Thyroid Diseases, Living Well With (cont.)

I am taking prenatal vitamins. Is this giving me a sufficient amount of the vitamins you recommended in your book or should I be taking additional supplements in addition to the prenatal?

Prenatal vitamins characteristically have somewhat higher levels of the B vitamins and calcium and iron than typically found in a regular multivitamin. Whether this is meeting your requirements is not something I can determine. You'd need to talk to your doctor or nutritionist, about whether this is suitable for your health situation.

I can tell you that even some of the best prenatal vitamins do not include, in sufficient quantities, some of the nutrients that you may want to be sure you're getting. Also, most do not include amino acids like Tyrosine that are helpful to thyroid conditions.

A warning: Prenatal vitamins are typically high in iron and may contain supplemental calcium. Those are essential to a pregnant woman or nursing mother. Calcium and iron have the ability to interfere with the thyroid hormone that you are taking. So you need to make sure you are allowing three to four hours time difference between taking a vitamin that includes calcium or iron, and your thyroid drug, or you may be deactivating your thyroid drug and allowing yourself to become hypothyroid. This is important for pregnant women because adequate thyroid replacement hormones are important during your baby's development, even in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. Many women begin taking prenatal vitamins when trying to conceive or as soon as they find out they are pregnant. So be sure to take these drugs at least three to four hours apart. This also applies to calcium-fortified orange juice, which many people like to take in the morning, with their vitamins and medication. Do not take that with your thyroid medication.

"Calcium and iron have the ability to interfere with the thyroid hormone that you are taking."

Mary, we are almost out of time. Before we wrap things up for today, do you have any final comments for us?

I thank everyone for coming, and if you have questions that weren't answered, I'd be happy to find information for you if you write to me. You can write to me at If you'd like to stay up on information, I welcome you to visit the web site and sign up for my free email letter. I hope you find this information helpful as you stay on the road to living well.

When will your new book be out?

This fall, late September. The new addition of Living Well with Hypothyroidism came out this spring with updated information for 2005.

Our thanks to Mary J. Shomon for joining us today. For more information, please read Mary Shomon's books including Living Well with Hypothyroidism , The Thyroid Diet: Manage Your Metabolism for Lasting Weight Loss , and her new one Living Well with Graves' Disease and Hyperthyroidism . You can also visit her on the web at For more discussion on this topic, be sure to visit the WebMD message boards to ask questions of our online health professionals and to share questions, comments, and support with other WebMD members.

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