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How To Kick Your Thyroid’s Ass: HealTHY Trends For The New Year

Post Published: 24 January 2010
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Category: Column, How To Kick Your Thyroid's Ass, thyroid nutrition and health column
This post currently has 9 responses. Leave a comment

I’ve been reading a bunch of 2010 top food trend predictions this past week and they got me thinking. I decided to make a list too. While everyone else may be predicting the most popular conventional and consumer-driven food choices for this upcoming year, I’d like to make some health and food predictions that I hope will become popular — especially in our lovely little (or, not-so-little!) thyroid community.

1. Superfoods are trendy these days, and usually happen to be exotic, inaccessible foods that most people have never heard of, let alone are willing to track down at the health food store and shell out the money to purchase. But we’re all familiar with coconut, and I truly consider it to be a superfood. Healthy variations of coconut (preferably organic, minimally-processed, unsweetened) are widely available on the internet and in grocery stores. Though coconut products are not recommended for hyperthyroidism patients, as coconut is known to speed the thyroid, those with hypo symptoms can use it liberally in their diets. I use coconut shreds in my salad for lunch everyday, and coconut oil in my cooking at night. Because it’s full of fat (good, plant-based fat), it satiates and leaves me feeling full and satisfied, and stabilizes my blood sugar so I’m not hungry an hour later and also don’t get the shakes. It’s good at speeding up the thyroid, aiding in weight loss, and treating underlying infection, all while strengthening the immune system.

2. Let’s kill “everything in moderation” this year. A little endocrine disruptor here, and a few bites of soy there — we may put it out of our minds, but it still does affect our bodies. Instead of believing everything in moderation is okay (ie: “a little can’t hurt you”), let’s remember that our bodies are already sick. Anything we can do to lighten their load is worth the effort.

Though, I also don’t think we need to get down on ourselves (or get neurotic). What I’m talking about here are the conscious choices we make that we know aren’t good for us. We simply cannot possibly avoid every chemical in the air, water, food, food packaging, etc. around us. It is so pervasive. But, when we can choose — when we have the conscious choice — let’s choose a lower toxic load for our bodies.

3. More and more of us have decided to go gluten-free, and also identify and eliminate other food allergies. For most of us, these choices have equaled big health gains. My hope for the New Year is that we’ll keep spreading the good word, providing our fellow thyroid patients with sound gluten-free (and food-allergy) resources for them to determine if adopting a GF lifestyle is for them. And hey, gluten-free eating is becoming very mainstream. Even those who aren’t “sick” are finding they feel better when eliminating wheat and other grains from their diet.

4. And finally, this year, I’d like to see the creation of a patient-centered symptom list. I’ve mentioned it over and over — the “acceptable symptoms” list for thyroid patients and the various incantations of thyroid disease is limiting, misleading, and exclusive. I’d like to propose that we create our own list. Meaning, share your symptoms with us — all of them. Whether you just have thyroid disease, or you have two or three or four other diseases and conditions to contend with; what are your symptoms? Because many of the symptoms we experience can be things we don’t want to talk about openly, I propose we keep it anonymous. I’m going to be ironing out the details in weeks to come, but for now, if you feel comfortable, email, Twitter, Facebook, or comment some of your symptoms — whether they’re on the “acceptable list” or not; whether you think they’re thyroid-related or not. Make sure to mention that it’s a symptom you want to add to our list. I’d like to display this somewhere for those pre-diagnosis, or those new to thyroid disease to learn from, and use as a legitimate resource, versus the ten-bullet symptom list they’ll find at their doctor’s office. It can also be used as a resource when their doctor tells them their symptom is “simply not related to thyroid disease.

What are your health resolutions for the New Year? What trends do you hope catch on? What symptoms do you experience that you think need added to the list?

Until Next Week,

Love Always,

Liz

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

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9 Responses to “How To Kick Your Thyroid’s Ass: HealTHY Trends For The New Year

  1. Cyndi Woodruff says:

    Wow, Liz….
    This article really spoke to ME!! Your comment about “just a bit…” isn’t the way to think gave me the “duh” slap that I needed. I have to remember my body is already sick, so I need to treat it with respect and do all I can to make it “better”.
    See, my friends own a little neighborhood bar. I used to love to go on Saturday nights, we’d sing to karaoke, I smoked, and I’d drink quite a few beers…. I had fun—or so I told myself that. I don’t know. I do know that I always felt like shit the next day. Smoke AND alcohol hangover.
    Then, last May, my body had enough of the poor treatment and I contracted H1N1 and bilateral pneumonia. Of course, I’ve quit smoking!!! I am never at the bar—can’t take the smoke. I’ve pretty much given up the beer. I seem to forget that they may taste good going down (even just one or two), but the next day, I don’t feel good.
    So, I guess that my pledge to my body is to treat her with love, compassion and better judgement. I will return to my gluten-free diet, start a gentle exercise program and get back to my journaling. I also want to start using the coconut products.

    How’s that, Liz?? I know that I can count on my support team here at DearThyroid, right?? I love you all for accepting me as I am—–faults, warts and missteps!!!!!

    Cyn

  2. Robin says:

    so you’re saying an occasional Mounds bar isn’t bad;) Seriously, I do need to take better care of myself…

  3. LizSchau says:

    Cyndi,

    So glad you got something good out of it. 🙂 Makes me happy to hear. I think your commitment is amazing and I think it will definitely help you feel better. Especially if you’re aware of the drinking/smoking affecting you… things can only look up if you choose to stop. We are so glad you’re a part of our community and we want you feeling as well as you can be! It’s a new year and we’re all in this together!!!!

    <3

  4. LizSchau says:

    Robin,

    🙂 Hello there!! We want you to feel as well as you possibly can!! Whatever that may mean for you… that’s what we want and support, ma’am!

  5. Robyn says:

    I’ll give you a list of my hypothyroid symptoms…many are “common”, many are “not”!

    “commons”
    cold intolerance/low basal body temperature (rarely over 97.0 degrees)
    hair loss
    exhaustion/lack of motivation
    erratic, excessive periods
    muscle cramps (mostly neck)
    joint pain (mostly hips and wrists/hands)
    dry skin
    constipation
    decreased libido (absent, actually)
    irritability

    “not so commons” (or less commons)
    premature greying (beginning at age 21)
    restless leg syndrome
    weight loss
    macroglossia
    tinnitus
    asthma-like shortness of breath
    lump in throat feeling/difficulty swallowing with no “goiter”
    elevated cholesterol
    insomnia

  6. thy_r88gous says:

    hey liz,
    just wanted to give you a couple symptoms while i currently have them and am thinking about them. i know these are thyroid symptoms because i got them shortly before i was diagnosed hyper. first of all i have heartburn. Before i was diagnosed i had heartburn all the time and ate tums like they were candy and i couldnt wait for my 4 months to be up so i could take some more prevacid. but now that i know about the thyroid condition and i am eating better i know when i get heartburn i have eaten something that wasnt good for me. And i have to “just deal” with the pain now because from all the tums and prevacid (and a whole lot of soda) i am now toxic in aluminum. Second, my hips hurt! this i dont know why but they do. They just hurt they feel like they are going to pop out of their sockets. walking, sitting, standing, it dosent matter what im doing. Ugh!
    I have read so many lists and symptoms and whatnot that i dont remember if these are “text book” symptoms. im pretty sure they are not though.
    But thats all i got for now.

  7. Felita Walker says:

    Oh Liz,
    I sooooooooooooo appreciate your creation of a symptom list. One of my resolutions this year was to find out as much as I can about thyroid disease. I do not wish to be told what I am supposed to feel, what is a symptom and isn’t by professional jerks who haven’t a clue. I am a Graves to Hashimoto shift changer. Having been told by my Nuclear Medicine dude, and endocreatine (sorry – endocrinologist and my regular doctor (have since changed) that my emotional issues had nothing to do with the disease. And discovering that so many other women have also suffered from many of the same symptoms that I have has been as disturbing to me as well as comforting. Besides, I have no shame in my game. If I am a raving lunatic then at least I will know the truth, the ambiguity makes you nuts!! Okay so is ambiguity a symptom???? Just kidding.

    I was diagnosed at 45, I just turned 49, but we can pretty much pinpoint the start of my hell about 13 years ago.

    Here is my list:

    Pre-diagnosis
    Exaggerated Sinusitis – I was having MRI’s every couple of months because the swelling was so extreme and there was no plausible reason for it. Additionally, I was placed on over 15 antibiotics for a two year period to “fix the problem.” Led to my having to take good bacteria orally to restore my bodies normal bacterial processes.

    Large muscle atrophy: Couldn’t walk up stairs to save my life. I walked into Kaiser at the age of 45 when this symptom came to life and within 15 minutes my doctor knew exactly what was wrong – after years of everyone being perplexed in private practice.

    Digestive problems
    Panic attacks
    Mood swings
    Depression
    Weight loss
    Weight gain
    Severe eye pain
    Joint & muscle pain
    Total lack of focus

    Post diagnosis:
    Joint and muscle pain
    Occasional eye pain
    Periods of lack of focus
    Mood swings
    Occasional rages particularly during what would be my menstrual cycle. I say what would be because I haven’t had a regular period in three years. In fact, I have had a total of 4 during that time period. Okay there are a perk or two related to the disease.

  8. amy says:

    I feel a little guilty about the “everything in moderation”. Yes, I have given up loads of foods and I feel great. But I sometimes use Bragg’s liquid aminos. If you do not know what that is it is an organic non GMO soy sauce. Just fermented soy. I know I shouldn’t but sometimes it makes a boring dinner so good and my husband is pleased. The thing is, it seems like my throat hurts the next day. Is it true or just in my head? I’ve got to quit that!
    A bigger symptoms list is a really great idea. Everyone has such different symptoms. It really is not a nice tidy list. It varies from patient to patient. It should definitely be expanded.
    I get really bad leg/knee pain when things are out of whack. Muscle cramps,deep pain like it is in my bones. Feet hurt! I get bad leg cramps when I drive for a long period of time. I have weird little bumps on the tops of my arms. Those are the not text book symptoms that I have. I also have the eye pain and sensitivity to light.

    okay, I really could go on…

  9. LizSchau says:

    Thank you so much Robyn, thy_r88gous, Felita, and Amy for commenting!

    Ladies, thanks so much for being so open and honest and sharing your symptoms. Right now, we have an ongoing “unofficial” symptom list on the forums. I would still definitely like to consolidate them in one place as a resource for others… not to be taken as sound medical advice, but just as a patient-to-patient suggestion list.

    Thank you ladies so much for being so open and honest and sharing these things you’re experiencing. I would love to see how many other people experience these things, even though doctors may not recognize them as thyroid-related.

    Amy, please girl… don’t get down on yourself. Definitely figure out if you think it’s hurting your throat. Otherwise, that is definitely a lesser evil… you’re doing so well and working so hard to be healthy already. 🙂 You’re doing such great things for you and your family!!

    Thanks ladies. 🙂

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