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Why You Feel Worse When You Take Thyroid Medication

In the realm of thyroid management, the journey towards finding the right medication can be a labyrinthine process filled with ups and downs. For some individuals, the introduction of thyroid medication, intended to alleviate symptoms and restore balance, can paradoxically lead to feeling worse. This phenomenon has left many questioning: why do I feel worse on thyroid medication? In this exploration, we delve into the intricate role of binders and fillers in thyroid medication and their potential impact on individual responses.

Why Do I feel Worse When I Take My Thyroid Medication?

Thyroid medication is designed to supplement or replace hormone levels in individuals with thyroid disorders, such as hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The two main types of thyroid medication are synthetic thyroxine (T4) and synthetic triiodothyronine (T3), which aim to mimic the hormones produced by the thyroid gland. While these medications have provided relief and improvement for some individuals, many patients experience adverse effects or a worsening of symptoms when they take thyroid medication.

One crucial aspect to consider in thyroid medication formulations is the presence of binders and fillers. Binders are inactive ingredients used to hold a medication together, while fillers are utilized to add bulk or aid in manufacturing processes. Sometime both binders and fillers and your immune systems reaction to them can cause you to feel worse when you take these thyroid medications. These additives are commonly found in thyroid medications to ensure stability, consistency, and proper absorption of the active ingredients. However, for some individuals sensitive to these compounds, binders and fillers may trigger adverse reactions or exacerbate existing symptoms.

The composition of binders and fillers in thyroid medication can vary among different brands and formulations. Common additives include lactose, cellulose, dyes, and various compounds that assist in tablet production and dissolution. While these ingredients are generally considered safe for the majority of users, individuals with sensitivities, allergies, or specific dietary restrictions may experience challenges related to the inert components of their thyroid medication.

In cases where individuals report feeling worse on thyroid medication, a thorough examination of the medication’s ingredients, including binders and fillers, may shed light on potential triggers for adverse reactions. Symptoms such as gastrointestinal distress, skin reactions, headaches, fatigue, or mood changes following thyroid medication use could be indicators of sensitivity to certain additives present in the formulation.

What’s In Your Thyroid Medication?

Studies over the last few years are very clear that thyroid disease can be aggravated by some of the ingredients found within the very medication you just took this morning. Not only has gluten come under the gun, but so has corn, dairy, soy and some of the other colors and additives found in these medications.

Since many of the patients are taking thyroid hormone, I thought the topic of Why you feel worse when you take thyroid medication would be a good topic to discuss a little further and provide some of the reason why takign thryoid medication may be one of the reasons you feel so poorly. As with any medication you may have been prescribed, its important to have this conversation with your prescribing doctor. If you need help getting tested to see if you are having reactions to your medication, contact my office.

The ultimate goal in my office is always first and foremost to restore a person’s thyroid health so that they don’t need to take thyroid hormones. This is not always the case.  So, if this is you, I want you to be aware of these ingredients and how they may be doing more harm than good.

Ingredients in Thyroid medication

There are numerous brands of synthetic thyroid hormone, but I’m going to focus on a few of the more common brands.

Synthroid. This is synthetic T4, and if you visit, it currently states that ” Synthetic T4 is identical to that produced in the human thyroid gland (1).

But right below this the inactive ingredients are listed, which include acacia, confectioner’s sugar (contains corn starch), lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, povidone, and talc. And then below this you’ll see some of the color additives, which include FD&C Yellow No. 6 (in 25 mcg tablets), FD&C Red No. 40 and FD&C Blue No. 2 (in 75mcg strength), etc.

So when you factor in the “inactive ingredients” it becomes quite obvious that taking synthetic T4 isn’t identical to thyroid hormone which is produced by the thyroid gland. And while it’s true that many people seem to do fine when taking synthetic thyroid hormone and don’t react to these ingredients, others feel worse on thyroid medication

When someone experiences an increase in symptoms upon taking thyroid hormone, sometimes this is due to the ingredients. For example, if someone is sensitive to corn, then they very well might react to synthetic thyroid hormone. This is especially the case if someone is sensitive to gluten. Gluten can cross react with Corn and many other grains. I have done several videos on this very topic if you are interested.

  1. Gluten Sensitivity And Yeast Cross Reactivity- Why Yeast Causes Problems
  2. Gluten and Milk Products- Cross Reactivity and Why You Should Avoid
  3. Gluten -Corn Cross Reactivity- Why Going Gluten Free Doesn’t Always Cut It.

Levoxyl. Another brand of synthetic T4. The ingredients include Microcrystalline cellulose,  sodium, magnesium stearate, calcium sulfate dihydrate and sodium bicarbonate, along with color additives depending on the tablet strength (2).

Levothroid. Another brand of synthetic T4. The ingredients include Microcrystalline cellulose, calcium phosphate dibasic, povidone and magnesium stearate, along with color additives depending on the tablet strength (3).

Cytomel (liothyronine sodium). This is a brand of synthetic T3. The inactive ingredients consist of calcium sulfate, gelatin, starch, stearic acid, sucrose and talc (4).

Here are the ingredients of Armour and Nature-Throid, which are two of the most common forms of desiccated thyroid hormone:

Armour. This is a form of natural thyroid hormone that is derived from porcine thyroid glands. It consists of both T3 and T4, and many people do better when taking natural thyroid hormone when compared to synthetic thyroid hormone. However, some people react to the ingredients of Armour. The inactive ingredients include calcium stearate, dextrose, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium starch glycolate and opadry white (5).

Nature-Throid. This is another form of natural thyroid hormone that is derived from porcine thyroid glands, and therefore also consists of both T3 and T4. The inactive ingredients include colloidal silicon dioxide, dicalcium phosphate, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, stearic acid, Opadry II (6).

Gluten In Your Thyroid Hormone Medication? Who Would Have Thought…..

Many people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis attempt to avoid gluten. However, most people don’t consider that their source of thyroid hormone medication might include gluten. Although both Armour and Nature-Throid are gluten free, not all forms of levothyroxine are gluten free.

According to the website, the only two brands of levothyroxine which are guaranteed to be gluten free include Lannett and Mova. Apparently the manufacturers of Synthroid can’t guarantee that this is gluten free. Both Levothroid and Levoxyl are gluten free. Cytomel is also gluten free.

This is very important considering many people who have thyroid disorders are autoimmune and those who are autoimmune usually have non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Watch the video below to learn more on the reasons you feel worse when you take thryoid medication.

Our Personal Thyroid Treatment Program is a great place to start

The Personal Program Thyroid Recovery Program is a Natural Treatment for Thyroid Problems

Our office utilizes nutritional supplements, Dietary modifications, Nutritional Counseling, Advanced Testing, Hormone and endocrine support formula, Dietary assessment, and lifestyle guidance.

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MyPersonal Thyroid Recovery Program Customized to the Individual. NO cookie cutter approaches, no uncomfortanle group meeeting on Google hangout or Facebook .

My Personal Program Thyroid Recovery Program is a Natural Treatment for Low Thyroid function, Hypothyroidism, Hyper thyroidism and Hashimoto’s problems. Our office utilizes nutritional supplements, Dietary modifications, Hormone and endocrine support formula, and lifestyle guidance.

  1. Take my Thryoid Quiz Here
  2. Download me Free Thyroid Ebook Here 
  3. If you results from the quiz indicate a Thyroid issues, Schedule a Free 15 minute Phone Consult to see if my program is right for you.

Each person suffering with Thyroid symptoms problem has a different set of mechanisms or causes. Our office will customize a Thyroid Restoration Program based on your testing and  tailored to your individual needs.

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