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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 have disappeared.

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 thyroid compounds.

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 my naturopath.

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 true health.

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 "magic bullet."


My Favorite Books
I read a lot, but these are the books I trust. If you're feeling lousy and are confused about food choices, these books will give you hope and new direction. If this web site has been helpful to you, you can help us by ordering a book now through Amazon. Here's wishing you good health!


Prescription for Nutritional Healing is a wonderful reference book, written by an MD and a certified nutritional consultant. The book suggests sound nutritional strategies for coping with more than 250 diseases, including hypothyroidism. You'll turn to this book again and again!


In the Complete Book of Juicing, Dr. Michael T. Murray (one of the world's leading authorities on natural medicines) reveals how fresh fruit and vegetable juices can help combat cancer, aging, arthritis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, kidney stones, ulcers, and other health conditions. Over 150 easy recipes included.


I love the balanced approach presented by Annemarie Colbin in Food and Healing. She analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of a number of alternative diets, explains the remarkable healing qualities of specific foods, and describes how to tailor a diet approach that is right for you.


Fit for Life changed the way I think about food. If you're confused about what to eat, you'll appreciate the simple, natural advice in this book. This is the book I buy and give to friends who ask me the secret of my good health.


Living Well with Hypothyroidism is a great resource for those of us dealing with the condition. In her book Mary Shomon discusses symptoms, conventional treatments and alternative treatments, including new research on the value of adding T3 to the more traditional T4 hormone replacement. Very helpful!


Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices is the first and still the best book on why and how juicing restores health. The book was written by Dr. Norman Walker, who literally invented juicing and reportedly lived well past 100. This affordable little book contains very specific advice for treating hypothyroidism and many other conditions, and is available in most health food stores.

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