Uncommon Factors that may Block Thyroid Hormone

uncommon factors block thyroid hormone

If you have Hashimoto’s you know how essential it is that you absorb and assimilate your thyroid medication.  Just because you’re faithful with your medication regimen does not guarantee that your body is going to absorb it, however.  Unfortunately, blood levels aren’t always 100% accurate especially if you are experiencing the phenomenon known as thyroid resistance or thyroid pooling.  This is why I teach all my clients to get in tune with their body and pay close attention to their symptoms.  I work closely with them to monitor vitals especially during titration of thyroid dosing because this is key. Their practitioners are pleased by this and they trust me to educate and guide their patients.  Plus, they love the additional objective data. It may or may not surprise you to learn that there are several factors that may alter or block the absorption of thyroid hormone.  So if you’re not feeling optimal, whether your labs indicate you are “normal” or not, I encourage you to consider the following:

  1. Your age, your compliance with medication, fasting, or lifestyle regimen.
  2. Certain foods & beverage such as grapes, soy, papaya, and coffee.
  3. Medications like proton-pump inhibitors, antacids, Carafate (sucralfate) and others.
  4. Conditions that compromise the integrity of the GI tract – the intestinal barrier and diseases that impair stomach acid actually alter the bioavailability of thyroid hormone.

This is in no way an exhaustive list, I didn’t even touch on raw goitrogenic foods but I’ll bet that you found grapes, papaya, fasting and age to be a surprise factors. In no way am I saying you stop eating grapes or papaya.  Moderation is the key.

Information can be so confusing

Hashimoto’s or any autoimmune disease for that matter is not easy, and can literally drain the life out of you! Fatigue, pain, inability to think clearly, feeling hopeless and just overall exhausted from head to toe.  Believe, me I’ve been there. It’s important to arm yourself with the “best of the best” wellness team.  Thyroid and autoimmune disease affect you as a whole being: mind, body, spirit and emotions and medication are never a stand-alone treatment (if only it were that easy!).

My message to you is that you not limit yourself to working only with a knowledgeable physician (although this is important) but to also make sure you add a highly skilled autoimmune and thyroid consultant.  Why?  Well, guess what…your doctor doesn’t know everything there is to know about autoimmune disease, and Hashimoto’s is not a “thyroid” disease per se, it is an autoimmune disease. Unfortunately, there is no medical specialty or discipline in U.S. medical schools for autoimmune disease.

Working with an additional expert on your team to advocate on your behalf and guide you through the process is like finding gold in my opinion. I wish there had been people who offered what I and others currently do when I was so sick and struggling every day for eight long years.  Find and invest in a health consultant who specializes in thyroid and autoimmune conditions and commit to learning all you can.

Your ideal consultant will listen to you, be available for you, answer all your questions, protect and steer you away from fad therapies, guide, empower, and support you with lifestyle changes, teach you coping mechanisms for managing stress & anxiety, educate you on healthy foods for YOU, offer functional testing, work with you on appropriate exercise, provide a certain level of skilled monitoring, devise care plans, advocate on your behalf, attend appointments with you if requested, will work in tandem with your practitioner, and much more.

You might see this as an unnecessary expense and think you can do it all on your own with just your doctor and I humbly disagree. Most doctor’s I work with do appreciate the energy and expertise that a knowledgeable health coach or consultant offers to help their patients.  They actually say their patients progress more quickly than they otherwise might have.

There is a lot of information on the internet…some of it is useful and credible, some is misguided and confusing.  Plus, even the credible information doesn’t apply to every woman because we’re all unique.

As I stated in my eBook Hashimoto’s: Finding Joy in the Journey, there are many shades of Hashimoto’s (and no, I did not borrow this from the movie!).


Ianiro G(1), Mangiola F, Di Rienzo TA, Bibbò S, Franceschi F, Greco AV, Gasbarrini A. (2014). Levothyroxine absorption in health and disease, and new therapeutic perspectives. Eur Rev Med Pharmaco Sci. 18(4): 451-6.