What High Fiber Foods Should I Avoid When I Take Levothyroxine?

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Diets that contain high fiber can interfere with absorption of levothyroxine. Levothyroxine replaces thyroid hormone and is prescribed to patients with hypothyroidism. Since fiber affects the rate of food absorption in the body, it can affect the amount of medication the body absorbs.

Wheat in field
Wheat in field (Image: florin1961/iStock/Getty Images)

Cabbage

Cabbage, like other high-fiber foods, interferes specifically with iodine uptake. Preventing iodine from being absorbed inhibits the body from producing thyroid hormones.

Cabbage in garden
Cabbage in garden (Image: nanoqfu/iStock/Getty Images)

Walnuts

Walnuts can also interfere with the absorption rate of levothyroxine. Walnuts are a high source of fiber and omega 3, which helps prevent cardiovascular diseases. The daily limit of walnut consumption when taking levothyroxine is 12 grams. Any amount beyond that will interfere with the medication.

Three walnuts on wood table
Three walnuts on wood table (Image: indigolotos/iStock/Getty Images)

St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort has traditionally been used for pain relief, anti-diarrhea, and anti-inflammatory treatment. It also has many drug contraindications including levothyroxine. It interferes with absorption time and decreased the activity of levothyroxine in the body.

St. John’s Wort flowering
St. John’s Wort flowering (Image: Roman Ivaschenko/Hemera/Getty Images)

Other Foods

Other sources of fiber include apples, raspberries, pears, black beans, peas, lentils, artichokes, broccoli, brussels sprouts and soybeans.

Farmer with handful of soybeans
Farmer with handful of soybeans (Image: Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images)

Consistency

Changing the amount of fiber in a daily diet can affect the amount of levothyroxine the body absorbs therefore decreasing the effectiveness of the drug. This is due to the fact that fiber speeds up the absorption process of food in the body. If diet habits fluctuate, check thyroid hormones levels every six to eight weeks to assure normal hormone levels in the body. Maximum absorption of levothyroxine is best when taken early in the morning on an empty stomach one hour before consuming food.

Man in housecoat taking pill
Man in housecoat taking pill (Image: Randy Faris/Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images)

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