Calcium and Your Thyroid Medication


Think about this for a minute…you bought a house and you have so many grand plans for it. You’ve scoured the Internet for hours to find the perfect pieces and you’ve furnished a beautiful home. You’re preparing for guests and in comes your mom. You deeply respect her and want nothing more than to have her approval and her support. All of a sudden she starts to ask you questions about what you’re doing to maintain and if you’re trying new things (because she always has another motive behind her line of questioning). Suddenly it dawns on you why she’s asking you these questions. Something isn’t quite right and she knows it. You would have never thought that calcium would be the culprit.

Getting Defensive Here…

Rather than hear her out, of course you get defensive and you don’t completely hear everything she has to say because in your mind, she’s criticizing everything that you’ve worked up to: the countless hours of research, the pain, the stress. You feel like you’re doing well and then you get a gut check.

This is how I felt when I went to the endocrinologist towards the end of our appointment. Of course she is a super sweet person, but when she started asking me about whether or not I was taking a calcium or multivitamin supplements right after my thyroid meds, I instantly got suspicious. I think the biggest reason behind my defensiveness (in my head of course) was because I thought that I was doing everything right. I was eating right, exercising more consistently and “doing the right things”. I considered myself to be a good patient.

The Feeling of Defeat Set In…

I felt slightly defeated. I really do try to do the right thing, but naturally sometimes things change and research uncovers some new discovery about drug efficacy and you also have to remain abreast of those changes. I know that it’s a lot of work to have an autoimmune condition, but sometimes you have to break away from the standard mold of modern medicine and be your own advocate.

Determination Set In…

In any case, I was fired up. What do I do in these cases? I pull out my handy dandy food journal. I was going to find out what my current habits were. I created a template that outlined my food, vitamins and minerals and how I felt. I recorded my food for one week so that I could understand where I was at. After one week of this (yes it can be tedious, but recording my habits for a week versus living in pain and having to take more medication was not something that I was willing to do) and it was quite revealing! Apparently, I really like calcium rich foods!

Here’s the preliminary list of the common foods that I ate in the morning:

Nuts, particularly almonds
Almond milk
Calcium fortified orange juice
Other dark leafy greens with quinoa
Cheese sticks (I could eat these and eggs allllll day. I love eggs and I love cheese)

Here’s a link to calcium rich foods (hint, many of the foods are on my earlier list).

See the problem? My endocrinologist suggested that if I am going to consume anything with calcium in it, that I should do so three to four hours after I take my thyroid medication to avoid any issues.

After the first week, I decided to change around my breakfast items. For example, I would eat turkey bacon with sweet potatoes (yes they have calcium in them, but it’s still better than what I was consuming) and quinoa instead of my traditional oatmeal, spinach and eggs. I didn’t drink orange juice during breakfast and opted for water instead. I take a turmeric and vitamin b complex and I decided to take those in the early afternoon as well. I exercised everyday. I am training in order to compete,but I was really serious about exercising.

I stuck to it for six weeks and guess what!!!!

My Thyroid Levels DECREASED!!!!

You can  listen to the episode here as well: