Thyroid UK
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Taking levothyroxine

Being new to this site and reading other people's questions about when to take your medication, I was just told to take mine before food, so I take mine when I get to work with a coffee n Special K bar, ( that's my breakfast) :-), could this be why I am feeling unwell, I had my blood test today and am hoping to see a dr within the week for the results, I just feel that both the hospital and my gp have just given me my tablets and not fully explained what is exactly is going on with my thyroid,at this moment in time and without sounding pathetic, I feel as tho my head could explode trying to take in what's being said on here , what few blood tests I have had done I have never been told what the bloods mean all I have got is "your levels are borderline ' that's basically it, sorry if I seem to be rattling on and I think my poor dr will have ear ache as there are lots of questions going round my head at the moment ..... And breathe.

7 Replies

Oh dear. :-(

Yes indeed that could be bad. Special K contains not only cereals, but one of the bad substances for interfering with absorption - an iron supplement. Further, most people eat the cereal form with milk - which contains another bad substance for interfering - calcium - and the bar has calcium carbonate. And, don't tell me, you have calcium-containing milk in your coffee as well! :-)

If you want to carry on with breakfast and coffee, I suggest you consider taking levothyroxine at bed-time.

Our advice is to try to keep a two hour gap between food, drinks other than water, supplements, other medications and your levothyroxine. Four hours for iron and calcium!

Have a look here:

Also, do get your actual blood test results.Never accept "borderline" or "normal" - get the numbers - and the reference ranges.

I suspect that will be enough for now!

Do read the links. Do think about what to do. Do come back and ask anything else or for clarification, etc.

A randomly chosen Special K bar:

Peach & Apricot Bar


Kellogg’s Special K Cereal (44%) (Rice, Wheat {Wholewheat, Wheat Flour}, Sugar, Wheat Gluten, Skimmed Milk Powder, Defatted Wheatgerm, Salt, Barley Malt Flavouring, Vitamin C, Niacin, Iron, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin (B2), Thiamin (B1), Folic Acid, Vitamin B12), Glucose Syrup, Dried Fruit (12%)(Peach, Apricot {Preservative :Sulphur Dioxide, Sodium Hydrogen Sulphite}), Fructose, Sugar, Vegetable Oil, Dextrose, Humectant (Sorbitol, Glycerol), Skimmed Milk Powder, Milk Whey Powder, Calcium Carbonate, Lactose(from milk), Flavourings, Citric Acid, Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin), Antioxidant (E320).

All the best



Dare I say that, although they don't interfer with your levo, glucose syrup, fructose and sorbitol are also very bad for your health. Personally, I wouldn't touch this with a barge pole! It's more like a chemical bar than a cereal bar!

Just my humble opinion, Grey


So the plain sugar (twice!), dextrose and lactose are good for your health! :-)

(Just a laugh with a bit of truth. Not getting at you, Neen, but at Kelloggs. The current favourite trick does seem to be to use many different forms of sugar so that it does not come across as "fruit, wheat and sugar" but effectively hides how many of the ingredients are various forms of sugar. That product adds up to 24% sugar plus 54% starch - from the link.)


There's not much in there that is good for you. What's more, for me, they don't even taste good! (Just had a nibble once.) I'd much rather have a dripping sandwich for my breakfast! lol (With lots of salt!!!)


i take my levothyroxine about 6 or 7am & always have but dont have breakfast till at least 9am. I was told to take in morning but maybe they,ve changed their minds from when i first took them over 20 yrs ago. Still takes me about an hour to actually motivate myself till they kick like a brain dead until they do but one thing i read about in a book i got from the chemist is that luckily having hypothyroidism doesnt effect your sense of humour and i thouroughly believe that because my humour in my everyday life is awesome and quick itted lol have to have a sense of humour sometimes or you,d just sit down and cry with all the symptoms you can get ith this debilitating desease


I was told to take in the morning but years ago I read a Japanese study which said most slow-acting medications work better overnight so I started taking them at night and found that not only was it more convenient as I had eaten at least 3 hours earlier, but they started to work better. A survey done here recently seems to back this up for most people.

Yes I have noticed that when I was at my worst and lowest ebb I still could see the funny side to life. I was a shell of a human being but the more depressed I got the more I found to laugh at. It seems a bit of a paradox doesn't it!


I do not recognise specifically a Japanese study, but there have been a few specifically on Levothyroxine. They all come to the conclusion that bed-time is perfectly reasonable and may be a better option for some people.

The pattern of FT4 levels would tend to be closer to the rhythms in people who do not have thyroid problems.

Unfortunately, people like manufacturers (i.e. in their Patient Information Leaflets), and doctors (in what they tell patients), have not caught up with the research.

The poll here does show that some people prefer it; some do not. But the reasons vary.

A few people have been doing so for years and years - pre-dating any of this research - and being perfectly content with the timing.



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