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Medications that BLOCK Thyroid Function (Avoid THESE prescription medications)

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These prescription medications BLOCK thyroid function and they are often prescribed to many thyroid patients. Avoid these thyroid blocking medications if you can.

Hey guys dr childs here today we’re going to be talking about prescription medications that block thyroid function so if you are a thyroid patient whether you’re taking thyroid medication or not if you are using any prescription medications you need to understand how those medicines interact or may interfere with thyroid function because that will have a lot to

Do with whether or not you’re feeling good when you take your medication so if you don’t know me i’m dr childs i’m an internist i specialize in treating patients with thyroid problems helping people with hormone imbalances and of course helping people lose weight today we’re going to be talking about the thyroid and specifically we’re going to be talking about

Medications that block thyroid function now believe it or not this is actually a little bit of a complex topic but i’m going to break it down make it really easy to understand for you um when we talk about thyroid function and medications it’s really important because patients who tend to be taking thyroid hormone meaning like levothyroxine or synthroid or who

Have thyroid problems like hashimoto’s or whatever tend to have other medical conditions right and those other medical conditions may require or at least be recommended that you use certain prescription medications but you need to know if those prescription medications some of which are very common by the way we’ll get to those in the first section here some

Of those medications are very common and may negatively impact how well that thyroid medication is working or how well your thyroid is functioning this will have a big impact on how you feel um including things like are you able to lose weight how much energy do you have uh are you constipated are you cold all the time uh things like that okay so it has a big

Impact on a lot of quality of life issues so when we look at prescription medications prescription medications that you may be taking they can block your thyroid in a number of ways in fact i’ve listed four here now these are probably the most common uh four ways there may be other ways that we don’t quite yet understand but i wanted to at least lay these out

For you so one of the first ways is that they can block t4 to t3 conversion number two is that they can block tsh production tsh remember coming from your brain they can block thyroid the thyroid hormone gland so the gland itself can be blocked or damaged with the use of certain medications and then lastly if you are taking thyroid medication those medicate those

Prescription medications that you’re taking can block your thyroid prescription medication okay so you’re actually interfering with one another all right so we’ll talk about all of these sections and again some of these medicines you’ll see are very common and you probably had no idea uh that they may be negatively impacting your thyroid so let’s talk first about

T4 to t3 conversion now t4 to t3 conversion is a process occurring in your body and everyone’s body okay whether you have thyroid conditions or not and what it’s what your body does with this conversion process is it takes the inactive thyroid hormone and activate activates it turning it into t3 this process is very very very very important okay if it does not

Happen your body will not produce enough t3 which is the strongest thyroid hormone in your entire body okay this this t3 does all the work so if you can’t take the inactive form of t4 and turn it into the active form of t3 which are both thyroid hormones you’re going to have a problem now certain medications block this now some of them do it intentionally okay so

Methymazole and ptu those are medications designed specifically for people who have hyperthyroidism of course you would want somebody who has hyperthyroidism meaning their thyroid is too high to block this and make their thyroid lower okay everyone’s on board with that right that’s that’s how you treat hyperthyroidism but there are other medications which you may

Not be familiar with that are also doing this process which may be negatively impacting your thyroid some of these include beta blockers okay so beta blockers are sometimes used to treat blood pressure they’re also sometimes used to treat social anxiety they are also sometimes used to treat tremors and things like that so they’re actually fairly common medications

One of the most common would be propranolol but there’s tons of other carvedilol there’s tons of other beta blockers okay so if you don’t know if your medicine if you’re if you’re taking like a blood pressure medicine and you’re not sure you can look it up on the internet or ask your doctor and they’ll tell you if it’s a beta blocker if you’re using a beta blocker

For your let’s say your blood pressure and you also have thyroid problems you may want to switch okay switch to a different hyper anti-hypertensive or blood pressure lowering medicine there are plenty of other options available you don’t have to use one that also damages your thyroid in certain situations you might but there’s lots of situations where you may not

Have to the next one would be narcotics okay so any sort of pain medication i’m talking the heavier duty pain medications i’m not talking about ibuprofen tylenol things like that i’m talking about you know percocet vicodin things like that and and on up by the way those kind of being in the middle and then anything more extreme than that these narcotics do block

This t4 to t3 conversion process okay so they are suppressing uh certain areas of the body which includes thyroid function so if you’re somebody who’s on pain medication every single day uh for who knows you know for any reason right there’s a lot of a lot of people who are taking it for various types of uh conditions and medical conditions and so on um but if

You’re taking narcotics at least at the very end you’re experiencing thyroid problems i would have to very least try to reduce your dose somehow by taking something else maybe try cbd or or something like that which can modulate your pain a little bit better and help you to reduce your dose of narcotics which should help improve your thyroid and then lastly

People are on these all the time and that uh would be antidepressants so any medication used to treat antidepressant or sorry used to treat depression can block this t423 conversion process now if you are a thyroid patient you’ve probably been told that instead of having a thyroid problem you might have depression problem and so instead of being put on thyroid

Medication you are put on an antidepressant which happens unfortunately all the time and this is a big problem because your thyroid condition was probably mismanaged to begin with and is now made worse by this so this antidepressant is not solving your issue in many cases so if you’re a thyroid patient and you’re taking an antidepressant you’re kind of taking

You know one step forward to take two steps backwards it’s not really working for you so the best solution is to treat your thyroid because that actually can help your depression so that’s one section here so number one again this is the first section that blocks these are medications prescription meds by the way that block t4 to t3 conversion next we’re going

To go on to number two which are medications that block the the production of tsh or tsh hormone from your brain so remember in order to produce thyroid hormone your brain has to tell your thyroid gland to produce it and it does that by stimulating the thyroid gland with something called tsh now again if you’re a thyroid patient you know tsh very well because this

Is the test that doctors order all the time right this is how they even though it’s not a great test a great way to do that they order this test all the time but what you may not realize is that certain medications can actually blunt that response or impact how well your brain is able to produce tsh okay so some of these are not quite as common i would say this

Is probably the most common but we’ll go through these uh so you have an idea so number one would be steroids and steroids are used to treat um autoimmune conditions they’re used to treat some you know chronic pain conditions i mean you could even take steroids for things like um a sinus infection so these are gluco uh or glucocorticoids is they’re one of their

Names but you probably more commonly know them as steroids in fact steroids are often put on the skin on rashes and things like that so those steroids do get absorbed a little bit gets absorbed into your system and may impact your thyroid so if you can stay away from steroids doctors know steroids have a lot of negative side effects so generally they’re not likely

To prescribe them for long periods of time but some people especially with things like rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune diseases they may be taking steroids every day and they have for a long time the second one i won’t talk much about because that one’s not very common that would include the class of medications called dopamine agonists not very common

Usually to treat parkinson’s disease and things like that so it’s unlikely that you’re taking that one but metformin is one that also blocks or interferes with the tsh production and that this one is used all the time in fact i use this medication a lot to treat people who have insulin resistance for people i use it as an augmentative therapy for weight loss

It has a lot of good benefits i know there’s a lot of people who are using it for anti-aging and some other benefits like that so metformin is widely used um just remember that metformin you should be careful because of its impact on your thyroid so if you’re using it for a reason like let’s say to treat insulin resistance it may have a negative impact on your

Thyroid which is making which may negate some of the benefits you’re getting from the from the insulin sensitivity side of things so just be aware of that if you can use the lowest possible dose the good thing about metformin is there’s diminishing returns as your dose gets high so if you you know the first you know up to i think it’s about a thousand milligrams

If you go from a thousand to two thousand you really don’t get a huge amount of benefit maybe a five to ten boost five five five to ten percent boost from going from doubling your dose but that first thousand um provides most of the benefit so if you can keep your dose a little bit lower you’ll tend to do better using that so that one’s number two number three

Would be prescription medications that block the production of thyroid hormone from the gland itself okay so remember the thyroid gland still must produce it it has to get the signal from the brain which travels down to the gland the gland then says okay yeah time to spit out t3 and t4 more more t4 than t3 but some medications block that either by damaging the

Thyroid gland itself or just by interfering with that process in some way so one of the examples here would be potassium iodide now i’m not talking about iodine i’m talking about potassium iodide this is used most commonly in dermatology so and not a lot of getting absorbed when they use it so the chances of you running into this are very small unless for some reason

You’re in the dermatology office all the time and they’re cleaning your skin to do little procedures or take biopsies or things like that so that one’s probably not as relevant to you the next one might be and that is lithium so lithium is considered to be a mood stabilizer and it’s often used to treat conditions like bipolar disorder and some other psychiatric

Conditions so lithium can be used it’s not as common as let’s say antidepressants narcotics or beta blockers but there may be some of you listening who are taking lithium and you should be aware that lithium can block thyroid gland production and that could be a problem especially if you’re treating something like bipolar disorder and because patients who have

Bipolar disorder do a lot better when they have higher levels of t3 not lower levels so you should be aware of that sometimes that can do the exact opposite or have the exact opposite effect that you want the last one would be amiodarone now again unlikely that you’re using this medication but i’ve included it here to be complete it’s a heart medication used

For certain certain types of heart disorders so i’m not going to talk much about that because it’s not as common but it does do that it does block thyroid hormone gland production so let’s go down here and these are these are very common as well and i’ll hold this up so you can read all these but number four here we have medications that block thyroid medication

Absorption okay so let me just clarify we’re talking about prescription medications that your doctor has given you okay but and you’re taking those medicines but those medications are blocking the other prescription medication that you’re taking to treat your thyroid so that would be thyroid hormone things like level thyroxine synthroid tyrosine ndt t3 cytomel

Lyophyrene etc you get you get the picture so all of these medications can be negatively impacted by these medications okay so this is the case in which you might be taking a medicine to solve a problem like i’ll give you an example just real quick so imagine you have chronic pain and you’re taking narcotics chronic pain the narcotics are causing um uh depression

Of the thyroid so now you’re on thyroid medication so you’re taking narcotics for the pain the pain and uh and the and the narcotics themselves are blocking your thyroid so now you’re on thyroid medication but now you’re experiencing constipation or acid reflux so your doctor gives you one of these medications so these are how these things can all become entwined

Together and cause problems um if you’re not careful so you really need to be vigilant about which medications you’re taking so let’s talk about these i’ll hold these up so you can see them so the first one would be cholesteramine now cholesteramine is a binder meaning that it’s usually given to people who have certain types of diarrhea it’s also used in the

Integrative and functional medicine world as a as a detoxification unit or medication so you can actually take this and it can bind to certain things you don’t want in your body and will eliminate them now the problem is it can also bind to thyroid hormone things like levo centroid ndt3 and carry those out with you in your stool and then not leaving any for you

To be for you to absorb as well so that’s a problem potentially with this the next one is very common and that includes acid blockers so i’m talking about any type of antacid here so there’s tons of different types there’s proton pump inhibitors there’s uh the histamine blockers as well and then also all sorts of other over the counter things that you can get

Some prescriptions some over the counter acid blockers what they do is they block they basically prevent your body from producing acid and doctors give that to you because they’re like oh well if you have acid reflux we need to we need to reduce your acid and that will fix your problem right well it can sort of fix a problem it’s not the best way to do it but

What it does is it reduces absorption of other medications including your thyroid hormone so acid blockers are never really intended to be used for longer than two week intervals so if you’re using one i’ve seen people on it for like 10 plus years that is causing a serious problem in absorption of all sorts of medications nutrients minerals and increasing your

Risk of conditions like clostridium difficile colitis so you really do not want to be using acid blockers every day for a long period of time they block a lot of problems but they or they cause a lot of problems one of which is they block thyroid hormone absorption next one would be any sort of fiber so let me make sure you can see that yeah so we have fiber here

Uh fiber can be over the counter but there are some you know doctors may prescribe it for constipation things like that you just really got to be careful with fiber one of the things that you can do is just take your thyroid medication far away from the fiber that you’re using and that should be sufficient to solve that problem the next one is sucral plate so

This one is used for people who have ulcers or who have lots of inflammation or gastritis inflammation in the stomach lining so it’s not a super common one but some you know you may be on it just realize that sucral fate can impact the absorption of thyroid medications i put estrogen down here so estrogen for things like treating menopause and and so on if you’re

Using it orally it can increase thyroid globulin binding hormone and what that will do is it’ll bind up the medication and like make it less active so it doesn’t actually infer with the absorption per se but it does interfere with thyroid medication or the actual thyroid hormone itself and then the last one is caffeine so i’ve included caffeine here because again

This is available over the counter you might be consuming coffee and so on and so forth but it is found in certain medications as well so i included on this list and it can block the absorption of thyroid medication as well caffeine is a stimulant to the to the intestinal tract and to the body by the way so what it does is it causes the intestinal tract to move

Quicker and if and if the intestinal tract is moving quicker and things are moving um through that tract quicker they have less time to be absorbed so less of that thyroid hormone is getting into your intestinal tract which by the way just as an aside is one of the reasons i do not recommend that you take caffeine in the morning and then you know an hour later

Take your thyroid medication because what’s gonna happen you’re gonna stimulate that intestinal tract and all that medication that you’re trying to get in is gonna go right out okay so a lot of people have bowel movements right after they have their coffee because it’s a stimulant in that way so this is just an overview of how medications can negatively impact

Uh your thyroid thyroid function at all levels by the way so we’re talking about conversion we’re talking about tsh in the brain we’re talking about thyroid gland in the neck and we’re talking about thyroid medication absorption of things like levothyroxine synthroid ndt t3 and so on so if you are taking any of these medications and didn’t know about this leave

Your comment below i want to hear about it so let me know especially if some of these were you know this is like the first time you’ve heard about it because lots of doctors i mean i didn’t even learn this stuff in medical school i had to learn this after uh doing a lot of research and figuring out how all these things impact some of them they do know like lithium

And amiodarone but the other ones were not really taught to me so if you are aware these are experienced in this problem or if you suspect you have this problem leave a comment below um and by the way if you haven’t already i have a ton of three free resources that you can download in pdf files they’re available in the link below so make sure you downl

Transcribed from video
Medications that BLOCK Thyroid Function (Avoid THESE prescription medications) By Dr. Westin Childs