Friday, June 30, 2006

for tanya

i tried posting this on your blog as a reply, but it banned it - suppose it may be too long... anyway couldn't figure out how to do a guest post and since this topic is a bit outdated, i thought i'd post it here for u!

i'm a day late (times about 20) and a dollar short, BUT i have some info on this thyroid issue...
funny enough, i was just discussing thyroid issues on the raw food board that i'm a member of... one of the other members was experiencing symptoms similar to yours Tanya. here's some info that was posted on how FOODS contribute to over/under active thyroids:

(part 1)

Anytime I hear someone say the raw food diet makes them tired I like to warn them about goitrogens. Goitrous foods are foods which prevent your thyroid from uptaking iodine. If you don't uptake iodine your thyroid function can be affected. The thyroid gland producing low hormones can affect your metabolism, hair, skin, nails, etc... so say you happen to have an underactive or sensitive thyroid and you eat a raw diet including many foods on the goitrogen list, you may effectively feel like just sleeping all day, like you took some tranquilizers. So if you want, I can send you the list I have compiled of the foods just so you can make sure that is not the problem.
I think that many people thrive on these same healthy foods because they are not sensitive to them or have an overactive thyroid to begin with. It is very confusing to see someone totally exhausted after eating when another is full of energy. We are all very different.
A short list includes, peaches, strawberries, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, omega 3 seeds and oils, flaxseed, kale....
there are also many foods that promote thyroid function, like coconut oil.... I can post my notes if there is interest.

(part 2)

Ok, here are my notes from reading in some books and on the internet, I post them every once in a while here.
Here are all the foods I found to be listed as goitrogens.
Foods which can suppress the manufacture of thyroid hormone by interfering with your thyroid's ability to process iodide, they are called "goitrogens" or "goitrous foods." Goitrogens can cause a sporadic goiter, a type of thyroid growth.
You may experience symptoms of hypothyroid (listed below) after ingesting any of the following foods:

STRAWBERRIES (info conflicts on this one, one site recommended it being good for the thyroid)


SOYBEANS/SOY/TOFU/EDAMAME- also I suspect may include other foods with phytoestrogens may affect people with high estrogen already because estrogen causes an increase in the amount of circulating thyroid binding globulin (THG). THG is a protein that "soaks up" freely circulating thyroid hormone, turning it from "free" to "bound" thyroid hormone. So even though your thyroid levels might be normal, less of what your have is active. This contributes to weight gain, less energy and dry skin. Excessively high estrogen may diminish the effectiveness of your circulating thyroid hormones.

RADISHES (may be beneficial or suppressive)

DAIRY(also iodine from salt licks, hormones)
FLOURIDE (toothpaste)
CHLORINE (tap water)
IODINE(TOO MUCH, OR UNNATURAL FORMS)CAN CAUSE THYROID STORM CRASH which can produce manic-like or psychotic symptoms
LITHIUM (CAN SUPRESS THYROID)-also known to cause acne
CARBOHYDRATES-too much can create chemical in your intestines that suppresses thyroid

All these foods above can possibly interfere with thyroid function.
Just by supplementing iodine and L-tyrosine you may increase the production of your thyroid gland. They are the two things used in the production of thyroid hormone. People with high blood pressure have to be careful with L-tyrosine.
Other supplements that may help thyroid health: Vit A, B-complex, Vit C, Vit E, zinc, selenium, and iron.

Herbs that may help hypothyroid(low thyroid):
Horsetail(helps hair), oatstraw, alfalfa, gotu kola, kelp(natural source of iodine), bladderwrack(iodine), irish moss, coleus foreskohlii, cinamon bark, sargassum, bayberry, black cohosh, ginko biloba, golden seal(short period of time), licorice, rose hips, rosemary

Oils that may be helpful in stimulating the thyroid:
Olive oil and coconut oil(highly recommended, both good for cooking), coconut oil tastes good, it doesn't taste like coconut.

EFA's may be deficient with thyroid problematic people,

Foods recommended for hypothyroidism (low thyroid)that may help thyroid function:



Herbs listed that may help lower cholestral:
guggul, hawthorne

People who eat goitrous foods and/or have unstable thyroids may experience muscular weakness and constant fatigue, weak slow heartbeat, sensitivity to cold, thick puffy skin, slowed mental process and poor memory, constipation, goiter, hair loss, eyebrow(lack of hair,especially outer third), ridged nails, brittle nails, recurrent infections, skin problems, acne, weight gain, edema, swelling tissues, joint pain, and painful breasts(sensitivity to estrogen).

I saw a paper on the internet which stated the following, but, my gynecologist had never heard of it:
Supplementing iodine is known to cure fibrous breast tissue because iodine and estrogen compete for the same receptors. If there is not enough iodine filling receptors then too much estrogen gets absorbed, producing fibrous tissue(may be early road to breast cancer) and painful breasts. I do notice eating edamame(soybeans, phyto estrogen rich) makes my breast hurt the next day.
People with blood type O may be more suseptible to unstable thyroid function, more likely to be sensitive to these foods. I read that from the author of "Eat Right For Your Blood Type," Peter D'Adamo. He has a website at

People with unstable thyroid functions can experience thyroid storm or crash with too much iodine or the wrong form(they may be extra sensitive to iodine supplements), as far as I can tell the most recommended iodine supplement form is seaweed, they sell it in the healthfood stores. I bought the flakes to try.

Even if your thyroid has been tested, many sources say a person can read normal, but still be suffering the symptoms of this problem. Like if you have too much estrogen and too much bound, unusable thyroid hormone. A more accurate test is to take your temperature in the morning(without moving, the first 15 minutes) use an accurate thermometer. Take it about 5 days in a row and if it is consistently below a certain temperature( 97.8) then your thyroid is not functioning optimally. Usually TSH is measured by the doctor first, but, there are other tests that can be done to pinpoint the problem if your temp is low and your TSH came back normal. The temperature taking is the more accurate overall picture of function. A friend of mine read that it is suggested for women take their temperature the morning of their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th day of your period for accuracy. A womans temperature dips low around ovulation.
I have personally noticed extreme fatigue and breakouts after eating a lot of goitrous foods over a course of days and weeks. I end up in bed feeling poisoned. I had loads of hair loss after taking flaxseed oil for six months. It ended abruptly when I switched to fish oil (it may have contain iodine?) and I started having major regrowth. However, too much fish or fish oil can over stimulate. Seems like finding the right balance is the key.When I avoid these thyroid suppressing foods I have many more days with normal energy, better mood. When I supplement L-tyrosine and iodine, I tend to have much more energy, no cold feet at night. Easier to wake up, better sleep. No hair loss. More productive days. My skin seems to be breaking out more, however. On the other side, eating the suppressing foods makes even worse breakouts and I feel terrible. So hopefully since I am feeling better with the avoidance of the food and supplementing the iodine and L-tyrosine my skin may get worse before it gets better? We'll see.Your thyroid gland is resposible for regulating your basic metabolic rate,hair, nails and immune response to the intestines(food allergies, reactions), your body temperature(regulates burning of energy to keep you warm).I put together this list of foods and thyroid information from reading about 15 different articles on the internet and from a few different textbooks(Merck manual). As I read, most of the infomation was repeated and confirmed by most sources, so I assume it is reliable. However, I have no medical training and am not accredited to evaluate the validity of any internet site. I did my searches on by typing in +"thyroid"+"goitrogens" or phrases like +"supresses thyroid", if anyone wants to see the articles I came across. Don't just take my word for this, read on your own before changing anything in your diet, also realize many people may benefit by eating these foods if their thyroid is OVERactive. So each person has their own individual situation and each person needs different food choices, a different balance.I consider the information above valuable because if a person has low thyroid or an unstable thyroid and inadvertantly tries a raw food diet choosing too many foods on this list they may end up in bed with no energy, hair falling out, skin breaking out, etc... They may think it is a normal detox process, which is the only answer people had for me. I knew it wasn't a good thing, I couldn't do it longer that 2 weeks. I suspected it wasn't detox because I did sustain a raw fruit smoothie diet with sashimi and eggyolks with high energy for a month. So it was only when I did the raw salad diet that I felt so tired and sick.


i find that food greatly affects my energy levels, moods, weight, and health and well being in general. i always like to explore more organic ways of dealing with illness or issues before i medicate - especially when it comes to children.of course, its lifestyle is a personal and intimate domain, so i hope that you are able to find what works best for you and continue to maintain your peak health :)