Thyroid Health Page: Update After Four Years
Update February 2001
I continue to feel well on my very-vege diet. I've been on thyroid replacement for two years now, switching from "natural" to "synthetic" thyroid hormone last year after hearing from two women with autoimmune thyroiditis who went into remission after taking synthroid for about 5 years.
My endocrinologist said he had also seen this result in his practice, although to the best of his knowledge it has not yet been written up or studied. (I've heard that a doctor in California is researching this phenomenon.) The hope is that the synthetic hormone will allow my body to "rest" and eventually turn off its autoimmune attack.
I took synthetic thyroid once before (1 mcg) and had painful cramps. This time my dose is .75, and I must admit that I've been feeling just as well on the levothyroxin as I was on the "natural" (pork extract) Armour Thyroid.
Update July 1999
I have good news and bad news to report.
The good news is that after three years of (almost) daily juicing, and
a diet rich in fruits and veges (with NO dairy, sugar, or red meat), my
Type II diabetes is in remission, my cholesterol is normal, my arthritis
has completely reversed itself, and my carpal tunnel and headaches
The bad news is that my body is still attacking my thyroid. In September
1998, almost two years after being diagnosed as low thyroid, I began taking
thyroid replacement hormone.
My naturopath prescribed Armour Thyroid, a pork extract. I feel great
on it, much better than when I was taking levothyroxin, on which I experienced
severe leg cramps and a very real feeling of not being "well".
Armour Thyroid is different chemically from synthesized thyroid because
it is more complete. Synthetic thyroid contains only T4, which your body
must convert to the more active T3. Armour contains T4 plus T3 plus other
Many people feel fine and do well on synthesized thyroid, but if you
are not one of them, your body may have difficulty converting T4 to T3.
Ask your doctor if you can try Armour or one of the other prescription
drugs which combine T4 and T3.
Unfortunately, many MDs consider Armour to be outmoded because it is
a glandular extract rather than a synthesized compound. Since it is a prescription
drug, you need to find an open-minded physician or an alternative practitioner
who can write prescriptions. In Washington State, I can get Armour from
I feel encouraged to feel so well taking Armour Thyroid, but concerned
about my continuing high antithyroid levels. My last blood tests (in June
1999) showed my T3 and T4 were normal, my TSH was down to 3.5(!), but my
antithyroid levels were still out of the park.
Apparently my general health is improved enough to keep at bay symptoms
of the antithyroid assault, but I still don't know how to turn off the
attack. Frankly, I am disappointed that three years of juicing/eating right
have apparently made no impression on this problem, and I'm willing to concede it must be more than a nutritional deficiency.
The MDs I've talked to do not know how to treat my Hashimoto's autoimmune problems (other than thyroid
replacement). Thyroiditis, like other autoimmune diseases like arthritis,
MS, etc. is still a mystery to traditional medicine.
My naturopath has suggested that since it doesn't seem to be a nutritional
deficiency, it may be a reaction to "toxicity" in my body picked up from
air pollution, pesticides, all the silver fillings in my mouth, etc. He
wants me to go on a "detox" program including colonics and chelation (to
draw the heavy metals out of my body.)
When he suggested this last year, I was not excited about it, but as
time goes on with no improvement, I am seriously considering giving it
a try. Even though my symptoms are being managed/masked by the thyroid
replacement, I would love to turn off my body's attack and get back to
If you have experience with any of these cleansing/detox therapies,
I would love to hear your experience. If I do try it, I will update this
site to let you know whether it has worked for me.
I wish you good luck on your search for health. Please be encouraged
that diet and exercise DO make a difference, even though there is no one