My mouth fell open when she told me!

I called Rhea on the phone today.

Earlier today, Rhea was in the one-operator beauty salon at the same time as my 90 year old mother-in-law: one getting her gray hair dried while the other got her grayer tresses rolled. And as conversations go in beauty salons, it turned to personal topics (which can range from one’s marital happiness to whether Mrytle’s boobs are real or expanded.) And one of those topics was about Rhea’s hypothyroidism as well as her daughter’s.

And of course, my very doting mother-in-law mentions the STTM book written by her daughter-in-law, Janie, and hands her a copy from the car. Long story short…Rhea wants me to call her.

The phone conversation went into the fact that she used to be on Armour, but then listened to a local doctor several years later who switched her to Synthroid–“a far more stable medication”. (not) Since she switched, she says she’s felt terrible for years, and has recently returned to Armour, and with the vast information in the book, understood now how she needed to raise.


My eyes got as big as fiesta dinner plates and I exclaimed “THE Broda Barnes??” “Yes,” she replied. “I saw him in Loveland, Colorado and he was a darling man.” She proceeded to tell me that when doctors entered the room back then, you stood. And she remembers his wife being there, and being just as sweet as he. She recalled him saying that when he was in medical school, he was disappointed when the professor assigned him to study the thyroid gland. “Such a little puny gland”, he thought. “But today, 50 years later, I still have so much to learn about that little gland.”

For those who don’t know the name of Broda Barnes, he was the father of the desiccated thyroid movement and an authority on the thyroid. Even back then, he knew of the superiority of desiccated thyroid treatment like Armour, and prescribed it. He also wrote the classic Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness. His book and legacy kept the idea of Armour and desiccated thyroid alive all these years later when we, as patients, were paying attention.

Rhea is now up to 4 grains Armour and feeling much better, and may have to go a little higher before she’s optimal. Thank you, Rhea, for giving me and anyone reading this a little peek into the wonderful Broda Barnes.

8 Responses to “My mouth fell open when she told me!”

  1. Darla

    Well my mouth flew open too. :-O I sure wish that man was still around.

  2. Sheila

    Janie, thank you for all your efforts, you will never know the uncountable people you will have helped.

    Janie about 25 years ago, I think 1984, I phoned and talked with the wonderful Broda Barnes!

    I had been sick all of my life, since childhood and had been searching for help. At this time, I was in my late 30’s and I had reached that point when I had almost lost any hope of ever getting well. I was married with three children to raise. I felt like I was dying. Some of the medical experts I saw were saying it was all in my head. I used my phone to search for help. I had seen many great clinics, spent lots of money, and even underwent many unnecessary surgeries.

    Suddenly, a far away family member sent me a book by Broda Barnes MD. “Hypothyroidism the Unsuspected Illness”. My family Doctor tested me and agreed to treat me with some Armour thyroid. This family Doctor also tested my husband. Surprise! Oh my!, It was my husband who was diagnosed hypothyroid while I was only borderline low. My husbands only complaint was feeling tired.

    I once made a list of all my mental and physical symptoms that were most likely from the hypothyroid disease, I think It was over 60.

    The most disabling symptom that I suffered from the hypothyroidism was bladder frequency. I had this from when a was a small child, along with fatigue, sensitive to cold, numbness in hands and feet, and lack of co-ordination in hands and feet.

    Some patients have been told they had the incurable painful bladder disease, Interstitial Cystitis. Some have had their bladder removed, and some have died later from that surgery. Some just couldn’t take the suffering and ended their life.

    Many are still suffering tonight! Soon there will be starting some new government funded research for the underlying systemic illness that is causing this bladder misery in mostly women who suffer all over the world. The results could be enormous for those that suffer.

    It was exciting to be feeling so much better. I was taking 2 grains of Armour each day. No one tested my adrenals. I had only Broda Barnes book to hold on to. When I was alone I felt very scared and alone. No one else understood when I talked to them about my hypothyroid problem.

    This is when I made my call. I was alone and had a phone number. A nice lady said hello, and then Broda Barnes came on the phone and I told him a little about my illness and that I was taking Armour thyroid. One important thing he said, was that as long as I was feeling better and seeing improvement in my symptoms, that I should never quit taking the Armour thyroid hormone! Also, he said that I should not worry if my temperature was not reaching a certain degree. He said that it was more important that the symptoms were improved. I don’t think we talked about the dose size. He was very kind to me. I told him thank you so much for writing the book and how it helped me understand my hypothyroid illness, and also thank you for talking with me. I remember thinking he might not be well himself. I have always felt glad that I thanked him for his book. His book has been on a table near my bed for the past 25 years. Whenever, I was feeling scared and alone with hypothyroidism, I would open the book and his words always gave me comfort and courage. My book is now tattered and stained with use.

    Also, I remember several years ago, another Doctor told me that Broda Barnes should have received a Nobel Prize for his work on thyroid!

    My Doctor used to say I was the rarest patient, I sent him here to learn and he now understands about proper thyroid treatment and that I am not rare at all. We still have far to go in our walk and talk for thyroid awareness. My Mother just died two months ago from improperly treated hypothyroidism and my little sister is now very ill while being treated for several years by specialist with a synthetic thyroid hormone.

    Thank you,


  3. shari

    well, i’m at a loss for words reading the information on this website. i’ve been to the endocrinologists and dermatologist. but i’ve got no dx. i have most of the symptoms on the list, and it was quite shocking,actually. my hair is a disaster and so is my skin and weight is creeping up and up. i only have one adrenal and thought maybe that had something to do with it. but my cortisol level was normal along with all the other lab work i’ve had in the past. which includes all the thyroid and tpo, cortisol, dheas and androgen. it never ends. now i’m getting treated for the skin, severe arthritis and blah blah blah. is there a way to find a dr that will help me?

  4. ibeji

    Look for doctors trained by Dr. Thierry Hertoghe from Brussels, in Belgium, Europe.

    You may also find good doctors among the (in my opinion a badly chosen name) “anti-aging” doctors. Beware however that some of these might indeed be vanity doctors and not hormone specialists for people who are actually ill.

    To distinguish between the two, before making an appointment, ask whether he or she prescribes Armour and if he/she treats adrenal fatigue.

    Ask also for the price of the consultation and treatment. Good anti-aging docs are usually expensive, but vanity docs are usually outrageously overrated.

    You may also find help here:

    Good luck!

  5. Melanie

    To even chat with a doctor today on the phone is improbable, yet Broda Barnes got on the phone and had a chat with Sheila. My mouth falls open reading that! This is such an arduous journey; it saddens me that we don’t have more coverage and attention paid to it. So many are needlessly suffering due to inept medical care and big pharma whose only goal seems to make money off of sick people. We have to change all that. Janie’s site is brilliant and Val on the adrenals forum is too and so many others on the forum sites. I think we will speak about Janie & Val and these great ladies 25 years from now as we do about Broda Barnes and hear all the stories about what they did and how they helped people get well. I can’t think of a better way to spend time than to help, inform and heal others. This world needs more of this and now — not later.

  6. Deborah Susini

    When I first was diagnosed it was hard to get a diagnosis.
    My thyroid would leak and the test would come back as too much thyroid. Then I would be terribly cold and tired and feeling miserable since all my thyroid hormone had leaked.
    I was 34 years old and slept all day. I had always been a dieter because if I ate real food I gained weight, but now if I ate just a sweet potato and nothing else all day I still gained weight.
    At age 30 I weighed 140 pounds and went to Jenny Craig to get the weight off, I went on the 1000 calorie diet and stuck to it like a champ. 24 weeks later when the program was over I had lost 16 pounds and although I hadn’t met my goal I was feeling pretty good about the weight loss. Then in came some manager and told me my results were terrible and I was a cheater, I had to be he said, because no doctor had ever diagnosed me with thyroid troubles. He said he was not going to publish my results and would throw them away. That I was a waste of his time.
    I was shocked, no one had ever told me I had thyroid problems. I didn’t learn about my thyroid until I got really sick. I was feeling really blue and cold when it got real bad. I couldn’t go to the library without falling asleep. And I stayed in bed sleeping all day.

    I was so cold and my feet and hands and nose were like ice. Yet the test for 2 months in a row said my thyroid was over active yet all my symptoms were under active.
    I couldn’t move my bowels I was swollen and bloated yet never ate much more than some boiled cabbage.

    I felt wonderful once the test came back as low thyroid. I knew I was going to get help. But I didn’t know why the doc kept asking me if I had mental illness. Finally they gave me synthroid and my symptoms did improve.
    Yet I didn’t continue to feel well as my feet and hands and nose were still cold. I figured it was just my bad
    circulation and wondered what I could do about that.

    Then I went to a new doc who said there were tests he could do and he believed that he would be able to make my nails grow strong, since that was one of my complaints. I also had menstral problems with break through bleeding before a 7 day period, making me bleed up to 2 weeks.

    He prescibed cytomel which is t-3, because he said that the t-4 (synthroid) was not being converted to t-3, so he was giving me a prescription for t-3. The first day I took the t-3 I felt like someone lifted a very heavy weight off my head and shoulders. I had more energy and less headaches and neck stiffness. He had me taking 1/2 a pill twice a day, and I was feeling so good I started a jogging program. But then he called back and said I needed to take less t-3 and wondered if i felt ok. he even said sorry, so I now only take 1/2 a cytomel a day. But I don’t feel like jogging and my feet are really quite cold.

    I have started reading about other treatments like dessicated thyroid. I don’t eat pig and follow a bible based diet. It took a while but I found a company in New Zealand that uses lamb thyroid in formulas. I told my doc I wanted him to prescribe that to me, but he said with mad cow I should just use synthetic? I cannot help but think I am still missing something in taking just t-3 and t-4 synthetic hormones, I must be missing some other components of thyroid.

    I read once where a doctor in England injected lamb thyroid into a womans thyroid and it completely cured her hypothyroidism. It only took one injection. Why don’t doctors do this anymore?

    He also prescribed natural bio identical progesterone and it has helped with some menstrual woes. That’s pretty much my story.

    • Margaret

      Dear Deborah Susini,

      Do you remember the name of the company that uses lamb as their source of hormone replacement?

      Thanks so much,


  7. Loretta

    I also have Broda Barnes’ book and have for a very long time. My chiropractor (who is also a naturopathic doctor & nutritionist), who works with a medical doctor, gave me this book years ago when he put me on Armour. I’m excited now because my temp has finally hit 98 degrees. I needed an adjustment in my dosage just recently and am now taking 9 1/2 grains (570 mg). Have you heard of anyone else taking such a high dose? We are working on eliminating these new symptoms (muslce stiffness). But, I’ve had numbness in the balls of my feet for 2 years and never thought it could be thyroid-related. I read that you had numbness in hands and feet. Did you ever have numbness in the BALLS of your feet? I’ve been diagnosed with neuromas in both feet (not confirmed by MRI, just a “guess” by the foot doctor), but am not 100% convinced this is a correct diagnosis. I’ve also had a bladder frequency problem for several years – but have never heard that that could also be a symptom of hypothyroidism. ??? I was blaming it all on a fibroid I have. I used to run to the bathroom 5X/night, however, that has improved now to 2X/night. Much better, but it would just be wonderful to sleep straight through the night for once!!!

    I am also active on the STTM group (through facebook). Thanks – and thanks for sharing your information! It was very helpful to me. Loretta


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