(BPT) – Many of us have a morning routine. However, millions of Americans say “good morning” a little differently. For individuals living with the incurable condition of hypothyroidism, their morning routine is likely to include taking medication at the same time before breakfast each morning, as prescribed by their doctor.
According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, medication adherence is important for helping the body function when it comes to thyroid care. To help patients, AbbVie launched Good Morning Hypothyroidism (GMH), a program that focuses on creating a daily routine to help manage the life-long condition of hypothyroidism. When and how patients take their medication can affect the way the body absorbs it, so resources encouraging patients to establish and follow to a daily routine are important.
Hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid gland, is a common condition in which the thyroid gland cannot produce enough thyroid hormone to keep the body functioning properly, according to the American Thyroid Association. The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland located in the lower front of the neck, which produces thyroid hormones that help regulate certain functions of the body. Hypothyroidism affects millions of people in the U.S. and as many as 10 percent of women may have some degree of thyroid hormone deficiency, according to an endocrineweb.com report.
“Helping patients understand hypothyroidism and providing them with useful information is our primary goal,” says Jordan Geller, M.D., board-certified Internist and Endocrinologist and past Clinical Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. “Good Morning Hypothyroidism inspires patients to learn about their life-long condition and encourages a community of support for all those affected by hypothyroidism.”
GMH provides tips for establishing a morning routine to ensure consistent treatment compliance, including:
In sight, in mind: Keep your medication near one of the first things you see or use when you wake up, such as your phone or toothbrush.
Leave a note: Leave a sticky note reminder where you’re sure to see it. If you walk your dog each morning, attach a reminder note to your dog’s leash. If you read the morning news on your phone or tablet, place a note on that.
Know you’ve taken it: Turn your medicine bottle or pillbox upside down after taking your medication each morning. Before going to sleep, turn the bottle right side up so you remember to take it again in the morning.
Keep it straight: Use a weekly pillbox to ensure you take your medication as your doctor prescribes. Sign up to get “pill and refill reminders” via text or email at ourmorningroutine.com/medication/pill-reminder.
The program aims to help patients better manage their hypothyroidism by fostering a spirit of connection and a sense of community through tools and resources such as a patient journal, medication refill reminder and a network of hypothyroidism patients. This patient network, called the Before Breakfast Club Ambassadors, shares stories of individuals’ diagnoses, routines and how they manage their hypothyroidism every day at ourmorningroutine.com/support/before-breakfast-club.
“Upon receiving my hypothyroidism diagnosis, I was uncertain about what it would mean to manage a lifelong condition,” says Elisa A., from Tennessee. “It was important for me to recognize I’m not on this journey alone. By consulting closely with my physician, I’ve learned important tools to manage my condition. And by nurturing connections with a community of individuals living with hypothyroidism, I’ve felt inspired and empowered by others on their own patient journey.”
To learn more, visit OurMorningRoutine.com.