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ThyroidAdvocate's Comments

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Hypothyroidism: A Common Hormonal Imbalance Affecting Several Million Americans

Hypothyroidism: A Common Hormonal Imbalance Affecting Several Million Americans

Commented May 5, 2014 at 12:30:44 in Healthy Living

“While I appreciate Dr. Haber and HuffPo's efforts to raise awareness, there are five key pieces of misinformation in this piece.

1. The number of people affected by hypothyroidism is not "several million" -- it is far more.
2. Research shows that all symptoms are not reversed with thyroid treatment in all patients.
3. Dr. Haber neglected to mention the antibodies tests, and the controversy surrounding his preferred test, TSH.
4. The goal of thyroid treatment is not "a normal TSH level." It's safe relief of symptoms.
5. Levothyroxine may be the "preferred therapy" for conventional endocrinologists, but it is not the treatment preferred by patients, according to research.

I've detailed my concerns in this rebuttal.

It does a disservice to thyroid patients to downplay the complexity of diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism, much less the challenges faced by patients who live with a chronically underactive thyroid and subpar treatment.

Mary Shomon
Thyroid Patient Advocate, Author”

"Vhy you alvays terrorist?": Musing on the Lack of Middle-Eastern Role Models in Pop Culture

Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 01:06:55 in Entertainment

“Great piece, Maz. Saw you when you were on the Axis of Evil comedy tour -- still thought your piece on the "khhhh" sounds in Arabic and Persian was one of the funniest things I've ever heard! (Armenian and Assyrian family here.) Will contribute to your film!”
Thyroid Cancer? Sign Me Up

Thyroid Cancer? Sign Me Up

Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 20:27:59 in Healthy Living

“Michelle -- I understand what you were trying to say in this article, but I'm afraid that the title will be interpreted as very insensitive by the many thousands of thyroid cancer survivors in the United States. Almost to a person, thyroid cancer sufferers and survivors rightfully bristle at being told that they have the "good" cancer, even as doctors, family and friends regularly feel compelled to say this to people suffering from thyroid cancer. (See "Is Thyroid Cancer the 'Good' Cancer?" - ) No cancer is a "good" cancer. Thyroid cancer patients need to deal with a number of life-changing issues. Most thyroid cancer patients require surgery, radioactive iodine treatment, periodic scanning for recurrence, and a lifetime of thyroid hormone replacement medication to treat the lifelong hypothyroidism that results from having the thyroid surgically removed. And lifelong hypothyroidism is no picnic. While many thyroid cancers are survivable, some are not. In the end, I truly hope that you do not have thyroid cancer. And a tip for your JH visit: if you have an "inconclusive" biopsy result, be sure that you investigate the Veractyte Afirma Thyroid Analysis (which can conclusively determine if it's cancer, without unnecessary surgery.) For info, see Also, I recommend learning more by visiting the website of the Thyroid Cancer Survivor's Association ( ).”

MIWoman on Sep 9, 2012 at 01:36:16

“yes, but not everyone has a horrible experience after loosing their thyroid to cancer. I didn't and I would have welcomed this article before I had my thyroid out. Post like the majority of these on this board did me more harm than good and sometimes people need to hear their lives won't necessarily end when their thyroid comes out.”

Stephanie Lawton on Aug 20, 2012 at 23:22:35

“To be fair, we all require periodic scanning for recurrences for life - thyroid cancer has reemerged 35 years after people were pronounced "cured" to kill them - you get scanned six months out, every year for five years, every five years for life.”
huffingtonpost entry

Top 5 Hormone Superheroes: My 'Genius Bar'

Commented May 21, 2012 at 21:53:51 in Healthy Living

“"Sara Gottfried, MD, Bay Area-based holistic gynecologist and author of the soon-to-be published book, The Hormone Cure, has a piece at The Huffington Post today, in which she names her "top five hormone superheroes," or, as she puts it, her "genius bar." I was very honored to be included on her list, along with some amazing advocates who I consider to be on my own "genius bar." In her article, Sara asks "Who's runnin' your 'genius bar'?" And it's a good question! So who would I would add? This is by no means an all-encompassing list, but here goes..."
Sammy's Story

Sammy's Story

Commented Dec 2, 2011 at 20:06:35 in Impact

“The program is addressing a very important need: a sense of belonging and safety, with pajamas and books for children who often don't have a single possession to their name. Every charitable program does not address every need -- that's why there are programs out there to help with early education, health care, nutrition, foster care, books, toys, etc, and social programs to help deal with the underlying issues that create these problems in the first place.”
huffingtonpost entry

Efforts for Non-Violence Help Achieve Security Pull Back in Syria

Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 10:47:47 in Politics

“Congressman Kucinich -- you are a decent man, serving in Congress for the right reasons. While I appreciate that your goal of non-violent conflict resolution for Syria, you, like many insightful politicians before you, are discovering that Bashar Al Assad is as convincing an actor as he is a dictator.

It is wishful thinking to believe that Bashar Al Assad was and is a "reformer. This fantasy has survived since he "inherited" the Presidency of Syria from his father, himself a brutal dictator who presided over a 30-year regime of torture and repression.

"Reformers" do NOT inherit dictatorships.
"Reformers" do NOT have political prisoners of conscience.
"Refoemrs" do NOT torture the political opposition.

Young bloggers are being dragged into the streets and having their hands amputated. Opposition leaders are being dragged out of bed, and hauled into prisons. Bodies of mutilated and tortured children like Hamza Al Khatib are being left on their parent's doorsteps as messages to Syrians who want genuine reform. Tanks are tucked away in corners of all the major Syrian cities, ready to strike. All at the direction of Bashar Al Assad.

THIS is the man whose communications you believe? THIS it the man you think is telling you the truth?

I'm sorry, sir, but on this, you are completely, thoroughly wrong.”
Empowering Women To Take Control Of Reproductive Health

Empowering Women To Take Control Of Reproductive Health

Commented May 16, 2011 at 09:32:46 in Home

“I would also like to add that part of taking control of our reproductive health is recognizing the often overlooked hormone that also plays a key role: the thyroid.

Thyroid imbalances can create erratic and painful menstrual cycles, kill your sex drive, contribute to infertility, and may be the real cause of symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, and mood changes in women over 40.

While all the attention is typically paid to estrogen and progesterone, the thyroid is a critical hormone that is almost always overlooked in women throughout our reproductive years. Yet, by the age of 60, some estimates are that 2 out of every 5 women have some sort of thyroid imbalance!

Good thyroid health also relies on eating well -- avoiding excess soy, fluoride, and perchlorate in our food and water -- getting enough but not too much iodine in our foods, sufficient levels of Vitamin D and iron, staying away from hormones, pesticides and chemicals, managing stress in our lives.

But I want to make sure that women "think thyroid." When you can't lose weight, when your cholesterol goes up, when you're tired, depressed, exhausted, when you've lost your sex drive, when PMS symptoms become uncomfortable, when it's difficult getting pregnant, when you have severe morning sickness, after multiple miscarriages, after a premature baby, during perimenopause after 40, or when you're post-menopausal in your 50s and 60s. CHECK THE THYROID! (and do it right!)”
8 Fertility Misconceptions

8 Fertility Misconceptions

Commented May 16, 2011 at 09:16:04 in Home

“I'd like to add #11...."your thyroid levels are fine."

We have an epidemic of thyroid disease in the United States, and many women -- and their doctors -- don't realize that thyroid imbalances are a frequently overlooked cause of infertility and recurrent miscarriage. Unfortunately, there are many doctors -- and even, ahem, fertility clinics -- who do NOT test for thyroid as part of an infertility workup.

Even then, there is an overreliance on the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test as the only test, not to mention a lack of understanding that fertility often depends on a woman having a lower-level within the so-called TSH "normal range." Meanwhile, doctors often declare a woman who has a level ANYWHERE in the normal range to be "fine." Not true.

Also, few doctors properly test for autoimmune thyroid antibodies, which on their own, barring any other thyroid irregularities, can contribute to fertility problems.

In my book Thyroid Hormone Breakthrough, I wrote about dozens of women I've coached who were paying for expensive assisted reproduction treatments -- thousands of dollars per month -- who failed to get pregnant month after month. They suspected thyroid problems, I connected them to thyroid-savvy doctors (often NOT an endocrinologist or reproductive specialist by the way), they finally get their thyroid properly diagnosed and treated, and.... surprise! They get pregnant, on their own, with no IVF or assistance needed at all, and have a healthy baby.”
Iodine For Radiation: Who Needs It, And When

Iodine For Radiation: Who Needs It, And When

Commented Mar 24, 2011 at 16:42:27 in Home

“I don't agree. To suggest that more than 90% of us are low in iodine, or that "all of us need a combination of iodine and iodide" is a one-size-fits-all mentality that doesn't account for physiologic differences, autoimmune thyroiditis, iodine sensitivity and allergy, and the fact that there is still an ongoing controversy -- even among alternative/holistic/integrative practitioners -- regarding iodine. Some practitioners believe everyone who has a thyroid problem -- no matter what sort of thyroid problem it is -- needs iodine. But as a thyroid patient advocate who gets hundreds of emails every week since 1996 from thyroid patients around the world, I can assure you that there is a subset of thyroid patients who get sicker when they take iodine. So while iodine can help some people, it is NOT a "do-it-yourself" project, and it's not one of those supplements people should be grabbing off the shelf and taking without testing and guidance of a practitioner. People who follow the advice that "everyone needs iodine" may trigger a thyroid problem where they didn't have one before, or may aggravate a pre-existing thyroid problem.”
Iodine For Radiation: Who Needs It, And When

Iodine For Radiation: Who Needs It, And When

Commented Mar 24, 2011 at 16:37:10 in Home

“There is a difference between taking iodine supplements (at lower doses than would be taken in a nuclear radiation emergency) and using the potassium iodide in a radiation emergency. Most doctors would agree that the risks to most thyroid patients of taking potassium iodide would be outweighed by the risk of thyroid cancer IF YOU ARE IN THE FALLOUT ZONE -- such as those folks in the immediate vicinity of Fukushima right now. But if you have hypothyroidism/Hashimoto's, you may or may not need lower-level iodine supplementation -- it depends on whether you have iodine deficiency or not. If you are iodine deficient -- and the only way to establish that is with a proper test, not by guesswork, and not by painting iodine on your arm and watching it evaporate -- you need a test, then you *might* benefit from supplementation -- but with something like Iodoral or Lugol's solution. But keep in mind, some people with hashimoto's or hypothyroidism find that iodine worsens and aggravates their thyroid condition.”
Iodine For Radiation: Who Needs It, And When

Iodine For Radiation: Who Needs It, And When

Commented Mar 24, 2011 at 16:34:05 in Home

“Thank you to Dr. Katz for a reasonable, rational article discussing the issue. As a thyroid patient advocate who has been asked many times about the potassium iodide issue, this is what I've been saying for quite a while as well at my and sites.”
New York Times Journalists Missing In Libya To Be Released

New York Times Journalists Missing In Libya To Be Released

Commented Mar 18, 2011 at 09:53:55 in Media

“GOOD News. Godspeed to my friend Anthony Shadid and his colleagues”
Potassium Iodide Demand Soars On 'Panic' Over Japan Radiation

Potassium Iodide Demand Soars On 'Panic' Over Japan Radiation

Commented Mar 17, 2011 at 12:05:06 in Los Angeles

“We're going to have a spike in thyroid disease in a few months, due to the panicked and needless use of potassium iodide.

Potassium iodide can be a protection IF taken right before and after a radioactive-iodine laden plume is passing over you DIRECTLY.

Otherwise, taking potassium iodide is a risk factor to trigger or worsen thyroid disease.

So you folks who are not in Japan, and who are not in the direct path of fallout, but are taking potassium iodide, thinking that you are doing your health a favor -- you are are actually putting yourself at GREATER risk of developing thyroid disease. Your health and thyroid would be safer doing nothing at all right now!!

READ: Should Americans Take Iodine to Protect the Thyroid from Radiation from Japanese Nuclear Leak: Leading Endocrinologist Theodore Friedman, MD Says No:

-- Mary Shomon, Thyroid Patient Advocate and Author”
Potassium Iodide Demand Soars On 'Panic' Over Japan Radiation

Potassium Iodide Demand Soars On 'Panic' Over Japan Radiation

Commented Mar 16, 2011 at 22:05:26 in Los Angeles

“I'm not aware of Dr. Brownstein stating that 90 to 95% of the U.S. is iodine-deficient, and I'm not sure where this statistic is coming from, but I haven't seen any evidence that supports that particular assertion.

As for potassium iodide being harmless, I disagree. Potassium iodide can trigger or worsen hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism in some people. Iodine supplementation can be a help to some people with thyroid dysfunction, but high-dose iodine supplementation, especially in someone who is iodine replete, can create new thyroid problems where none exist.

The thyroid gland needs enough, but not too much, iodine. The key is balance. I agree that mainstream medicine is woefully behind the times when it comes to understanding the risks for thyroid disease, as well as its diagnosis and treatment. But a one-size-fits-all notion like iodine supplementation being a thyroid cure-all for almost every thyroid patient in the nation can hurt more people than it helps.”

Aleks Hunter on Mar 16, 2011 at 22:17:30

“If someone insists on drinking a whole bottle of iodine (which the poster erroneously suggests is "harmless") It would be prudent to take 70 mcg of selenium per day concurrently. Selenium deficiency will exacerbate iodine toxicity.

I can see a whole market opening up treating iodine toxicity.”
Potassium Iodide Demand Soars On 'Panic' Over Japan Radiation

Potassium Iodide Demand Soars On 'Panic' Over Japan Radiation

Commented Mar 16, 2011 at 20:28:24 in Los Angeles

“As a thyroid patient advocate who has been writing about this issue for more than a decade, a warning: DO NOT TAKE POTASSIUM IODIDE UNLESS YOU ARE IN THE IMMEDIATE PATH OF A RADIOACTIVE PLUME. And if you are, you will be informed by authorities -- not by potassium iodide sales websites or conspiracy folks. I don't know how it can be any clearer. Only those who are in the DIRECT, close by and immediate path of a radioactive fallout/plume should be taking potassium iodide to protect their thyroid gland against cancer. has to be taken in the hours before and after the direct exposure to radioactive iodine to work. So, if you are taking it days before, or days later, it's pointless. AND, remember -- radiation risk or not -- if you take potassium iodide, you increase your risk of triggering or aggravating both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

The likelihood that the Japanese radiation will reach the U.S. is almost nil. That said, anyone who lives within 30 miles of a nuclear plant, or in areas that are considered "downwind" to nuclear plants, or in areas that could be targets of "dirty bombs" SHOULD always have potassium iodide on hand for all family members, all the time. Because in the event of a real radiation emergency in the U.S., you WILL need potassium iodide, and as you can see, it's not all that readily available on short notice or in emergencies.”

Bitternut on Mar 17, 2011 at 02:33:23


"The likelihood that the Japanese radiation will reach the U.S. is almost nil. " simply false. Not only do you not know this factually, but in reality it is a certainty that Japanese radiation will reach US west coast. With an east blowing jet stream, the west coast of USA is exactly where this goes after crossing the Pacific, and this has been confirmed by many Nuke experts. The question is not will it or won't it, but how MUCH.

In USA we even have many traces even from Chernobyl, so let's not get too cocky and dishonest.

Telling people garbage while asserting it to be a certain truth regarding health issues is very bad form.”

J David Auner on Mar 16, 2011 at 23:06:26

“some points taken - but - I have first hand knowledge of patients dead and salvaged from 50's nuclear testing. The experts don't seem any better than the retrovirus guys from 1970 to 1999.”

forestlady on Mar 16, 2011 at 20:56:33

“sorry I have to disagree with you; potassium iodide (SSKI) is harmless unless you swallow the whole bottle. One drop has 130 mg, enough to protect you from radiation and to help you detox from bromine, fluoride, etc. and other halides. I've been taking it for 6 months and it has strengthened my thyroid, given me more energy and cleared up numerous other ailments. 90 to 95% of the U.S. is iodine-deficient. The information is out there on the web but you have to look for it. Check out Dr. Brownstein's website. Don't buy into what mainstream medicine tells you, they are wrong and way behind the times. We ALL live with low level radiation - protect yourself.”

Jeff Rosenbury on Mar 16, 2011 at 20:40:49

“Good advice.

I would like to add that some of these companies have kept thousands of dollars tied up in stock for decades. They deserve some profit.”
Health Story Of The Decade: Submit Your Nominations

Health Story Of The Decade: Submit Your Nominations

Commented Dec 17, 2010 at 17:30:16 in Home

“I nominate the rise of thyroid disease - the most overlooked, underdiagnosed, midiagnosed, and stigmatized disease in the US, yet one that affects more people than diabetes and breast cancer combined. You have sitcoms and comedians making fun of it, celebrities rushing around trying their best to distance themselves from their own diagnoses (as in, Oprah Winfrey, Nia Vardalos...), doctors who describe the symptoms as like "being in love" (Pete Singer, MD) or like a "frat party in your neck" (Mehmet Oz MD), and symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, high cholesterol, depression, infertility, wacky periods, and low sex drive that are more likely to land you a prescription for Prozac or a diagnosis of "fork in mouth disease" than a lab slip for appropriate thyroid tests. An estimated 50 million or more Americans have thyroid conditions, the vast majority are undiagnosed, and, no surprise, most are women. Thyroid specialists can't even agree about what is considered a "normal" thyroid test result, and millions of people are in a TSH Test Limbo, where some doctors consider them normal, some consider them to have a thyroid condition, and getting diagnosed or treated is a crapshoot depending on whether your doctor has signed on and/or is aware of the newest recommendations (most are not.) People are prescribed antidepressants, blood pressure medications, anxiety and statin drugs, estrogen and other hormones, for symptoms that may actually be caused by underlying thyroid disease.”
The World's Most Stunning Gardens (PHOTOS)

The World's Most Stunning Gardens (PHOTOS)

Commented Nov 19, 2010 at 14:11:41 in Travel

“I'd like to add Stourhead Gardens near Stonehenge, in England. It's an extraordinary and very beautiful landscape garden. It was designed so that no matter where you are in the entire garden, or where you are looking, it's like you're looking at a perfectly balanced, perfectly constructed painting from a master. It's gorgeous.
Eliminate Suffering From PMS In 5 Simple Steps

Eliminate Suffering From PMS In 5 Simple Steps

Commented Jun 19, 2010 at 14:33:04 in Healthy Living

“I would also add that some women mistake the symptoms of an underactive thyroid for PMS. If you are feeling fatigued, or depressed, this can be a sign of hypothyroidism -- an underactive thyroid. Women who are suffering from PMS owe it to themselves to have a thorough thyroid evaluation -- which means not just the TSH test, but Free T4, Free T3, and antibodies -- and to know what the test results mean in terms of optimal thyroid function.”

imokit on Jun 19, 2010 at 15:17:02

“There are lots more syptoms than fatigue and depression to gain a diagnosis of hypothyrodism. Feeling cold, and putting on weight despite not changing your diet, are too of the most obvious.

PMS is cyclical, hypothyroidism isn't.

There are also multitudes of causes of fatigue and depression, of which hypothyroidism makes up a relatively small portion.”
Settling The Soy Controversy

Settling The Soy Controversy

Commented Feb 24, 2010 at 22:39:13 in Healthy Living

“When consumed as a condiment in fermented forms, like the Asians do, soy can be an acceptable part of the diet. But when overconsumed as a primary protein replacement, as Americans often do, soy becomes a medicine/hormone, and can have negative effects. So many people are saying "I had a soy smoothie for breakfast, then a soy latte, a soy protein bar, a soyburger for lunch, edamame for a snack, miso, tempeh, a soy shake, yadda yadda." I hear from women in perimenopause and menopause who start overconsuming soy, and it's no coincidence that they soon develop hypothyroidism or autoimmune thyroiditis. The overconsumption of processed, genetically-modified soy is NOT healthy, and I don't agree with Dr. Barnard's opinion that all one needs is some iodine to counteract the effect of soy on the thyroid. There are many more studies that point to concerns about soy and its effect on the thyroid -- see to start. And for those who share my concerns, read the personal experiences of 100+ thyroid patients who found that soy foods had a negative impact on their thyroid function. For millions of thyroid patients in the U.S., the soy controversy is far from settled.
Mary Shomon, Thyroid Patient Advocate & Author / /

nevadagirl on Feb 25, 2010 at 13:12:40

“It is amazing how angry and defensive meat eaters become when anyone extols the benefits of soy. If you don't want to eat it then don't. I have been a vegeterian for more than 30 years and my health is excellent and I do not need hormone replacement for menopause.”

Horus45 on Feb 25, 2010 at 10:56:56

“Yes, I concur.”

Singing Sparrow on Feb 25, 2010 at 10:51:03

“Thank you so much for your input here and I hope that others read what you are reporting.
GM soy especially is dangerous. As usual in our culture we declare healthy what the big money guys have invested in. The fact is factory farming is a contradiction in terms and is deadly for the life caught up in it whether animal,plant or mineral.”

entreMundo on Feb 25, 2010 at 10:50:57

“true in general BUT, "the Asians" don't just consume it as a condiment... it's also a daily part of life in most east and southeast asian countries (just look at how many kinds of bottled soy milks you'll find in a 7-11 in Malaysia). in general there IS more moderation than a "soy crazed American" but make no mistake, they consume the heck out of it in about every form you can imagine and it's been shown to do them good on the whole.”

cmugs on Feb 25, 2010 at 10:02:47

“agreed. Moderation. its highly processed and takes more effort for ones body to break down. additionally, it is carb loaded and not high enough on protein. in other words in order to get enough protein from it you have to eat waaay more carbs than is necessary every time you eat. its not high in fiber so the carbs break down quickly into sugar. thats in an ideal situation. but most of the time the soy product is also paired with even MORE carbs than what is in the tofu, etc (ie putting tofu and veggie scrambler, tofu dog on a bun, etc) increasing the carb load, sugar breakdown, so on so forth. its really hard on your body over an extended period of time! it should definitely be included in diets but should not be the sole protein source because, quite frankly, it is inadequate and metabolically hard on the body.”
Hormone Therapy: Synthetic Progestins Are Not The Same As Progesterone

Hormone Therapy: Synthetic Progestins Are Not The Same As Progesterone

Commented Nov 24, 2009 at 16:58:05 in Healthy Living

“One of the things that is so confusing to many people is that bio-identical hormones is not synonymous with "hormones from a compounding pharmacy." When a woman needs estrogen and/or progesterone, many doctors who would NEVER prescribed compounded hormones are totally fine prescribing bio-identical versions of these hormones; they just won't prescribe custom compounded bio-identicals. The estradiol patch, and estradiol cream are, for example, a bio-identical form of estrogen. So a doctor can prescribe the Vivelle Dot, or a generic estradiol patch -- for estradiol in transdermal patch form. As for progesterone, Prometrium is a manufactured natural progesterone cream that is sold by prescription. These are medications that are available at most pharmacies, and do not require custom compounding.

There is NO reason for most women to accept conjugated estrogen (i.e., Premarin), or progestins (i.e., Provera, or the progestin that's in Prempro), when even the most conservative/conventional/narrow-minded doctors will usually be fine with a bio-identical version of that hormone, as long as it's one that's manufactured, and available by prescription from a traditional pharmacy (and not a specially compounded version.)

(Note: I'm not down on bio-identicals, I'm just clarifying that compounded, custom bio-identical drugs are NOT the only way to get "bio-identical" estrogen and progesterone.)

Mary Shomon
Thyroid Patient Advocate

MossyOak on Nov 24, 2009 at 19:24:52

“What it sounds like you're saying is that doctors have no problem prescribing anything so long as it comes from a large drug manufacturer and not a compounding pharmacy. You don't explain why this is, but I'm sure it has to do with those trips to Hawaii. I sound cynical (I am) because I attended a drug manufacturer dinner when "The Purple Pill" came out, where I heard with my own ears the drug reps telling doctors if they get a certain number of patients "hooked" (their word) on Nexium, they would send Dr. and spouse to "someplace special." This is legal, but it doesn't make it right or ethical, nor does it bear any relationship to what is best for a patient.”
Hormone Therapy: Synthetic Progestins Are Not The Same As Progesterone

Hormone Therapy: Synthetic Progestins Are Not The Same As Progesterone

Commented Nov 24, 2009 at 12:36:31 in Healthy Living

“I concur with Dr. Northrup regarding the need for women to understand that synthetic progestins are not the same as progesterone. And I definitely concur with her encouraging "every woman to learn about the hormone therapy options available today."

But I would also add that many doctors, including Dr. Northrup, are overlooking the impact that thyroid hormone -- perhaps the most important hormone of all -- has on women during perimenopause and menopause.

Once a woman hits 40, symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue, erratic periods, moodiness, brain fog, and low sex drive are almost always blamed on perimenopause or menopause. Yet this is the time when an underactive thyroid -- hypothyroidism -- is increasingly common in women. So why are doctors so quick to pull out the prescription pad and start handing out estrogen, progesterone and testosterone -- -- and whether bioidentical, or conjugated is not the point.

The point is that no one is checking the THYROID in these women! And for a substantial percentage of women 40 and above, a thyroid hormone imbalance is the REAL cause of the symptoms... symptoms these women -- AND their doctors -- assume are due to (peri)menopause and estrogen/progesterone imbalances.

Yes, every woman needs to learn about the hormone options available today. And that MUST include the usually overlooked THYROID hormone, the hormone that provides energy and oxygen to every cell, gland, organ and physiological function!

Mary Shomon
Thyroid Patient Advocate

skymuffin on Nov 24, 2009 at 22:46:07

“Thank you for pointing this out. I was not aware of this.

Women's bodies are different from men's and complex in different ways. My mother had a hysterectomy years ago for fibroids. Her male doctor told her to have her uterus removed, "because you don't need it anymore."”

GunneraGirl on Nov 24, 2009 at 15:15:12

“would love to see you blog here on huffpo, mary !”

MossyOak on Nov 24, 2009 at 14:40:39

“I cannot provide a link, but my opinion from reading various things over the years, as well as my own personal experience, is that people who switch from iodized salt to sea salt lower their blood pressure and their thyroid returns to normal functioning. Iodine is needed by the thyroid, no doubt about that, but we get WAY too much by using table salt combined with all the salt used in processed foods so many people eat. What's your take on this?”

miastella on Nov 24, 2009 at 13:27:21

“I'm so glad you wrote about progesterone and thyroid. My experience is that nothing man-made is able to replace the real thing and even on replacements women have symptoms. I just wish the doctors (including women) would stop saying that replacement is the same and there's no reason to complain about symptoms anymore. I'm on so-called optimal thyroid meds and still have symptoms.”

sanang on Nov 24, 2009 at 13:18:34

“I think Dr. Northrup just does not understand what is going on here. I have low thyroid due to an autoimmune disease ( Hashimoto's) and am taking Synthroid along with bioidentical hormones and feel good. Seems like almost every woman I know has low thyroid function. My sister suffered for over a year with low thyroid and her doctor never did the test...I intervened and told her to ask him to do the test which he did, found out her thyroid function was very low.....”

Stayalert on Nov 24, 2009 at 12:52:01

“STTM, stop the thyroid madness is such a critical piece of information and for both men and women from 30's onward we seriously need to review our Thyroid which controls hormones and organs in our bodies. When an MD gets your blood tests and just tells you "oh you are in the "normal range""
do not believe that and double check. "Normal" for their knowledge may mean 'just barely on the edge of the scale they are judging the #s by, or could be in the middle, but our bodies are different, and our exposures to toxins, foods, environments are all different. My job exposes me to greater than normal toxins and as a child was surrounded by pesticide sprays, so I may have different results than someone not doing my job or exposed to pesticides as a child.

Stop the thyroid Good info.”
The 4 Kinds Of Friends You Need In Your Life

The 4 Kinds Of Friends You Need In Your Life

Commented Oct 14, 2009 at 12:58:59 in Healthy Living

“So grateful to have all four types of friends in my life, and grateful to have found out about Therese Borchard's inspiring work through this incredible post at HuffPo!”
huffingtonpost entry

5 Steps To Reversing Type 2 Diabetes And Insulin Resistance

Commented Aug 20, 2009 at 22:49:47 in Healthy Living

“Be careful with the soy, folks. Dr. Hyman's recommending a great deal of soy, but people with insulin resistance and diabetes have endocrine imbalances that make them more susceptible to thyroid problems.

Soy -- especially when in processed forms (like soy shakes) and not in its fermented forms (like tofu, tempeh and miso) -- can act as a goitrogen and slow the thyroid, and even trigger hypothyroidism.

Soy as a condiment -- like the Asians eat it -- is one thing. But soy at higher quantities goes from being a food, to being a hormonal medicine.

Right now, there are many women, especially, who think that going soy crazy will help perimenopausal symptoms, or help with weight loss, or other health conditions, and the end result is they are making themselves sicker, and triggering or worsening thyroid problems.

Dr. Hyman has many good ideas and recommendations in this article, but I don't feel that adding a lot more soy to the diet is one of them.

Mary Shomon
Thyroid Patient Advocate
Author: The Menopause Thyroid Solution

mlaiuppa on Aug 24, 2009 at 03:24:45

“I know about avoiding Soy Milk but tofu is OK?”

Dee Amschler on Aug 22, 2009 at 11:11:34

“Women with Type 2 or Insulin Resistance are also likely to have PCOS. Which means one of the last things we'd need (I'm one of the ones with PCOS) is something like soy that's high in phytoestrogens. This is another good reason for limiting soy intake.

Besides, nothing is good in excess.”

w0rld0fw0rcraft on Aug 22, 2009 at 00:05:05

“Soy is good if its fermented correctly. it hardly ever is.”

Mommie Dearest on Aug 21, 2009 at 16:10:56

“I do not have a thyroid (cancer). Since I started meds my fasting blood sugar has been slowly raising. Last blood test 109 fasting. Prior to starting thyroid meds my fasting blood sugar was always normal. So I read the package inserts of most thyroid meds that contain T4. Every one states that if you have diabetes to tell your doctor, diabetic meds may need to be increased. Obviously using T4 meds raises blood sugar whether you take a chemical T4 or natural T4.

None of my blood levels are low, including magnesium. I am not at all overweight, exercise, do not eat ANY simple carbs, my diet is pretty close to what Dr. Hyman advises. My endo does not seem to be concerned about my raising blood sugar. I am!!! What do I do to reduce fasting blood sugar levels?”

bluecollarblogger on Aug 21, 2009 at 00:14:59

“Excellent points, I agree! By the way.....good book.”

ColoradoArtLover on Aug 21, 2009 at 00:11:22

“I totally agree, I'm surprised he is not up on this! Soy has many many downsides, some of them quite serious. Do the research people.”

DianaE on Aug 20, 2009 at 22:57:40

“I've read your book "The Thyroid Diet." Excellent.”
A 7-Step Plan To Boost Your Low Thyroid And Metabolism

A 7-Step Plan To Boost Your Low Thyroid And Metabolism

Commented Jul 30, 2009 at 16:15:05 in Home

“As a thyroid patient advocate, I've supported Dr. Mark Hyman's work for a long time, and applaud his clear, sensible information about hypothyroidism. Thyroid patients frequently feel marginalized, so this sort of straightforward discussion is welcomed.

As Dr. Hyman outlined, many factors trigger hypothyroidism, including exposure to toxins, chronic allergies, physical/emotional stress, inflammation, and nutritional deficiencies. In addition to gluten as a common cause of inflammation. I'd also add that chronic infections -- i.e., the Epstein-Barr virus, Lyme disease, mycoplasma, and other pathogens -- are potential triggers.

To Dr. Hyman's list of triggers I'd add imbalances and deficiencies in reproductive hormones. Lack of progesterone, estrogen dominance, and estrogen/progesterone/testosterone imbalance can trigger hypothyroidism. This is frequently seen in women in perimenopause, starting around age 40, and as they move into menopause. Not surprisingly, thyroid symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, mood changes, and menstrual irregularities in women in their 40s and 40s are frequently dismissed -- by doctors and even women themselves -- as being "peri/menopause." The women fail to get proper diagnosis and treatment, or end up on estrogen therapy they may not even need.

As Dr. Hyman suggests, and as millions of patients know, the conventional medical establishment is not especially savvy about thyroid disease, and getting proper diagnosis and treatment can be an uphill climb for patients. This is a situation where knowledge and empowerment are essential.

Mary Shomon
Thyroid Patient Advocate, Author
Living Well With Hypothyroidism
Menopause Thyroid Solution
Hypothyroidism: How Your Thyroid Can Make You Sick, Tired, And Overweight

Hypothyroidism: How Your Thyroid Can Make You Sick, Tired, And Overweight

Commented Jul 24, 2009 at 09:59:24 in Healthy Living

“As a thyroid patient advocate since 1997, I'm thrilled that a high-profile resource like HuffPo is giving voice to thyroid issues. And kudos for having a compassionate doctor like Mark Hyman, who really understands hypothyroidism -- spread the word.

Getting properly diagnosed and treated with hypothyroidism can be challenging. Some doctors and HMOS refuse to run thyroid tests. ("I can TELL you don't have a thyroid problem by looking at you.") Some doctors ONLY run Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), even then, they don't disclose that they follow outdated recommendations for interpreting the test. Some doctors won't test actual thyroid hormones like Free T4/T3. Some doctor won't evaluate antibodies for autoimmune thyroid disease.

Once you're diagnosed, you'll find doctors who think Synthroid (levothyroxine) is the cure-all. They refuse to discuss -- much less prescribe -- other FDA-regulated medications like Thyrolar, Cytomel, Nature-throid, or Armour.

I urge anyone with a thyroid problem -- or who suspects one -- to be informed and empowered. Don't assume your doctors know or understand. It seems unfair, but if you want to live and feel well, it will be YOUR responsibility.

Mary Shomon
Thyroid Patient Advocate, Author
Living Well With Hypothyroidism Thyroid Guide:

Horus45 on Jul 24, 2009 at 12:29:24

“I did not like how Synthroid made me feel, I only took it a couple of months.
I have been taking Armour Thyroid now for the past 2 years and like it much better, plus it is a lot cheaper than Synthroid.”
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