The thyroid medication Synthroid levothyroxine may help reduce appetite, according to some research. But, that’s not all you need to know.
In this article:
- What Is Synthroid?
- Synthroid Levothyroxine Effects on Thyroid Patients
- Why Do Patients Commonly Take Synthroid Levothyroxine?
- Including Synthroid Levothyroxine in Your Thyroid Treatment
- Should You Switch to Generic Synthroid?
Synthroid and Appetite | What’s the Relationship Between the Two?
What Is Synthroid?
Before you proceed to the meat of the article, get to know more about Synthroid medication. Why do you take it in the first place?
It is a medication used to treat hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid. The thyroid glands are small, but their role is significant.
They produce hormones critical to the body’s several metabolic functions. One of these is T4 or thyroxine.
In their optimal conditions, the thyroid glands produce about 80% of T4. Only 20% is of T3 (triiodothyronine), although the hormone strength of T3 can be four times that of T4.
Vital organs such as the kidneys and liver will convert T4 into active T3.
The body can then use these for temperature regulation and weight management. These hormones are also necessary for the growth and development of the brain and bones.
The body doesn’t produce these hormones by themselves—it needs the help of the brain. The brain’s hypothalamus creates the thyroid-releasing hormone (TRH), which stimulates the pituitary gland.
This gland, then, secretes the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which manages thyroid hormone production.
When the serum TSH level is high, the pituitary gland stops the production of TSH.
The opposite happens when the numbers are low. It does this to ensure the glands have enough hormones for proper thyroid function.
People with hypothyroidism struggle to increase their T4. The doctors may recommend levothyroxine in its synthetic form, like Synthroid, to stimulate production.
Synthroid Levothyroxine Effects on Thyroid Patients
There’s no single treatment for hypothyroidism. The options can differ based on their mechanism and type of ingredient used.
Here’s an example: Synthroid and Armour are both synthetic versions of thyroxine. The most significant difference is their makeup.
People consider Armour thyroid medication as more natural. It comes from animal thyroid glands.
The variations also mean the effects may differ.
Synthroid levothyroxine is a popular type of thyroid medication, and there is recent evidence many of those taking it experience weight loss.
Most of the time, weight loss occurs because Synthroid may give the patient a loss of appetite throughout their treatment. This effect may be highly beneficial for patients with symptoms of weight gain.
This weight loss effect has been becoming a common experience among Synthroid users, according to Mental Health Daily:
Heads up! It’s important for you to know the differences (and similarities) between the two! https://t.co/E5NqcBROVw
— Thyroid Symptoms (@ThyroidSymptms) September 15, 2017
Individuals with hypothyroidism often exhibit symptoms such as cognitive deficits, depression, dry skin, fatigue, malaise, and weight gain. Regular administration of Synthroid (levothyroxine) is thought to reverse the aforementioned symptoms of hypothyroidism and improve the functionality of the user. After several months of properly-dosed Synthroid, users often report clearer thinking, increased energy, mood improvements, and perhaps most noticeably – weight loss.
Weight loss is often among the most dicussed Synthroid side effects due to the fact that nearly everyone wants to look good and maintain a healthy physique. Additionally, many individuals had gained a significant amount of weight prior to using Synthroid (as a result of hypothyroidism), a condition which slows metabolism. When metabolic processes are corrected as a result of Synthroid, users end up losing weight and the weight loss comes as a pleasant surprise.
The most common explanation as to how Synthroid levothyroxine causes weight loss is because it tries to regulate your metabolism.
This is especially great for patients with low thyroid hormone levels who are also most likely experience a slow metabolism. When their metabolism is more regular, their bodies may stop experiencing symptoms of weight gain.
Synthroid on its own doesn’t necessarily make your body lose weight, but its effects on your system influence your weight.
Apart from regularizing your metabolism, there are also reviews of users who experience a loss of appetite when taking this medication. This reduction in appetite is a significant help in managing the patients’ hypothyroid symptoms.
Why Do Patients Commonly Take Synthroid Levothyroxine?
Synthroid levothyroxine is a popular thyroid hormone medication. It is one of the most prescribed thyroid drugs in the United States.
Even though not all patients may experience weight and appetite loss from Synthroid, it may still give other benefits such as stimulated energy levels, cognitive activity, and mood enhancement. Most importantly, Synthroid levothyroxine can balance your thyroid hormone levels.
Earlier, the article talks about the complex relationships among hormones. Now, delve into the reasons why people experience thyroid disease called hypothyroidism:
1. Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid cancer affects more than 50,000 men and women in the United States. It also had an increased incidence rate of 4% from 2005 to 2014.
Unlike other cancers, though, this has a high survival rate at 98% within the next five years.
One of the immediate solutions is the removal of the tumor and even the thyroid gland. The doctor, then, prescribes levothyroxine to help the body continue producing thyroid hormones.
2. TSH Suppression
People with differentiated thyroid cancers can lose one of their thyroid glands. They may also undergo radioiodine therapy.
What Is Radioiodine Therapy? It is a nuclear medicine treatment that helps shrink or destroy a part or an entire thyroid gland. It is a common treatment for those with thyroid cancer and overactive thyroid.
The treatments, though, don’t stop the production of TSH. There is still the risk of recurrence.
The doctor may prescribe TSH suppression as a thyroid hormone therapy to prevent it. It introduces high dosages of thyroxine.
The process may also prevent an underactive thyroid.
3. Acquired Hypothyroidism
Acquired hypothyroidism is sometimes the other name for or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis. You may know it as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
It is an autoimmune disease. The immune system goes into overdrive and attacks the body’s organs.
These may include the thyroid. The condition can lead to the swelling of the glands and their dysfunction.
Acquired hypothyroidism can start early, such as during teenage years. The doctor may recommend Synthroid increase low thyroid hormone production.
4. Iodine Deficiency
The body needs trace minerals such as iodine to function well. It can prevent intellectual problems among babies during pregnancy and birth.
It is also necessary for the production of thyroid hormones.
When the body’s absorption of iodine is low, there’s not enough for the glands to work with. It may result in a much lower hormone creation.
It may even increase the risks of multinodular goiter or the swelling and growth of the glands. This occurs when the glands have to work a lot harder to keep up with the hormone demands of the body.
In the United States, iodine deficiency is already rare. Table salt manufacturers, for instance, already fortify their products with this mineral.
5. Diabetes Mellitus
People an autoimmune disorder may develop another one. If a person has type 1 diabetes, the risks of having Hashimoto is high.
A sluggish thyroid can slow down metabolism. It can affect the way the body regulates glucose or blood sugar. These include the development of type 2 diabetes.
Taking Synthroid may not only improve thyroid function. It may also reduce the risks of diabetes by helping to control weight and appetite.
6. Gut Issues
There’s a good reason to incorporate gut-healing foods into your menu.
The gastrointestinal tract interacts with the thyroid hormones. It may work as a reservoir for T3 hormones.
The gut absorbs the hormones from the bloodstream and helps in their distribution. Thus, gut problems can disrupt the body’s hormone activity.
Including Synthroid Levothyroxine in Your Thyroid Treatment
Hypothyroidism often occurs when there are low levels of T4 in the body, and Synthroid levothyroxine is a synthetically engineered form of T4. Introducing more T4 to balance low levels of thyroid hormones may help increase or regulate your basal metabolic rate.
Basal Metabolic Rate Definition: The number of calories the body needs to function at rest.
Your body may not adjust as quickly from this sudden increase from a slow metabolism. This could lead to visible weight loss during the first weeks of taking Synthroid levothyroxine.
Note, though, the body can adapt to the medication. The benefits mentioned may no longer be optimal at some point.
You need to visit your doctor to adjust your Synthroid dosage.
Some people may experience weight loss. They may also have other issues such as irregular heartbeat.
Others may develop dizziness or headache, and irritability.
These do not immediately mean they are side effects of Synthroid. The root cause may be the hormone levels.
You may already have an overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism. It can happen when you are taking too much Synthroid.
It’s always best to consult with your doctor on how to take Synthroid each time. Do not self-medicate.
Others, though, may develop sensitivity to the ingredients found in Synthroid. They can consider exploring other options then, including more natural options.
Should You Switch to Generic Synthroid?
The term “generic Synthroid” is confusing and even misleading. Synthroid is a brand name, and the generic form is levothyroxine.
There are pros and cons for taking either of the options. Generic can be cheaper than the brand-name drug, and yet the active ingredient is the same.
They may even have similar cardiovascular outcomes.
It’s a matter of potency and the other ingredients present. Others do not react well with dyes and additives.
To be sure, know the ingredients present in the medication, whether it is generic or brand name.
Learn more about thyroid and antithyroid drugs in this video from NCLEX Study Guide:
Some studies did show Synthroid medication may help curb appetite. It may help manage weight gain, which is one of the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Thyroid disorders, though, are a lot more complex. Taking drugs may not be the only solution.
Work with your doctor to help you manage your thyroid levels. If Synthroid doesn’t boost your health, be open to other options.
Do you take Synthroid levothyroxine in your thyroid treatment? How is it managing your thyroid symptoms? Share your thoughts and experience with us in the comments below!
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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on October 24, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
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