How to avoid calcium while taking thyroid medication

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Dr Keith Roach

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Dear Dr. Roach: I had a thyroidectomy and am on levothyroxine. The instructions for the drug say not to take it within four hours of taking calcium. No discussion of the drug has clearly stated whether this refers only to calcium supplements or whether this also includes high-calcium foods.

I usually take levothyroxine when I wake up, between 2:00 and 3:30, to avoid dairy products for breakfast (e.g. yogurt, cheese and soy milk) and dinner (broccoli, green leafy vegetables, dairy soy). I go to bed quite early. I eat mostly plant-based, as well as dairy.

I’ve asked a few doctors and pharmacists just to let them answer with the question: isn’t it just for supplements? I do not know! That’s why I’m asking. I want my thyroid prescription to work as it should. Can you shed some light on this issue?

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