The Optimal Ways to Take Thyroid Hormone
(such as Armour, and it's generics)
Many of us have found that by taking our meds sublingualy we get better absorption and having fewer problems with binding. Sublingual means to put the tablet under your tongue where the medication is allowed to enter the blood stream directly. Just tuck it under your tongue, in back, and forget about it. It can take up to one hour to dissolve. As it dissolves, it is entering your blood via millions of tiny capillaries that are under the tongue, bypassing the stomach's acids and any problems that my be involved with the intestinal tract. Many of us that are hypo have problems with digestion and absorption. This is the same method used by heart patients when they have to take their nitroglycerin.
Many folks have found that by breaking their dose into two or more a day, which more closely imitates what the thyroid gland would naturally do, that they feel much better, with less likelihood of having afternoon fatigue. Often they choose to take the first dose in the morning and the second in the early afternoon. The levels of T3 peak at about 2 hours after taking it and is 95% used up in four hours so it's best to experiment a little and find the right dosing schedule for you. I, ThyroGeek, find that dosing every four hours works best for me.
There are OTC supplements you can take to help the conversion of T4 to T3 and/or absorption. They include Selenium, L-Tyrosine and Vitamin C. It takes a bit of research and to find out how to best take your supplements. Some are best taken in the morning, some in the evening, some with food and some on an empty stomach. Some have to be taken separately from others. Knowledge is the key to determining the best supplements and dosing for YOUR body.
Which ever medication you choose to use. Brand name or Generic, Natural or Synthetic stay consistent with your meds. Check your meds before leaving the pharmacy to be sure that they are the correct brand, type and dosage.
For those that find that sublingual administration of the meds is not for them and choose to swallow them instead. It is best to take them on an empty stomach and at least 3 to 4 hours from taking iron, calcium or progesterone or estrogen. These all tend to bind with thyroid hormone making it unavailable for the body to use.
(such as Synthroid, Levoxyl and others)
- There are many brands of synthetic thyroid hormones. The most common brands are Synthroid and Levoxyl for T4 and Cytomel for T3. Neither of us are fans of synthetics, me especially. I'd been on synthetic T4 for over a decade. Each year that went by I felt worse and worse. That said, it's still only fair to include them in our little intro of medications. We're not here to tell you what to do, we're here to introduce you to thyroid care and give you a start in the direction of research that you want to pursue.
- Synthetics are most often taken just once per day for the T4 only meds, most often in the morning. They are best taken on an empty stomach, sublingual dosing doesn't help in how the synthetics are absorbed.
- You do have to keep in mind that when taking these you have to be aware of when and how to take your other supplements, specifically Calcium and Iron, as both will bind with the thyroid hormone making it unusable by your body. We'll cover that more when we go into supplements.
- Cytomel, the most popular synthetic T3 is often taken several times a day to maintain more even levels of Free T3 in the blood stream. Some folks choose to take a timed release version to make it simpler.