Levothyroxine Alternatives: What Can I Take Instead Of Levothyroxine
Levothyroxine is a generic thyroid hormone medication used to treat an underactive thyroid . It is also approved for thyroid-stimulating hormone suppression, which aids in treating certain types of goiters and thyroid cancer. Levothyroxine can be used along with surgery and radioiodine therapy to manage thyrotropin-dependent thyroid cancer. While levothyroxine is a commonly prescribed thyroid hormone medication, some people prefer to use an alternative thyroid medication.
You may have an allergy to the ingredients in levothyroxine or you may find that levothyroxine is just not working for you. If you and your healthcare provider have decided levothyroxine is not right for you, you may be recommended a levothyroxine alternative, such as Armour Thyroid. You should not use an alternative medication without consulting your healthcare provider first.
Continue reading to learn more about levothyroxine alternatives, their possible side effects, and other important information.
Side Effects Of Thyroid Medication
The most common side effect of taking levothyroxine is hair loss during the first few months, which is usually temporary.
Other potential thyroid medication side effects are less common, but in most cases they’re caused by excessive doses of thyroid hormone. You should contact your doctor if you experience any of the following:
For about one in seven of the 10-12 million Americans with an underactive thyroid gland, conventional treatment with the synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine just isnt enough.¹ Sometimes, the cause is simple and easy to fixyou may need a dose adjustment, a change in when you take your thyroid medication or in where you store it, for example. For others, the reasons are more mysterious and controversial. For instance, some experts say some people with hypothyroidism may benefit from adding a second thyroid hormone called T3.
If you continue to feel sick, tired, depressed or have symptoms like stubborn weight gain, dont reach for an over-the-counter thyroid booster . Its worth talking with your doctor about the best solution for you. Here are six thyroid medication mistakes that you might be making:
Going Beyond Medication: Treating The Root Cause Of Thyroid Disease
Finding the right thyroid medication that works for you is very important and will certainly go a long way in helping you feel better, but remember that managing your thyroid levels through medication is only part of the process. The real work comes in identifying the underlying factors that caused your thyroid disease and making healthy lifestyle changes to remove them.
If youre ready to tackle the underlying health issues that triggered your thyroid disease, this series is an excellent place to start, and I highly recommend reading all eight articles . For even more information about how you can use The Myers Way® Four Pillars of Health to prevent, control, and reverse disease, you can read my book, The Thyroid Connection.
Remember that achieving optimal health is a journey, and each persons path is unique. This is particularly true for thyroid disease, which can involve many different interconnected factors. Whether youre just starting out or youre well on your way, know that there are resources and support available, and with enough knowledge and commitment, you can find the solution that works for you.
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Natural Desiccated Thyroid Medications Like Armour
These medications, called NDT, come from the dried thyroid glands of pigs and are natural, as opposed to synthetic, and include Nature Throid, WP Thyroid, and Armour®.
They provide all four types of thyroid hormones, including T4 and T3, so they are the most similar to your bodys natural thyroid function.
Because of this, many patients feel the best and see the greatest improvement in symptoms and labwork when taking these types of thyroid medications.
Some conventional doctors are reluctant to prescribe NDT medications, claiming the levels of thyroid hormones in them is inconsistent. This was actually true several decades ago, but regulations were put in place in the 80s that made hormone levels just as precise in NDT as they are in synthetic drugs.
Meanwhile, some integrative practitioners claim that NDT medications can worsen Hashimotos because they contain thyroglobulin, which is one of the substances attacked by your immune system if you have Hashimotos.
Most practitioners agree that this is incredibly rare and that as long as youre carefully monitoring antibody levels, NDT medications are completely safe to try.
UPDATE: Recently more rumors about NDT medications have surfaced, so I went directly to the suppliers to investigate the claims. Heres what I found out.
When Your Thyroid Medication Isnt Working
Health Tips / When Your Thyroid Medication Isnt Working
Two thyroid facts worth knowing:
Youve shown up for your usual ten minute, quick glance billed to your insurer as an in-depth primary care office visit. Youre allowed to talk about one problem only, and so you present the symptoms of hypothyroidism every doctor and nurse practitioner should be able to recite in their sleep. She listens, sometimes attentively, and orders the insurance approved blood test, a TSH .
Be aware this is not measuring anything produced by your thyroid but rather a second hormone from a different gland a few inches away, the pituitary gland. Its an indirect measurement, sort of like determining how fast your car is moving by looking at your fuel gauge rather than at the speedometer.
Does the TSH give you an accurate picture of your thyroid status? Sometimes, sometimes not. But if the lab reports your TSH as between 1.0 and 5.0, youre told your thyroid is normal, and that, as they say, is that. Oh, by the way, a high TSH means your pituitary is encouraging your thyroid to make more hormone. High TSH = under-active thyroid .
So, if your TSH is between 1.0 and 5.0, youre sent on your merry way, tired, cold, sluggish and depressed, thinking I thought it was my thyroid.
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Is Np Thyroid Fda Approved
FDA-approved levothyroxine is available from several manufacturers. The second type of therapy is made from dried ground thyroid glands from pigs. This is called desiccated thyroid extract , which is sold in the United States as Armour Thyroid, NP Thyroid, Nature-Throid, and Natural Thyroid, among other names.
The Main Points For Exercise
Here are some of the main points that you should consider and take with you:
- Intense exercise is not encouraged with uncontrolled thyroid disease.
- After thyroid disease is managed, if wanting to burn fat and lose weight, gently increase the duration and frequency of exercise in 10% increments per week.
- To follow normal body rhythm, keep higher intensity workouts for earlier in the day and light intensity exercise for the evenings.
- Create a schedule and stick to it.
- Variety is key to exercise, add different types of exercise to keep your body guessing and also to optimize the safety and effectiveness of the exercise.
Read Also: How To Treatment Thyroid Gland
What Are Typical Dosages Of These Treatments
The amount of medication which your health care provider will prescribe will vary between the different types of medication, your thyroid hormone levels, weight, gender, age, and the strength of the medication. Always follow the instructions from your health care provider on the prescription label, because the dosage is tailored for your unique needs. Thyroid hormone levels in the blood will be monitored by your health care provider to determine if your dosage is working or needs adjusting.Levothyroxine is started at a single daily dose which is then adjusted upward in increments every four to six weeks until the treatment goal is reached. People older than 50 and/or who have cardiovascular disease typically adjust incrementally every six to eight weeks.
Understanding Synthetic Versus Natural Thyroid Medications
What is the difference between synthetic versus natural thyroid medications? Natural Thyroid formulations such as Nature-Throid, Armour, and WP Thyroid are derived from desiccated porcine thyroid glands which contain not only T4 like in synthetics but also T3. Natural thyroid from desiccated thyroid have been used to treat thyroid problems for more than 100 years as reported in medical journals and books. Natural thyroid formulations also target T2, T1 and Calcitonin which can be beneficial. Synthetic thyroid medications such as Synthroid and Levothyroxine contain Thyroxine , which is the identical hormone produced by the thyroid gland.
In our practice most patients feel much better, with more energy, and relief of symptoms when switching from synthetic to a natural thyroid. In addition, natural thyroid seems to address other medical problems by improving immune system, aiding in in depression, lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, and stabilizing cortisol levels.
Some people have concerns with the stability of natural thyroid formulations. Therefore to ensure that natural thyroid formulations are consistent analytical tests are performed on the raw material and on the actual tablets to measure actual T4 and T3 activity.
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So What Medication Works Best
Regardless of what thyroid medication has worked best for you, it is abundantly clear that there is no one-size-fits-all thyroid therapy. In a study conducted at the department of clinical molecular endocrinology and oncology from the University of Naples, Italy, authors conclude that innovative formulations of the thyroid hormones will be required to mimic a more perfect thyroid hormone replacement therapy than is currently available. This means that the research reporting on which drug is superior in replacing thyroid hormone, must continue, and in my opinion, should not be reported by pharmaceutical companies with an agenda to sell their own drug.
An important takeaway from todays post is not only that every thyroid patient will require a different approach to treatment, but also that thyroid medication is simply a replacement of hormones. It is not a cure, it is not a magic pill, and without lifestyle changes backed by empirical evidence, like diet, it is unlikely that thyroid medication, on its own, will give you an optimal life. This is another reason why polls, and studies could be inaccurate. Those with ultra processed diets, high-stress lifestyles and other chronic conditions could potentially have less success with treatments than those on whole-food diets, reduced-stress lifestyles and an overall healthy mind and body.
Everything that has happened in your life has led you here.
Thank you for reading,
/7is High Hdl Always Good
HDL helps in the transport of cholesterol from the blood and blood vessel walls to the liver and throws it out of the body, and reduces the risk of clogged arteries and atherosclerosis.
While we all see HDL as good cholesterol, studies have found that extremely high levels of cholesterol can be harmful for some people.
High HDL is linked to thyroid diseases, and inflammatory diseases.
The desirable level of HDL is 60 mg/dL. HDL levels lower than 40 mg/dL are considered risks. Hence, this good cholesterol is good only till a certain limit.
As per a 2018 research study, participants with HDL cholesterol levels greater than 60 mg/dl had a nearly 50% increased risk of dying from a cardiovascular cause or having a heart attack compared to those with HDL cholesterol levels 41-60 mg/dl.
The level of HDL is determined by genetic factors. Alcohol intake is also known to increase HDL level just like certain medications which are administered to lower LDL can actually elevate HDL in the body.
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/7how To Control High Cholesterol
In India specifically there is a typical pattern where the triglyceride tends to rise and the good cholesterol gets lowered, says Dr Shukla and explains that there are only 2 ways to push the good cholesterol up: one is by doing regular exercise on a daily basis and the other is making sure that you are consuming right kind of cooking oil which has more of monounsaturated fatty acids like the healthier cooking which are olive oil, mustard oil.
Which Thyroid Condition Causes Weight Gain Hypothyroidism Or Hyperthyroidism
Hypothyroidism is often associated with weight gain. In severe cases, fluid can accumulate beneath the skin , which can contribute to weight gain. More commonly, with persistently abnormal TSH levels, the bodys metabolic rate can slow down, making calorie excess more likely and energy use less efficient, therefore leading to weight gain. In contrast, people with hyperthyroidism typically lose weight even though they have an increased appetite and caloric intake, although this is not a hard and fast rule.
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Tirosint Levothyroxine Gel Caps
Description: Tirosint is a newer thyroid medication that is a hypo-allergenic version of levothyroxine. I recently wrote an entire article focused on Tirosint. In my survey, 26 percent of respondents said they felt better taking Tirosint. Out of those that switched to Tirosint gel caps , 68 percent saw an improvement in their labs, 62 percent saw an improvement in energy levels, 32 percent an improvement in hair loss, and 50 percent saw an improvement in mood.
Because of how quickly and consistently Tirosint is absorbed, it has also been found to be a better option for people who have certain gastrointestinal challenges , who are taking antacids/acid blockers/PPIs, or who are otherwise experiencing low stomach acid.
Dose: Tirosint gel caps are available in 12 different dosage strengths, ranging from a 13 mcg dose to a 200 mcg dose. Because this medication is more readily absorbed than other forms of levothyroxine, some people may find that they require a smaller dosage of Tirosint to keep thyroid hormones within optimal range.
Just like with all T4 medications, the effectiveness of Tirosint may be impacted if a given individual is experiencing poor T4/T3 conversion. Here are some additional things to consider:
Reverse Chronic Illnesses So You Can Take Back Your Health
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Synthetic Combination Therapy T3/t4
To be honest with you, I have no idea why this option is not used more often in conventional medicine. It is incredibly clear that T4-only medication is not the superior choice, and though I understand its the easiest to regulate and monitor, if a patient feels hypothyroid even with adequate T4 treatment, it is not enough and a doctor is not doing his/her job until they find you that happy medium .
I am all about the least amount of medical intervention while maintaining a therapeutic dose. So if T4-only therapy works for a hypothyroid patient, that is fantastic news. It is extremely important for physicians to realize that this does not happen often, though. Available clinical evidence reveals that levothyroxine on its own does not represent a universally adequate replacement for thyroid function according to the NIH. T4/T3 therapy closely mimics a more accurate representation of what a normal, functioning thyroid produces.
Looking Beyond Medication To A Root Cause Approach
No matter which thyroid medication works best for you and how well it manages your symptoms, make sure youre remembering to look at the bigger picture.
If youre not looking at what caused your thyroid dysfunction to begin with, or making any diet and lifestyle changes to address it, then its only a matter of time before you need even more medication or you develop another problem.
On the other hand, if you identify your root causes with a functional medicine approach and the right testing, and you overcome them, you can typically decrease your thyroid meds or even come off of them altogether.
In fact, many of our patients will see a significant reduction in thyroid antibodies, leading to an improvement in thyroid function after completing our Adaptation Program.
This process can involve optimizing nutrition, working on stress relief, detoxing toxins, and treating infections, and it takes hard work and commitment.
However, the freedom and exhilaration they feel when their symptoms have disappeared, their energy has returned, and theyre medication-free is always worth it.
If youre ready to get to the root of your own thyroid dysfunction with an approach that goes far beyond medications to get results that last, wed love to work with you.
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Foods To Avoid While Taking Levothyroxine
People with hypothyroidism are commonly prescribed the synthetic hormone levothyroxine. There are several foods and drinks that can lower the effectiveness of the drug, although any unfavorable interactions can generally be avoided by timing and method of intake.
Some evidence shows a decrease in absorption of levothyroxine when taken with foods containing calcium, fiber and iron. If taking calcium, iron, or fiber supplements, do so at least four hours after taking levothyroxine, to avoid poor absorption.
It is generally recommended to take levothyroxine tablets on an empty stomach and 30 to 60 minutes before or after drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages.
The interaction with food or drinks can also be lessened by taking the gel or liquid form of levothyroxine instead of in a tablet.