Vitamin D, often called the “sunshine vitamin,” is crucial to our health. As thyroid disorders become increasingly common in North America, many wonders if they can safely take vitamin D supplements alongside their thyroid medication.
I will explore the compatibility of vitamin D supplements and thyroid medication in this blog, addressing common concerns and misconceptions.
Understanding Vitamin D and Thyroid Function
Vitamin D is essential for maintaining strong bones, a healthy immune system, and proper cell growth. Our bodies produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, but you can also obtain it through supplements and certain foods.
On the other hand, thyroid hormones regulate metabolism, body temperature, and energy levels. The connection between vitamin D and thyroid function is that vitamin D plays a role in regulating the production and activity of thyroid hormones.
Thyroid Medications and Their Interactions with Vitamin D
Some common thyroid medications include
- Liothyronine, and
- Desiccated thyroid
Studies have shown that there are generally no significant interactions between these medications and vitamin D supplements. However, it is important to maintain proper vitamin D levels for optimal thyroid medication absorption.
When vitamin D levels are too low, thyroid medications may not be as effective in regulating hormone levels, making it essential to address any deficiencies.
Vitamin D Deficiency: A Hidden Factor in Thyroid Disorders
Several studies have revealed a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and various thyroid disorders, including
- Hyperthyroidism, and
- Autoimmune thyroid diseases like Hashimoto’s and Graves’ disease
While the exact mechanisms underlying this connection are not yet fully understood, some theories suggest that vitamin D deficiency may contribute to autoimmune processes and inflammation, leading to thyroid dysfunction.
Additionally, low vitamin D levels may negatively impact the body’s ability to convert inactive thyroid hormones into their active form, further exacerbating thyroid imbalances.
Addressing Vitamin D Deficiency to Improve Thyroid Health
Given the potential link between vitamin D deficiency and thyroid disorders, addressing this deficiency could be crucial in improving thyroid health. Supplementing with vitamin D may help regulate immune function, reduce inflammation, and support proper thyroid hormone conversion.
Benefits of Combining Vitamin D and Thyroid Medication
Taking vitamin D supplements alongside thyroid medication can lead to several potential benefits. Improved thyroid function and hormonal balance can result from adequate vitamin D levels.
For individuals with autoimmune thyroid disorders, such as Hashimoto’s, vitamin D supplementation can help support a healthy immune system. Furthermore, optimal vitamin D levels have been linked to improved mood, increased energy levels, and overall well-being.
How Much Vitamin D Should I Take For Hypothyroidism?
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D for most adults is 600 to 800 International Units (IU) per day.
However, your healthcare provider may recommend a higher dosage to help correct the deficiency and support thyroid function if you have a vitamin D deficiency or a thyroid disorder.
The appropriate amount of vitamin D supplementation for hypothyroidism can vary depending on individual factors such as your
- Current vitamin D levels
- Weight, and
- Overall health
Can Too Much Vitamin D Cause Thyroid Problems?
While the relationship between excessive vitamin D and thyroid function is not well-established, some studies have suggested a potential association between high vitamin D levels and autoimmune thyroid diseases like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease.
Excessive vitamin D intake can result in a condition called vitamin D toxicity or hypervitaminosis D. This occurs when blood levels of vitamin D become too high, leading to increased levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia), which can cause a variety of symptoms and complications such as
- Kidney problems, and
- Bone pain
Vitamin D toxicity is relatively rare and usually occurs due to excessive supplementation or overuse of high-dose vitamin D products. Following the recommended daily allowances (RDAs) for vitamin D is essential to maintain healthy vitamin D levels and avoid potential complications.
How to Incorporate Vitamin D with Thyroid Medication
Before starting any supplementation, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate dosage and regimen for your specific needs. Guidelines for vitamin D supplementation vary, but a healthcare professional can help you establish the right plan.
When taking vitamin D supplements in relation to thyroid medication, it’s often advised to separate the two by at least four hours to ensure proper absorption of both.
What Supplements Should Not Be Taken With Thyroid Medication?
While most vitamins and minerals do not interact negatively with thyroid medications, some nutrients may interfere with the absorption or effectiveness of the medication.
To ensure that your thyroid medication works appropriately, it’s important to be aware of these potential interactions. Here are some vitamins and minerals that you should take with caution or at a different time than thyroid medication:
Calcium supplements, including calcium carbonate and calcium citrate, can interfere with the absorption of thyroid medication. Taking calcium supplements at least four hours apart from thyroid medication is recommended to avoid this.
Iron supplements, such as ferrous sulfate or fumarate, can also interfere with the absorption of thyroid medication. Like calcium, it’s best to take iron supplements at least four hours before or after thyroid medication.
Biotin, a B vitamin commonly found in hair, skin, and nail supplements, may interfere with thyroid function tests. High doses of biotin can lead to false results, making it difficult for healthcare providers to assess thyroid function accurately. If you’re taking biotin supplements, inform your healthcare provider and consider stopping them a few days before having a thyroid function test.
Can I Take Vitamin B12 And Levothyroxine Together?
It is safe to take vitamin B12 and levothyroxine together, as they do not typically interact with each other. However, it is essential to consider the timing of when you take these supplements and medications.
Levothyroxine, a thyroid hormone replacement medication, should be taken on an empty stomach, usually 30 minutes to an hour before breakfast. This ensures optimal medication absorption, as certain foods, beverages, and supplements can interfere with its absorption.
While vitamin B12 does not usually interfere with levothyroxine absorption, it is still a good idea to separate their intake to be cautious. You can take your vitamin B12 supplement with a meal later in the day to avoid any potential interactions.
Although not as common, magnesium supplements may also interfere with the absorption of thyroid medication. To minimize this risk, it’s best to take magnesium supplements at least four hours apart from thyroid medication.
While iodine is essential for thyroid function, excessive amounts can be harmful, especially for those with thyroid disorders. In some cases, too much iodine can either worsen or trigger thyroid dysfunction.
High-fiber supplements, such as psyllium husk or inulin, can interfere with the absorption of thyroid medication. To avoid this, take high-fiber supplements at least two hours before or after your thyroid medication.
Vitamin D supplements and thyroid medication go hand in hand. Individuals can optimize their thyroid hormone treatment by addressing vitamin D deficiencies and potentially experience various health benefits.
Consult with a healthcare professional before beginning any supplementation regimen is essential. Don’t hesitate to contact Hormone Replacement Therapy Clinic LA to discuss the potential benefits of incorporating vitamin D into your thyroid treatment plan.