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Calcium & Hypothyroidism

By Victoria Weinblatt

If you take synthetic hormones as part of your hypothyroidism treatment, you might not get enough calcium. Hypothyroidism indicates your thyroid gland produces an insufficient amount of hormones to keep your body functioning normally. Calcium does not aggravate this condition or make it better. However, your hypothyroid medication may reduce the amount of calcium your body can absorb. Before taking calcium supplements, consult with your doctor about possible adverse reactions.


You have more calcium in your body than any other mineral. Your body stores almost all your calcium in your bones and teeth. Necessary for good health, calcium plays a part in vital bodily functions, including regulating your heartbeat, maintaining strong bones and proper hormone secretion. Calcium-rich foods include yogurt, tofu made with calcium sulfate and spinach. Your body digests calcium citrate supplements easier than other forms of calcium.


You have hypothyroidism when your thyroid gland is underactive and does not produce enough hormones. Your thyroid is in the front of your neck, just below the place where a man’s Adam’s apple would be. Thyroid hormones regulate your metabolism and a shortage of these hormones tends to make you gain weight. Women over 50 tend to have higher rates of hypothyroidism than other people. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include a puffy face, unexpected weight gain and swelling in your joints.


People with hypothyroidism run a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. When you have osteoporosis, low levels of calcium in your bones make them porous, brittle and prone to breaks and fractures. The medication you take for hypothyroidism contains thyroid hormones. Too much of these hormones can cause your bones to lose their density and you develop osteoporosis. People suffering from an overactive thyroid – called hyperthyroidism – can develop osteoporosis as a result of their condition, too.


Once you get your hypothyroidism diagnosis, your doctor will probably prescribe medication to provide your body with synthetic hormones. The medication gets your metabolism back to normal and can help you lose the weight you gained as a result of your condition. Taking calcium supplements can render your hypothyroid medication less effective by inhibiting your body’s ability to absorb the synthetic hormones. To resolve this problem, Dr. Todd B. Nippoldt from the Mayo Clinic recommends taking calcium supplements a minimum of four hours after you take your medication. Tell your doctor if you take calcium supplements to avoid complications.

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