Studies show that around 30 million people in the United States have a thyroid disorder and around 80% of those suffer from Hypothyroidism. If you have been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism chances are you’ve been prescribed its most common treatment, Synthroid.
Synthroid is a hormone replacement therapy that attempts to make up for your under-active thyroid. The active ingredient in Synthroid is Levothyroxine, a synthetic form of your body’s natural thyroid hormone, Thyroxine. You may be taking Synthroid with little change in your hypo symptoms. This can be due to many factors, but the first and most simple to deal with is absorption.
Levothyroxine is absorbed in the lower intestine. That’s why you’re told to take Synthroid with a full 8oz glass of water in order to propel the pill all the way down. If you’re not drinking at least an 8oz glass with your Synthroid you’re getting about the same results as if you had taped the pill to your forehead. The hormone is not going to be absorbed into your system and you will see little change in your symptoms. Always drink at least 8oz of water every time you take Synthroid!
Okay, that’s step one. The next factor to check is consumption of calcium and iron. The thyroid hormone will bind to these substances and pass out of your body unabsorbed with them. So make sure your not consuming calcium or iron 2-3 hours before or after taking your Synthroid pill. This includes supplements, milk, and fortified juices. Also, take your pill on an empty stomach and do not eat for at least an hour afterwards.
Even if you’re doing all that right your body may still not be absorbing the hormone correctly. That is due to the complex ecosystem of bacterial organisms that populate your lower intestine where the drug can be absorbed. If that ecosystem is out of whack, and it usually is with the highly processed foods we all consume, your intestinal wall will do a poor job of absorbing the Synthroid into your system. So we must re-balance the bacteria of your digestive tract. How do we do that?
Probiotics are bacteria that impart beneficial effects to their host, in this case our bodies. We need a high number of these to maintain a healthy gut and keep out nasty pathogenic bacteria that harm us. The goal is to consume probiotics regularly, in large number, and with the bacteria in an active state. The best way to do this is drink kefir.
What is kefir? Kefir is a fermented, probiotic rich, milk drink. It is made by adding kefir grains, a living bacteria matrix that looks like cooked cauliflower, to milk and letting it ferment. After the kefir is strained the resulting liquid is a living probiotic wonder drink. Vastly more rich in fresh probiotics than yogurt or probiotic supplements. Drinking kefir daily will give your system the re-balancing it needs to absorb Synthroid correctly.
In addition to that benefit kefir can also help remedy some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism. These include acid reflux, constipation, and gas. When you have a healthy and properly functioning digestive system these symptoms are no longer a problem.
Making sure that Synthroid is absorbed into your system correctly is the first thing to check off to make sure your hypothyroidism is being properly treated.