So, you’ve studied the symptoms, you’ve gone to the doctors and been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. It can be a little shocking to any, but once you get your bearings, these are the steps you need to take to find yourself on the route to recovery.
Keep a Diary
Many people keep a medical diary of what symptoms they experience in a day, how often, what brought it on, and what they are doing to improve it. Your diary is going to be a good indicator of how much progress you are making in your recovery.
Hypothyroidism is brought about because the thyroid is producing less of its thyroid hormones. You can alleviate this with medications that provide manufactured hormones such as Cytomel Tabs (Liothyronine or T3). Bear in mind that in the early days after diagnosis, treatment is likely to come in small doses, with the possibility of increasing should the condition persist over several months. Doctors can also start you on a regular dosage of levothyroxine
Watch Your Food Intake
When taking your medication, ideally you want to be doing so with water on an empty stomach. Once you’ve had your tablet, wait for at least 30 minutes before you start eating again.
Coffee is also one to watch out for. It can hinder your intake of T4, so if you’re on a prescription of levothyroxine, it is better to wait until an hour after your last cup of coffee so the intake levels are as high as possible.
When taking your medication, you should stay away from calcium carbonate, and avoid any consumption within four hours of taking your medication.
Iron is also something to be avoided – found in foods like lean beef, oysters, chicken and turkey. Once you’ve taken levothyroxine, give yourself two hours before consuming any iron containing foods.
Levothyroxine contains lactose, which can be problematic for patients with lactose intolerance. So make sure you talk to your doctors about the right medication and dosage for you.
Balancing Other Drugs
There are some drugs that hinder levothyroxine’s absorption rate such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), raloxifene (Evista) and Orlistat/Alli (Xenical). If you still need to take these drugs, consider how much you need them and take them separately from levothyroxine.
Set a Fixed (Night) Time
Your body benefits from a consistent schedule. So, when taking your medication, be sure to do so at the same time to get a proper sense of whether the dosage is working. Some patients have found the best time to take levothyroxine is just before bed.
Levothyroxine can take over a week to fully enter the body’s cells, and even then, there will be no immediate signs of improvement. There are signs of improving after a fortnight, but this is an infrequent case and can take several weeks, and even then, the improvement will be minimal. If your condition is progressive and has been troubling you for some time, then you could be looking at a good few months before making a full recovery.
Hypothyroidism is an unpleasant condition, but hopefully you feel more equipped to tackle it head on with the means for an eventual recovery.