Today I wanted to share with you some information about fillers and binders within your thyroid medication that you should be aware of. Why is this important? Studies over the last few years are very clear that thyroid disease can be aggravated by some of the ingredients found within the very medication you just took this morning. Not only has gluten come under the gun, but so has corn, dairy, soy and some of the other colors and additives.
Since many of the patients I work with around the world are taking thyroid hormone, I thought this would be a good topic to discuss a little further so that you can have this discussion with your prescribing doctor.
The ultimate goal in my office is always first and foremost to restore a person’s thyroid health so that they don’t need to take thyroid hormones. This is not always the case. So, if this is you, I want you to be aware of these ingredients and how they may be hurting you.
Synthetic Thyroid Hormone. There are numerous brands of synthetic thyroid hormone, but I’m going to focus on a few of the more common brands.
Synthroid. This is synthetic T4, and if you visit www.rxlist.com, it currently states that ” Synthetic T4 is identical to that produced in the human thyroid gland (1).
But right below this the inactive ingredients are listed, which include acacia, confectioner’s sugar (contains corn starch), lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, povidone, and talc. And then below this you’ll see some of the color additives, which include FD&C Yellow No. 6 (in 25 mcg tablets), FD&C Red No. 40 and FD&C Blue No. 2 (in 75mcg strength), etc.
So when you factor in the inactive ingredients it becomes quite obvious that taking synthetic T4 isn’t identical to thyroid hormone which is produced by the thyroid gland. And while it’s true that many people seem to do fine when taking synthetic thyroid hormone and don’t react to these ingredients, others don’t do fine.
When someone experiences an increase in symptoms upon taking thyroid hormone, sometimes this is due to the ingredients. For example, if someone is sensitive to corn, then they very well might react to synthetic thyroid hormone. This is especially the case if someone is sensitive to gluten. Gluten can cross react with Corn and many other grains. I have done several video on this very topic.
Levoxyl. Another brand of synthetic T4. The ingredients include Microcrystalline cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate, calcium sulfate dihydrate and sodium bicarbonate, along with color additives depending on the tablet strength (2).
Levothroid. Another brand of synthetic T4. The ingredients include Microcrystalline cellulose, calcium phosphate dibasic, povidone and magnesium stearate, along with color additives depending on the tablet strength (3).
Cytomel (liothyronine sodium). This is a brand of synthetic T3. The inactive ingredients consist of calcium sulfate, gelatin, starch, stearic acid, sucrose and talc (4).
Here are the ingredients of Armour and Nature-Throid, which are two of the most common forms of desiccated thyroid hormone:
Armour. This is a form of natural thyroid hormone that is derived from porcine thyroid glands. It consists of both T3 and T4, and many people do better when taking natural thyroid hormone when compared to synthetic thyroid hormone. However, some people react to the ingredients of Armour. The inactive ingredients include calcium stearate, dextrose, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium starch glycolate and opadry white (5).
Nature-Throid. This is another form of natural thyroid hormone that is derived from porcine thyroid glands, and therefore also consists of both T3 and T4. The inactive ingredients include colloidal silicon dioxide, dicalcium phosphate, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, stearic acid, Opadry II (6).
Is There Gluten In Your Thyroid Hormone Medication?
Many people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis attempt to avoid gluten. However, most people don’t consider that their source of thyroid hormone medication might include gluten. Although both Armour and Nature-Throid are gluten free, not all forms of levothyroxine are gluten free.
According to the website www.glutenfreedrugs.com, the only two brands of levothyroxine which are guaranteed to be gluten free include Lannett and Mova. Apparently the manufacturers of Synthroid can’t guarantee that this is gluten free. Both Levothroid and Levoxyl are gluten free. Cytomel is also gluten free.
This is very important considering many people who have thyroid disorders are autoimmune and those who are autoimmune usually have non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
Feeling worse when you take thyroid medication? Watch my video that explains why many woman feel worse when they take Thyroid hormones.