In the United States, over 27 million people suffer from thyroid disease and women are seven times more likely to become affected then men. Experts believe that approximately 60% of us aren't even aware that we have thyroid issues.
The thyroid is small but has a big impact on health. The butterfly-shaped gland is the largest endocrine gland in the body and plays a major role in metabolism and the development of the human body.
When your thyroid is out of whack, your life can spin out of control. That's why thyroid medication is one of the most widely prescribed drugs in America, with about 102 million prescriptions filled for Synthroid and its generic equivalent levothyroxine, according to Drug Report.
But experts say that if you find your thyroid medication isn't working well, there are six common scenarios that could explain why, according to GoodRx.
- You switched from Synthroid to levothyroxine. According to Dr. Sharon Orrange, M.D., an associate professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of South Carolina, there may subtle differences in how your body absorbs medication. The American Thyroid Association says you should stick to brand-name Synthroid if that's what your doctor prescribed.
- Your weight has changed. If you lost of even gained weight during the pandemic lockdown, you may have to adjust the dosage of your medication, says the expert. The average daily dose for a 150-pound adult is 112 micrograms.
- You took it with food. It's best to take thyroid medication first thing in the morning, according to Aurora Health Care. Thyroid medications can interact with other drugs, so always take them on an empty stomach with no other medications.
- You took it with supplements. Dr. Orrange says that iron and calcium supplements interfere with how your body absorbs thyroid medication, so take them at least an hour apart.
- You eat lots of fiber. While consuming fiber is a good thing, experts say that if you have recently changed your diet and are eating more vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, and nuts, this can interfere with the absorption of your thyroid medication.
- You drink coffee. Many people can't leave the house without their morning cup of Joe. But according to Verywell Health, if you drink coffee within an hour before or after your take your thyroid drug, it can affect absorption by up to 30%.
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