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Friday December 14th 2018


How To Kick Your Thyroid’s Ass: Thyfused? Join The Healversation!

Post Published: 26 July 2009
Category: How To Kick Your Thyroid's Ass
This post currently has 33 responses. Leave a comment

I’m well aware it’s nothing normal, but the same way most people collect photographs and old home videos, and music that means something or carries certain memories, I collect words and ideas.   The form always varies — books, magazines from important times in my life, scribbled note cards and reminders, recipes, and even certain thoughts that were only ever spoken and not put down on paper.   But amidst the many forms, there is one constant — all those words are really just ideas and all those ideas really mean something important.

Because Dear Thyroid is dedicated to bringing us thyroidish people out of the thyloset through letters and the sharing of our stories, I consider all the submissions we receive to be something so special because they are your most personal ideas.   One letter this week especially resonated with me — Matt’s “A Thynundrum Indeed“. He asks some important questions and sets a determined tone.   I like it because if there’s one thing you all know about me by now it’s that, just as Matt’s letter insinuated for him, I also will not stop fighting this disease, no matter how grim the prognosis, no matter how doctors and medical professionals tell me it’s all in vain, no matter how genetically predisposed to being sick I apparently am. ,  I would rather spend my whole life fighting toward wellness (and toward whatever degree I actually end up achieving) than living everyday with the heavy sense that there is no hope or better future for my life.   And maybe this is because I am still too young to know any better, or maybe it’s because I was so young at the time of diagnosis, and because the idea of “forever and “never without it”  are completely overwhelming and impossible to me.

How To Kick Your Thyroid’s Ass is an extension of this drive, and I’d like to think it contains a positive message.   The ideas I present to you in this column are things that have really and truly worked for me, and that’s a positive message too, especially considering our doctors usually take a hands-off, pill-only approach to treatment and care. However, there is an ugly flipside.   And the ugly flipside is that this drive sometimes keeps me awake at night (right alongside the sporadic night sweats and ten trips to the bathroom and the constant ruminations on those words that I spoke or were spoken to me during the day) because I am always asking myself what more I should be doing.

Looking back at my life pre thyroidgate, a past littered with mistake after mistake after mistake comes so clearly into focus.   Take for example all the Diet Coke I was addicted to for a good seven years (or, if not diet soda, then the sweetest of the sweet southern iced tea, because after all, when you live in the south, it’s just what people do).   It also happens I was a gluten/dairy/sugar addict without even realizing.   My vegetables were always covered in loads of salad dressing.   I didn’t know where my food actually came from, and had no reason to care.   I was completely unaware of the millions of processes going on inside of my body everyday — those reactions and routines that the body has a funny way of just doing, and without being asked or reminded.

Today I make up for this ignorance tenfold.   I eat what’s called a high-raw diet which is supposed to ensure my body is getting the nutrients and enzymes it needs to function without going into deficits during digestion.   I’ve cut out common food allergens.   I don’t allow plastics in my kitchen or near my food (or really, anywhere in my home so much as I can manage), I don’t use non-stick cookware, I take various extracts everyday (some so bitter, others so embarrassing to purchase and the cashier at the health food store always seems to be the same 17-year-old boy) and certain vitamins. ,  I started buying chlorine-free and purified water by the five-gallon, I eat foods to alkaline my system, I buy organic, my beauty products are all natural and gluten-free, I get at least twenty minutes of sunshine everyday (unless of course it’s rainy, like today), I take two probiotics, I go for morning walks, I meditate when I remember to, I laugh and try to keep a positive attitude.   I do things I enjoy like being around the people I love and writing and bookstoring.  I have two kittens (aren’t animals supposed to help things like this?), I avoid things you’ve never heard of because yes, my body reacts to them too.   I jog three or four nights a week, I go to bed early, I drink truly obscene amounts of water, I recycle and give people the benefit of the doubt.   And I guess the good news, and indeed the reason for this column to exist at all, is that this stuff actually does work.   It actually has helped my nagging daily symptoms to subside so much and has balanced my values (TSH and TPO).   My vitamin levels, antibody count, and other blood work are all immaculate and for my doctors, this is a victory.   There is thyfusion though because, still, pain and problems remain.

This week, instead of presenting you with links to begin your own health-related research, I’d like to open the floor to hear what it is you all are already doing to be well and how being your own Registered Thyitician is working out. ,  We have a community of support and this is yet one more way to help each other — a healversation of sorts.  Basically, I want to hear and collect your ideas. ,  What have you found to be invaluable in taking steps toward more wellness?   What works and what doesn’t?,   How often do you feel overwhelmed by the many choices we are presented with to be well?,   Do you look back at life prior to your diagnosis and recognize the choices that may have contributed to illness?  Are you offended at the idea that food and lifestyle choices contributed to your disease? Do you ever feel like giving up at trying to be more well?,   Which is more palatable for you — the fight toward better health that may never get you feeling 100% well, or living with the harsh reality of disease everyday in which there is little hope? Let’s hear it.

Until Next Week,

Love Always,


Have a question, comment, story, love letter, or rant/rave to send me?: Liz@DearThyroid.com

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33 Responses to “How To Kick Your Thyroid’s Ass: Thyfused? Join The Healversation!”

  1. Zari says:

    I liked your thoughts. Personally I try to eat healthy but not let it become an obsession. So I eat lots of fruits and vegetables. I try to eat mostly healthy complex carbs and I eat more meat and fish than I should because I like it. I don’t drink soda, period. I figure the artificial sweetners are probably not good and who needs the sugar.

    Chocolate cake by the way is the work of the devil. Not that anyone else here needs to agree with me.

    I do have an eating disorder, pure and simple and in the past I’ve tried to fill the void with food. Currently I am not doing that. In the past 6 months through means that I won’t go into here I’ve gotten close to what is a healthy weight for me. For me part of this is to not obsess over what I’m eating. I figure if the pesticides or whatever in the food are bad for me, then so is driving my car on the highway. Lets face it, those nasty man made things are absolutley inescapable. But that’s just my take on it and I don’t want to impose it on anyone. At the same time I’ve seen far too many people filled with self loathing because they ate a few too many cookies.

    I do have one bad habit. That organic free range wild caught raw thing translates for me into an awful lot of raw fish and meat. After getting an unpleasant (although it was organic natural, wild caught and free ranging in my body) internal parasite from raw cod (hey I was never alone, look at the bright side) I am far more circumspect in my choices of what to eat uncooked. After all our caveman ancestors with their all natural diet also had a life expectancy of about 35 years- over 20 years ago in my case……..

    I think the key is the not giving up and it’s what I love about this site. Yes I’m going to be on synthroid the rest of my life. The I131 guarantees that. I can of course stop taking it, but then the rest of my life just won’t be very long…….

    Any way I love all the thyroid words. I have been trying to come up with a use for Thryoidasaurus Rex…….And I absolutely love the irreverent attitude here.

    Since it’s come up and I’m a blabbermouth I’ll just bitch about it again for general principles. You stupid fucking immune system. Why’d you attack my poor little thyroid, which wasn’t hurting anyone, and give it Graves disease, turning my poor little gland into an insane homidal body part, but ignore the worm living in me and helping itself to yummy desert of me whenever it was hungry when it wasn’t even part of my body? You really screwed up. My thryoid looks like a butterfly, not a worm. What are you planning to do next, give me Lupus or something? Go work on your IFF routines some more, fool.


  2. I’m loving everyone’s comments. For me, nutrition is the key to all health. We can kid ourselves into thinking we can’t avoid toxins and that an occasional Big Mac won’t harm us, but it does. I eat a 100% raw, vegan diet that is also as close to 100% organic as I can get it. I’m not perfect and I do slip, but this diet is healing my body in miraculous ways. I don’t obsess about it, though. If I want to have some cooked organic rice or a gorgeous burrito, I do it, and I don’t look back and don’t beat myself up about it. I give myself permission to have it and I commit myself to enjoying it to the fullest!

    I started supporting my Thyroid glad about five years ago with vegetable-sourced iodine. Although I’m a big fan of kelp and other seaweeds for supplying iodine, I recognized that my dead Thyroid gland needed something stronger. Since then, my need for meds has continually decreased to the point that I rarely need them now. I muscle test myself daily to see if I need to take some Armour, but most days I don’t. I have a client whose Thyroid gland was irradiated 12 years ago. After about 15 years of heavy iodine supplementation, her Thyroid gland completely regenerated itself. If just one cell of your Thyroid gland is working, iodine will provide the support the gland needs to repair itself. It takes time and patience, but it DOES happen.

    For me, I went from having a Thyroid gland that produced nothing to having one that now mostly produces what it needs to. Iodine started that journey; raw foods and avoiding other toxins finished it.

  3. lizschau says:

    Bee, first of all thank you for taking the time to comment and for sharing a bit of your story with us. 🙂

    also, i’m sorry you were amongst those in that generation in which all this food science shit began. i get sick just thinking about it. and wow, it sounds like you had so much going on. i mean, living with your in-laws HAS got to be rough. you probably were stressed to no end.

    good for you for paying attention to your body and noticing if something causes symptoms. isn’t that just the best thing we can do for ourselves?: listen. i’m sorry this disease and it’s complications and side-effects make you upset. i happens to me too, if it makes you feel any better. hell, the truth is that it overcomes all of us at one point or another during the day or week or month. something was wrecked and stolen and it is sad.

    ps: you’re hilarious.

    thank you again for sharing your story and lifestyle plan with us. there’s alot i can learn from it, and hopefully others too.

  4. dearthyroid says:

    Hi Bee;

    Katie here. I hear you and I get where you’re coming from. One thing I’ve learned is that every thyroid patient is different. Each patient has to make decisions that are best for them.

    I am so proud of Liz for taking the proactive approach she does, to create a better life for herself and to strive for a way to overcome symptoms that her thyroid disease serves up. Her column is an extension of that.

    I know, speaking for myself, I have learned so much from Liz on how to create a better thylife for myself through nutrition. What’s even better, is that the nutritional ideas Liz presents are scientifically based. Trumping that, if possible, is that we can take it or leave it, love it or hate it, but be grateful that she’s there for us.

    That’s my two cents.


  5. dearthyroid says:


    As always, you bring a lot of insight and information to the thydish session, which is appreciated.


  6. dearthyroid says:

    Hey Pamela;

    It’s great that you’ve found a solution that works for you. BRAVO!

    Again, I know I keep harping on this, but every thyroid patient is different. Speaking for myself, I was able to shed 50 thyroid pounds by going GF/Vegan and I was a freaking vegetarian. My metabolism is so jacked, that the weight loss started radically decreasing.

    Now, because of Liz’s column, and thanks to Liz, I’m going to try the raw foods diet and see if that kick starts my metabolism and makes me feel better, as well as helping me to continue losing this weight.

    Congratulations to you again! It’s great that you were able to get your thyroid under control. It would be great if we all had your body :).

    Be well,

  7. mama s. says:

    i am thrilled to have found dear thyroid. i have been struggling for a year and a half with a thyroid problem. the onset happened 3 months postpartum with my second child. postpartum thyroiditis they called it. your thyroid will be hyper for a couple of months, then hypo for 6 to 8 months and then it will return to normal. but it never did return to normal, in fact, i was later diagnosed with hashimoto’s. i have yet to find an endo who gives a shit. i have been seeing a nutritionist who also does neurofeedback. so, as a result i am now gluten free, sugar free, and grain free– i eat a palio diet. it is fucking hard. i am the mother of 2 beautiful children and i feel as though my thyroid is hijacking our lives and my energy for it. i down thyroid meds, anti-anxiety meds, and loads of supplements daily. i feel completely overwhelmed that this may be for the rest of my life. i eat organic food, i eat meat that is grass fed, i eat free range chicken and eggs, i eat raw dairy (though i am beginning to think this will be the next elimination) and i feel incredibly pissed off when i see other people eating junk and seemingly getting off scott free where i am watching every morsel that passes my lips with little to no major improvement.
    i want my body and mind back. i want my life back. i will go on fighting it though, ’til the bitter end if that is what it takes.

    i could kick myself for the years of abuse i have put my body thru. years of starvation, binge drinking and smoking like there was no tomorrow…if i only knew the price i would pay later i can guarantee i wouldn’t have been so careless. i am outraged to have not had better education on this important system of glands in high school health class– especially for girls at a time when there bodies are changing so dramatically and many are doing some intense dieting in order to keep a specific body shape and size.

  8. Hi, Katie! Please know I wasn’t going to launch into a discussion of my personal beliefs. I was merely stating that diet is only one tiny part of complete wellness. No worries. 🙂

  9. Hi, all! Thanks so much for your comments. I agree with every one of them! The biggest thing I stress to my clients and in the raw food community is that there is no single diet that is perfect for everyone. We each have to find the balance that is best for us. To find that balance we have to consider our spiritual and emotional health and not just our diet. It’s a beautiful journey! The best part is that we can each continually tweak our habits to find improved health. So … do what works best for you and celebrate your individuality!!

    As for the iodine, I’ve never seen a Thyroid patient who wasn’t helped by it. I’ve seen more than one life completely transformed from using it. So, I guess I’m not exactly an unbiased source. LOL

  10. Bee says:

    quick ? if I may…about this raw foods diet—i have trouble with my bowels to put it bluntly…i eat fruits, veggies grains, nuts and still I need to occasionally use some dynamic…a lot of raw foods eaten too frequently cause me to get a painful gut…suggestions? in future when I have questions where do you suggest I post them? thanks,so glad I found all y’all…b

  11. Joann says:

    First I want to say that this site is amazing, it’s so nice to hear from others who are having the same issues I am. I’ve been struggling for almost 5 years with Hashi’s hypo and I wanted to share with all of you what worked for me in my journey to feeling better.
    1. Find a good doctor who tests for the right things. My first doctor was telling me my TSH was just dandy but inside I felt like I was dying. I found out later that my Free T3 was very low but that doctor didn’t feel it was necessary to test for this.
    2. Test your adrenals to find out if they are working properly. Mine were not so I didn’t have the proper adrenal/thyroid balance and my thyroid medication was not being metabolized in my body the way it should have. My adrenal glands were worn out from years of being undermedicated and I suspect years of having Hashi’s and not knowing it.
    3. Make sure you are properly medicated, my dose was 1/3 of what it is now. I think doctors undermedicate because they only rely on TSH values to gauge how much medication they prescribe and not how the patient is feeling. I also switched from Synthroid to Armour/Naturethroid. The additional T3 in these has done wonders for me.
    4. Test to see if you are low in vitamins. I found out I was extremely low in vitamin D and also started B12 injections. In addition I take a probiotic and Vitamin C and a B complex vitamin. I was amazed at how my mood improved after a short time taking these.
    5. Try acupuncture. This is the latest thing I’ve tried and I really feel it’s working. I felt OK before but now I’m feeling better than ever. Thankfully my insurance covers it so that is definitely a bonus.

    We all tend to think of thyroid disease as a bad thing but now that I am feeling better I think of it as a blessing that I was ill because I appreciate life so much more now. I don’t take things for granted like I used to. I still have my bad days and I’m sure there will be more to come but the good days are now outnumbering the bad and I am hopeful for the future again 🙂

  12. amy says:

    Wow…really interesting. About 2 years and 3 months ago at a 3 month post postpartum check-up I was told my thyroid felt enlarged and I got some blood work done. When it came back the nurse said it was borderline and it was left at that. I wish I knew more about it back then because for a year I struggled with fatigue, weight gain(aren’t we suppose to loose weight after having a baby?), and being so hungry all the time(maybe why I couldn’t loose weight). I went to a naturalpathic dr a year after the first blood work and found I have the lovely hashimotos. Since then I really strive to eat well and take care of myself. I am gluten free now and in the process of being refined sugar free. I eat brown rice and quinoa and a little corn. I eat meat dairy and eggs and wonder if I should try eliminating something else. It takes a lot of will power. I think the hardest thing about having hashimotos is the strange rollercoaster ride. I really love Dear Thyroid! If I can blame some of this craziness on my thyroid it sometimes makes me feel better. You have shown me that that is okay. And yes sometimes I have got to have a good cry because it so frustrating! I am in search of better health because not only do I want to feel well I want to be a good wife and mama! This is a wonderful sight! Thanks for the articles ans all the comments!

  13. Hi, Bee! That’s a great question. Many people’s bodies are so used to digesting cooked food that eating raw foods throws them for a loop and they have problems. Transitioning gradually, blending veggies into smoothies or pates, and/or using digestive enzymes often helps. Sometimes it can take a few weeks for the person’s body to adjust. Please feel free to contact me (my email is on my website) if you have any other questions.

  14. lizschau says:


    first of all, we’re so thrilled you found us. and yes, you can let it all out here — laugh, cry, complain, question. we are here for each other and we are a community of people who UNDERSTAND!

    it’s so great to hear that you’re gluten-free and going sugar free. how do you think the gluten-free has helped your thyroid? do you feel any better, like less sleepy, etc.? i think most people feel good once decreasing their sugar intake… i think that’s sort of universal. i’d be interested to hear how you do and if you really notice a change. 🙂

    as for the other foods you’re thinking of eliminating, have you read my article called “Become Your Own Registered Thyitician”? it’s basically the same thing you’re referring to — seeing for yourself which foods you’re intolerant to.

    let us know how you’re doing and again, we’re so glad you found Dear Thyroid!

  15. thyr88gous says:

    Ok i am so new here and so new to this thyroid b.s. I was diagnosed hyper in april 2009. But i have been constantly searching the www and have found so many options that it is not even funny. So what i did was have my hair tested (hair mineral analysis) for toxins by “analytical research labs” with the option of the diatary profile. I think it cost $120.00. And it turns out that i am toxic, only definately toxic in aluminum, from soda in a can. It also turns out that i am currently suffering from a “sensitivity to the ingestion of sugars and simple carbohydrates”, and i have adrenal burnout syndrome. They found all of this out from my hair. It was so easy and simple. I called them and they sent me the kit for free and when i was ready i cut a little bit of my hair and sent it away in the mail, the next week i recieved so much information that i never knew before. About the sensitivity to sugar and simple carbs. I have been eating that stuff for years never knowing that it was not something that my body could not easily process. I also recieved a sample diet time line witch told me that i should eat meals like protein, whole wheat, juice, coffee, maple syrup etc, for 3 months and then move to a little tougher diet to slowly remove these toxins from my body and eventually i will be eating lean protine, fruit, veggies, brown rice and water. Its a tapering off thing for me to get rid of the things that my body does not process well. I am only in my 2nd month of this and i still have a little sugar now and then, absolutley nothing with aluminum in it and whole grains but no more simple carbs like cookies, and white bread. ( see my comment on last weeks how to kick your thyroids ass. i should have read this one first but i missed a week and wanted to start there first). Anyways this is the diet i am following but it is simply for me and my body and my levels of minerals and toxins and etc, and im not so sure if it is helping me with my thyroid symptoms but i know that it has to be better for my body than what i was doing to it before.
    I highly recommend this test to everyone, even those without tyroid problems, it is very informational. It has given me more information than any of the 4 or 5 dr.s that i have seen since april about myself and a possible reason as to why my thyroid would just all of a sudden freak out. Actually i think it was the copper iud that i put in 2 months before that sent my thyroid over the edge but that is gone now so we will see if i have any improvement. Also, i have just bought yesterday this stuff called Thyro Soothe by native remedies, to see if it works because i have refused the PTU i was offered by the dr. because it induces liver failure????? WTF? why would i want to take that im trying to cure my thyroid not kill my liver. I know that i need to be careful but i want to exhaust all of my options before i ingest chemicals that will effect my thyroid.
    Anyways i think i am rambling now and should stop and go to bed but wanted to tell all about the test. I was so benificial to me, i hope that it can be to others. Oh yeah and about the thyro soothe stuff too. Ill let ya know.
    Night all
    P.S. please dont judge the spelling, i know i have errors but i have no time to proof sorry 🙁

  16. Zari says:

    Quite the discussion of diet here. Fun to read.

    As I mentioned I do in fact have an eating disorder, and it translates into trying to fill some sort of a void with food. Part of my problem is that what I really want, my real drug of choice if you will, is MORE.

    So anyway I have been successfully dealing with that and it’s a long story that I won’t go into.

    In the past I was at one time a mostly vegetarian. Also had friends who were fruitarians which was too far out there for me. I found that for me vegeterian just didn’t work. There was something that it wasn’t giving me enough of in spite of my attention to legumes and the like, and every few months, as inexorably as an active dope fiend is drawn to a fix, I would find myself buying a steak or chunk of fish and gobbling it up. If it was meat I would cut the fat off and eat that first. But that’s me and we all have different metabolisms.

    In terms of the raw stuff, I eat a lot of fruit in season and a lot of vegies. Some vegies, like turnips and collard greens, I cook because I like them more that way. Others, like carrots and radishes and zukes, I don’t usually cook. I’ve heard that tomatos and peppers and potatos can agravate osteoarthritis so I have been avoiding but I think I’ll stop since it hasn’t helped.

    I eat a good amount of grain, mostly trying to have it be whole grain-corn on the cob, oat meal, brown rice and barley, and so on.

    As for meat and fish, I don’t know why but ever since I was a little kid I’ve thought that they were so much better uncooked. My endo is Asian and says she feels the same way about fish but doubts it really means anything. Beef, goat and lamb or sheep can give you a tapeworm-my uncle had one. Pork can give you far worse parasites so I don’t ear raw pork, and I don’t agree with the paleo types who say having a little trichinosis is just natural.

    As for fish, salmon and tuna and makerel are fairly safe. Things like cod are loaded with parasites and I don’t eat them raw. I have a friend who likes to fish for cod and she loves to regale me with stories of of all the creepy crawlies she finds when she fillets them. Years ago one of them did live inside me for a year. I don’t recommend the experience.

    As for the all natural food reducing the total toxic load, it makes sense, I just don’t bother with it except for the small amounts I grow or friends catch. It is discouraging that a lot of the so called organic stuff is produced by agirbusinesses in 3rd world countries (lower cost of farm labor) and I sincerly doubt that they are all that terribly organic or pesticide free, I imagine someone was simply bribed somewhere.

  17. Zari says:

    Avoiding nightshades hasn’t helped at all. Eating loads of vegetables and fruit, and eliminating most (not all, I’m not going to take the mental and emotional effort to avoid all cakes and cookies, just most of them) has on the whole made me a lot healthier. I don’t get sick much, cholesterol’s good, heart and colon are good, and as long as I make sure I eat enough, I feel good. I would not have been able to lose weight if I was not mostly eating healthy food. I know the raw beef and lamb can give me a tape worm (the nutritionist was really upset about those foods) but I haven’t gotten one yet. But that’s another story…..

    I do find it interesting that the vegies I prefer cooked are mostly goitrogenic and that the cooking destroys that property. Not that I have anything left to get goitrogenic about.

    Anyway, although the benefits of eating mostly healthy, mostly non processed foods have been many, it hasn’t done a thing for the osteo. The surgeon says that I should keep doing all the stuff I’m doing, weight loss, exercise, supplements and good dietary habits, as well as what I call chicken soup injections of artificial joint fluid (these did make a dramatic improvment but were not a cure) but that in the end although it is postponing the inevitable, it is still shoveling shit against the tide. In particular this is true of the previously injured knee which is just flat out missing a piece of it’s meniscus. Sort of like using high test in a car with a flat tire and wondering why it hasn’t helped…All perfectly natural, and in keeping with the natural order of things. It’s the arthritic zebras that feed the lions.

    My new thing is that I am pushing myself to walk more when it doesn’t hurt a lot. I told him that as far as I am concerned if I can’t walk a mile a day (thats in addition to all the non walking aerobics at the gym) then it’s time to do the next thing, in this case surgery. He agreed.

    Who knows, maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    As surgeons go he’s pretty conservative, which means he’s reluctant to operate. I figure that’s a good thing.


  18. Zari says:

    I forgot. Thanks whatever causes this, thyroid or whatever. I’d been feeling run down a lot and unable to sleep. Tired and wired, and wondering if I got a batch of synthroid that was stronger than usual. Every time I think this and get things checked the bloodwork comes back the same though. Then I remembered that in the last couple months I had started to drink a lot more coffee. Lo and behold, cut the caffeine and the hyperthyroid symptoms diminished. Note the word diminished. They didn’t go away but they did get a lot less. Surprise…..


  19. lizschau says:


    so true. your concerns are so legitimate. i guess it all goes back to “what works for YOU?” you know? i can’t do nuts at this point either, but if they work for other people, that’s great.

    one thing also to keep in mind is that vegetables DO have a protein content, so you can get protein via veggies, not just nuts/seeds.

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