Taking the right medicine can do wonders to your thyroid gland. On the other hand, there is no one-size-fits-all medicine for all patients. Some patients who suffer from hypothyroidism take thyroid medication that would compensate for the lack of hormones an underactive thyroid gland cannot provide. Others manage the symptoms well with medicine made from natural-based ingredients or a combination of natural and synthetically-produced hormones.
Thyroid Medication That Works For You
1. Conventional Thyroid Medication
Often, doctors prescribe hypothyroid patients levothyroxine or thyroid medication with a synthetic thyroxine or T4 hormone. T4 is one of the two essential hormones needed by the body to convert oxygen and calories into much-needed energy. This means T4 is crucial in a person’s metabolic rate.
— Jenny Noland (@JennyNoland88) July 6, 2016
Patients diagnosed with hypothyroidism are usually on Unithroid, Synthroid, or any generic levothyroxine variants. Some doctors caution patients against taking Synthroid to avoid having allergic reactions to acacia and lactose. A subset take straight triiodothyronine (T3) hormone medication, which can come in the form of brand name Cytomel (synthetic T3) or generic synthetic T3 (liothyronine).
2. Thyroid Medication Plus Physiology
Some patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an automimmune disease that causes inflammation of the thyroid gland, are often prescribed combination medicine. For example, there are patients who require zinc in order for their bodies to properly convert the inactive T4 hormone into T3. Sometimes, doctors also prescribe patients combination medication to help stop patients’ thyroid glands from converting T4 into reverse T3, an inactive hormone that just takes up space in the body.
In order to write up the correct medication, doctors will often look at a patient’s nutrient depletion, previous medication and thyroid treatments, medical history, and lifestyle.
3. Natural Desiccated Thyroid Medication
If doctors were prepared to learn the symptoms of hypothyroid & treat with natural desiccated thyroid instead of thyroxine: problem solved!
— Katrina Woodrow (@kwdigestivehlth) October 11, 2015
Natural desiccated medications are popular with patients who have already tried the conventional and natural remedies. This type of medication is made with animal organ products, specifically pigs and cows. This is because the hormones taken from these animals are biologically closer to human thyroid hormones.
Some doctors do not offer natural desiccated thyroid medication for quality control reasons. However, many patients claim they could manage symptoms better when taking natural desiccated thyroid medication. Popular choices are Nature-Throid, Westhroid, Armour Thyroid, or the generic natural thyroid medication from Acella.
4. Compounded T3 or T4 Medication
Compounded T4/T3 is an alternative for patients who do not wish to take medication with fillers. However, they are not as readily available as their over-the-counter counterparts. While they are not based on natural products, compounded T4/T3 thyroid medication is expensive and can only be prepared by a specially trained compounding pharmacist. This medication also has a short shelf life and requires refrigeration.
Experts say while a special combination of levothyroxine, liothyronine, or natural thyroid medication may work on some people, this type of medication may not work on patients with autoimmune diseases. Pharmacists sometimes whip up a compounded, time-released T3 thyroid medication instead.
5. Hypoallergenic Thyroid Medication
For people with multiple food intolerances, thyroid medication also comes in hypoallergenic variants. Nature-Throid, WP Thyroid, and Tirosint are some of the popular ones that have helped patients with more than one food intolerance.
Watch Dr. Derrick DeSilva in this video as he dispenses tips about taking thyroid medication:
Whether you are starting thyroid treatment or planning to switch medication, consult with your doctor first. There are plenty of options on the market today. The wrong medication might not do anything — but it could also cause additional health problems.
Which thyroid medication you think is best for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.