Foods that react with Levo

Hi, I am another Newby to the forum. I was diagnosed several years ago and now take 75mcg levo. I have gained weight and get very bloated but someone has told me that certain foods react against the levo. Foods quoted were soya, broccoli and also fluoride toothpaste. Can anyone confirm this and maybe tell me of anything else I should be avoiding. I have a blood test once a year but never see the GP

33 Replies

  • Have you gained the weight since being on Levo? What was your diagnosis several years ago? Hypothyroidism or Hashimoto's Autoimmune Thyroiditis & Hypothyroidism?

    How long have you been on 75mcg ?

    Do you have copies of your most recent blood test results and ranges.?

    As well as the bloating do you also suffer with constipation?



  • gluten and dairy are the usual triggers for bloating

    weight gain and continued hypothyroid symptoms are too low a dose of medication

    75mcg is a starter dose what are your blood test results ?

    do you arrange blood test for Early morning and fasting drjnking only water

    are you careful to never never take your levothyroxine in the previous 24 hours

  • If you post most recent results (including ranges- the figures in brackets after)

    Also if you have recent tests for vitamin D, folate, ferritin & B12

    If you keep reading on here you will learn Thyroid issues are strongly linked to poor gut function, low nutrients & food intolerances - usually gluten

    Very many of us been in similar situation to yourself - GP says blood tests "fine" or "normal" but you feel terrible

    Fine tuning Levo dose, improving nutrients & changing diet can all give great improvement

    Most GP's are completely unaware of nutrients/gluten issues

    See The Thyroid Pharmacist

    Amy Myers

    Chris Kresser

    You can get full thyroid & vitamin testing see Thyroid Uk - Blue Horizon or Medichecks- £99 - DIY finger prick test at home or option to get blood draw done at private local clinic

  • Soya, yes, it will affect your levo at a cellular level. Broccoli, no. :)

    Fluoride toothpaste affects the thyroid gland. But if you're already on thyroid hormone replacement, it's probably too late to worry about that. It won't affect your levo, though. But, fluoride - like soya - is probably best avoided by everyone! Both can affect your general health.

  • Thank you all for your responses. I was diagnosed purely with hypothyroidism but have gained weight. I was initially on 50mcg but this was increased to 75 several years ago. I have a blood test every year but have never been given the results but I will ask for them and post on here. Thank you for the advice about diet, fluoride, soya etc, I have never been told any of this before

  • Well, doctors won't tell you anything like that, because they have no idea! You are probably under-medicated on 75 mcg - that is little more than a starter dose - and that's why you've put on weight.

  • I'm not sure it's always accurate to state that 75 mcg is a starter dose. Some people, like myself are hyper sensitive to medication and require a smaller dose to achieve a state of balance.

  • I didn't say it was a starter dose. I said it was little more than a starter dose. Given that the usual starter dose is 50 mcg, I am perfectly correct in saying that 75 is little more than a starter dose.

    Of course there are exceptions. There are exceptions to everything on this planet. But, on a subject like this, unless we know individual cases, we have to generalise. And, I wasn't talking about you - or even to you - I was talking about Herbie1950, who appears to be under-medicated. Please read carefully and know your facts before making disagreeable comments. :)

  • I wasn't aiming to be disagreeable. Simply informing you that for some that isn't the case. Although the post wasn't aimed at me directly, many people like me, use these threads to glean more information and understanding about issues related to hypothyroidism.

  • Well, I do know that. I'm well aware that some people need a lower starting dose, and lower doses in general. And, I would have thought that anyone reading that particular comment would have had the sense to realise I was talking to one particular person about what she needs. I wasn't talking to the world in general saying thou shalt start at 75 mcg, was I? I didn't even say that 75 mcg was a starting dose. I said it was little more than a starting dose. And I didn't say that applied to everyone. I just don't get the feeling that your read my comment carefully and understood what I was talking about. If you had, you wouldn't have made that comment, because it just didn't make any sense under those particular circumstances.

    For most peopIe, a starting dose is 50 mcg, but I know some people need to start lower. However, you wouldn't even know that you needed to start lower until you'd started, because no-one can guess at what dose you need, there's no way of telling in advance. So, most doctors would start you on 50 mcg, anyway.

    And, now, we'll stop squatting Herbie1950's thread to talk about the obvious, shall we? :)

    My apologies, Herbie. :)

  • Weight gain is a clinical symptom of hypothyroidism but can also be due to being on levothyroxine and not on an optimum dose.

    75mcg is not a high dose but your GP may just be more interested in your results being 'somewhere' in range. In fact you have to read, learn, and as questions (as you've done above) in order to recover your health.

    This is the day you change your method of getting a blood test. Request a Full Thyroid Blood Test (it may be refused) and the ones the lab wont do you can have done by one of our recommended labs.

    Levothyroxine should be taken first thing on an empty stomach with one full glass of water and wait about an hour before eating.

    Blood tests have to be the very earliest possible, fasting and allow a 24hour gap between your last dose and the test and take afterwards. Also ask GP to test B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate. Deficiences can give us symptoms.

    We are entitled by Law to get a print-out of our results, for our own records. You can post if you have a query. Labs differ throughout the country so ranges can be different.

    Blood test: TSH, T4, T3, Free T4 and Free T3 and thyroid antibodies as well as those above.

  • Thank you. You've all been so helpful. I've made appointments as advised and I have written down questions to ask. The receptionist I spoke to also suffers and was horrified that I hadn't had a review so i really feel that I'm making progress now. Thank you again

  • It`s a real pain having to wait an hour to eat breakfast when I`m starving hungry, so I take mine last thing at night when i haven`t eaten for several hours. I don`t know why they can`t give us patches for thyroxine, the same as other hormones.

  • So you weren't told! Join the club! The doctors DO NOT KNOW a lot! There is a reason that they call it "practice!" Hypothyroidism is tough to treat anyway as it is a moving target! Bet they didn't tell you that, either! Don't stay on a given dose and suffer along without demanding adjustments! Get tested every 6 months, demand copies of the results and have a conference with doctor OR medical technician with results in your hand and have it explained to you. The medical technician will probably give you more honest, straight forward answers! If you continue to suffer symptoms, go back and demand increase or change and if it doesn't work, offer to sign an opt out for the doctor and get an increase to try for 3 to 6 months. Don't give up! And try to get that weight under control as the weight that you gain due to some medical issue is almost impossible to lose even once you get the medical issue resolved - if you do.

    I am: the e-mail Maniac

  • Hi dear , lugols saved my life . Google for it . Its iodine .

  • I haven't heard this but doesn't mean it isn't true.

    I suffered bloating and stomach upsets. I got good allergy test from nutrition to go. Did an elimination diet of the foods that irritated me and I I just better after cutting out milk, cream, sodium nitrate and yogurt.

    I got a voucher for allergy test from Wowcher so it was about £40 and worth every penny.

  • Welcome to the forum. If you looke on the site of Thyroid Uk you will see loads of info of things to do and things to avoid. Also I did a food intolerance test a few years ago now and found 142 problems! They were shocked but not all food, a few E numbers and low vitamins even though I supplement so started to live my life according to that and have been much better but not saying it will work for everyone.

    Whatever you do I would recommend only doing one thing at a time as otgerwise it's not clear what has caused the improvement or worse the thing working against you. Also remember what works for one may not help others etc. but if you get the basics right you can't go far wrong but learn to listen to your body as well.

  • Weight gain is not necessarily because you are under-medicated - I am the opposite - if you read up on T3 and rT3 this will explain why. I don't think this is common but it's not rare either so I'd recommend you keep an open mind.

  • Hi Herbie1950,

    75 mcg is quite a low dose, so it might mean that you need more. Perhaps if you are due to be retested, mention the weight, which is an indication that the dose needs to be altered. Also, do not take your medication until after the blood test as it gives a more accurate result.

    Regarding food, I have no problem with broccoli, but I do find I am better with lactose free milk these days, although I don't have a lot of milky products (don't like them). I have to be careful with onions and mushrooms, I love them but sometimes they react with my tummy. But then I have a B12 deficiency too, so that might be a reason.

    It might pay you to ask about B12 deficiency as it does go hand in hand with thyroid condition as does anaemia and vitamin D deficiency. So your GP would need to check your ferritin levels too.

    I am alarmed you don't see the GP, I would insist on it as if getting the results from a receptionist, they are not medically trained and are only reading the results from a script. You need to know the ranges of where your results fall too and challenge them. Definitely make an appointment with your GP before the results if need be.

    Take care and let us know how you get on. :)

  • Do also remember that non stick coating on cookware is flouride

    never never use any form of aluminium or non stick coated or foil cookware

    use only stainless steel or cast iron or glass

  • Thank you all for your replies. I have clearly been very naive. I have just spoken to the surgery and have booked a blood test then an appointment with GP for a few days later. Thanks again x

  • No you haven't been naive, we all learn. I have learnt so much here in the last few months then ever before. I have been taking medication since I was five weeks old and I am now in my 50's!

    I just hope you can soon get the right dose and help you need. Just don't be afraid to ask. GP's don't know everything and remember their advise is merely an opinion. I question everything now I am afraid. At the end of the day, you know how you feel and how your body works. We all thrive for quality of life.

    Let us know how you get on. Take care :)

  • I have never been told to fast before getting my bloods taken or not to take my medication for 24 hrs this common practise???? I have been taking my medication before bed the night before bloods taken and having tea on the morning of blood s.. can anyone tell me if this affects the result??? thanks everyone !!!

  • You are not exactly fasting. The way it goes is that you must take your meds on an empty stomach, you must also get your blood test before you take your meds. So you get your blood test as early in the morning as you can so that you can take your meds immediately afterwards, wait an hour, then get your breakfast. For me, breakfast is essential, I flop around until I get that cup of tea and a piece of toast (minimum). So technically it seems that you are fasting, but just so that all processes can take place optimally.

    IMHO I don't think that your cup of tea in the morning is going to affect anything.

  • As a diabetic (type 2) with hypothyroidism I need 6 monthly blood tests. I fasted for 12 hours but succumbed to a cup of black tea on the morning, an hour before the test. I was asked if I'd fasted and admitted the tea. My test was marked as non-fasting! I'm medicated for the thyroid and not the diabetes (both were diagnosed together from the same blood test in 2012 - I now wonder which came first...). Bob

  • Water is not usually counted as breaking a fast, and tea is mostly water. I think you should consider your test results as correct. If you are worried about this, call the person who is going to interpret your results and tell them that you only had a cup of tea and let that person judge whether or not you broke you fast. Now, if you had sugar in that tea, that's a different kettle of fish, sugar would blow your diabetes results out of the water (excuse the mixed metaphors). Your thyroid results will be OK.

  • The collection center nurses have always told me to have a large glass of water before you go to have blood taken particularly after fasting as it helps the blood volume so an easier blood flow.

    I always have a large glass of water and never had any problems with collection. Some collections have been multiple tubes. At one stage I was having bloods done fortnightly. Nasty on the arm as the other arms veins are too deep so the person has to be very skilled. Joys of life!!!!

    I am diabetic and only started meds 12 months ago ... 1 per day.

  • Water is always fine on a 'blood test fast' and my blood results were in line with the previous 6 months

  • You can reverse your type 2 diabetes with a low Glycemic diet, low Glycemic is a meal. With a glycemic value of 55 or below, decreasing you heamaglobin a1c 5.2 or below

  • Agreed, the low GI ( glycaemic index ) approach is useful for diabetics. Note that we usually mix our carb rich food with low or zero carb foods in a meal so the GI is even lower. Not sure what this does to thyroid but it is helpful to those who have been diagnosed with both thyroid and diabetes - two autoimmune conditions... probably not as uncommon as you might think.

  • T4 is a storage hormone I don't believe that taking it in the same 24hr will. Make a difference, if you were taking T3 then that would as it's short lived in comparison.

    That's my opinion anyways

  • For weight management a low Glycemic diet is most important, and reduce calories by 25% but add in nutritional supplements to compensate.

    Odds are being hypothyroid you most likely have adrenal fatigue too, and low GH (growth hormone) both need amino acids which you may be low in too...

  • Thanks everyone. Interesting thoughts. the advice from other people is great

You may also like...