Medications and foods often don't mix. Doctors prescribe Synthroid, the brand name for levothyroxine, to treat low thyroid levels. Many people take their daily dose of the drug in the morning, before breakfast. Some foods and supplements can interfere with Synthroid absorption; you may need to tailor your breakfast menu to avoid these foods.
The thyroid produces the hormone T4, which helps regulate metabolism. When your thyroid doesn't produce enough T4, your doctor may prescribe Synthroid. Doctors often suggest taking Synthroid before breakfast to increase your serum T4 levels throughout the day. Synthroid, a synthetic version of the thyroid hormone T4, helps keep your T4 levels within a therapeutic range. Foods or supplements that interfere with absorption could affect your serum levels and cause low thyroid symptoms to reappear.
Foods to Avoid
Foods high in fiber can bind to Synthroid and prevent its absorption. Bran cereals and other grains, along with beans and lentils as well as some fruits, such as raspberries, contain high fiber. Eating walnuts, large amounts of calcium or calcium-fortified juices, or cotton seed meal for breakfast could also decrease the effectiveness of Synthroid by decreasing absorption.
Healthy Breakfast Foods
It's easy to eat well for breakfast when you take Synthroid. Eggs and lean meats can fit into your breakfast plan. Foods such as yogurt and cottage cheese do contain calcium but not in large enough amounts to interfere with Synthroid, as long as you wait 30 minutes after taking your medicine to eat. Grains lower in fiber, such as rice cereal, toast or refined cereals, and fruit juices that don't contain calcium also work well. Add peanut butter to your toast for extra protein. You can also eat pancakes, waffles, bagels and other breakfast carbs as long as they're not made from high-fiber grains.
Separating Synthroid intake from foods and supplements known to interfere with absorption of the medication by at least two to three hours helps keep thyroid levels within the normal range. Do not eat anything at all within 30 minutes of taking your Synthroid medicine, Drugs.com advises. A 12-person Dutch study reported in the January 2007 issue of "Clinical Endocrinology" found that levothyroxine was better absorbed when taken at night than during the day. If your doctor allows you to take Synthroid at night, you don't have to worry about what you eat at breakfast.
Synthroid can cause osteoporosis, or low bone density. Your doctor may want you to increase your calcium intake or take calcium supplements to prevent osteoporosis. Do not take calcium supplements, including antacids, within four hours of Synthroid; calcium supplements can reduce Synthroid absorption by as much as 33 percent, according to Drugs.com.