Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Vitamin C and thyroid medicine...

Did you know that some research indicates that taking your thyroid replacement hormone with vitamin C might help you better absorb the hormone?  The vitamin C used in the study was mixed in the water that subjects drank when taking their pills.  This is important because eating at the same time you take your medicine can interfere with the body's ability to take it in and use it.

This finding does make some sense to me, as Vitamin C helps your body take in other nutrients, such as iron.  On the other hand, absorption of the thyroid hormone is generally best achieved by taking it with a glass of pure water at least one half to one hour before eating breakfast in the morning and by taking vitamins and minerals no closer than four hours to the time that you take your thyroid pill.  Many vitamins and minerals interfere with the body's uptake of thyroid replacement hormones.

The vitamin C effect seems to help those who are taking thyroid replacement hormone, but who are not seeing a decrease in their TSH levels or an improvement in their symptoms. As I have seen a reduction in my TSH levels, I'm not ready to jump on the bandwagon yet as far as taking vitamin C at the same time as my thyroid pill.  However, I don't think it can hurt to make sure that I have adequate vitamin C in my diet.  One habit that I want to get back to is setting out a pitcher containing my daily goal for water in the morning and drinking some of that water with a little lemon juice.  I find that I am less tempted to snack, snack, snack, if I drink adequate water during the day. 

I've experimented with a lot of different vitamin supplements.  It just so happens that I feel best when taking Emergen-C, which has a lot of vitamin C in it.  I suspect that my sense of well-being when I take the Emergen-C might have more to do with the fact that it has magnesium in it than the vitamin C. Some think that magnesium can help with some symptoms associated with thyroid issues and other symptoms of other problems that I have.  Taking too much magnesium can backfire on you as it can affect your heart beat.  Emergen-C seems to have the right amount for me.  This is just my hunch based on personal experience, though, and not a scientific observation.  Who knows?  It might be the vitamin C that helps.  I do not take the Emergen-C within four hours of taking my thyroid replacement hormone.  I do not take this every day, however.

As with any vitamin supplement that we ingest, there are some risks associated with taking vitamin C.  In some cases, vitamin C supplements may contribute to heart disease and hardening of the arteries.  Conversely, vitamin C in the foods you eat can actually protect the heart and arteries.  It's always best to get your nutrition from food if you can. Some foods that contain vitamin C are citrus, strawberries, kiwi fruit, papayas, peppers, and leafy green vegetables.  Again, don't eat food with your thyroid hormone; wait the prescribed time.

So, in short, my goal is to drink more water and to add just a little lemon or orange to provide a little vitamin C.  I also hope to eat more fruits and veggies, which will add vitamin C to my diet.  Because my TSH level does improve with thyroid hormone replacement, I do not think that I need to consume my vitamin C at the same time I take my thyroid pill.  As always, evaluate your own situation and consult with your own doctor before making a decision. 



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