The first step in your journey to feeling better is to talk with your doctor. It is important that you accurately describe your symptoms and provide complete detail about your other medical conditions, other medications or supplements that you take, (both prescription and non-prescription) and your diet. Many patients don’t tell their doctors about the nutritional supplements that they take, but as you’ll discover, even the most common dietary items problems for your thyroid medication can make your treatment less effective.

The following tools have been created to help you to give your doctor the information that he/she will need to determine the right hypothyroidism treatment for you:5

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  • Excipients, or inactive ingredients found in levothyroxine tablets that may cause irritation.
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) conditions such as gastrointestinal reflux disorder (GERD), celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease and other disorders and their treatments that can affect how well thyroid medication is absorbed.

Excipients (inactive ingredients) in levothyroxine tablets

Everyone is paying closer attention to the ingredients found in the foods we consume these days, so it only makes sense to do the same with medication. For people with serious food allergies or restrictions, exposure to even small quantities of certain ingredients may cause a serious reaction.5 In a recent survey of nearly 1,000 patients taking levothyroxine to treat their hypothyroidism, 15% of respondents reported allergies to the excipients commonly found in levothyroxine tablets.6

For people with food allergies and ingredient sensitivities, Tirosint capsules can offer effective relief of hypothyroidism without wheat starch (gluten), lactose, food dyes, and sugars used to make traditional levothyroxine tablets—Tirosint gel caps contain only 4 simple ingredients.8 Tirosint gel caps are produced in a dedicated facility, where no other products are made, eliminating the risk of cross contamination from ingredients that may be used to make other medications.7

Here is a partial list of excipients sometimes used to manufacture thyroid medications:8

  • Modified wheat starch (gluten)
  • Confectioners’ sugar (contains cornstarch)
  • Lactose monohydrate
  • Dyes

Click here for a list of more excipients commonly used in the making of levothyroxine medications.

Gastrointestinal (GI) conditions

GI conditions and the medications used to treat them can affect the way your body dissolves and absorbs a traditional levothyroxine tablet. Some conditions, such as celiac disease or lactose intolerance, may be aggravated by the excipients commonly found in levothyroxine tablets.4 Certain conditions or their treatments can alter the acid level in your stomach, which may impact how well you are able to absorb levothyroxine from a tablet. Under laboratory conditions, the effectiveness of Tirosint has been proven to be unaffected by changes in gastric acid level, unlike levothyroxine tablets.9

Many patients with GI conditions take a medication called a protein pump inhibitor (PPI).5 Brand name PPI medications include Prilosec, Protonix and Nexium*. A recent study has shown that taking a PPI can have a significant effect on the absorption of levothyroxine tablets. Tirosint  was shown to be less affected by the presence of a PPI.7,10

Make sure to tell your doctor if you have any of the above GI conditions or if you take medications like PPIs.5 If you and your physician determine that you are experiencing tolerability or malabsorption problems that stem from your current thyroid medication, it may be the result of taking GI medication that can interfere with your treatment. Perhaps it’s time to try Tirosint?

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Click here for a list of commonly used medicines and dietary supplements that can affect levothyroxine therapy.

Click here for references