Hypothyroidism Medication Mistakes to Avoid

The goal of hypothyroidism treatment is to replace the thyroid hormone that you are not able to produce. This helps you feel more energized and back to your normal self. After you’re diagnosed with hypothyroidism, your healthcare provider will likely prescribe a synthetic hormone that helps stabilize your thyroid levels. But there are some guidelines for taking the medication that you need to know about. Here’s how to avoid the most common hypothyroidism medication mistakes.

The synthetic thyroid hormone won’t be absorbed properly unless you take it on an empty stomach and wait 45 to 60 minutes afterward before eating. The simplest way to accomplish this is to take your thyroid medication first thing in the morning.

Just as there shouldn’t be food in your stomach when you take your hypothyroidism medication, it’s also important to avoid taking any other medication at the same time. Specifically, antacids, calcium, cholesterol drugs, and iron supplements can each interfere with the way the thyroid hormone is absorbed.

Some medication will affect the way your thyroid hormone is absorbed, including birth control pills, estrogen, testosterone, seizure drugs, and some depression medication, according to the American Thyroid Association (ATA). That doesn’t mean you can’t take these other drugs — but if you do, make sure your doctor is aware.

For your medication to work properly, you need to take it regularly and consistently. Skipping doses, taking your medication in the morning one day and in the evening the next, or taking it with food some days and on an empty stomach other days can affect how the medication is absorbed.

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What to Expect at Your First Pap Smear

For most women, turning 21 has an odd caveat to go with the milestone: their first pap smear. A pap smear (also known as a pap test) is a vaginal exam that screens for cervical cancer. This is done by taking a swab to collect cervical cells to be examined for abnormal growth and other indications of precancerous/cancerous cells. It’s a simple procedure that takes a few minutes at most, but many women have concerns and fears when they step into their doctor’s office for their first one. Your doctor should explain every step as they proceed, but it should go something like this:

After undressing, your doctor will instruct you to lay on your back and put your feet up in the examination table’s stirrups.

Your doctor will then prepare and insert the speculum, which is an instrument that holds your vaginal walls apart so the cervix is seeable and reachable for your doctor. If you’re afraid that it will hurt, don’t be—doctors commonly use lube to ensure that the speculum will slide into place easily and as gently as possible, and when not opened, the speculum is a bit bigger than a tampon. Once inserted, there will be a slight pressure in that area, but just keep relaxing and it will be fine.

Then, using an instrument called a spatula (a small, flat scraping device) or a brush with soft bristles, your doctor will take samples of your cervical cells from the cervix’s walls. It doesn’t hurt, but again, the sensation will be a little odd.

After the samples are collected and transferred and the speculum is removed, you are all done! Your doctor will give you a chance to clean up and get dressed again before your appointment resumes. Be sure to check with your doctor about when to expect the results of your pap smear.

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Carmalized Green Beans


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 1 small shallot, halved
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and halved
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon sugar
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1/2 of a lemon

Step 1

In an extra-large stainless-steel or cast-iron skillet melt butter over medium until bubbling. Add green beans and toss well to coat. Add shallot, garlic, ginger, and dill. Season with a big pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, tossing frequently, until beans are darkened in color, slightly wilted, and caramelized, 35 to 40 minutes. Some of the green beans will be darker and softer than others; that’s okay.

Step 2

Sprinkle in the sugar and cook another minute to dissolve. Remove pan from heat and stir in lemon zest and juice. Season to taste with more salt and pepper. Serves 4.

*information from