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Mary Shomon

Attention Thyroid Patients: Coffee Can Interfere With Thyroid Medication Absorption

By September 3, 2008

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Attention thyroid patients: your morning coffee or espresso may be interfering with proper absorption of your thyroid medication. I know, say it isn't so! You're already tired from being hypothyroid -- now they want to take away your coffee?

The findings were reported in an article in the journal Thyroid. What the researchers found is that in addition to some of the more commonly known issues with absorption of thyroid hormone (i.e., calcium, iron, and food taken at the same time as thyroid medication can interfere with absorption), coffee also interferes with the intestinal absorption of levothyroxine.

In the study, patients took their levothyroxine (i.e., Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid, Unithroid), with espresso or coffee, and researchers found that the coffee/espresso reduced the rise of the T4 after taking the medication by at least 25% to as much as 57%.

What Should Thyroid Patients Do?

At this point, the evidence is strong enough to suggest that you should not take your thyroid hormone replacement medication with coffee. Ideally, take your thyroid medication, and wait an hour before you have your coffee.

Read more about the interaction between coffee and thyroid medication, what you need to know, and what you can do to protect your health.

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September 4, 2008 at 12:33 am
(1) Matriarchy says:

I wonder if tea also interferes. I don’t drink coffee, but I often have a cup of hot tea with no milk or sugar while waiting the hour until I can eat breakfast.

September 14, 2011 at 8:35 am
(2) megan says:

According to my dr, tea or any other hot drink will interfere.

September 5, 2008 at 3:29 am
(3) Mely says:

I need my coffee in the morning! Taking the medication at night seems to interfer with the wisdom that it works best on an empty stomach. Your stomach isn’t empty if you’ve been eating all day. I wonder if it’s better to take at night or in the morning slightly before my coffee.

September 5, 2008 at 5:19 am
(4) Jean says:

I was told that as long as you take your medication at approx. the same time and with the same amt. of coffee or any other liquid your levels can monitored and medication adjusted accordingly. I have always taken my meds with coffee in the morning,and have had good numbers for the past 3 years without a dosage adjustment. Just be consistant.

September 5, 2008 at 8:14 am
(5) kellie Mac says:

Good comments about Armour I wish I lived in the US. That med is not available for us in Canada. I started taking my thyroid meds at night 6 months ago because I was put on iron supplements and had a consult with a pharmacist who recommended the change. I find it super easy to just keep my thyroid meds in my nightstand and take at night since our stomachs empty in 2 hours no worries even if we have been eating all day. With all that said I have noticed a HUGE change. I feel so much better and my test results have reflected that as well. I’m still having some problems with my iron levels and my doc has been able to now focus on that specifically because my thryroid is not an issue. I wasn’t part of a study but man when you feel better because of a little change in the time you take you meds it’s great. I”m thrilled.

September 5, 2008 at 8:14 am
(6) dee ewing says:

I have had thyroid disease for almost 40 years. Had it about 10 years before they finally discovered what was going on. I have had every symptom i have read about-dosages been changed so often. Was on Snthyroid for number of years until they came out with generic and then i think-that is when all my problems began as far as so many different other symptoms-in the hospital several times in about 4 months-when finally one doctor said needed to see an endocrinologist and they told me needed to be on branded medication instead of generic. Seems to be solving the problem. It is good to get in where can see what other people have experienced. Dee

September 5, 2008 at 8:39 am
(7) Gail says:

I take my Synthroid in the middle of the night when I get up to go to the bathroom. I keep my pill in a little bowl and glass of water on my night table. This way, my bloodstream is free to utilize my Synthroid totally and gives me the freedom to have whatever for breakfast!

September 5, 2008 at 8:52 am
(8) Adrienne says:

The study doesn’t mention the temperature of the coffee. Heat can destroy or reduce effectiveness of thyroid meds so perhaps it’s the heat factor. Also, the sampling of people is tiny. Other factors to consider are coffee contains magnesium and soluble fiber — but on the other hand, caffeine has a stimulatory effect on the thyroid so I would think that would counteract these factors. I NEED my coffee in the AM…I am not convinced enough by this study to stop my practice of swalling my AM armour and cytomel with water while I wait for my delicious coffee to brew.

September 5, 2008 at 8:54 am
(9) Paula says:

I do the same Gail
And that seems to work for me too.

September 5, 2008 at 9:30 am
(10) Geri says:

Kelly Mac, I get my desiccated thyroid medicine from Canada. It is called “Thyroid”, and I believe the company that makes it is Erfa or something like that. It is just like Armour, actually, I like it better.

September 5, 2008 at 10:29 am
(11) Brandy says:

As an unabashed java junkie, I will do ANYTHING but stop drinking coffee. That being said, I also don’t like to take any medicine with coffee.

I have been prescribed Armour, and my prescription calls for me to take it twice a day, at least one hour before food. Perhaps those that take their meds in the morning can do an ‘early’ alarm, at least one hour before they eat breakfast, take the meds, and ‘nap’ until normal waking.

September 5, 2008 at 10:57 am
(12) Tuscany says:

I have taken my thyroid meds an hour before I “officially” get up for a long time. However, I have also heard that if you are consistent’ i.e., take it with the same amount of coffee, tea, etc. every morning, your levels will be consistent. Tea also has caffeine so it must be considered just as you would consider coffee or cola drinks.

September 5, 2008 at 11:24 am
(13) Toni says:

I take mine about 4:00 a.m. as I always have to go to the bathroom anyway. It made a big difference when I made the change… my labs now come back consistant… I take a lot of vitamins… I believe they work so I’m doing it… anyway too many things to interfer with my Synthroid so it’s better to take early. Lastly,I won’t take generics… the principle ingredients are the same but there are always variations. Your thyroid controls every cell in your body… why dink around with it? Gotta respect it! Since I turned 40 my weight is creeping up… even with meds I have to watch it like a hawk… don’t hawks eat sticks and twigs??? I can be a hawk… lol have a great day!

September 5, 2008 at 11:31 am
(14) Nancy says:

I’m an RN and used to work in the hormone business. First, most doctors don’t balance thyroid adequately, leaving patients hypothyroid and fatigued, second, according to the lab reports I’ve seen, most people with low thyroid also have low DHEA. Optimal is about 250+. Below 50 it causes fatigue you can’t sleep out of. Schiff brand is good. 25 mg. for women, 50mg for men.

September 5, 2008 at 11:43 am
(15) Laura says:

I was told by my Dr. that DHEA was a dangerous supp to take due to the fact that it can change part of my estrogen supp to a cancer-causing chemical in the body.

September 5, 2008 at 12:00 pm
(16) MarthaP says:

This is not as bad as I expected from the title. Like others, I take my meds when I wake up in the middle of the night. Finally, there’s an advantage to the annoying pattern of waking up.

September 5, 2008 at 1:23 pm
(17) Dottie says:

Is this report dealing with regular coffee or is decaf included as well? I would be interested in knowing if they studied both.

September 5, 2008 at 2:02 pm
(18) Sue J says:

Does coffee interfere with taking armour thyroid pills or is just the synthetic medicine?

September 5, 2008 at 2:41 pm
(19) yogagenie says:

I always take my Levoxyl pill as soon as I wake up, on an empty stomach and with a full glass of water. THEN I wait for one full hour before eating, drinking or taking any other prescription meds or vitamin pills. It works for me!

September 5, 2008 at 3:56 pm
(20) Nancy says:

I agree with Dee. Somehow after a move, I was changed to a synthetic, synthyroid. I gained weight, had aches in joints really bad, hair falling out, became dizzy all the time. Over six months symtoms showed up. I could not go anywhere. I was sent to Endocrinologist. He said I should not take synthetic. Within 2 days, my symtoms were gone. Back to Levoxyl for me.

September 5, 2008 at 5:30 pm
(21) Bren says:

To Kelly Mac – in Canada, medication very similar to Armour is called Thyroid. It is available at most pharmacies. You may want to talk to your GP about it – Erfa is the name of the company who makes it. It is dessicated thyroid just like Armour but has slightly different additives.

September 5, 2008 at 8:00 pm
(22) Deb says:

I’ve been taking Armour thyroid for 28 years now and I’ve never had to change my dose. I’m tested every 6 months and my levels stay consistent. I’ve always taken my thyroid pill at bedtime, right after I brush my teeth. My doctor told me that what I am doing is working so to continue to take the pills when I do. I eat an early dinner so my stomach is empty at bedtime.

September 6, 2008 at 2:10 am
(23) Carol says:

I wonder if this applies for every type of caffeine product or if it is limited to coffee. I dont drink coffee because it messes my stomach up something awful, however I do get my morning caffeine through a coke or a pepsi. Go figure! this doesnt bother my stomach at all…maybe it has to do with them being cold and not hot? if anybody finds out if this is about caffeine or just coffee please let me know. My email is ceedee22ed@yahoo.com

September 6, 2008 at 1:00 pm
(24) Sue says:

From the VERY beginning (7 yrs. ago), I took my Armour at bedtime (10:30 p.m.). I typically eat my last meal at 5 p.m., and usu. DON’T snack or have coffee after that. My wt. remained the same for 4 yrs. after the onset of my Hashimoto’s Disease. Sadly, it bizarrely & quickly JUMPED all of a sudden at the 4th yr. I’m now up 10 pounds from my wt. at the onset of my disease. My TSH, Free T4 & Free T3 are great, my Thyroid gland is actually shrinking, and I have no nodules. I do aerobics 3xwk for one hr., and try to make sure I get protein (your body wt divided by 2.2 = total grams of protein needed per day), fiber and adequate progesterone levels. Bedtime dosing works for me!!! I love coffee, suffer regularly from fatigue, & I have to eat & do coffee immediately after getting out of bed…there was no other way 4 me except bedtime dosing. Also, my cholesterol & trigylerides are VERY low & excellent following a Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian diet with fish sometimes. How then, do I lose wt.? I had problems with Hypo-adrenalism on and off.

March 15, 2011 at 1:48 pm
(25) Susan says:

Sue, You do not mention your age, but if you are over 45 years old then your other hormones could be out of balance (estrogen/progesterone) and causing the weight gain.

September 6, 2008 at 2:28 pm
(26) Mollie Morrissette says:

I think the study is too small of a sample to evaluate the potential problem. I noticed the study was taken in Italy, where perhaps the caffeine concentration could be higher? It studies the outcome of coffee or espresso; however the liquid measure, nor the caffeine content in the serving of coffee or espresso is indicated. 8 patients and 9 volunteers does not a study make. If you read the outcome of the study, is to assume the second measure is for water alone? ‘In patients and volunteers, the four outcome measures were similar in the water and water + coffee tests. In patients and volunteers, COMPARED TO WATER, coffee lowered AIRST4 (by 36% and 29%), PIRST4 (by 30% and 19%), and AUC (by 36% and 27%) and delayed TMIRST4 (by 38 and 43 minutes)’ Does that mean that WATER ALONE lowered AIRST4 by 29%, PIRST4 by 19%, AUC by 27%, and TMIRST4 by 43 minutes? I read the study over many times and I can’t figure it out. Can anyone help me out here?
Thanks, Mollie

September 6, 2008 at 3:16 pm
(27) Shawnee says:

I had read a long time ago that taking my Armour sublingual ,it doesn’t go thru your stomach /intestines . if you put it under your tongue & let it desolve…it goes thru your blood stream , & there should be no problem with the coffee etc.?

June 6, 2011 at 10:22 am
(28) peggyelaine says:

Where do you get this product? Also can I get a thyroid glandular over the counter? My doc does absolutely nothing for me and i am on SSI medicaid so maybe I am limited as to how much help I get. I want to feel good again. Can I buy this sublingual in the pharmacy>

September 14, 2011 at 8:24 am
(29) Barb says:

Peggyelaine, Armour Thyroid is a prescription med, is natural, and is NOT expensive–around $10 a month. “Sublingual” is how you take it, letting it dissolve under the tongue instead of swallowing it. Ask your doc to prescribe it instead of whatever you are on.

September 6, 2008 at 4:58 pm
(30) lynn says:

Just wondering. What about anti thyroid meds. I am going to start taking methimozole once a day. I take it with food. Would it be best with dinner. Or is it okay in the morning with breakfast. And, almost without saying, coffee.

September 2, 2010 at 10:02 am
(31) Maddie says:

I have just started taking Methimozole and nothing was said about coffee interfering or waiting before eating so all this is news to me. I do not dare take any meds in the middle of the night or before bedtime as staying asleep has been a problem for a long time now and do not need anything else interfering with it. So far I am having very good results with my meds according to my blood work. Wishing you the same, Lynn.

September 7, 2008 at 12:43 am
(32) Bahagvati says:

I tried taking my Thyroid medicine at night, but it kept me awake the whole night!

September 8, 2008 at 10:46 am
(33) Mame says:

I’m amazed that Kelly Mac wishes she lived in the US. I wish my family lived in Canada. My daughter has type 1 diabetes and she will age off my husband’s health insurance in 2 years. That is a very scary life issue!

September 8, 2008 at 11:50 pm
(34) sol says:

I take my Cytomel(straight T3) buccally (between cheek and gums), and I dose 4 times per day including a dose at bedtime.
With buccal dosing I don’t think intestinal absorption is an issue of any concern. Certainly I don’t notice any interference from calcium taken at or near my thyroid doses.
I wonder if these study results apply at all to T3 only meds or to the direct T3 in dessicated thyroids like Armour.

September 9, 2008 at 5:00 pm
(35) BARBARA says:

to Mama,
check with your health ins … I believe there is a provision for children with deisease that keeps that coverage in force … and never worry … keep your trust in God to provide all you need.

September 9, 2008 at 8:54 pm

I take armour, a natural thyroid replacement, so I don’t have to worry, when I was on synthroid it nearly killed me..

September 10, 2008 at 1:13 pm
(37) Brian Cooper says:

Am taking Levoxyl 75mcg for hypothyroidism that was diagnosed under some pressure from me last January. (I had symptoms galore, but my TSH was “only” 5.8 [.50--5.0].)

Have tried to be careful about timing of meds, and considering the growing number of negative reports about coffee (which MAY have both good and bad things in it!!!), I rarely have it, and then only one cup in a day.

Instead, I have a cup of artificially sweetened cocoa in AM. Does anyone know if there are good reasons to suspect that has any effect on med’s absorption, or other effects?


September 11, 2008 at 8:54 pm
(38) Judy says:

I have always taken my synthroid at night. Although I am not a real “breakfast person” – I do not like waiting for an hour after getting up to eat. My numbers stay stable and I have been doing this for eleven years, after trying once or twice to change to mornings when conventional wisdom says I should take the medication. I also feel better when I take my medicine at night.

September 12, 2008 at 7:07 am
(39) Mel says:

I think taking your thyroid meds at the same time, eating at the same time before/after your meds and drinking about the same amount/time of coffee each day, you have an established pattern. If your thyroid meds aren’t absorbed as well, your numbers will show it and you won’t feel as well. As a result, you may be on a higher dose of meds if you drink coffee each day compared to if you didn’t. If you change your routine, that will affect your absorbtion and thus, how you feel.

September 12, 2008 at 9:03 am
(40) Kellie Mac says:

Thanks to Bren and Geri for the info about Armour in Canada. Just a quick question. Does my GP convert my does now to a comparable Armour? I was prescribed my meds by and endo do I have to include him or can I just speak to my GP? Thanks so much for the info this helps me manage my health much better and I can go back to the person who told me we can’t get it in Canada and pass on what you have said.
Mame I’m sorry to hear about your daughter’s health crisis and I was not trying to shoot you down and was just making a comment about my own personal position with thyroid meds please don’t make people feel bad about questing information because you are reading something and taking it personal. I do believe there is a solution for you and that you are afraid for you daughter which I can sympathize about.

September 12, 2008 at 10:36 am
(41) Mame says:

Kellie, I sorry that you thought I was trying to make you feel bad about questioning information. I was only trying to tell you that American health care is awful and I was surprised that anyone would want to be under it. I have Canadian relatives and am familiar with both systems. My daughter’s graduate school options are NYC, Chicago or Toronto. She will probably go to Toronto and stay there.

September 15, 2008 at 3:38 am
(42) Judy Allen says:

When I had my thyroid nuked in 1996, my endrochonologist prescribed Synthroid.
As the months went on and he tested me quarterly for a while, he put me on decaf, he told me to stay away from orange juice in the morning as well, because both regular coffee and orange juice, he found, could negatively affect absorption.
Also, it must be taken alone.
No other medication should be taken less than 2 hours after taking Synthroid.
He taught me to take my Synthroid (“ideally”) at 9AM to give me more energy during the day, so that’s how I take it each day.
I’ve never tried taking it in the evening.

September 16, 2008 at 12:56 am
(43) DawnK says:

My solution to avoiding ALL thyroid-absorption interfering substances is to take my Armour when “nature calls” first thing in the morning… okay, so I’m 55 and this could be 5am… and I don’t “get up” for real until
7am… I am also diabetic, so I usually take my fasting blood sugar first, then take my thyroid hormone. This has helped me avoid
milk(calcium), coffee/tea and anything that may bind the hormone and keep it from being metabolized…..

September 17, 2008 at 6:15 pm
(44) Mame Harlow says:

Barbara, thanks for your thoughts. In order for a child to stay on the parents insurance they need to be not self supporting because of physical disability or mental retardation. My daughter has Type 1 diabetes, with appropriate heath cares, TG, she can work. She will have a very hard time finding anyone to insure her. That is one of the flaws in the American system. Mame

September 29, 2008 at 7:18 pm
(45) Shannon says:

Kellie Mac,
I’m in Edmonton and take Thyroid. My GP knows nothing about it and isn’t interested in finding out, so I asked my pharmacist for the name of a doctor who prescribes it regularly. I now see both doctors and just keep my GP informed of what dose I am on for her records. The doc that prescribes Thyroid for me is an MD who prefers to ‘prescribe’ supplements and diet changes, but also detests the artificial thyroid drugs. He also prescribes things like compounded hormone creams. I now have to pay to see him though, since the AB gov’t has decided the drugs he prescribes are too alternative for them to cover visits for. Ask your pharmacist for a doctor recommendation.

August 17, 2011 at 1:28 pm
(46) Frederique says:

Dear Shannon, I live in Edmonton as well and I am searching for a doctor that prescribes natural thyroid. I would like to switch from synthetic hormones to natural thyroid. Could you please email me the name of your doctor and address? Thanks a lot. Frederique.

October 3, 2008 at 1:01 pm
(47) Jennifer says:

I’ve always taken my armour under my tongue. I heard more of it is absorbed that way because it goes directly into the bloodstream, and because it bypasses the stomach, what and when I eat is not an issue.

October 6, 2008 at 3:09 pm
(48) Glori Chartier says:

Kelli Mac
I have had many friends, young and old, take a chewable iron tablet (GNC carries one as does Nutrition Now), they are grape flavored, and very low dose and guess what? Everyone who has tried them has had their iron levels go up to normal within a very short period of time. These are all people who had levels so low their Doctors wanted to give them blood to raise it up. They also were given scripts for those horrible iron pills that cause constipation, etc. and had little or no results and lots of problems. Why do they work? Probably because they are chewable and go to work immediately with NO side effects what-so-ever! Unlike those cement pills the drs. push. And these chewables are cheap. Try it. It will change your life. And its fun to see the look on the docs face when your results are good and he can’t understand how it happened!

October 7, 2008 at 7:48 pm
(49) Diane says:

Has anyone heard that they are taking Levothroid off the market? I just found out today when I tried to get my prescription filled. I am devestated because this is the only medication I can take. Anyone in the same situation?

November 26, 2008 at 12:44 pm
(50) erk says:

its not true. are you sure that “you” heard this?

armour thyroid is the med they keep threatening to take off the market, but these are just rumors started by pharma salesmen.

i work at a pharmacy and hear this all the time. please dont scare people like that. many, including myself, are dependent upon thyroid preparations. i was really scared the first time i heard that rumor… about 10 years ago.

February 20, 2009 at 5:10 am
(51) A.B. says:

I chew my Armour thyroid. Bite down on it, let it dissolve. Gone in 10 seconds and doesn’t go thru the stomach. Some here say they dissolve it under tongue..yuck!! Bite down on it first. It crumbles easily. Presto – no coffee issues. It’s in your system already.

February 28, 2009 at 5:24 pm
(52) DMU says:

My doctor told me I could not eat or drink anthing (except water) until 1 hour after I have taken the medication in the morning.

I specifically asked if I could have coffee and she said no – 1 hour rule still applies!


April 10, 2009 at 9:16 am
(53) c.d.s. says:

Since I am middle aged, I must get up once a night to use the bathroom. That’s when I take my thyroid medicine…it’s usually between 3 and 4 am. This works out great and doesn’t interfere with morning coffee!

April 27, 2009 at 11:24 am
(54) Philip says:

I’ve been taking Synthroid for several years & and I’m also a regular coffee drinker. From my personal experience, the hour wait in the morning isn’t that bad if you drink a couple glasses of water. I have a philosophy that doing about 10-15 minutes of stretching is a great way to get the absorption process going by getting blood to circulate, and the rest of the 45 or so minutes is a great time to do menial tasks like cleaning. At the end of an hour, you get to treat yourself to a great big breakfast in a clean house. Nothing wrong with that.

June 17, 2009 at 11:15 am
(55) El says:

This article about coffee was very significant for me. I had been taking my Armour thyroid when I got up, usually having coffee within 20 minutes. Since I tend to wake up around 4 a.m., as a couple of other posters mentioned they did, 10 days ago I began keeping my Armour on my bedside table and taking it at that time. I usually wake up at 7. I can tell it’s making a difference! I feel more energetic, more focused and in a better mood.

October 3, 2009 at 12:35 pm
(56) Ginger says:

I just started taking Levoxyl about a week ago. First time for thyroid meds ever and I have been trying to train myself to take the pill with a big glass of water and then not eat for an hour. If I’m awake, i WANT breakfast! So… I just wanted to let you all know how much help you have been to me. I am going to try to take the meds when I get up around 4 for a bathroom trip. Then back to sleep and breakfast when I wake up! Thank you!!

October 23, 2009 at 9:47 am
(57) Davi says:

TO mame, surely type 1 diabetes is considered a lifelong chironic health condition, like athsma and would therefore be covered under the public medical scheme?
However, she might find her car insurance policy loaded and particularly find it difficult to get life insurance which is required for a mortgage later on.
Brian, I’ve been drinking ocffee all my life and was very pleased to discover the positives altho I know some poeple can e senstive to it in terms of keepignthem awake etc but please be EXTREMELY careful about using any artifical sweetne contain aspartame this builds up in thre tissues and increasingly is causing huge problems with toxicity for more and more poeple.
For myself, I cannot eat within one hour of getting up anyway (unusual but confirmed medical condition) and have been this way ever since before the age of 11 (co-incides with the onset of puberty for most women affected) so waiting an hour to eat of drink is not a problem – besidesa, givne gthat I am up at 5.45 even without breakfasT I shudder to think what time I would need to rise at if nI wanted to eat before I leave the house), but later on in the morninG after breakfast I NEED my coffee and honestly would give up food sooner than it. I did try decaf – until I found out that the chemicals needed to decaffienate it are far more harmful (a derivative of tuolene – a dry-cleaning fluid! and other things) than the naturally occuring caffiene in real coffee.
As I am a poor assimilator and convertor, I split my dosage and take half at night and half in the morning.
Glori, the problem with the more traditional iron supplements is that they need vitamin C in order to metabolise. For the ladies if iron deficinecy is as a result of heavy periods, unless you are trying to concieve, using the contraceptive pill or progesterone IUS is absolutely brilliant for preventing this.

October 25, 2009 at 5:13 pm
(58) Susan says:

Since I like my coffee right away in the morning, it appears that I should try taking Synthroid at night before going to bed. Does anybody know if my evening glass of wine (or two!) will interfere with absorption?

June 19, 2010 at 11:09 am
(59) Ed Arnold says:

I’m surprised that more thyroid patients don’t take their medication sublingually. If the tablets are dissolved in your mouth, what isn’t absorbed through the membranes in your mouth will end up going down in saliva. That means no tablet dissolve time.

June 19, 2010 at 6:28 pm
(60) Rita T. Renfro says:

I take my synthroid at 4:00 AM with my clariton and/or Zertec at the same time since my doctor and pharmacist said I could. I wait 1 hour before I drink my coffee and then I do not eat breakfast until 7:00 or 8:00 AM. I then take my calcium, fish oil, and florastor with my breakfast. If I have any other meds, I take it just before I go to bed. Also, I noticed the article about Strawberries. I always use frozen fruit in my shakes since I am allergic to molds. I even lost weight before I knew I had hypothyroidism. I accomplished that with the bodybugg program and then when I lost the weight evidently from hypothyroidism, it finally showed up in my bloodwork. I have maintained my weight for the last 2 years since I still use bodybugg as a guide for maintenance.

June 21, 2010 at 11:42 pm
(61) Debra Crisp says:

I had my thyroid removed last May due to 3 tumors on it and 2 of them ended up having both papillary and follicullar cancer in them. My question is, which I can’t get a straight answer from my endo. is……since the two tumors (one on each side) were cancerous are the chances higher that the cancer will return? Also, the same coroitd artery that began bulging in my neck, which ended up leading us to the surgery and finding the cancer, began bulging about 2 months ago again as well as the hoarseness in my voice. My endo. just blows it off. I went to the surgeon and he wanted to do a CT scan with dye but I can’t right now as I’ve been off my synthroid for 2 weeks now and have 3 more to go without it then I have to begin the low iodine diet for 2 weeks to prepare for the I-131 radiation treatment. so….after my whole body scan we will then do the CT. Could that be a sign that maybe some cancer cells are in a lymph node or nodule? I’ve also been telling my endo that my chest is tight..he’s done 2 chest X-rays and said they were ok but my question is that then why is my chest tight and breathing a little more difficult?
I know this is alot but I just don’t seem to be getting any answers.
Thank you!

July 26, 2010 at 11:06 am
(62) Janine says:

I only wait half an hour to eat after my synthroid pill. I have tested okay doing this.

September 8, 2010 at 11:10 am
(63) diamondlea says:

I am just curious about taking the levoxyl and cytomel together? RX says to take them 1 hour apart, but because my mornings are so hectic, and i also exercize in the morning, i wonder if I could take them both together? Thanks for any feedback.

September 26, 2010 at 11:35 pm
(64) han84 says:

In june 2008 i was found out that i have hypothyroid.
it took me along time to adjust unit 2009 now it was stable.
somethimes i do buy coffee like mocha or latte.
make you own mocha at home
try this mocha at home
1/3 coffee
3 tsp chocolate powder
1/2 cup water
1/3 milk
or if you want cold you can get 2% chocolate milk (or 1%)

November 20, 2010 at 11:01 pm
(65) Xtine says:

Your comments have been very helpful to me. I’ve only been on Levothyroxine for a year and a half. I had no idea my thyroid died until I went to the Dr. for depression and anxiety from which I’ve never had until my 17 year marriage ended.

I mention this only because I LOST weight. Over 100 LBS. Most of it before I started Levothyroxine. Lets not mention freezing half to death. (didn’t help that I moved from Florida to Colorado) and the massive hair loss (yup, I’m a hairstylist).

So, I found this site after I checked the mail and found my test results were not good. No improvment and my Dr. asked me if I was taking my medication regularly and on an empty stomach. I will start getting up at 4:00am and take it so I can have coffee in the morning.

Can someone tell what the numbers mean? My results are 7.57 Can anyone explain? Also, what is the diffence between my medication, Levothyroxine and Armour? I’ve never heard of it until now. Does Armour have to be prescribed by a doctor?


January 28, 2011 at 12:19 pm
(66) rox says:

Your thyroid is probably not dead, just underactive (produces thyroid hormone, but not enough).

You can lose weight and still have low thyroid. I am hypothyroid like you and the most I have ever weighed is 107lbs. When I was diagnosed, my TSH level was >100!

A TSH of 7.57 is considered hypothyroid. Normal TSH is 0.3-3.0 or 0.5-5.0 depending on the doctor you see (docs don’t agree on what is normal TSH). Yours is clearly higher than normal. High TSH = Low Thyroid

Levothyroxine is a synthetic form of the thyroid hormone T4. Natural desiccated thyroid (Armour, etc.) is derived from pig thyroids and has the natural forms of T4, T3, T2, T1. It has to be prescribed by a doctor. It should NOT be confused with over-the-counter thyroid supplements.

January 6, 2011 at 3:16 pm
(67) annie says:

What the hell! I’ll try it at night…since it takes 4-to 6 weeks anyway to see if helps or not…I need to do the coffee in the a.m. off to work no time to do pills then..or do without the caffine…

January 28, 2011 at 2:04 pm
(68) Jackie says:

Hi. I just started on .05 mg. of Eltroxin yesterday. I am always up with the dogs at 6:00 a.m. so by the time I let them outside, back in and feed them it is about 6:15 a.m. I have boiled the kettle during that time and my morning ritual has always been to get an 8 oz. glass and fill 1/2 with cold water and then pour the hot water from the kettle to fill the other 1/2 of the glass (my grandma who lived until she was 96 was told by her doctor when she was about 50 and had a bout with bowel cancer to drink a glass of tepid water every morning upon rising and drink it without stopping and that would help with her bowels – she did that every day until she was hospitalized when she died – I have done the same for many, many years as a preventative). So now I am taking my thyroid pill with this tepid water but I saw on a post above that you shouldn’t take your pill with warm/hot water? I also make my morning tea at this time as well and drink it leisurally for the next 1/2 hour. I have my breakfast about 7:30 a.m. Does this routine sound OK or not? I am also wondering after everyone is posting about the generic drug vs. the branded medication?

May 3, 2011 at 11:50 am
(69) Stephanie says:

Another reason to switch to all-natural thyroid like Armour! I take my Armour under my tongue to make sure there are no problems with any other food or drink I swallow!

August 28, 2011 at 11:42 am
(70) kelli says:

I have been on thyroid meds. for 23 yrs now,do too having it removed.i have been told to take the meds. with 8oz of water.i take mine with coffee every morning.for 23 yrs i have never had a bad lab come back,nor adjustments on my meds.and i take it at the exact time every morning,as long you take it the same time you would be fine,i can give up alot of things but coffee is not one of them.until my doc. tells me the coffee is interfering with my meds,i will continue to stay with my same routine.

November 30, 2011 at 10:09 am
(71) sally says:

Here’s the abstract of that study. It used 6 women.


Like a previous poster, I’ve taken my l-thyroxine at the same time daily with the desired results. I take it with water upon waking, then head to the kitchen to make coffee – the time difference is about 10 minutes before having my morning cup.

You have to remember that this drug doesn’t work instantly. There’s a reason you have to wait weeks after strength adjustments before another blood test. I also consider my body to be a “moving target”. It ages and things change.

February 17, 2012 at 1:37 pm
(72) Russell in NYC says:

Taking Synthroid does not produce an immediate, roller-coaster ride in your body. This medication has a more general effect (for me at least).
I think anyone who says they can “feel” Syn is simply imagining an effect. The medication takes a week or more to make a significant change in the body. You can take Syn daily at the exact moment with a glass of water, wait 2 hours and have your blood checked, and the result will vary somewhat from day to day. If you average those days for a week or two, you’ll get an accurate reading on the effectiveness of a dose the way you take it.
If you take Syn every day with coffee, tea, or whatever, your blood number will show a certain amount of effect. Your doctor can adjust the dosage accordingly. So you may not have to change your routine or lifestyle at all! Find the dosage that works the way you live. This may sound like heresy, but it is better to modify the dosage for the patient, than to modify the patient for the dosage!
I’m not saying throw out all guidelines. But you might need a half cup of java with your Synthroid, and then another cup in an hour or two. Can you live with that? Be creative. Find a way to make it through the morning!
The meds serve YOU — not the other way round! Get your doctor to order a blood test every week or two, and in 3 months you’ll know what level the medication produces. The dosage can be adjusted.
Think about what you need in terms of lifestyle, morning routine. It’s not that hard to figure out if you have a doctor who sees you as a whole person. You need a morning routine that gives you some dignity and flexibility. Reading websites like this one tend to reduce medication to clockwork routines. But real human life is seldom like that!
You must be honest with yourself and your doctor, and design a routine that fits your life. If you do that, your pill taking will be much more natural. Live now! Find out what works for you! Good health!

March 6, 2012 at 5:47 pm
(73) jude anne gossin says:


March 6, 2012 at 5:51 pm


March 6, 2012 at 5:54 pm


March 27, 2012 at 1:20 am
(76) Nikki says:

I also take my Synthroid at night, just before bed. I usually stay up for at least four hours after my last meal working, so this is ideal. My stomach is empty when I go to sleep and when I wake up I have my coffee. This allows me to be on a really low Synthroid dose since my body is absorbing it better. It doesn’t appear to affect my sleep patterns at all either :D

April 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm
(77) Linda Taylor says:

I just switched to Armour Thyroid and one thing I have noticed is that right after I take it I get immediate heart burn and a stomach ache. Today I chewed it up first before swallowing it and the symptoms werent as bad.

April 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm
(78) Linda Taylor says:

I just switched to Armour Thyroid and one thing I have noticed is that right after I take it I get immediate heart burn and a stomach ache. Today I chewed it up first before swallowing it and the symptoms werent as bad.

June 8, 2012 at 5:31 am
(79) Kathy says:

Can you take levithroxine (sp) thyroid med with seltzer water???????

July 5, 2012 at 10:29 am
(80) arugala says:

help!!!! i am hypothyroid and noticed an immediate improvement when i started taking levoxyl, but i am a coffee drinker and i have really bad eating habits (i get home from work around 8pm and i have to get up for 5am) so my dillema is this,

could i take my levoxyl sublingually or maybe snort it, i am dead serious about this,

i started taking my levoxy before bed but i think its keeping me up, and i dont think i can wait an hour before drinking my coffee, its not as easy as it should be

August 16, 2012 at 3:49 am
(81) payday uk says:

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August 26, 2012 at 1:17 pm
(82) Laurie says:

I’m in Canada too. We (my medical team and myself) considered putting me on Thyroid by Erfa when just synthroid was not working well enough. My GP sent me to a local compounding pharmacy that also has a strong reputation for supplements to talk to them and get their advice for dosages. And this compounding pharmacy suggested a compounded form of T3 to supplement the Synthroid. They said that they found that Synthrod + compounded T3 worked better than Thyroid by Erfa. So I’ve been on Synthroid + compounded T3 ever since. It was a miracle combination for me. I’ve been very happy for the 2 years that I’ve been on this combination.

August 31, 2012 at 11:01 am
(83) NABABE says:

I have been dealing with this for 20 years, ups and downs, after an ablated thyroid. I study constantly trying to figure out how to regulate it. I recently read a study that showed taking the meds at night offers better absorption results. I have been doing this for about 3 months now and apparently it is true, my meds have been lowered…imagine that, me thinking I have no thyroid at all! I never eat past 7pm and never take my thyroid meds before 10:30pm. I don’t have to worry about interference from my coffee, any calcium or zinc intake.
Just want to share that I am also taking a total omega, 3-6-9 every morning before breakfast. Apparently the essential fatty acids allow the cells to absorb the thyroid hormone more effectively. Just wanting to share anything that will help, it gets really frustrating… I know!

September 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm
(84) Sharen pearson says:

What about natural thyroid replacment-Armour? And, I take it under my tongue.

November 6, 2012 at 12:33 pm
(85) John Paul says:

I also take my Levothyroxine during the night …. well actually whenever I wake up in the early hours (usually between 3-4am). The pill is always there in a tiny cup at the bedside. Then there is no restriction to breakfast / tea / coffee etc and the Levothyroxine gets 100% absorbed into the system. It works for me anyway.

January 16, 2013 at 4:29 pm
(86) Bopster says:

Well Ive had under active thyroid for abour 20 years. Not once have I ever been told when to take it, or that i had to wait an hour for anything. will try this now.. If I take it before bed will it keep me awake?

March 8, 2013 at 9:46 am
(87) Yana says:

It may work for some, but the coffee itself interfears with absorption. Not caffeine. Endocrinologist shouls tell you this. I had to switch to Armour Thyroid recently as Generic Synthroid can really mess people up. The manufacturers dosages changes and you may get more or less this time than next time. Let me tell you its not pretty when you get more or less of what you need. Do what you’re told by the Doctor to do, but research for yourself because I have had to teach both my Doctor and my Endocrinologist as my symotoms go Hypo to Hyper and they were making me so sick with thier dosage changes. I put my foot down and told them what I needed. Now after some time I am leveled out and not having so many symptoms. I switched .. Its coffee.

May 17, 2013 at 7:30 am
(88) lyne says:

I am on a regimen of antibiotics and probiotics. Can someone tell me how to take my armour along w/them ?

May 17, 2013 at 7:33 am
(89) lyne says:

Does anyone know how to take armour along w/antibiotics and probiotics. Just wondering if it’s o.k. to take the armour w/the probiotic?

June 24, 2013 at 2:37 pm
(90) Viktoria says:

Thyroid supplementation is designed to be taken alone. Directions generally state you should take the medicine at least 1 hr before or 2 hrs after food or other medicines or supplements. This assures that it will be properly absorbed, which is difficult in humans. Take it with 8 ounces of water only for best results. Consistency is key in taking thyroid medicine.

August 1, 2013 at 8:43 am
(91) Marilyn says:

I hear how Folic Acid helps move medicines to where they need to get is this true? I have thyroid issues and between the thyroid and having COPD, I have been losing so much hair…I thought if, maybe I use Folic Acid it might help in the absorbtion of my meds. I also have Lupus….And I am taking Metformin 600 mg. twice daily for my diabetes and another one called Glimepiride 2 mg that I take one-half of a pill for 7 days and then finish out the rest of the med by taking the whole tablet….I just now found out that part of it. I am on so many medicines that I forget what ones need to be done how….So, I am truly hoping that it is true about Folic Acid….

August 2, 2013 at 7:19 am
(92) Ewa Seiler says:

I have been taking my synthroid for the last 15 years WITH MY FIRST CUP OF COFFEE! Nobody told me that I should not. I was told that Synthroid may disrupt my sleep, so ONLY IN THE MORNING.

My level of 112 is not adequate, I am very tired and gained weight and ALL GOITROGENIC FOODS bother me.

I will double my Synthroid tonight since I already took one with my first cup of coffee, and take it again at bedtime.

Question: when we are send to for our thyroid test should be take synthroid before that (morning and now evening)?

October 26, 2013 at 3:03 pm
(93) Gogga says:

I found this site because I was wondering if my morning coffee could interfere with my Armour Thyroid. So, I guess it can be. My bottle just says take one tablet by mouth one time daily. I had no idea you could/should take it sublingually or chew it. Also, I think I will try taking it in the middle of the night. Hopefully it is absorbed better and my fatigue will lift. Maybe I will start to lose some of the weight gained due to this hypothyroid issue.

January 4, 2014 at 4:12 pm
(94) Laura says:

Many things can interfere including super healthy Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli. Rather than give them up, I just eat and drink as usual and adjust my medications to fit my lifestyle, not adjust my lifestyle to accommodate my medicines.

February 24, 2014 at 12:48 pm
(95) Penny says:

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about 13 years ago. I started out with Synthroid, but then was switched to Levothyroxine. My GP doesn’t seem interested in adjusting my dosage at all even though I started to have an increase in symptoms such as, gaining weight, always chilly, always fatigued, hair falling out, dry skin. He says that as long as my numbers are within normal range, he is not worried. I walk about 3 miles a day, stay active, and survive on mostly water and veggies. No soda or junk except for an occasional slice of b-day cake. I have always taken my medication in the morning, but I will try the nighttime thing to see if there is any change in the way I feel. I am calling an Endocrinologist today.

March 3, 2014 at 2:12 pm
(96) Mell says:

Have you had your Vitamin D levels checked? Low Vitamin D can cause all the same symptoms and many of us with thyroid problems are vitamin d deficient.

March 3, 2014 at 2:38 pm
(97) Penny says:

I have had my vitamin D and B12 and all come back normal.

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