Probiotics For Thyroid Health
Your body is a home to many types of bacteria. The word bacteria is associated with danger, disease, virus, and other negative things, but it doesnt have to be like that.
You see, we can divide bacteria in the body into two groups: good and bad.
Balance of both of them is vital for strong immune system and optimal health.
Probiotics belong to the first group, good ones, and they are thought to be extremely beneficial for our overall wellbeing.
But, can they help thyroid problems, such as Hashimotos?
Taking Your Medication For Hypothyroidism
Thyroid replacement therapylevothyroxine, T4/T3 combination therapy, or a natural desiccated thyroid drugworks best when it is taken consistently and at the same time every day. It’s also important to note that there are a number of foods, medications, supplements, and medical conditions that may decrease the chance that your body will receive the full dose.
Medical Conditions That Affect Absorption
There are a number of medical conditions that may affect the absorption of thyroid medications, and, hence, the effectiveness of a particular dose. Some of these include:
- Lactose intolerance
- Pancreatic diseases
- Liver disease
Gene differences may also result in decreased effectiveness in some people, such as those who have polymorphisms in iodothyronine deiodinase 2.
For people with health conditions that affect digestion such as inflammatory bowel disease , or celiac disease, the Tirosint brand of levothyroxine with fewer ingredients that may be better tolerated. In addition, the liquid or gel cap form of levothyroxine may be better absorbed than levothyroxine pills.
If you have any of these conditions, it will be important to have your thyroid tested regularly.
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Biotin Supplements And Thyroid Medication
Biotin is a common supplement taken to support healthy hair, skin, and nails. Also called vitamin B7, most over-the-counter supplements contain high doses from 5,000 to 100,000 micrograms. However, 30 micrograms is considered adequate.
Luckily, biotin is water-soluble, so the likelihood of overdosing is extremely low. You would need a sustained 200,000 micrograms to produce symptoms of toxicity.
The problem with biotin when it comes to your thyroid is that it can interfere with thyroid blood tests. It actually mimics the results of graves disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid.
Double-check with your physician before taking biotin if you are on thyroid medication. And its generally advised that you stop taking all biotin supplements at least two days before your next TSH blood test, to ensure accurate results.
Probiotics And Immunosuppressive Drugs
Although probiotics are fundamentally helpful bacteria or yeasts, they seldom do cause infections for individuals. However, immunocompromised people like HIV patients or patients who are using immunosuppressive drugs are very vulnerable and sensitive to infection. Whether probiotics interact with any medications that suppress the immune system or not.
No clear evidence proved that the interaction between two kinds of the products is positively or negatively. However, a study on patients after surgery and HIV patients in 2015 showed that probiotics were likely to be safe for them because there was not the presence of increasing infection .
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Synthroid For Other Conditions
In addition to the uses listed above, Synthroid may be used off-label for other purposes. Off-label drug use is when a drug thats approved for one use is used for a different one thats not approved. And you may wonder if Synthroid is used for certain other conditions. Below is information on a use for Synthroid thats not appropriate.
Synthroid for hyperthyroidism
You shouldnt use Synthroid to treat hyperthyroidism. With this condition, you have increased levels of thyroid hormones in your body.
Instead, Synthroid is FDA-approved to treat hypothyroidism, which is the opposite of hyperthyroidism. With hypothyroidism, you have low levels of thyroid hormone.
Synthroid is a man-made form of T4. It replaces or adds to your natural thyroid hormones, which helps your body to have the right amount of T4.
Taking Synthroid for hyperthyroidism will increase the amount of thyroid hormone in your body even more than its already increased. This raises your risk of serious side effects, such as tremors, anxiety, and irregular heart rate.
If you have hyperthyroidism, talk with your doctor about appropriate treatment options for your condition.
Gut Inflammation Impacts Thyroid Medication Absorption
ER: Okay, cool. The next question is from Kathleen. Another thyroid question: Can inflammation still interfere with synthetic hormone absorption in a person without a thyroid gland? My thyroid was removed due to thyroid cancer. If so, can you recommend a treatment? Im still experiencing crippling fatigue. Currently on 42.5 total mcg of Cytomel T3 broken up into three doses during the day, and no T4.
DrMR: Okay. First of all, can inflammationIm assuming she means inflammation in the gutinterfere with the absorption of even the synthetic? And yes, absolutely. This is one of the reasons why I think we, in our office, see patients be able to measurably decrease their thyroid medication and see an improvement in all their thyroid symptoms. This is because we improved the health of their gut and the absorption of their thyroid hormone. And that is not a conjecture.
Were starting to see evidence published on certain models of malabsorption like chronic ulcer and chronic H. pylori. Potentially also in short bowel syndrome, although Im not positive. But in people with a condition that leads to malabsorption, studies are now showing that using a liquid gel capsule, Tirosint , leads to much better outcomes. These patients have a poor rate of absorption, which is likely due to H. pylori or ulcer, leading to damage of the gut. So these gel tabs are easier to absorb, are better absorbed, and they lead to better outcomes in the patients.
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Withdrawal Symptoms From Food
Ben: Hi, Dr. Michael. Thank you very much for all the information you gave. My name is Ben from Israel. My question is, is it possible that elimination of food that spikes antibodies in the body can cause withdrawal symptoms like depression and anxiety? Thank you very much.
DrMR: Okay. I believe hes saying, if I get rid of foods Im having an immunogenic response to and that are causing a measurable antibody response, can that lead to withdrawal-type symptoms? Yes. I cant say I see a lot of this, maybe any of this, where you take someone off gluten or dairy and they feel worse. I suppose it is possible. This has been published.
Some people are known to have a gluteomorphic or casomorphic response. As I understand it, it is so painful to the body that it causes you to release some of your own endogenous pain-killing chemicals, like endorphins, a type of endogenous morphine-like compound. So when you take someone off these foods, theyre no longer getting the stimulus that causes the body to release its own pain-suppressing compounds. Therefore, it can lead to a withdrawal reaction. Ive heard about that. Ive never thoroughly checked the science behind it. Ive seen one or two papers that talked about this. One or two papers doesnt mean its clinically meaningful or fairly prevalent, but there is something there.
ER: Okay. Thats certainly interesting.
Are There Any Drugs Or Supplements With Which Probiotics May Be Contraindicated
There are no known contraindications with medical drugs or supplements, however there are some considerations when taking a probiotic supplement with certain medications or supplements:
- If taking a probiotic alongside antibiotics you would need to take these 1-2 hours away from your medication, unless taking a probiotic supplement which are specifically formulated for taking with antibiotics. For more information on this please see our blog on taking probiotics with antibiotics. This may also be a consideration when taking a probiotic alongside other natural supplements which have an anti-microbial action.
- If you are taking anti-fungal medication or natural supplements with anti-fungal properties, then again you would need to take probiotic yeasts at a different time of day.
- If you are taking immunosuppressant medication, then you should speak to your doctor before taking probiotics. See this FAQ for more information: ‘I’m severely immunosuppressed: why can’t I take probiotics?’
Healthcare practitioners may like to visit our Professionals site for further information on the following:
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How To Use Adult Probiotic
Follow all directions on the product package. Refer to the label directions for your specific product to see if the dose should be swallowed whole, chewed, sprinkled onto food or mixed with liquid. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Some probiotic products may contain live bacteria . Antibiotics may prevent these products from working well. Take any product containing live bacteria at least 2 to 3 hours before or after taking antibiotics. Follow the directions for your specific product.
If you are taking this product for diarrhea due to antibiotics, do not use it if you have a high fever or for more than 2 days, unless directed by your doctor. You may have a serious problem that requires medical treatment.
If your condition persists or worsens, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.
Taking Synthroid The Right Way
In order for Synthroid to be effective, it should always be taken the same way every day. This is important because the amount of medicine you need is very precise. And even the way you take Synthroid can affect how much medicine your body is getting. It’s important to always take your medication exactly as your doctor prescribed.
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What Can You Do To Avoid Interactions With Levothyroxine
For optimal results, take levothyroxine on an empty stomach first thing in the morning, at least 30 to 60 minutes before breakfast. The goal is to be consistent from day to day so that you can avoid ups and downs in your thyroid levels over time. The same consistency is important if you want to take the levothyroxine at night take it three hours after your last meal and avoid taking it along with other medicines .
Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist about any other interaction concerns.
Calcium Supplements And Thyroid Medication
Not everyone realizes this, but there are a few different types of calcium compounds. However, so far, only two types are used in supplements: calcium carbonate, which contains40% calcium, and calcium citrate, which has 21% calcium.
Both types of calcium have a similar impact on how the body absorbs thyroid medication. One particular study showed that calcium supplements could interfere with your bodys ability toabsorb thyroid hormone replacement medications such as levothyroxine and other thyroid extract supplements. The interference tends to occur when you take both of them at the same time.
Fortunately, this absorption issue can be avoided by taking a few steps:
- Taking your thyroid medication on an empty stomach to allow your body to absorb it properly
- Taking it shortly after your wake up, at least an hour before you eat breakfast or have your cup of coffee
- Waiting at least four hours before consuming a calcium supplement
Pro tip: if you plan to take your thyroid medication at night, be sure to do so at least four hours after taking your calcium supplement so the two dont interfere with each other.
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What If I Miss A Dose
If you forget to take a dose of Synthroid, your thyroid hormone levels may decrease. And this may lead to certain side effects.
Because of this, its important that you remember to take your dose of the drug at the same time each day. In fact, its specifically recommended that you take Synthroid doses every morning.
If you forget to take a dose of Synthroid, call your doctors office. They or their medical staff will be able to recommend the best time for you to take your next dose of the drug.
To help make sure that you dont miss a dose, try setting a reminder on your phone. A medication timer may be useful, too.
Scheduling Timing For Multiple Medications To Avoid Interactions
Another point in planning for bedtime dosing of your levothyroxine is other medications. Ideally, levothyroxine should be the only medication taken at bedtime. Just as with morning dosing, it is best to avoid co-administration with other medications such as statins, blood pressure drugs, and metformin.
If you must take other medications that must be taken in the evening, consider adjusting the timing of these medications so you take them with dinner, leaving four hours afterward so you can take the levothyroxine at bedtime.
Close monitoring of your thyroid levels and any symptoms you notice will help assure that your thyroid labs remain within acceptable reference ranges.
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Bacterial Overgrowth In Hypothyroidism
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is the presence of excessive bacteria in the small intestine and it is frequently associated with malabsorption and diarrhea.
Patil A. reports that SIBO is present in more than a half of patients with hypothyroidism although hypothyroid patients are more likely to have constipation than diarrhea.
Gastrointestinal hypomotility associated with hypothyroidism tends to promote bacterial overgrowth and leads to chronic GI symptoms. Unfortunately, these symptoms are usually ignored in hypothyroid patients due to systematic signs and symptoms involving cardiovascular, neuromuscular, and other systems.
Since hypothyroid patients experience disturbed GI motility they are also prone to SIBO and it is important for patients to consult their doctors about it.
A growing body of evidence confirms that probiotics are effective in the management of SIBO. Khalighi et al carried out a study of 30 people and discovered that adding lactol probiotic to the maintenance therapy of SIBO patients is beneficial for prevention of complications associated with this condition.
What Does Levothyroxine Interact With
Interactions can lead to problems in two main ways. Some interactions with medicines or supplements increase the concentration of levothyroxine in your body, leading to an increased risk of side effects.
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Alternatively, certain drugs, foods, or dietary supplements can get in the way of how your body absorbs and uses levothyroxinethis decreases the hormone therapys effectiveness and leaves you feeling the symptoms of low thyroid hormone levels. Much of the interference occurs in your upper intestine, where 40% to 80% of levothyroxine is absorbed . Taking it with other medications may require your provider to adjust your dose of levothyroxine.
Levothyroxine can also make other medications not work as well or increase their risk of adverse events. Your best option is to seek the medical advice of your healthcare provider or pharmacist to help navigate the drug information and potential interactions. Make them aware of any changes in your medications, diet, supplements, and medical diagnoses.
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What Medical Conditions May Be Contraindicated With Probiotics
Probiotics are not recommended for those with serious medical conditions eg. those who are severely immunosuppressed, have pancreatitis, are in the ICU, have melaena , have a central venous catheter, infants with short bowel syndrome, or to patients with open wounds following major surgery unless under a doctor’s care. Furthermore, pregnant or breastfeeding women should also consult their doctor before taking certain live cultures.
However, these medical circumstances have only been highlighted as there is limited research on how probiotics react with them. It is therefore recommended that probiotic supplements are not taken in these circumstances unless with the advice of a doctor. We also suggest you contact providers directly for guidance on their individual products.
Plus How To Get The Absolute Most Out Of Your Thyroid Meds
The time of day you take your thyroid meds, and how you store them, can make or break your thyroid disease management.
Levothyroxine is the name of all synthetic forms of the thyroid hormone T4. This manufactured hormone mimics the natural hormone produced by your thyroid and is prescribed as the primary treatment for hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid.
Levothyroxine dosage is highly individualized, and your dosage may change as you and your doctor work to find what works best for you. See our levothyroxine dosage chart below to get an idea of where your treatment might begin and when to expect your doctor to check for adjustments. Starting dosages are often calculated based on your weight, but because in some cases your thyroid still makes its own T4, some doctors will start you with a lower dosage to avoid over-treatment symptoms that mimic hyperthyroidism . They also may start you on a lower dose if your body might need extra time to adjust to the effects of hormone replacement. Your doctor will then check your thyroid stimulating hormone levels over the first few months to see if your dosage needs any adjustment. Hormone replacement therapy is usually a lifelong treatment, so you should get your TSH levels checked every year to ensure youre still taking the right dose.
Infographic by Lauren Hunter
You can find more information about levothyroxine, including dosage, here.
- Increased sweating
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Why Do We Need To Consume Probiotics
Most bacteria in probiotics do have similar characteristics to the beneficial microorganisms in our system. Therefore, they bring a lot of positive impact on our general health. In some cases, probiotics might interact with any types of medications in the specific ways to provide your body the best effectiveness. Lets see some following noticeable effects of probiotics.
Interaction Between Levothyroxine And Probiotics In Hypothyroid Patients
|The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.|
|First Posted : March 30, 2017Last Update Posted : March 30, 2017|
- Study Details
|Other: a mixture of highly charged Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria Drug: levothyroxin||Not Applicable|
All patients underwent five visits in which anthropometrical evaluation and hormonal function assessment were performed. A blood sample was taken in the morning at each visit, on empty stomach and before LT4 ingestion. In occurrence of hormonal alteration, LT4 daily dose was adjusted according to clinical guidelines. At baseline, visit 2 and visit 4, patients underwent clinical examination with heart rate and blood pressure evaluation. During each visit, the following data were collected: probiotic assumption, sex, age, hypothyroidism aetiology, LT4 formulation dose and brand, body mass index , body surface area , systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, TSH, fT4, fT3 and any possible LT4 posology adjustment. All the clinical data have been further databased.
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