up is because it doesn’t matter how much thyroid medication you take if you’re taking t3 if you jump to your dose that you need your starting dose and that’s you know 100 micrograms or whatever if you’re not eating healthy if you’re sleeping four hours a night if

You’re not exercising you know if you’re stressed out of your mind there is no amount of medication which will fix those problems okay so if you are still experiencing your symptoms then you know and you’re taking tired medication you’re wondering when it will work look to those problems first because that’s just it’s not going to it’s not going to help if you

Don’t address those problems and and that should be obvious right no no amount of caffeine that you take is going to or coffee is going to help you get through the day the same as if you got an eight-hour sleep you know eight hours of rest at night your body is just it’s meant to function with all those things intact and does so much better when you’re addressing

Those things so consider these things my next video i’m going to talk about some other things because this is we’re just barely touching the surface here of things that impact your medication and how quickly you should feel better so what i’m gonna do is i’m going to talk about some other things in the next video and talk about things which may lengthen or or or

The amount of time it takes for thyroid medication to function in your body but just having gone over these three if you have any questions leave them below and let me know otherwise most of you about sixty percent or six out of ten people can expect that you will see some improvement within four to six weeks maybe you’re perhaps you’re one of the unlucky few

Which is one in five which may take you know six to eight weeks or 12 weeks c or longer just depends if your dose is right and all these other factors so if you have any questions if you’ve been struggling with getting your dose or you know how to take it or anything like that let me know and i’ll do my best to answer those questions below otherwise i will see you guys in the next one

Transcribed from video
How Long Does it Take Thyroid Medication to Work? By Dr. Westin Childs