Prescription Drugs That Whack Your Thyroid


Many prescription drugs make life hard for your thyroid.
•    Some put the brakes on the TSH that tells your thyroid to start pumping thyroid hormone.
•    Others make it hard for your thyroid hormone to go where it needs to go.
•    Others interfere with the conversion of the T4 stored in your body to the T3 that gives you some mojo. No conversion means no zip, pep or any other kind of energy.
•    Finally, these medications make thyroid blood tests work even less well than usual.

And if you don’t have thyroid problems before you start taking these problem meds, they may show up once you start.

This list of just a few of the troublemakers will depress you, but before losing hope, think nutrition. That’s where the answers are.

Birth control pills and hormone replacement treatment raise your estrogen levels. If you start out with low estrogen, this may be okay, but if you start out high, you’re in trouble. And there’s so much estrogen floating around in foods, lotions, plastics, etc., it’s unlikely you need more estrogen.

Tamoxifen, the drug given to breast cancer patients to block estrogen also blocks thyroid action. The message would seem to be: Don’t mess with estrogen!

Fluoride-based antibiotics, such as Cipro, cause all sorts of mayhem, such as tendon damage that may never heal. And while tendon damage is a strong “maybe,” damaging the thyroid is certain. Fluoride-based antibiotics don’t work any better than older antibiotics; ask for one of those.

Fluoracil is also based on fluoride, but the drug is supposed to treat cancer. Since your thyroid needs to be in good shape for you to be able to heal anything, fluoracil seems to be a contradiction.

Metformin is prescribed to diabetics to lower blood sugar levels. However, high blood sugar is a sign your body’s not using insulin properly, and the solution is to fix the insulin problem, not whack your thyroid.

Dopamine, prescribed to Parkinson’s Disease patients, doesn’t work well and stops working when the body gets accustomed to it. Meanwhile, it’s wreaking havoc on your thyroid.

Glucocorticoids and other steroids are anti-inflammatory drugs that not only hurt your thyroid, but also depress your immune system, skyrocket your blood pressure and cause erectile dysfunction.

Evista, while prescribed to fight osteoporosis, actually weakens your bones. Evista holds on to dead cells so bones look thicker, but they’re brittle and snap like twigs. And Evista makes your thyroid falter.

Lithium is prescribed for bipolar disease, hyperactivity, aggression, etc. The price your thyroid pays doesn’t seem to get mentioned.

Zoloft, widely prescribed for depression, anxiety, OCD and panic attacks, raises questions. For one instance, depression often accompanies low thyroid function, so  does it make sense to further reduce thyroid function?

Amphetamines, prescribed for both narcolepsy and its polar opposite ADD, can create addiction that’s hard to overcome. Setting up children for a possible lifetime of drug  and endocrine problems is a bad deal.

Lasix is a diuretic prescribed for congestive heart failure, liver disorders, kidney problems and edema. Besides doing a number on your thyroid, diuretics wash vitamins and minerals out of your body, which is never good.

This list could make a stone weep! Especially since none of these drugs do anything about fixing a problem, only covering up symptoms.

What do you do if you’re already taking a one (or more) of these drugs?

Start building a strong nutrition program, and, as things get better, gradually wean yourself off the medication. It’s good if your doctor will help, but you may be on your own.

What’s strong nutrition? Besides a good diet, good nutrition includes the vitamins, minerals, etc. specific to your body’s needs. Health is never about one-size-fits-all, and rebuilding health definitely isn’t.

My Pep For the Pooped book and Moving to Health program are both based on how to understand what your body needs, so you can customize your nutrition.

While standing in line at the grocery store, I talked about my work with the lady ahead of me. She seemed to think my stuff was just like everybody else’s. Excuse me? I didn’t spend a whole lot of years and a ton of effort to be a copy-cat.

I think my mother would have loved it if I had been a copy-cat instead of marching around to the beat of a rhythmically-challenged, syncopated drummer she couldn’t hear.

But now you can get the benefit of my different look at  things. Good, eh?

God is good,
Bette Dowdell


About the author: Bette Dowdell defines determination. In a really deep health ditch, with doctors who didn’t help, she got her Oh-Yeah! attitude in gear and researched her way out. She never intended to be a health expert, but sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. You can subscribe to Bette’s free e-mails on how to recognize and resolve health problems at

Bette Dowdell
A drunk driver pretty much destroyed my health a month before my first birthday. Doctors said I was fine--for years. Finally realizing my health was up to me, I started researching. I got out the health ditch I was in, and found my future: Giving people the information they need to understand how to take control of their own health. It's been an amazing journey, and I look forward to all that is yet to come.