December 8, 2022

Millions of Americans are on the drug levothyroxine (also known as Synthroid) to help support their thyroid, but did you know this medication can impact your overall nutrition?

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Customers can use promo code podcast at checkout for an additional 15 percent off your first purchase let’s get started your thyroid is a gland that releases thyroid hormones and when it’s not working well which is pretty common when it under functions which is called hypothyroidism you could feel very fatigued it might be hard to focus you pretty much feel

Miserable so where is your thyroid gland and what does it do a gland releases hormones hormones are kind of messengers that travel throughout the entire body and they knock on the door of every cell and the cells that need it allow it to come in so your thyroid affects literally every cell in the body it stores and releases several thyroid hormones and conditions

That affect the thyroid are very common especially under function but more on these thyroid hormones later i’ll explain what they do now the thyroid hormones in general are essential for the function of every cell in your body they help regulate growth including muscle development for children they need it for growth and they need it for brain function they’re needed

For the rate of all the chemical reactions that take place in your body every second all those tens of thousands of reactions that’s called metabolism now your thyroid hormone is needed for brain function so if the levels are low that leads to feelings of stress or anxiety or even depression commonly these people experience brain fatigue it could be accompanied

By nervousness and brain fog even an inability to concentrate and carry on a good conversation if it’s really advanced low thyroid function which is called hypothyroidism i’ll repeat that a couple of times throughout the conversation here thyroid hormones affect our heart rate in fact sometimes when you get a prescription drug of thyroid hormone it can make your

Heart race like levothyroxine which is also called synthroid so it’s always good when you first get a thyroid hormone to underestimate the dose to start at a lower dose than the doctor thinks you need and this way you don’t get side effects and the body can kind of adapt to the thyroid hormone so people with an overactive thyroid which is not very common that’s

Called hyperthyroid overactive thyroid they’re heart races they burn all the fat in their body they burn all their muscle they lose bone they’re very anxious and nervous they’re very overactive uh their eyes can bulge out that’s called exothermis too much thyroid hormone like i said can make your heart race but it can also affect your blood pressure now it

Does affect your your body temperature so if you’re low in thyroid hormone you could feel really cold in the winter thyroid hormone is very important for metabolism a major part of metabolism is converting food into energy so if your thyroid is under functioning you can feel really fatigued so where is it located it’s located in the lower part of your neck so in a

Man it would be just below the adam’s apple it wraps around your trachea your trachea is the pipe from your nose and mouth to your lungs so it’s called your windpipe thyroid wraps around the trachea it kind of has a butterfly shape so it has two wings one on each side of trachea they’re called lobes and they were touched in the middle part by something called an

Ismus so today we’re going to discuss centroid it’s also known as levothyroxine or t4 this drug is very commonly prescribed it’s always among the top five prescribed drugs in the united states and worldwide millions and millions and millions and millions and millions of people around it they use it for treating hypothyroidism so hi my name is jerry hickey i’m a

Nutritional pharmacist i’m also the senior scientific officer over here at invite health and welcome to my episode levothyroxine a thyroid drug and its interaction with nutrition thanks for tuning into today’s invite health podcast episode you can find all of these episodes for free wherever you listen to our podcast or just visit forward slash

Podcast please subscribe and leave us a review you can also follow us on facebook i think that’s called metaverse today twitter instagram invite health and the information on this episode is linked at the episode description so i really want to get going here well over 30 million people suffer from a thyroid condition called hypothyroidism that’s in the united

States it’s under functioning of your thyroid gland so it happens when your thyroid doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone it’s pretty common and it becomes more common with age it leads to a slowing down of metabolism you get fatigued brain fog dry skin weight gain problems with the heart inflammation elevated cholesterol digestive tract issues nervousness

And more i mean it’s very common for people to have um some depression moodiness forgetfulness poor concentration some people get goiter they’re the thyroid and their neck enlarges they have like a swollen thing in their neck they can uh develop brittle nails brittle hair in fact they can suffer with hair loss their face gets puffy they can have a slowed down

Heart rate because you need thyroid hormones for the rate of your heartbeat they can have problems like diarrhea and constipation their cholesterol goes up the good cholesterol goes down and the bad cholesterol goes up it can affect fertility it can affect women’s menstrual cycles if they’re younger but you have a loss of energy persistent fatigue cold sensitivity

Like it’s cold outside you really feel it are your joints can ache you can have muscle cramps and stiffness a lot of stuff dry itchy skin just a lot of things so a lot of people think metabolism is just how fast they burn calories because that’s you know that’s what the weight loss companies tell you metabolism it’s all about burning calories no no that’s a vast

Oversimplification of the term metabolism is sustaining your life it’s a life-sustaining process it involves all of the different chemical reactions that take place in your cells every second tens of thousands of them are going on right now so it maintains your ability to live so death is a lack of metabolism i mean that’s really the definition of death so thyroid

Is needed for metabolism now the number one thyroid drug is called synthroid but it’s widely available as a generic which is called levothyroxine which is t4 so let me tell you the various thyroid hormones your thyroid generally releases two hormones t4 which is the level of thyroxine also called synthroid and t3 it releases more t more mostly t4 with a little

T3 the thing is t4 is not that active it’s really the t3 that does the job so you get a little t3 so you have instant energy and instant metabolism and slowly but surely the t4 is converted into the active form and like your liver and your muscles etc so t4 is supposed to convert to t3 and then it works when you get synthroid levothyroxine it’s only t4 that

Doesn’t work in everybody some people have trouble converting that to t3 they could get a second hormone called um cytomel which is also called lyothyronine they could get a low dose of that that’s actually active t3 you see that more and people with celtic background and irish backgrounds would have an inability to convert t4 to t3 adequately so they seem to have

A little bit of adhd kind of thing going on so they actually they actually might do a lot better with a different thyroid called armor thyroid which is a natural thyroid it’s a prescription but you get the thyroid combination released from your own thyroid you get to t4 and t3 so a lot of people do better on on the uh armored thyroid than they do on the uh level

Thyroxine there’s another hormone called tsh and that’s very useful for diagnosing problems with the thyroid so normally there’s a certain amount of t3 and t4 in your blood there’s like a normal range and when there’s not enough the brain makes note of this and it releases tsh to push the thyroid to work harder so you really shouldn’t see much tsh in the blood

So even if your level is high but it’s on the high end of normal excuse me but even if your level of tsh is normal let’s say it again even if your tsh is normal but it’s kind of like on the high end of normal that might be an indication that you have a sluggish thyroid so tsh is released from the brain when the thyroid is not producing adequate amounts of thyroid

Hormone so you’re really pushing the thyroid to work it stands for thyroid stimulating hormones so when you see low levels that means the thyroid’s probably over functioning and when you see high levels it means the thyroid’s under functioning now when you take synthroid levothyroxine t4 they’re all the same thing it lasts all day long has a very long half-life you

Have to take it away from everything so i tell people who take it like take it a couple of hours before your breakfast take it a couple hours before you multivitamin you don’t want to take any minerals with it because thyroid hormone is essentially made out of an amino acid that comes out of protein called tyrosine and iodine and if you get a lot of minerals like

Divalent minerals like potassium magnesium calcium etc they’re going to attach to the thyroid hormone they’re going to attach to the uh iodine and the drug won’t work so that’s why we don’t like you to take anything when you’re taking thyroid hormone we like you to wait a couple hours now you have to avoid these almost universally so this is important if you’re

On thyroid medication you have to avoid these things seaweed seaweed is loaded with iodine there’s been reports for many years of people with normal thyroid function snacking on chips made out of seaweed who develop an overactive thyroid so you don’t want to have the seaweed chips if you’re on a thyroid medication and even if you have normal thyroid function

You don’t want to overdo seaweed now another name for seaweed is bladder rack so you want to stay away from bladder rack you’ll be getting too much iodine and you don’t want to take kelp because that’s also iodine but here’s the thing part of your thyroid is still working so it still needs to be nourished so you do want to get some iodine so we’ll address that

In a minute so if you’re on a thyroid medication you really want to avoid the next two herbs ashwagandha root everybody’s going crazy today with ashwagandha ashwagandha increases thyroid function if you’re on thyroid medication that could be potentially dangerous but also coleus forskoli that’s another herb that affects the thyroid so if you’re on thyroid medication

You don’t want to have seaweed you don’t want to have coleus force coli you don’t want to have ashwagandha root and you don’t want to have a lot of iodine you also don’t want to take your thyroid with food or with other supplements you want to take it at least two hours before now we all still need some iodine even if we’re on a thyroid medication see i always

Tell people think of the thyroid as an apple pie with different slices and people with an under functioning thyroid they still have some of that pie they still have some slices they’re just missing some slices so they give you the amount of thyroid appropriate to make out for the percentage of thyroid functioning you’re lacking so they’re not replacing your entire

Thyroid hormone release you’re still releasing some thyroid hormone unless you’ve had your thyroid surgically removed or destroyed by radioactive iodine so you still need some iodine but get it from your multivitamin typically they give enough iodine for people that it won’t interact with their thyroid medication and let me give you another tip if there if you’re

Put on level thyroxine and it’s making your heart race tell the doctor because they should lower the dosage but take a supplement called l-carnitine everybody thinks l-carnitine increases energy it’s a lot more complex than that l-carnitine is an energy regulator so if you’re fatigued it brings up your energy but if you’re hyperactive or your metabolism is racing

It brings down your energy so if you took too much levothyroxine and your heart’s racing and you feel all nervous and well and this becomes a problem you might want to try some l-carnitine now even though you’re on thyroid medication the remaining part of your still functioning thyroid needs to be nourished so you do need some iodine about 150 micrograms a day

Is plenty you still need selenium selenium converts t4 to t3 so if you’re taking synthroid levothyroxine it’s t4 you need to be able to convert it to t3 for it to function the body requires selenium to accomplish that but the body also requires zinc and vitamin a to accomplish that so a lot of these things could be found in a multivitamin the iodine the selenium

To zinc to vitamin a so t4 is not very active that’s the synthroid the levothyroxine prescription you have to change that into t3 for it to work it’s much more active you require selenium zinc and vitamin a to achieve that you also should use some vitamin d because vitamin d helps prevent your thyroid from becoming further inflamed you need some iron iron blocks

Reverse t3 reverse t3 if the doctor looks in your blood your thyroid hormone levels might be normal but if you have a lot of reverse t3 it’s blocking the thyroid hormones from working so if you have sufficient iron in your blood it blocks reverse t3 and it allows your thyroid hormones to work you need protein to get tyrosine to make thyroid hormone that’s how

It works it’s attached to iodine so t4 which is levothyroxine which is synthroid is a chain of four molecules of iodine attached to tyrosine for it to become active it has to become t3 which is a chain of three molecules of iodine attached to tyrosine so you need to eat some protein to get the tyrosine you also need b vitamins there’s eight b vitamins because you

Need them to utilize the energy that the thyroid hormone is going to release properly so i hope i’ve been some help here nutrition is important for your thyroid even if you’re on thyroid hormone because there is some uh thyroid function remaining and that has to be nourished i want to thank you for listening to today’s episode you can find all of our episodes

For free wherever you listen or just visit forward slash podcast please subscribe and leave us a review you can also follow us on facebook twitter and instagram at invite health i hope to see you next time on another episode of the invite health podcast and thank you so much for listening jerry hickey signing off you

Transcribed from video
Levothyroxine, a Thyroid Drug, and Its Interactions with Nutrition By InVite Health