Cara, 38, had been gaining weight for months even though she hadn’t changed her food or exercise patterns one bit. She was tired all the time, sometimes needing to nap on weekend afternoons and she could tell that her mental concentration was off. Even though she’d been moisturizing, she couldn’t seem to kick the dry skin that was causing her to feel itchy, and constipation was now becoming a bit of a problem. And she was way more anxious and unable to tolerate stress than usual.

She went to see her doctor who told her she was probably just depressed from being a mom with young kids, and that even though her thyroid test number was close to the upper edge of normal, it was still in the normal range, so he wouldn’t treat her. She could come back in six months, but in the meanwhile he recommended she start a diet and consider starting Prozac.

One year of suffering later she landed in the chair opposite from mine in my medical practice. I listened to Cara’s story, which included another year of fatigue and weight gain, as well as an increasing sense that maybe she really was just depressed. I ordered some tests and within a week, we had the answer – Cara did indeed have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis – an autoimmune thyroid condition, affecting 90% of people with hypothyroid (low functioning thyroid) in the US. Over the next few months Cara and I worked together to find her root causes – which for her was gluten and Epstein Barr virus – as well as find the best medication for her, and at the right dose. This took a few adjustments but within 3 months, her energy was back, she felt happy and hopeful, her mind was focused again, and she began to drop that weight she’d picked up.

Clearly this wasn’t just “all in her head” – and there was a solution, just as there is for most of you.

Are You Suffering from Hashimoto’s Disease?

If you’re suffering from fatigue, unexplainable weight gain, aching joints, constipation, dry skin, hair loss, feeling cold all the time, poor sleep, or a host of other symptoms, there’s a very good chance it’s your thyroid talking. Thyroid problems, especially the most common of these – Hashimoto’s thyroiditis – are more widespread than you might imagine, and it especially affects women. Unfortunately, it is commonly under diagnosed.

Here are my Top 10 Tips for helping you get to the bottom of your symptoms and healing Hashimoto’s:

1. Know that this is not all in your head.
While depression and other mood issues can cause many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, it’s important to absolutely make sure that you don’t have a thyroid condition before you just chalk your symptoms up to depression. A healthy thyroid is essential to literally thousands of key functions in your body, including metabolism and the ability to keep your weight and cholesterol in a healthy range, mental clarity, sleep, heart function, digestion, and hormonal balance – including normal menstrual cycles, fertility, and pregnancy.

2. Believe that you can feel great again.
So many women just give up and give into their symptoms when they don’t get a proper diagnosis. They assume they just have to live like this and they stop seeking answers. You’ve got to stay hopeful, advocate for yourself, and believe in yourself if you’re going to find the answers – and treatment – you need! You can feel great again – I’ve seen it thousands of times!

3. Find a practitioner who is willing to look for the root causes and help you regain your health.
Medical research is constantly changing, but unfortunately, medical doctors are often slow to adopt new ways! So even though the evidence is there that we doctors should be thinking more broadly about diagnosing and treating thyroid disease, that we should be using nutrition and other natural approaches to help our patients, and that we shouldn’t be patronizing and telling our patients that their condition is probably all in their heads – well, you might have experienced a doctor who is less than sympathetic before! There are, however, more progressive docs out there – you have to just dig a little to find one.

Integrative and Functional Medicine MDs, and licensed naturopathic physicians (NDs) are knowledgeable about diagnosing Hashimoto’s and helping you to find the best treatment for you. If you just can’t find someone in your area, there are doctors that will see you at a distance through phone consultations, if you’ve made an initial visit to their office; this can be a viable option though is often more costly. And in the least, you can advocate for yourself by telling your current doctor what you really want to try and why – you might just find yourself with a new partner in your health care by being honest and having the conversation.

4. Check the thyroid important labs and get these interpreted by your awesome doctor!
As I talk about here, it’s important to check the right labs to know what’s really going on. The 5 key labs are: TSH, Free T3, Free T4, TPO, and Anti-Thyroglobulin antibody. It is also sometimes helpful to get a Reverse T3 and an iodine level. Your new awesome doctor should be able to interpret these accurately for you.

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5. Rule out other causes of your symptoms.
While hypothyroidism is very common, other conditions can cause similar symptoms. The most common of these are iron deficiency anemia and other nutritional deficiencies, especially if your diet is limited or restrictive, fatigue from stress or overwhelm, adrenal fatigue, new or chronic viral infection (especially Epstein Barr virus), Lyme disease, and yes, depression can also be a legit cause of these symptoms.

6. Take a WHOLE WOMAN approach – Look for the root causes.
One thing I’ve learned for sure is that Hashimoto’s disease doesn’t usually “just happen” out of nowhere. It is typically triggered by a stressful life change, a major hormonal and immune change like pregnancy and having a baby, or it may be a symptom of something triggering your immune system. Getting to the root cause of your thyroid condition can help you to remove triggers that may also be affecting other aspects of your health and being to heal your body.

Even if you do ultimately need to remain on thyroid hormone replacement long term, by addressing the triggers, you can heal and prevent many other conditions from arising down the road.

The most common root causes of Hashimoto’s that I see in my practice are gluten, Epstein-Barr virus (the one that causes mono – which can actually get reactivated so be highly suspicious of this if you’ve had mono in the past!), major stress and adrenal fatigue, gut/digestive problems, nutritional deficiencies, overall low immune function (you get sick a lot) and just having had a baby (Hashimoto’s is very common in the first year postpartum).

An integrative, functional, or naturopathic physician can offer you insights and tests to help uncover and address your root causes and triggers. Many doctors also find that heavy metals in the body that we’ve picked up from our environment can have an impact on the thyroid, so this is something you might want to have your doctor check for, too.

7. Eliminate food triggers.
Gluten: Gluten intolerance is far more commonplace than was previously known and is now recognized as a major trigger for autoimmune conditions. So if you haven’t already, I highly recommend going not only gluten free, but also avoiding the foods that can cross react with gluten in your body, triggering inflammation and autoimmunity similarly to gluten. This means removing wheat, barley, and rye products, as well as corn, oats, millet, and coffee. Give it a 3-month try to really see if there’s a difference.

Eat only low mercury seafood: Heavy metals can bind to your thyroid and thyroid hormone receptors, and interfere with thyroid function. One of the most common is mercury, which is abundant in certain seafood. Tuna, mackerel (King), marlin, orange roughy, shark, swordfish, and tilefish are the highest in mercury and should be completely avoided.

Hidden food sensitivities: Numerous food sensitivities can, over time, lead to an autoimmune reaction that eventually attacks your thyroid. Learn more about healing food sensitivities here.

8. Use the right supplements and avoid foods and supplements that could be counterproductive.
While not everyone with Hashimoto’s has nutritional deficiencies, many do, and healthy thyroid function requires specific nutrients. The most important thyroid nutrients and their doses (for adults) are zinc (30 mg/day), selenium (200 mcg/day), iodine (150 mcg), and iron (18 mg). The uber-cool thyroid pharmacist Izabella Wentz also suggests that low thiamine (vitamin B1) may be an issue for Hashimoto’s sufferers, and that supplementing this nutrient may be helpful. Keep in mind that grains are one of our biggest dietary sources of B vitamins, so if you are grain free, you might want to supplement with B-complex, and give a little extra attention to thiamine.

Most of these can be gotten from food, and over supplementing can actually be harmful. Working with a nutrition savvy doctor or functional nutritionist can help you to identify your unique needs. In general, supplementing in the above doses is safe for most women (avoid iodine supplements if you have a true iodine allergy!). Of note, too much iodine, and also even a daily green drink made with kale or broccoli can be a problem for your thyroid. Green leafies are still important for your health, but if you have Hashimoto’s, keep green drinks to 1-2 times/week at most, and instead, eat steamed and sautéed greens, as this is a less concentrated way to get them.

9. Find the best medication for you.
It is well known in medicine that different people respond to different medications, whether the formulation, the brand, the dosing, or the combinations. This is probably the most true when it comes to thyroid medications! While I am not going to do a thorough review of thyroid medications here, it is important that you know that there is life beyond just Synthroid – the drug most frequently recommended by conventional doctors. There are various combinations of T3 and T4, T3 and T4 come in various solo medications, there are time-released versions, and product ingredients vary which is important as some of you with environmental allergies may be sensitive to one or another filler or additive. While sometimes you hit the jackpot with your first medication, it can take as long as 6 months to really find the right medication and dose for you, but with persistence and a good medical partner, you can find it!

10. Hang in there – it’s a process.
Figuring out your root causes and triggers, changing your diet, finding the right supplements, and getting on the right medication at that right dose doesn’t usually happen overnight. But I can tell you from experience, my patients do get their thyroid function – and their lives – back in swing every single day. Have confidence in your body, and find a great support group and online resources from not only health professionals, but also educated women who themselves have gone through what you’re experiencing.

There is light at the end of the Hashimoto’s tunnel!

Get the first chapter of my new book The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution, FREE right here.

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  1. I would love to believe there is a cure for my condition, low thyroid, and what I believe is adrenal fatigue. It is so difficult to find a doctor that believes in the latter. I would love to find a doctor near Englewood, New Jersey that has this philosophy and that takes insurance! That is also a problem from what I am finding out, and it should not be that way. At age 68 and retired, having spent 44 years as an educator, it is a shame we can’t find doctors who believe in this theory of treatment and take insurance.

    • Thank you for your years of service to children…I have taught for 35 years and do some substitute work now. I am shocked by some classrooms who have such rude students. I suppose they see things of media and what they hear at home that shapes their mind set. I wish you all of the best. No matter what you feel about O’bama, at least we can have a dialog to improve what insurance can take. Insurance has been such a monopoly with few choices for the consumer. Let us continue to speak out and ask for insurance options. Look how many are taking massage and acupuncture….best of luck…

    • Karen,
      Hi, there is a doctor in Freehold, his name is Dr. Joel fuhrman, he is a great doctor. when I lived in New Jersey, he was my doctor. he is very big on nutrition and can help you! he has a facebook page and an web page, you can also google his name. good luck!

  2. I changed OBGYN’s 3 x’s after I had my son. They all kept telling me to “stop eating Burger King”. They did not even ask me IF I ate there!
    My primary care doctor put me on prescription weight loss pills, but the heavy periods were debilitating.
    7 years I suffered terribly as I gained more and more weight.
    OBGYN #4 did a balloon oblation that “failed”. Then he was going to do “zag laser” and I had to endure (3) shots of LUPRON to prepare for that.
    When I went in for my second unnecessary surgery, the LUPRON had over-shrunk my uterus so bad, they woke me up and were unable to do it.
    Now I have ASHERMANS syndrome, and I cannot get a PAP smear, because my uterus is all “cobwebs”, my fifth OBGYN says. “If you get even one drop of blood, I am giving you a hysterectomy.”
    That jerk still thinks he did nothing wrong, in fact he claims thyroid tests are something he NEVER orders and he NEVER will.
    I read an article in SELF magazine and took it to them. Only then was the test ordered.
    I was 180 pounds by then, my uterus was mutilated and I was so angry at all these doctors putting me on prozac, LITHIUM (can you believe it?) and told to me to exercise.
    I was riding my bike and swimming laps.
    I am not a doctor, but I knew I was NOT depressed nor was I bipolar.
    Once the numbers came back, everyone’s mouth dropped, and I was directed to an endocrinologist, who literally saved my life.
    How can doctors be so ignorant to this rampant disease that mostly plagues woman?
    It is inexcusable how they casually just brush us off and act like its a “fork” problem.

    Every one of them commit malpractice, but that is not going to help me.
    I am glad I got away from all those quacks with zero bedside manner.

    Thank you for your article and for understanding, what we go through.
    My dose is constantly changing after I had been stable for 2 years.
    My vitamin D was also low. Once I got that back up, the weight started to come off!
    I am now a size 6 from a 12!

  3. How do corn, coffee, millet and oats cross react with gluten in your body? If you are already gluten free? Would love more info or a resource about that!

    • Please see articles by Dr Alessio Fasano on the internet on this topic, but in a nutshell, they up regulate zonulin and occludin which increase intestinal permeability.

  4. Hi there. .I have had Hashimoto’s disease since age 18, I m 56 now. I have always been on Synthroid or Eltroxin. I’ve been type 1 diabetic since age 8.5, am on an insulin pump now & love it. I was also anemic from infancy, off & on my whole life, including @present. I have had, for last 5 years, a feeding tube due to gastroparesis. I have celiac disease since age 11 & stuck to a gluten free diet for life, w occasional gluten (by accident! ) My immune system is comprimised. I took part in a drug study in 2004 for sister drug to Celebrex & almost died..I was septic & had adrenal & organ failure all the way. Due to massive doses of Prednisone, I made it! Still had protein releases from kidneys every few months since 2004, on Prednisone each time to fix it. Finally went on low-dose chemotherapy last summer & for 1 yr., no more relapses! Yay for me! I’m

  5. I was lucky to have a great doctor and a great practitioner when I was going through my hashimotos.
    My condition was a little different because I was severely underweight. I was a single parent, worked full time and was too tired to eat:) my full thyroid profile did show thyroid disease. My doctor personally called me when she got the labs to tell me she had only seen that kind of TSH levels in an elderly woman who was unable to get out of bed!
    I immediately went to my alternative practitioner and we began the long work of rebuilding my adrenals.
    Within two years I was fully recovered and stabilized. I continue to use thyroid medication but the side effect of all this work was a much easier menopause than any of my sisters and cousins.

    • Laura – Would love to know how you rebuilt your adrenals! Ive been diagnosed with Adrenal Insufficiency I.e. Addisons Disease. I’ve been told there is no possible cure and that I have to rely on daily steriods in order to survive. While the steriods have helped me recover 95% I refuse to believe that there is no other alternative. I would love to hear about your process.

  6. My thyroid went hyperactive about 20 years ago. It was treated with radioactive iodine and have been taking levothyroxine ever since. Is there any possibility of getting normal thyroid function back? Is there a better hormone replacement?

  7. How do u find a good doc. I been looking for almost 2 years that will help me me root causes. Instead they want give me pain pills n meds for anxiety Igh. I’m not crazy im sick. Plz help

  8. I am having internal shivers! It is hard to explain the felling! It is like my brain & body is vibrating! Mainly when I awake from a nap! It is happening before a nap as I try to relax to sleep too! I have hashmoto & am just post op for rt ear fustula repair! Very naucous & dizzy from the ear repair! What is this new symptom all about? It is adrenal fatigue? How do I stop it from happening! I is really scary!

  9. I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism 30 yrs ago. I’ve been taking Synthroid since. I have Hashimoto disease. I exercise (cardio high) one hour 5 days a week, eat low calorie diet, never sit down, am working and on the go all the time to keep from feeling bad. I was told I have both Hypo / Hyper Thyroidism. I’m gaining weight inspire counting calories. I’m ready to give up because I’m just can’t find a doctor that takes me serious. I got ripped off last year $7000 by a quack who said she was treating me but wanted more money after less than 2 months??? Now I’m afraid to trust anyone.

    • hi krystal,
      sounds like you need to find a doctor you can trust. i’d find someone thru the american board of holistic medicine or the institute for functional medicine — and no, you shouldn’t have to pay that much! perhaps starting with a regular endocrinologist to adjust your meds would be helpful and covered by insurance. and consider reading the thyroid diet or see izabella wentz’s website and book. ~AR

  10. You could have put my name at the beginning of this article. I have the same symptoms, with no help from my GP. I’ve been told “It’s what you’re eating” and “you’re not moving enough”. I have an active job and eat fairly healthy most days. I’ve had blood tests done twice that have come back in “the normal range”. I’m up in arms as to where to turn now.

  11. What kind/form of zinc? They are different kinds so wondering which form of Zinc you are talking of? Thank you again for your advice, Chara

  12. I take medication for low thyroid. I also have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s DIsease, though I have many differing opinions on that. I suffer from horrendous anxiety and 5 p;anic attacks a day, which last any where from 30 minute to 4 hrs. Sometimes I just have to go to bed at 6 o’clock just to escape it for a while. I do shake alot, but it does seems to respond to benzodiazapines. I don’t think that /this is the entire problem. I guess at this point (18 yrs) it must be Parkinson’s, but perhaps the anxiety is exacerbated by something else.

    ANy thoughts?

    • Labs can show Hashimoto’s for a long time even when the thyroid is well controlled — this is because the antibodies can stay elevated for a long time. Or your immune system may still be triggered by something causing the Hashimoto’s (a virus or gluten,for example) so the real fix is to try to identify the triggers. You might not need to switch meds at all!

  13. I went through debilitating fatigue and illness years back. When I finally convinced my doctor to consider thyroid it gave me my life back. My best resource was Prescription for Nutritional Healing. Great article here and interested to hear the connection to Epstien Barr. I’ve had mono three times. The last time at a gyno visit I was told I needed to loose weight and get some exercise. Listen to your own body – do lots of research and find a dr that will listen.

  14. I would love to find a functional doctor that can prescribe and that can help me with my thyroid disease in the Springfield Mo area.
    My doctor is of no help and actually gets annoyed when I mention tasting the cause.
    I am miserable. Thank you so much.

    • Please see the Institute of Functional Medicine Website for a doc (hopefully) near you! Many Fnx Med docs will also do an initial onsite consult then follow up at a distance so if you can get to one in another state that might work for ya. Best of luck!

  15. The introductory paragraphs of this article summarizing Cara’s symptoms and experiences has been my life since the age of 15 when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. And, I have known since my teens that mainstream medicine was missing some piece of the thyroid puzzle. It has been a very long and frustrating road trying to convince my endocrinologist – of which there have been a few – that even though my labs were “normal”, I still experienced every classic symptom of hypothyroidism to a significant degree. I really did think it was “in my head” like I was told. I learned to live with the incredible fatigue, mental and physical sluggishness, and, oh, the unfounded sadness! No one I know appreciates just how difficult it really has been to cope with these symptoms on a constant basis. I am now 49 and going through menopause. Certainly a normal process, but even more challenging when there is a thyroid condition already present. It has exacerbated the hypothyroid symptoms, wreaking more physical and mental havoc.
    I have been a survivor of Hashimoto’s for 34 years – being my own health advocate all along the way – researching, investigating, questioning – even begging physicians, hoping to open their minds. Recently, I ditched my conventional endocrinologist and am now under the care of a naturopath MD. I am so very happy to FINALLY be validated by the medical profession. I am happy to know there are new medical perspectives on diagnosing and treating the condition. I have hope for others suffering from this chronic condition that they will get relief. I have hope for me, too, but am growing weary of trial and error with hormone meds and dosages; dietary/nutritional guesswork; the challenge of identifying and reducing environmental triggers. It is going to be a long – and expensive! – road, but at least there is a road. Oh, at least there is a road!

  16. Good advice, thanks!
    The only think I disagree with is the gluten-free diet.
    I did a complete gluten-free diet for 2 months and it had absolutely no effect.

      • I suffer from Hashimoto’s and EBV. Gluten “free” for 3 years, seeing no improvement. When I was diagnosed 3 months ago I got serious about gluten-free. It is essential to be 100% gluten-free or you will not see the benefits. Gluten looks like thyroid tissue in your body and amps up those antibodies that indicate your own body to attack your thyroid.

  17. Hello,

    I would love to see anything you have to say about your experiences of seeing people who have antibodies for both hasimotos and graves disease…


    • Sure do! It happens in a fair number of cases. Graves often resolves on its own given 12-18 months, but can be difficult to treat naturally if it persists, and carries more severe risks than Hashimoto’s, including cardiac arrhythmias, so for Graves, I recommend consulting with an endocrinologist for ongoing follow up; but you can always incorporate a gut healing plan to see if you get benefit. Many of my Grave’s patients have required either long term medication, ablation, or surgery, however.

  18. I have Hashimoto’s and would love to find a Dr in my area. I live in Umatilla, FL…about 1 hour from Orlando, FL. Thank you.

    • Hi Kathleen,

      This is Megan from Dr. Aviva’s team. The Institute for Functional Medicine is a really great resource for finding a practitioner in your community. I hope this helps!

      Megan- Dr. Aviva Romm Nutritionist

  19. Hi! I am trying to purchase the supplement protocol you recommend in #8. I understand you may not want to support a certain brand but can you be a little more specific?. It definitely gets confusing when you look up them individually- i.e. zinc comes in different forms. Should it be reacted? Just want to make sure I’m getting a reputable source in it’s correct form! Hope you are well!

  20. I was diagnosed in 2001 with Hashimotos disease…I have suffered for the last 14 years trying to get doctor after doctor to believe me and to do the antibodies test to prove . I even had part of my thyroid removed and they still won’t budge on confirming the diagnoses. I have a 3 year old and I have no energy to keep up with him because I can’t loose weight, joints are achy or hurt all the time, hands go numb easily, hair falls out like crazy, rash on my tummy that doesn’t go away, dry skin and nails/cuticles. I’m breaking out with acne and the list goes on. I’m tired of feeling like this. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Nadine,

      This is Megan from Dr. Aviva’s team. What you are going through sounds so exhausting and frustrating for you. I’m sorry. Please check out Aviva’s new free Thyroid Insights Ebook — you can download it from her website — hopefully you can find some good supportive info that will be helpful for you. The book is loaded with how Dr. Aviva works with her patients and many of them are mamas in a similar situation to yours. And if you are able to, consider an appointment with an integrative or functional medical doctor. If you are having a hard time finding one in your area or near you, The Institute for Functional Medicine is a really great resource for finding a practitioner in your community.

      Megan- Dr. Aviva Romm Nutritionist

  21. Need help finding a naturopath doc to continue treatment for my hashimoto’s in NJ preferably in Bergen, Essex or Sussex county! Thank yo in advance

    • Hi Christine,

      This is Megan from Dr. Aviva’s team. If you go to the institute for Functional Medicine webpage, they have a great resource for finding a practitioner in your area. Hope this helps!

      Megan- Dr. Aviva Romm Nutritionist

  22. Hello. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism 29 years ago after my 1st child. About 10 years years ago I was told I had nodules on my thyroid- it was suggested I have a Single biopsy. 9 biopsies later I looked like someone tried choking me and was in alot of pain. I was told we will watch it. The next year there were Many more nodules- again they suggested a biopsy. There was no way that was happening a free the last. I asked them to remove the thyroid. After surgery I was told it was a miracle my windpipe had not been collapsed- the ultrasound didn’t show all the nodules. The past two years I have had all the symptoms you have mentioned but they just keep changing thyroid dose, I am on anti-depressants, anxiety meds, diabetic and cholesterol.

    If they provided a subtotal thyroidectomy, is there a chance the hoshimotos and nodules are back?

    I am now adding tingling, numbness, shaking arms- legs and voice periodically.

    I am ready to give up. This cant continue like this. Thank you.

  23. Hello. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism 29 years ago after my 1st child. About 10 years years ago I was told I had nodules on my thyroid- it was suggested I have a Single biopsy. 9 biopsies later I looked like someone tried choking me and was in alot of pain. I was told we will watch it. The next year there were Many more nodules- again they suggested a biopsy. There was no way that was happening a free the last. I asked them to remove the thyroid. After surgery I was told it was a miracle my windpipe had not been collapsed- the ultrasound didn’t show all the nodules. The past two years I have had all the symptoms you have mentioned but they just keep changing thyroid dose, I am on anti-depressants, anxiety meds, diabetic and cholesterol.

    If they provided a subtotal thyroidectomy, is there a chance the hoshimotos and nodules are back?

    I am now adding tingling, numbness, shaking arms- legs and voice periodically.

    FYI- my daughter at the age of 15 had her weight go down to 89, her heart rate was so fast they had to put her on BETA BLOCKERS, she was falling asleep at home and school, very weak. All of her testing came back normal.ONE year later, we took her in because she was getting worse. The doctor checked everything as normally done (one of the best in our area)…he was checking her glands and she turned to cough- this HUGE lump shot out the side of her neck. Ten docs never noticed a football sized Goiter she had from what we then found out was Graves. It was all within her neck area intertwined in veins etc…she is now 27- still to this day when we see the surgeon, he gives her a hug and said he is glad she is still with us ( there was so much blood loss that they almost lost her twice during surgery). If you think something is wrong….never give up!
    This cant continue like this. Thank you.

  24. I am a long term Hashimoto patient. One other and the most important is the test/nutrient/ pro-hormone that needs to be checked is your Vitamin D3. Optimal level is 70. Please make it a regular part of testing, as it mimics hypothyroid symptoms, and fibromyalgia. Also to get the best absorption take with biggest meal of the day! Do not take on an empty stomach!

  25. My 16 year old with Hashimotos has had an allergic reaction for a year now.

    Extensive allergy testing shows no food or environmental allergies.
    THe allergist has her on daily zyrtec for the past year.

    When she goes off the medicine, she sneezes constantly and her eyes swell enormously.
    None of the doctors she has seen think that there is a correlation, but cannot find an etiology.
    I don’t know how else to help her.
    Thanks for any input

    • Hi Ilana – Check out my blog on allergies. There are some supplements, particularly NAC and freeze dried stinging nettles that are quite safe and effective for allergies and safe to use with thyroid medications. Best, Aviva

  26. Hi, thank you for your information. I live in Phoenix Arizona and I have a hard time finding a endocrinologist who actually looks more into my problems. For one I am 38. I was put on thyroid medication when I was 19 for hypothyroidism. I never had a menstrual cycle until I was 24 and that was with estrodial and medaprogestrion, then I also started to develop.Sorry for the spelling. I always have had a very bloated stomach even as a small child, trouble with constipation, fatigue. I can not concentrate very well at all. I am very irrtable most of the time. My last doctor had me do some rest at the hospital that tested my hormones and he said they were on the low side but not enough to worry about. I asked abought my pituitary gland, since I can’t have children. No straight answer. I am so stressed feeling bad all the time. I do have epilepsy complex partial seizures but they are controlled. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Stephanie,

      This is Megan from Aviva’s team. Thank you for reaching out and I am sorry you are not feeling supported by your doctor, that can be really hard and discouraging, especially when you are not feeling well! Aviva recommends looking on the website of the Institute for Functional Medicine ( for a practitioner in your community.

      If you are unable to find someone suitable, or would like to consult with her as a physician, please check her website at to find out about becoming her patient.

      Warm Wishes,
      Megan- Aviva Romm’s Executive Assistant and Online Nutrition Expert

  27. It makes me feel terrible that ALL of these support sites for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis are geared soly toward Women. I am a 30 Male that has lost his whole life to Hashimoto’s, RA, and Fybromyalgia. Our Family, (My Wife and 2 year old girl) were very comfortable in life with a great, six figure salary, and a wonderful outdoor lifestyle. Now they suffer because of me, and I feel like killing myself everyday (I feel I am a burden to everyone). We can’t even afford groceries now on Family Assistance. I’m so sick. Bed ridden almost everyday. Some of you that suffer along with me know how depressed you can become. I feel so alone in this World as I feel there is no room for a 30 year old Man with a “Women’s” disease. I’m not bashing anyone, just venting. I just wish there was a place in this world for someone like me. I don’t know what to do anymore, or where to turn to. I have exhausted every attempt to get better, so it seems. I pray for all of you suffering out there, but if you have a couple of seconds, can you say a quick prayer for me. I’m so lost. I don’t feel love. I don’t know if I can take anymore, and there’s no websites for 30 year old Men suffering. No one takes me serious because of the stigma that this is a Women’s disease. God bless.


    • Thanks for writing, James. All of these recommendations work for men too. Yes, it’s harder for men to find this info…

  28. Can you shed any light on the controversy of whether or not goitrogenic foods (dark leafy greens/cruciferous vegetables) have a negative effect on your thyroid? My TSH levels are high as well as my thyroid antibodies, and it was recommended to me to stay away from cruciferous vegetables. I am reading lots of differing opinions. Thank you!

  29. I moved from NY to Oregon, and am having a difficult time finding an MD that will prescribe combined replacement thyroid meds for my Graves Thyroidectomized body. For ~35 years I’d had doctors tell me my TSH was too low (even if my Ft4 and FT3 were normal), but would only prescribe me doses of Synthroid. I’ve had the full range from 0 to 150 µg and never felt any dose supplied me with a feeling of being euthyroidic. I then discovered the supplement Cytomel and was given appr 5 mcg of Cytomel with 100 mcg of Synthroid: the world became real again (no exhaustion, no sleepiness, no hypothyroidic symptoms.. I was on that for 10 years (but with a low TSH). Yet, I’ve no signs of bone weakness, after 44 years of 95% thyroid removal. Indeed don’t have joint compression, nor any cracks or fractions after 44 years. I’ve been extremely active (~138 lbs, BMI of 21.7, 5.7). My question is this: Why do so many of the conventional doctors shy from Cytomel e.g, especially in Oregon? It works for me. It makes a difference. Here I am with two separate physicians in OR trying to re-assign me to a life of sleepiness, prescribing monotherapy doses of Synthroid, when only the combination makes me feel FUNCTIONAL. They seem to take one side of the equation: Their knowledge of the slow conversion from T4 to T3 in their prized T4 drug. They don’t seem to take into account my burn rate: I read 3-4 scientific papers, write, create lectures using the latest evidence based info. I’d work 12 hr a day if I could, let even with the best dose I can only get in 10 hours without being drowsy. None have asked me how important is it to not sleep, or listen to me when I say I need more T3. They seem overly consumed by the negative effects of a low TSH, and Monotherapy drug application rather than getting a FUNCTIONAL human on the road by giving her a combination dose with Cytomel. I ascribe my low TSH to an antibody receptor issue on the pituitary –that, or possibly Wilson’s syndrome. My FT4 and FT3 are well within Normal limits on my dose of 100µg T4, 5µg of T3; only my TSH is low and it has been perennially low. Why do these conventional doctors seek to eliminate the very recipe that makes me (and other folks) functional and well? Why can’t then read the dozens of peer reviewed papers in the scientific literature that shows a great fraction of women and men don’t do well with monotherapy, for any number of reasons. I have even read battles among the doctors arguing about combined therapy vs mono therapy results, with regard to those that support the latter, doctors seem transfixed on 1. the statistical means that show most do well monotherapy works (versus how the person feels) and 2. their preference to keep one safe from POSSIBLE osteoporosis and heart issues 50 years down the line, versus keeping a women or man functionally WELL and ACTIVE in their work place. It is as if we are meant to feel ashamed for wanting to stop sleeping! They seem to negate the overwhelming database that shows some people have happened to have inherited a body that doesn’t do well with Monotherapy and may have a perennially how TSH test result –perhaps because we don’t have the proper deiodination or can’t increase the rate of deiodination when we need to metabolize faster (do to greater head work, or desire to work for longer more intense hours).

  30. I have a 15 yr old with hashimoto, IGG4 low levels and gastritis. Nutrition has helped the gastritis. We tried an infusion of IG4 but not great results. He is always tired and can no longer a full day at school. We’ve been to so many doctors? Any ideas? We live in Atlanta.

    • Hi Wendy,

      That is really tough and I am so sorry to hear this, I can only imagine how hard this is for you as his mama! Have you looked into the website of the Institute for Functional Medicine ( for a practitioner in your community?

      If you are unable to find someone suitable, or would like to consult with her as a physician, please check her website at to find out about becoming her patient.

      Warm wishes,
      Megan- Aviva Romm’s Executive Assistant and Online Nutrition Expert

  31. Does anyone know if rice is gluten free? I’m starting my own diet plan for hashimoto avoiding gluten, cruciferous vege, sugar, dairy, egg….trying to heal my gut without doing the strict GAPS or AIP diet. Will this work for me if I’m just avoiding the food on the list?

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