Drug Induced Nutrient Depletions: Thyroid Medications
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In part eight, we continue our exploration of the nutrients that are depleted when taking prescription or over-the-counter medications. As we have previously discussed, drug induced nutrient depletions (DIND) occur when medications cause nutrients to be depleted from our bodies. This has been a multi-part series in which I focused on a different drug class each week. In previous weeks, we focused on the nutrients depleted from the use of
antibiotics, oral contraceptives, anti-hyperlipidemics, pain relievers, acid suppressing agents, oral hypoglycemics, and asthma medications. This week for part eight, we will focus on the nutrients that can be depleted by thyroid medications.
Hypothyroidism occurs when your thyroid does not make enough thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid condition. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight gain, feeling tired, and having trouble dealing with cold temperatures. On the flip side, hyperthyroidism is the result of your thyroid making too much thyroid hormone. Symptoms include weight loss, having a more rapid heart rate, and being sensitive to heat (1).
In the United States, of people 12 years of age and older, 4.6% have hypothyroidism. Women are also much more prone to developing hypothyroidism than men (1). Approximately 1.2 percent of people in the United States have hyperthyroidism (2).
Common medications for hypothyroidism include Levothyroxine (Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid, Thyro-Tabs, Unithroid), Thyroid desiccated (Armour Thyroid), Liothyronine sodium (Cytomel). These medications can rob the body of calcium (3). Medications for hyperthyroidism includes beta blockers and antithyroid medications (methimazole). Beta blockers can deplete Coenzyme Q10 and melatonin and methimazole does not appear to cause any depletions of nutrients.
Below, you will find information on the amount of each nutrient you may need each day as a supplement, as well as some of the best sources of food for each.
How much you need per day if you use a supplement: 1,200 mg (4)
Good Food Sources: Milk, dried figs, cheese, yogurt tofu, sardines, dairy alternatives, fortified cereal, salmon, dark leafy greens (4,5)
How much you need per day if you use a supplement: 30-100mg (4)
Good Food Sources: Beef, chicken, trout, salmon, oranges, broccoli (4)
How much you need per day if you use a supplement: 1-3 mg (4)
*Individual needs may vary. Please speak with your health care provider or nutritionist for your personalized recommendations.
About the Author: Leanne DiMaio earned her Master’s degree in Applied Clinical Nutrition from New York Chiropractic College in December 2017. She is currently working on her Doctorate degree in Clinical Nutrition degree at Maryland University of Integrative Health. Leanne is passionate about helping others achieve their optimal state of health and wellness. She is currently earning clinical hours toward the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) credential under Kim Ross's supervision.
1. NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine. Hypothyroidism: The Thyroid and You. Medlineplus.gov. https://medlineplus.gov/magazine/issues/spring12/articles/spring12pg22-23.html. Published 2012. Accessed July 23, 2018.
2. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/endocrine-diseases/hyperthyroidism. Published 2016. Accessed July 23, 2018.
3. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Drug Influences on Nutrient Levels and Depletion. Naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com. http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com/ce/ceCourse.aspx?s=ND&cs=&pc=08%2D40&cec=0&pm=5&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1. Published 2010. Accessed July 23, 2018.
4. Vagnini F, Fox B. The Side Effects Bible. New York: Broadway Books; 2005.
5. United States Department of Agriculture. Vitamins and Minerals | Food and Nutrition Information Center. Nalusda.gov. 2018. Available at: https://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/vitamins-and-minerals. Accessed June 3, 2018.
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