Read these 10 things you can do to live a better life as a thyroid patient!

In my most recent post of May 21st, 2012, I showed you two examples of very poignant emails I get weekly. And the second one revealed how hard it can be when you not only have very little money, but an uninformed doctor who ends up keeping you sick. 

Yesterday, I received another email from a thyroid patient which simply blew me away, directed to the gal above. But it turns out her words are very appropriate for all of us. Read it carefully and enjoy.

Dear friend,

I am also hypothyroid. I am on Armour Thyroid, but if I couldn’t get it, I would still take the following supplements to try and give my thyroid gland the support and boost that it needs in order to make its own hormones. Please consider starting on one or more of these and see how you feel. I’m listing the most important ones first.

1. Sunlight! We all need sunlight every day. Our bodies make vitamin D3 in the skin following exposure to sunlight. People who are overweight are usually low in vitamin D3. D3 helps the thyroid. D3 from sunlight is the best kind; D3 supplements are not as good. Don’t believe the medical profession when they try to scare you off from getting sunlight, and don’t use harmful chemical sunscreens; just cover up with longer clothing after you have had your desired sun exposure. Vitamin D3 actually has a protective effect against most cancers. Best of all, it’s free.

2. Iodine – it is part of the raw material for thyroid hormone. Buy a cheap bottle of simple iodine tincture and paint a drop on your skin each day with a cotton-tipped swab. It helps in so many ways. Not only does iodine supply the thyroid gland with raw material for hormone, but it is the body’s own natural antibiotic. The neutrophils (specialized white blood cells) each contain a speck of iodine to help fight off microbes. And the eyes and ears work better if iodine is sufficient in the body. The ciliary body of the eye has a rich concentration of iodine. And the little cochlea of the inner ear contains fluids – perilymph and endolymph – which contain iodine as well.

3. Selenium – a co-nutrient with iodine. Iodine should always be taken with selenium. I get my selenium in the form of pumpkin seeds, 2 tablespoons each day.

4. Magnesium – I make my own magnesium oil and apply it to my skin daily. Janie will tell you how wonderful magnesium oil is – it helps to burn calories by supplying the “flame” for metabolism. And it’s very anti-inflammatory, with no side effects. My recipe is as follows: Stir a cup of magnesium chloride flakes and a cup of pure water together in a bowl for 5 minutes until dissolved, then pour into a clean plastic spray bottle (like what you might use for ironing). The Zechstein Sea magnesium chloride flakes are the purest; they are from a mine underneath the Netherlands, an ancient sea of 250 million years ago. A 1-kilo bag of Zechstein magnesium chloride flakes should last you more than a year.

5. Green leafy vegetables, a dietary source of magnesium – these are helpful in so many ways and are great either raw or cooked. If you cook them, top them with a little salt, a squeeze of lemon juice and a splash of olive oil.

6. Vitamin C – helps the liver to convert T4 to the active T3 hormone. I always have more energy when I remember to take 500 mg of vitamin C twice daily.

7. Coconut oil – really! It supports the thyroid and helps with weight loss. Try to get raw or unprocessed coconut oil, but in a pinch any coconut oil is helpful. Take 1-3 tablespoons per day. Stir it into yogurt and chill it if you don’t like to swallow oil.

8. Avoid refined carbohydrates like the plague, please! They are not food at all. It is impossible to lose weight if one is eating refined cereal, bread, pasta, pizza and sweets. These trigger the body to produce more insulin; the insulin then triggers the cells to store the calories as fat. This is from the book by Gary Taubes, Good Calories, Bad Calories.

9. Avoid using harmful chemicals to clean your house; use vinegar and baking soda for most cleaning jobs. Bleach, ammonia and other chemicals are extremely harmful to your thyroid gland; chlorine displaces iodine in the body.

10. Simplify your personal care supplies to further reduce your toxic exposures (this saves money too). Throw away the fluoridated toothplaste, and brush with baking soda. Hydrogen peroxide 3% makes a good dental rinse. Baking soda dusted under the arms is an excellent and nontoxic deodorant. If your skin is sensitive, mix equal amounts of baking soda and cornstarch and use that as deodorant. Use a soap with a very simple formula and no chemicals. Try to find a shampoo without SLS or parabens (carcinogens). To save even more money, stop using shampoo and wash your hair with a baking soda solution and rinse with a mild vinegar solution. Many people say their hair is lovely with this treatment; google “no poo” to learn more. If you have dry skin, massage in a drop of coconut oil. Don’t use commercial creams or lotions; don’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t eat.

I wish you all possible success with your health. Even if you haven’t much money, there are things you can do to feel better. Please let Janie know how you are doing in a few months’ time, so she can let us know! Your sisters and brothers in the STTM community will welcome your news.

All the best, and don’t lose hope. Better days are ahead. Lots of hugs,

Yvonne in Cyprus

Yvonne is an 57-year-old American whose background is in medical transcription, writing and editing. She is constantly reading in the medical journals and websites, looking for natural and inexpensive ways to improve health. She and her husband eat a Mediterranean diet (organic when possible) with good fats from olive and coconut oils, nuts and cheeses. She thinks every family should have some type of garden, even if it’s just a few herbs in a flowerpot.

Have any other recommendations for someone who is poor with thyroid disease, plus has a doctor who isn’t helping?  Let others know!

P.S. from Janie: I already do many of the above. Do you? I’m big into Vit. C, magnesium and selenium. I also use liquid Vitamin D. I use baking soda for deodorant and non-fluoride toothpaste. I only use organic lotions and soaps.  I outright use one tablespoon vinegar in my morning drink, as well as MCT oil (it’s what’s in coconut oil). I don’t avoid refined carbs totally (I’m too much of a chocolate freak), but I do avoid them in many places. And I love the sun.

53 Responses to “Read these 10 things you can do to live a better life as a thyroid patient!”

  1. Yvonne

    Janie, thanks for publishing my email above. I hope it helps others. You’re one of my heroes, so your kind comments mean a lot. Like you, I’m a chocolate freak. I found a brand of dark chocolate with fairly low sugar content and I enjoy a small square of it every day. It keeps me feeling content and prevents my other sugar cravings, so it’s fair to say it’s a health food! Best, Yvonne.

    Reply
    • Anna-Maria

      I know that this is an old post but I saw that you are from Cyprus. I am from Cyprus as well and desperately looking for a doctor..I have been to 5 up to now and no one will listen. anyone you would recommend? ?

      Reply
  2. Susan Russell

    I was on 300 mg for years and years and my doctore after one test took me down to 200 mg…since that I have not felt well and I think after reading your article I am thinking that the doctor should have left me where I was!

    Reply
  3. Lisa Marie

    What helpful, wonderful information! I am so thankful to you for sharing this, I will try these steps right away.

    Reply
  4. lexi

    Great information and reminders

    I would also decrease gluten and dairy (unless it is raw) drastically. Janie.. Dark chocolate is in my food intake..

    Reply
  5. Sonie

    In general, I commend Yvonne for her suggestions. However, her use of pumpkin seeds as the source of selenium has me perplexed, unless of course her requirement is extremely low.
    Pumpkin seeds have only a very small amount of selenium compared to Brazil nuts long known to be far and away the plant star in Se content.
    To confirm this, 3 reputable sources are as follows:
    Dr. Duke’s Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases
    http://www.ars-grin.gov/duke/plants.html
    Brazil Nuts – 497 ppm vs Pumpkin Seeds – no amount listed.

    Dr. Decuypere’s Nuts, Grains & Seeds Chart:
    http://www.healthalternatives2000.com/nut-seed-nutrition-chart.html
    1 oz Brazil Nuts-543.5 mcg vs 1 oz Pumpkin seeds-2.7 mcg.

    In the reference book “Minerals For The Genetic Code”:
    Brazil Nuts – 497 ppm vs Pumpkin Seeds – 32 ppm.

    Nowhere can I find numbers to support the advisability of eating pumpkin seeds as a significant source of Se. Relying on pumpkin seeds to fulfill one’s need for selenium would seem to me a poor choice particularly if one is taking iodine and/or potassium iodide.

    Reply
  6. Kerry

    Terrific information! You can also get your daily selenium need from 3-4 Brazil nuts if pumpkin seeds aren’t available.

    Reply
  7. amy

    wonderful list, thanks!

    Reply
  8. Eva Diaz

    Thank You for all the information.

    Reply
  9. Ekta

    Thank you for the enlightening mail. Will start following your suggestions asap :)

    Reply
  10. Adrienne

    Thank You! I am currently doing much of the above except the magnesium oil! That will be my project this week! Thank you so much for this website Janie! My family thanks you too, mom is returning! ;)

    Reply
  11. Ashlee

    Thank you for your kind words. I would also like to know where I can apdate the few people interested in my condition, if at all possible. Thank you in advance.

    Reply
  12. Yvonne

    Sonie made a comment above that was right on. Thank you, Sonie.
    Brazil nuts do contain much more selenium than pumpkin seeds. I can’t eat them, because I get a reaction. So pumpkin seeds are my alternative choice.
    Another seed source of selenium is the sunflower seed. It actually has 10 times as much selenium as pumpkin seeds do. Enjoy!
    http://www.healthalternatives2000.com/nut-seed-nutrition-chart.html

    Reply
    • whisperingsage

      Depends on the soil. We have depleted sandy soils out west and we must balance for everything here. Fe, molybdenum, zinc, copper, Mg, Ca, S, NPK, etc.

      Reply
    • caroline

      You can also get selenium from beetroot. But thanks for all the info all. I was diagnosed a couple of years ago. I do do most of the suggested things and seem to have got a hold on my underactive thyroid, although since this diagnosis and only ever having been 9 – 9.5 stone the doc now thinks I have an auto immune thyroid thingy, what ever. I chose to decline the levithyroxine offered and found many of the natural diet remedies you mention. So far so good. I use faith in nature shampoo btw, essential oils, no parabins, great stuff.

      Reply
  13. Yvonne

    Ashlee,in reply to your comment of June 10, a number of people will want to read an update of your condition. Your plight has touched the hearts of many.
    Weeks or months down the road, when you feel the time is right, you can provide an update using the Leave a Reply form right here on Janie’s STTM blog page. I’ve checked the box to be notified of followup comments via email, so I’ll see your reply.
    Take care and be well!
    A hypothyroid sis,
    Yvonne.

    Reply
  14. Nan

    I just found this website and I have enjoyed reading everything!

    I went to the health fair and I got a call that my thyroid was 0.01, I went to a clinic and asked questions on what to do and she took another test. The results I got were that I was to go see an endocrinologist and gave me a list to check out since I have no health insurance. I asked and felt like it was a secret and that only this Dr. could tell me what I had and what could be done.

    I have learned a lot of this site and hope to be able to purchase the book soon!

    I like the list Yvonne posted about somethings I can do and will try as many as I can.

    Nan

    Reply
  15. Rosie

    Hi there
    Just came across your website this evening and am so delighted to have somewhere and someone who understands what I’m going through as my doctor/s doesn’t. I understand now I’m having a hypo day today and that is what has been happening to me over the last few weeks, which me or my family couldn’t understand. I’d be well one day but not the next. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos autoimmune thyroiditis 2 years ago after suffering for 6 years being put through test after test from doctor to doctor. All labs show normal other than thyroid antibodies at 458 when normal is between 0-60! I was misdiagnosed a few times and eventually a rheumatalogist found what was wrong. My GP reluntantly put me on 50mg of levithyroxine which I am still on! I am going to have awful problems convincing her to up them. I will try the list. Thanks for the great website. Will return.

    Ireland

    Reply
  16. Lacey

    I’m not understanding the magnesium oil suggestion. If it’s just magnesium flakes and water where does oil come into play? How much do you us? Where do u apply it?

    Reply
  17. KayDee

    I think the list seems like a healthy eating list, not actually a “thyroid” healthy eating list. How do refined carbohydrates effect the thyroid? How does vitamin C affect the thyroid? And green leafy vegetables… many of them contain goitrogenic glucosinolates, which keep the thyroid from absorbing iodine. I thought thyroid patients were supposed to cook any cruciferous vegetables?

    Please help!

    Reply
  18. Rosaleen

    Hello! I’m so glad to have found your website, I’m currently taking 75 microgrammes of levothyroxine per day for an under active thyroid that was damaged during radiotherapy, I’ve been taking it for years and I’ve being feeling more and more sleepy and fatigued and cold even though I have my levels checked regularly. Now I’m wondering if it could the the medicine itself. I wish I knew which way to turn for advice. The fatigue is leaving me unable to do everyday jobs and I’m only 32 years old.

    (From Janie: Rosaleen, the direction you should strongly consider is patient experience along with your own experience of getting more sleepy, fatigued and cold!! Get the revised STTM book. It will unbelievably guide you, and you in turn will need to start guiding your doctor or find a much better one!)

    Reply
  19. Ana

    Hi. I’m 53 years old and had radiation for my thyroid. It means my thyroid is totally DEAD and I need lifetime medication. My question is: If there is NO synthetic thyroid medication available at all (ex: there’s WAR), where can I get an alternative medication? HOW can I acquire alternative hormone replacement therapy at home?

    (http://www.naturalthyroidsolutions.com/)

    Reply
  20. marcia

    See your Butcher for Pig thyroid. They used to leave it in food, and people and pets got zipped up! They remove them now. Granted, It would be experimental, but that is what natural meds are made from. Grind the thyroid up and add it to your meat loaf….Sorry about the war. Us Americans are peaceful, but madmen are in charge. We are making “soverign states…35 of them” to not be under any rule that exceeds our constitution. ur Gov. is just to be in charge of internation roads, the Navy and to keep us safe if we are threatened! Can you believe that? Out of control, worse than my thyroid! good luck!

    Reply
  21. Sheridan

    I’m 3/4 of the way there with these suggestions prior to reading so must be on the right track. I’m one of the many who thyroxine is not doing the trick for. My dr just tested me based on my symptoms, got out the prescription pad and told me to come back in for a test 6 weeks later. When that came back normal, she apparently sees that as job done. It’s done stuff all for my physical symptoms though. Seems it is up to me! Thanks for your wonderful site.

    Reply
  22. Beege

    I have no thyroid due to 2 types of cancer.
    I currently take synthroid and usually feel tired and out of sorts with daily activities.
    I have trouble thinking and staying focused, not a problem before the removal of my thyroid.
    I gained lots of weight and have tried exercising, limiting my food, restricting my intake of processed food – trying to go totally raw. Not a lot has helped. Any suggestions. Some of this makes sense to me but not all since I was told not having a thyroid is difficult to treat.

    Seeking Help,

    (http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/t4-only-meds-dont-work and read the entire website.)
    B

    Reply
  23. Deb

    Great list! The reason not to eat white flour is that it has bromides. Ruins your thyroid just like the fluoride in tap water. I filter mine with an RO system! Great info. Gotta try those pumpkin seeds!

    Reply
  24. Laura K

    Hi Everyone! Wonderful information!!! I’ve been an LPN for almost 20 years and mostly working in nursing homes where many people are on synthroid. Not just that but there are many things I disagree with after all these years of reading and researching on my own. So many things that work better then what big pharma comes up with. What I’m saying is, I have seen the end results of allopathic medicine and it’s not good. My instinct is telling me we are not meant to end up like that. It is so important to address our health in a positive way NOW.

    Yvonne thank you so much for your post and thank you Janie for sharing it and everyone that contributes, wonderful suggestions!

    I was told to do a low carb diet by my chiropractor when I told her I was having hypoglycemia. I had realized my blood sugar dropped three or four hours after say, eating a burger on a white bun. I had checked it at work a few times, the lowest was 45! I did get a glucometer for 10 dollars on ebay and kept track at home for a while. I was on the low carb diet for a year when I had my labs done by a good holistic doc last year and she said I didn’t show Hashimoto’s which surprised me. But I’ve read that low carb can make hashi’s better. I had been diagnosed with that a few years ago.

    I lived with my mom for about 18 years until she passed this last April. She would get a little frustrated with me, I wouldn’t use the standard cleaning products she liked, and didn’t even like them in the house. I always go for natural stuff to clean with.

    I’ve stayed away from flouride for years. A few years ago I finally got a water filter that filters fluoride too. I love the way the water tastes! I wish I could afford a whole house filter though. When I brush my teeth at night, the water from the tap smells like smelly old sox! For shampoo, there’s a cleansing condition that I like, no parabens or SLS and my hair doesn’t fall out so badly when I use that one. I get it locally, it’s not the one on TV. Takes longer to shampoo but it’s worth it. It can build up so I shampoo with regular shampoo a couple times a week. I’ve read if it lathers it’s not healthy to use on your hair. I will try the baking soda solution.

    I ran out of my armour in March of this year. The stress form the job I started last year, mom’s going downhill the last few years, then her passing and then the company let me go almost two months to the day of her passing. And I’ve never dealt with a company like this. I thought it was a wonderful company that cared for and supported their employees and it turned out the opposite. Lot’s of stress. I finally called my doc and will be getting labs, the 24hr cortisol and seeing her next week.

    For people in New York State, there is a company called AMBA that goes around the state doing lab work for people with no insurance. My doc’s office told me about it. I’ll be driving 45 minutes one way to get to their next one but it’s worth it, $38 for 38 blood tests. The TSH which my doc wants is only $11 more. I’m looking forward to get labs done so I can see where I’m actually at now. Especially want the cortisol done because I feel like I’ve burnt out my adrenals. I got a letter the other day regarding my unemployment and I got stressed out, overreaction to the stress, shaking, weak, nauseous. Have no energy. Can’t think straight. I have trouble sleeping. My gosh, the pains and stiffness too.

    I’m doing supplements but I feel like that can be a little overwhelming. I keep seeing things I want to try.

    I got Thiroid from Thailand through amazon. I finally started feeling a little better. And I’m upping the dose slowly as I read here I need to do. I was on one grain for almost a year and had been thinking it wasn’t doing anything for me. I’m trying to do the temps and also. I forget sometimes.

    At one point reading a lot, looking at all my symptoms, all the diagnoses; the hypoglycemia, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, leaky gut, irritable bowel (docs are great at labeling stuff aren’t they?) I realized how they are all interrelated and have to do with imbalance of my adrenals, thyroid and the rest of my endocrine system. When I was in nursing school, they had trouble teaching the endocrine system since it was so interconnected. This is really long, I’ll stop. Just want to say thank you again! This website is a life saver!
    Laura K.

    Reply
    • David P

      Hi Laura. So sorry to hear of your mom’s passing, job loss and health struggles. I’ve also faced poor thyroid health (Hashimoto’s) with many similar symptoms; irritable bowel, moderate to severe lower back and general joint pain – especially knees and hands ( I’m a dentist professionally), muscle twitches and hand tremors and other neurologic effects, insomnia, lack of productivity, fatigue, panic, acute hypoglycemia and others. This also onset for me following the death of my parents both w/in 1 1/2 years of each other about 5 years ago.
      I tried medication, synthroid, for ~2 1/2 years feeling quite poorly. I dc’d the meds ama and placed myself on a glandular-bovine-thyroid supplement and felt much better almost immediately, albeit with periods of not-so-great days. I was able to stop the glandular supplement- Metabolic Complex ( MBI Nutaceuticals – San Clemente CA) about 9 months later and, for ~ 2 years, now only take thyroid nutritional support and some other supplements for thyroid and adrenals and hormonal th – Thyrosol, Adreset, DHEA (derived from yams- a storehouse for EITHER estrogen OR testosterone); all from Metagenics. All these seem to ‘train’ the body (and mind) to operate and react ‘properly’. Beautifully, somehow, the body and mind also seems to know when to discontinue them ( I’d been taking an adrenal glandular supplement for >15 years on and off for adrenal insufficiency and insomnia secondary to over training for triathlons- it had facilitated my discontinuing 5 years of extreme doses of Xanax- probably for an undiagnosable thyroid condition).
      I’ve just recently added some other specific supplements that were advised based on blood test results. They were recommended by a highly qualified holistic medicine doctor, Phd, – acupuncturist. They’ve been fabulous. As well, almost all neurologic symptoms were relieved following the first acupuncture visit- one week ago- and seem to be kept at bay by these supplements. Still some significant debilitation but this seems to be a step up in the healing process- tsh has gone from 20 to 13 to 10.5 this last year. My practice increase 50% this last tax year.
      Again, I’m very sorry to hear of your struggles. I’m pleased to see all the support people are sharing. Many thanks.
      David P

      Reply
  25. Anna O'Connell

    Thank you Yvonne for that wonderful information! I will follow your advice. Love it!

    Reply
  26. Colette

    Is it possible to reach the optimum levels in your thyroid and at some point easing off desicated thyroid altogether? Can my thyroid ever do it’a job alone? I’ve been on 75mcg levo for about 3.5 yrs now and am preparing to begin Naturethyroid.

    (From Janie: NDT “replaces” what the thyroid isn’t giving you. If you stop the replacement, your chances of going hypo again are huge.)

    Reply
    • Samy

      Yes, it is possible to get off your thyroid meds if your thyroid hasn’t been killed off by the radioactive crap. Look up Nutritional Balancing. There have been reports of people healing their adrenals and thyroids with this and getting of their meds.

      Reply
  27. J

    Re: # 9 Chlorine displaces iodine. ?? This summer I have started swimming laps 4-5 days a week in our chlorinated apt house pool. Help! The laps really ease my muscle stiffness and I am enjoying the new skill. References? Info?

    Reply
  28. Cyndi

    Wonderful wonderful list. I just found this forum and ordered the book a few months ago. It is overwhelming and I have to keep going back and reading and re-reading. But I am so grateful for all the resources and information I have found on here. I am slowly integrating all these changes and in time I should feel normal again!

    Reply
  29. Ram

    Thank you for wonderful list. I am hypo and adrenal deficient started on NDT a month ago and following all these on a daily basis along with T3CM.

    Reply
  30. Ellen

    Great info, thank you! I am sitting here eating sunflower seeds, waiting for my endocrinologist to call me back with lab details :). Does anyone know why mainstream doctors are not getting the word out about how to help thyroid conditions in this way?

    When I asked my doctor about diet-related changes I could make, she had no suggestions (?!).

    I have no family history of hypothyroidism and was diagnosed about 12 years ago. Recently, I have been attempting to cut out my fluoride completely (nearly impossible considering it is in anything made with fluoridated water, treated with fluoride-containing pesticides, medications, dental products, etc). Now I just need to get a filter for my shower since I know I am absorbing it that way, too.

    Since just reducing fluoride, my doctor has lowered my meds from 150 to 100 in under a year. Unfortunately I am still taking Synthroid, so it looks like I will need to search for a new doctor if she doesn’t want to go in a different direction. Right now I am having symptoms of hyperthyroidism, so I really need to get this straightened out.

    I bought some coconut oil the other day and I plan to use it in smoothies, etc, or maybe just use it as hand lotion :). I was wondering, if fluoride replaces iodine, wouldn’t taking an iodine supplement be fruitless without reducing fluoride intake?

    It makes me angry that we all have to figure these things out ourselves and doctors are just there with a pen and prescription pad. I was very happy to find this book and website — This really is madness! I’m hoping a bunch of “mad women” can ignite change :)!

    Reply
  31. Colette

    Iodine tincture on the skin is recommended. What can
    be said about so many mcg from a dropper in a small amt
    of water?

    Reply
  32. hexodus

    I do not know whether it’s just me or if everybody else experiencing problems with your blog. It seems like some of the text in your content are running off the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too? This could be a issue with my internet browser because I’ve had this
    happen before. Cheers

    (From Janie: that can mean you need to update your browser)

    Reply
  33. Yvonne

    Dear Janie and readers, I’m sorry that I didn’t see that more questions had come in regarding this blog post. I’ll try to answer them in the order asked:

    Lacey, magnesium oil is not actually oil at all, but a highly saturated mixture of magnesium chloride crystals and water. It has an oily feel, hence the name. I can’t tell you how much you need to apply. For myself, I apply a total of 6 sprays daily on the skin of arms and legs, massaging it in until almost dry, and then getting dressed when the skin is fully dry. I apply about the same amount to my husband’s back, as he has an arthritic condition and the mag oil reduces his inflammation.

    KayDee:
    1) Many hypothyroid patients struggle with obesity. I included the suggestion to avoid refined carbohydrates to facilitate any needed weight loss. Of course you’re right that this is more of a “general health” issue than a thyroid issue, but in my opinion it is important.
    2) You asked how vitamin C affects the thyroid; it may affect it in more than one way. Among other things, vitamin C helps the liver to convert T4 (storage hormone) to T3 (active hormone). Vitamin C is also used in large amounts by the adrenal glands; thyroid function suffers when adrenal function is compromised, so obtaining enough vitamin C indirectly benefits the thyroid system via the adrenals.
    3) Regarding green leafy vegetables, I didn’t suggest to eat only cruciferous veggies. When I refer to green leafy vegetables, I mean salad greens, spinach, chard, endive and so on. Personally, I would cook cruciferous veggies before eating them, and I wouldn’t make them a large part of my diet, maybe a small serving twice a week.

    Deb, regarding the pumpkin seeds, another reader pointed out above that the best source of selenium is Brazil nuts. I also checked and found that sunflower seeds contain more selenium than pumpkin seeds. So either Brazil nuts or sunflower seeds would be a better selenium source than pumpkin seeds — my mistake, and thanks again to Sonie for pointing this out.

    J. asked for supporting documentation regarding chlorine displacing iodine. Here is a web page which explains how chlorine, fluoride and bromine displace iodine from the body: http://iodine4health.com/special/halogens/brownstein_halogens.htm Basically, competing halides bind to the iodine receptors in the body. Iodine receptors so occupied won’t bind and hold iodine.

    Ellen asked: “I was wondering, if fluoride replaces iodine, wouldn’t taking an iodine supplement be fruitless without reducing fluoride intake?” Yes, reducing fluoride intake is important too — otherwise you’re pushing fluoride out the door and it’s sneaking back in through the window. :-)

    Colette asked about taking drops of iodine in a glass of water, instead of applying iodine tincture topically. Many people do take Lugol’s iodine/iodide drops in water. Lugol’s can be difficult to obtain and/or expensive. I suggested using topical tincture because it is so cheap and easy to obtain. Here’s a web page with a primer on iodine supplementation: http://iodine4health.com/ortho/ortho.htm

    I’d like to thank everyone for their feedback. Thanks, Janie, for publishing my email on your blog.

    Reply
  34. Maria Teresa Coutinho

    I read in this article that a person should Buy a cheap bottle of simple iodine tincture and paint a drop on your skin each day with a cotton-tipped swab, however inside of a Iodine Tincture bottle, it is written don’t use it if you suffer from the Thyroid. I am confused about it. Also I read on a few books that a Thyroid suffer should not eat any food from the Brassica family. Such as Broccoli, red cabbage and so on. All the vegetables are green and above you also wrote we could eat it, cooked. Can you please enlighten me on these queries? Kind regards Maria

    Reply
  35. Beryl Jacobs

    How much of the magnesium/water mixture should you spray daily?

    Reply
  36. crystal

    Hi Im 28 and have just been diagnosed with hashimoto’s about 6 months ago I am on 150 mcg I have no energy and am fatigued and all the other symptoms my doctor has just sent me to an endo and he wants to take my thyroid out because theres a 15 % chance a nodule could become cancerous and unsure on the other side , I am undecided on what I want to happen if I want to just keep going the way I am or try natural or just have it taken out. can anyone give me any suggestions. Thanx

    Reply
    • Janie

      Crystal, I can’t tell you what to do as I’m not in your shoes or a doctor. But I can relay that there are some Hashi’s patients who were told to get their thyroids taken out, and they regret it terribly. They also feel a lot better on Natural Desiccated thyroid or T3 rather than straight T4. Read STTM about both of those. And join thyroid paient groups if you want more feedback from patients to help you decide what you should do: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/talk-to-others

      Reply
  37. J. Steele

    I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism several years ago. I took Levoxyl. My insurance stopped paying for Levoxyl and I began to take Levothyroxine in late May. In June, July, and August, I started losing my hair in clumps and plugs. I stopped taking it and am now looking for supplements to help. My doctor wants me to go back on it — but I have bald spots now and do not want to lose all of my hair. I have a list of vitamins that I will purchase from the Health Food Store. However, I know that vitamins will take a while to get into your system. I feel as if I’m between a rock and a hard place.

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  38. Miss D

    Thank you for this insightful website! I have yet to be offically dignosed with Hashimotos, but I feel I will overcome these symptoms that have plague my life off and on over the last several years. I met a Holistic Practitioner yesterday, who did a muscle test, and suggested I start a Thyroid supplement immediately and see my GP or schedule a follow up with her at my earliest convenience. The test reveal my thyroids were extremely low! Can anyone suggest a good Holistic Practitioner in the five boroughs of New York City? Yvonne, Janie, and everyone else thank you for sharing your wisdom, and insight in how to live a more excellent and productive life in spite of this health challenge! Blessings Miss D

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  39. Anna

    I just found this great article! I love your advice, Yvonne. I totally agree that weight loss seems impossible if you don’t avoid most carbs, especially grains. Wheat seems to be the worst thing for me. It’s been really difficult to make myself understand that not all fats are bad for us…

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  40. Angie

    Hello all,
    I have a quick question. I recently started taking Levothyroxine as I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I gave up oil pulling each morning with coconut oil as I feared it would mess with the absorption of the medicine, since I take that first thing now. Any thoughts on this? I’d like to continue oil pulling as long as it doesn’t mess up my absorption of the med while I research more natural options.

    Also, I’m new to essential oils and looking into options for treatment of low thyroid levels. Anyone have luck with this? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Patient experiences with Levo are not very positive as compared to natural desiccated thyroid, but you can take it at bedtime…

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      • Kathy

        Question – I am on Armour Thyroid which I take first thing in the morning and follow right after taking it with 20 minutes of oil pulling. Will that interfere with absorption of the meds?

        Reply
  41. Anita G.

    I have been dealing with 2 endocrinologists, not at the same time but during the past 2 and a half years. I have hypothyroid and also had 3 and 1/2 of my 4 parathyroid glands removed. The endocrinologist I have seen most recent continually ordered tests. I decided in November to consult with a surgeon prior to more testing for my parathyroid glands. I had hyperparathyroid at the time. He said he needed no more tests and did the surgery. Not only do most doctors run you around, treating you ONLY by your TSH number, as does mine, but they could care less about what you say. I complained about the weight gain so he put me on weight loss meds. He then did a non fasting glucose, which measured 159 and put me on 2,000 mgs. of Metformin daily. Well, I live alone and last week I got so weak and shaky, I almost passed out. I called a doctor I got from the list of doctors above and I see him tomorrow. He told me to stop the Metformin IMMEDIATELY. I am on 100 micrograms of Synthroid at present and the swelling has gone down. I, myself, had my pharmacy take me off of the generic, Levothyroxine, and give me Synthroid. At present, the Endocrinologist I was seeing simply treats you by the TSH number. I called his office last year when I was feeling really horrible, continually gaining weight. A couple of months, whether they meant to or not, I was given a “flow chart” of my weight, blood pressure, etc. I found that from July 9, 2013 – September 19, 2013, I had gained 22.5 pounds. I am able to go on the website of the clinic I go to compare my TSH levels and found that on August 20, 2013, my TSH was at it’s highest. No, I am not the healthiest eater, I do the best I can. I have come up with a recipe for a Smoothie for breakfast that is about 200 calories and is made of blueberries, lite and fit Dannon Vanilla Yogurt, and unsweetened Almond Milk. If I want it sweet, I use a couple of packs of Truvia. I no longer use Equal due to the studies showing the harmful chemicals and illnesses it causes, I go all natural now. Even butter is healthier than margarine. That is how you get away from processed foods. I still eat some processed foods but I do eliminate what I can. I am in the New Orleans, Louisiana area and tomorrow I see Dr. Charles Mary. I pray this works. I spoke to him directly after speaking to his nursing assistant first. That, in itself, is a positive sign when I couldn’t even get a return call from the endocrinologist I was seeing. It is going to cost me a good bit to see him as it is out of network of my insurance BUT had I stayed on the Metformin, which I do not need, I could be dead. I suggest that if you are looking for a new doctor, check the list above for your state and city, or nearby city. I found Dr. Charles Mary on another Thyroid blog as well. You have to be your own advocate. DO NOT SIT BACK AND DO NOTHING! If I had not made an appointment with the surgeon in November, I would probably still be doing test after test! Even now, when I question running other tests, he looks at me as if my weight gain is due to my eating, which is minimal. He told me on my last visit to go to the book store and purchase “The Sugar Busters Diet” book. He was one of the doctors that put it together although he told me HE WROTE IT. I don’t use sugar, I watch carbs, and yes, I do have sweets once a while but I have been on sugar substitutes for years. I still fight the need for Diet Coke BUT I did find that Diet Coke comes made with Splenda as well and that is what I buy instead of the regular Diet Coke which has ASPARTAME (what Equal is made of). PLEASE find a new doctor, write down any questions you may have prior to the new visit, and bring all documentation that you have with you to the new doctor. I will be spending the bulk of the day, going to the website that contains my blood tests and results from the past few years and printing them out to bring along. I wish all of you the best! DO NOT STOP UNTIL YOU FIND A DOCTOR THAT WILL LISTEN TO YOU AND AT LEAST WORK WITH YOU TO IMPROVE YOUR THYROID HEALTH.

    Reply

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