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Is it Safe to Take Thyroid Medicine When You Don't Need It?

Are you thinking about using thyroid medication like Synthroid (levothyroxine) even though your thyroid function is normal? If so, you are in the right place. These medicines contain active thyroid hormones. They are prescribed to increase thyroid function in people with low thyroid function. But what about people interested in taking Synthroid 137 mcg even though their thyroid function is normal? It might sound weird, but there are good and bad reasons to consider doing this. 

In this blog, we will learn why some people want to use thyroid drugs to assist with weight loss and other potential conditions in which using thyroid medication off-label could be beneficial. We will further discuss the side effects of using thyroid medicines with normal thyroid and if you can go off the medication safely.

Why Would You Take Thyroid Medicine with a Normal Thyroid?

Quite simply, thyroid medications like Synthroid tablets have been used in the past by some people to help them lose weight and fat. If you increase thyroid function, you will increase how many calories you burn daily. According to the National Library of Medicine, the thyroid gland controls up to 60% of your metabolism. It is so well known that thyroid hormone used to be added to weight loss supplements to boost their effectiveness. Hence, it makes perfect sense if you think about it. 

Weight loss and fat loss are common with hyperthyroidism, a condition in which thyroid hormone levels are too high. But there is no good reason to take Synthroid tablets to lose weight. Nevertheless, you may find it beneficial to use thyroid medication even if your thyroid function is normal. Additionally, in the case of extreme depression and bipolar disorder, thyroid medication may be useful. It has been suggested that these people benefit from thyroid hormone because they don’t have enough in their system, but that hasn’t been proven. 

Thyroid hormone can help manage depression in people who have tried many prescription drugs to treat depression that have failed. It is the same for people who have bipolar disorder as well. Those with chronic pain syndromes, chronic fatigue syndromes, and fibromyalgia may also use thyroid medications, particularly T3, off-label. 

Does Everyone on Thyroid Medication Actually Need It?

The people already taking thyroid medication may also wonder whether they need more. According to the American Thyroid Association, those diagnosed with thyroid conditions in their early life may not actually need them later on. Especially for older people in nursing homes, this is very important. Many people who fit this criterion can safely stop taking thyroid medicines. 

According to conventional wisdom, once you start taking a thyroid drug such as levothyroxine, you have to take it for life. Therefore, doctors never think about stopping prescribing the medicines; they keep prescribing them for decades and decades. After checking whether thyroid medications were necessary for these individuals, it was concluded that most older adults can stop taking them without any problems. In younger women taking thyroid drugs, this is not common, but it does occur in older women (70+ years old). 

Side Effects of Thyroid Medication with Normal Thyroid

Using thyroid medicine may cause serious problems if your thyroid function is already normal. A thyroid medication’s side effects can vary from non-existent to quite severe, depending on the type and amount of thyroid hormone you are taking. In general, it leads to health complications like: 

1. Hyperthyroidism

Taking thyroid medication like Synthroid tablets when your thyroid is producing enough hormones can lead to hyperthyroidism. This causes hyperthyroid symptoms such as:

  • Increased heart rate and palpitations
  • Increased sweating and Heat Intolerance
  • Weight loss
  • Nervousness, Anxiety, and Irritability
  • Sleep Disturbances and Insomnia
  • Muscle weakness and tremors
  • Digestive issues, such as nausea, diarrhea, and increased bowel movements

2. Thyroid Storm

It is a life-threatening medical emergency caused by untreated or poorly managed hyperthyroidism. It occurs when there’s a sudden and severe increase in thyroid hormone levels, leading to a cascade of symptoms that can be fatal if not treated. The following symptoms can occur as a result:

  • High fever (102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher)
  • Severe anxiety
  • Excessive sweating
  • Tremors or shaking.
  • Confusion or Delirium
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath

3. Cardiovascular Issues

The excessive use of thyroid drugs like Synthroid tablets can lead to increased levels of thyroid hormone and can put a strain on your heart. The strain can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of strokes. Additionally, these people are more likely to suffer from palpitations, heart failure, and atrial fibrillation. Over time, the persistent strain on the cardiovascular system can also lead to complications, including arrhythmias and structural damage to the heart. 

4. Osteoporosis 

The importance of calcium for bone health is well known. If you take too much thyroid medication, you may have trouble absorbing calcium from your bones. You may develop osteoporosis or fractures if your bones lack calcium. Osteoporosis is sometimes called as a “silent” disease. Why is this? A person with osteoporosis often doesn’t experience any symptoms. Most people don’t realize they have osteoporosis until they break a bone.

5. Neurological Effects

The thyroid regulates several processes the central nervous system (CNS) controls. A good example of this is your sleeping patterns. A high thyroid dosage can make it difficult to sleep well at night. It is also possible to experience other neurological changes as a result of taking a higher dose of thyroid medication than you need. You may experience mood swings, irritability, or even memory loss.

Can You Stop Taking Your Thyroid Medicine?

Most people with primary hypothyroidism need thyroid medication like Synthroid tablets for the rest of their lives. A person with primary hypothyroidism does not make thyroid hormone due to a malfunctioning thyroid gland. Those with subclinical hypothyroidism, however, may be able to try stopping thyroid drugs for a short period. If you want to stop taking thyroid medication, consult your physician first.

Your provider will recommend a gradual taper of your dose if they believe it is safe to trail off your medicines. As a result, your body will be able to adjust to not having extra thyroid hormone. If you experience any symptoms while tapering your dose, tell your provider. In addition, you can buy Synthroid online for discounted prices at the best Canadian online pharmacy, Polar Bear Meds.

The Bottom Line

The use of thyroid medication such as Synthroid tablets can be life-saving if you have low thyroid function, but it can be dangerous if you have normal thyroid levels. It is crucial to adhere to prescription dosages and to be under medical supervision if you experience side effects such as hyperthyroidism symptoms, cardiovascular issues, and neurological changes. 

In addition, if you decide to stop taking thyroid medication, you should consult your healthcare provider, considering your health circumstances. Managing thyroid health safely and effectively requires informed decision-making and ongoing monitoring.

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