This could be a blog beyond all blogs today as I have so much to say or I should say I have learned so much this week. This will take tremendous discipline not to bore the reader into a comatose state but bear with me I promise to be succinct. I will edit and rewrite and publish my “brief” this afternoon come, as they say, hell or high water.
This week I got the great news, not, that my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) was at an all time high of 13.2. Even the most conservative endocrinologist would acknowledge that this is unacceptably high and my FMD flew in to a panic as a good TSH runs in the range of 1.0-2.0 although some Neanderthals will say up to 5 is okay. My last TSH was 4.7, so even that was high and was recorded 4-5 months ago. Looking back I would say it was creeping up since last summer and I know most of the reasons why but then I added Iodoral (Iodine and Potassium Iodide) to the mix about a month ago after my iodine loading test indicated I needed it. It has its own side effect of raising the TSH for up to 6 months (one has to go by the FT3, FT4 and body temperature at this point and not the TSH which reflects your pituitary output).
After my rather impromptu phone consultation with my FMD I took a dip in to a dumpster of moods, albeit only briefly, but I could not believe his news, I was flabbergasted. After all I was doing everything right. Looking back after my week of research I wonder how in the world I could have been so arrogant and so wrong? It prompts me to blog yet again on thyroid disease and its many bumps in the road.
Last summer I started to drink a green drink once or twice a day that made me feel really good, my inflammation went away, several cysts around finger joints disappeared, aches and pains went away, all was right with my world. I still, by the way, think this green drink is fabulous it just isn’t for me, a person who must face that she really does have hypothyroidism and what I eat affects my little butterfly shaped gland that sits in the front of my throat just under the Adam’s apple. In addition to the green drink (which shall remain nameless because I have no reason to condemn it for the general population) I was taking rather hefty doses of alpha lipoic acid, resveratrol and DIM.
So what, you ask? What is significant about these items, I discovered this week, is the goitrogenic effect of all of them and that blew my mind. Something as good as alpha lipoic acid could be bad? Resveratrol, the king of antioxidants, having an adverse effect? DIM, Green Drinks, what next? Broccoli, broccoli which is so good for you that everyone hates it with the exception of me. My green drink was full of dehydrated raw cruciferous vegetable and root juices including broccoli, kale, cabbage, maca and spinach (and many acceptable things which is why I was drinking it). These are all goitrogens and goitrogens interfere with the conversion of T4 to T3 and thus interfere with the function of your thyroid gland. I was slowly killing my thyroid. Well I hope I was only slowly killing it and that I haven’t done any permanent damage.
Here’s the real crux of the matter for me, I knew about goitrogens and I was ignoring my intuitive sense that the green drink wasn’ t right because it made so many things seem better (it was simply masking the symptoms of hypothyroidism). I was innocent of forethought and malice with the intake of alpha lipoic acid and resveratrol. I really didn’t have an inkling that they were bad especially since I was taking very high quality forms of these supplements and my doctor approved (sometimes I really must remind myself that they, too, are only human).
So dear reader, I am going to supply you with a list of possible goitrogens, to save you the mind blowing experience I have dealt with for about 5 days now. I will also tell you that there are some really good discussion groups out there and the “iodine group” and the “thyroid group” on Yahoo! groups have been amazingly helpful in my search for answers. Breast cancer choices is a great source of information regarding the “iodine protocol” even for those of us who don’t have cancer. Mary Shomon has some of the information I am going to share, also Janie at Stop the Thyroid Madness and I just found some good information at this site . Several bloggers supplied the rest but it is all out there to be researched in depth and if you want more information just Google “hypothyroidism”, “sluggish thyroid”, “goitrogenic foods” you will literally entertain yourself for days I know I have.
Foods that people with hypothyroidism should limit in their raw state:
Peaches, pears, strawberries, canola oil, rapeseed oil, flax seed, hemp seed, pumpkin seed, peanuts, pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, millet, soybeans, turnips, spinach, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, cassava root, rutabaga, sweet potato, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower (actually all brassica family veggies), lima beans, brussel sprouts, radishes.
It is best to avoid dairy, nitrate rich foods like lunch meats,wheat, caffeine, alcohol, fluoride, chlorine, processed foods,antihistamines, sulfa drugs, lithium, alpha lipoic acid, DIM, and resveratrol.
I have asked about but never had answered before how fermentation affects vegetables like cabbage, turnips, rutabaga, cauliflower (I ferment all of those in a kim chi mixture). I finally got an answer from a C. Masterjohn in Cholesterol-And-Health.com Special Reports Volume 1 Issue 1, 2008 where it is stated that “fermentation makes crucifers more goitrogenic”. Darn! Is that why I almost always get irregular heartbeats after enjoying a bowl of my “special” kim chi? My best guess is I have yet again suppressed my thyroid function and that sends a signal that releases adrenalin and BAM! my heart reacts to the adrenalin rush.
I close with the words of an undisclosed blogger who kindly posted a lot of this information on a raw food discussion site (I cleaned up some of the typos but otherwise it is a quote) “People who have resilient health while eating these foods should continue to eat them with impunity. However, people who have thyroid problems or other problems associated with iodine deficiency or cyanide exposure should consider experimenting with the following dietary restrictions: 1) eliminate millet; 2) moderate soy and only consume it with additional sources of iodine; 3) limit crucifer intake to five servings per week, only eat more than this if it is boiled, and match one’s crucifer intake with extra iodine; 4)avoid foods with cyanogenic glycosides unless they are extensively boiled or crushed and leached in running water for several days, and match one’s cyanogen intake with extra iodine and vitamin B12-containing foods or supplements (but not cyanocobalamin). These foods are not inherently unhealthy but simply contain chemicals that have the capacity to harm the health of some people under some circumstances; this is true of all foods. Experience always trumps theory, so the individual should use this information as but one tool with which she or he can experiment to find the most appropriate diet for herself or himself.”
Namaste. If this helps just one person my day will be complete.