This post was originally written in 2015. These days I’m much more aware of what I call the “thyroid pause”, the 30-60 minutes that I to am wait after taking the thyroid pill, before I eat breakfast or take other meds. I often wake up, check the time, take thyroid, and go back to sleep. Other times I take the thyroid, run to the bathroom, use inhaled meds, and otherwise start my day while waiting until I can take the other meds and eat breakfast.
I use a TimerCap bottle to confirm how long it’s been since I took the thyroid med.
I started taking levothyroxine this fall, and got the standard spiel from the pharmacist:
- Take first thing in the morning.
- Do not eat anything else for 30 to 60 minutes after, including other oral medication.
- Do not take with calcium or iron supplements for 4 hours after taking levothyroxine.
“You CAN have coffee!” the pharmacist chirped happily. I was happier when she confirmed I could have my inhaled asthma meds.
This has been an adjustment. I was concerned it would bring up the anger-rebellion response I usually have had when dieting for weight loss. As it turns out, it hasn’t. This has probably been helped by the fact that this is about a medication which has been showing direct benefits ever since I started taking it.
It also resulted in me forgetting the rest of my morning pills once or twice. Fortunately the vitamin B12 and D I can miss occasionally, but the SSRI can be dangerous if I stop it abruptly. Having a weekly pillbox helps me to know whether I’ve taken them.
I did take the “no calcium or iron supplements” a bit to the extreme by also skipping dairy and meat for 4 hours, which created the concept of “dairy o’clock” for me. I have gradually relaxed that, but continue to adhere to the much more important “no food or meds for an hour”. I have a Detachable Pill Box which I can use to take my other morning pills with me to work if I need to leave before I can take them.
In the first month I took levothyroxine, I felt that I had more energy. According to my step counter, I walked more. Also important is that my focus improved; I was able to complete tasks at work in less time than before. And according to the scale at the endocrinologist’s office I lost 3lbs.
The endocrinologist seemed extremely pleased by the 3lbs. I tried not to pooh-pooh her parade by pointing out that it’s less than 1% of my weight, but damn, I was much more focused on the “able to get more work done” and “able to walk more” parts of the equation.