Are you often feeling fatigued, sluggish or weak even though you are being treated for hypothyroidism? The answer might not be in the dosage of medication you are taking, but in how the medication is being taken.
Taking your thyroid medication properly is very important. Thyroid hormone, when taken orally, helps replenish the body's systems that were impaired by a lack of the hormone. When your doctor prescribes medication to assist your underactive thyroid, make sure to keep these tips in mind to ensure success with your medication:
Take your thyroid hormone once each day on an empty stomach — one hour prior to a meal or 4 hours after. Take your medication at the same time, every day! Do not take your thyroid medication with any other medications, since thyroid medication is best absorbed alone. Drink a full glass of water with your medication, unless specifically directed otherwise.
Brand name vs. generic: Does it matter?
Keep in mind that it is important to be consistent with the medication you are taking if you want successful results. Generic and brand-name thyroid hormone work equally as well. But, your insurance or pharmacy may change the type of generic you are taking often and without your notice. This can cause a disruption in the treatment of your hypothyroidism. To ensure a constant and more successful treatment for your hypothyroidism, we recommend a prescription for brand-name hormone.
Brand names for thyroid hormone include:
Synthroid Levoxyl Tirosint Cytomel
Generic examples include:
Levothyroxine Liothyronine Liotrix
Did you know your thyroid gland is the largest gland in your neck? It is shaped like a butterfly and wraps around the trachea.
Your thyroid gland's sole purpose to make hormones that regulate the body's metabolism. If your thyroid makes too little hormone, it is refered to as hypothyroidism. Treatment usually is straightforward. That's why it is important to be consistent with the form of medication you take.
Signs of hypothyroidism (or improper medication) also include increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, pale dry skin, a puffy face, unexplained weight gain, brittle fingernails and hair, depression and muscle aches.
Risk factors for hypothyroidism include being a woman 50 years or older, having an autoimmune disease, being a close relative to someone with an autoimmune disease, having radiation to your neck or upper chest and having had thyroid surgery.
If you have any questions regarding your thyroid hormone medication or its instructions, please call Draelos Metabolic Center at (405) 330-2362.