Review: The Thyroid Diet Revolution

Thanks to lots of helpful readers, I’ve spent a fair amount of time on the site Stop The Thyroid Madness. It’s a helpful site, but the tone — a little ranty and frustrated to my eyes — always wears me out a little bit. My thyroid situation makes me angry sometimes, too, but when I’m looking for advice, I’m also looking for a balanced point of view that comes from a place of authority and calm. Which is why I really got a lot out of the book I just finished reading: The Thyroid Diet Revolution, a wonderful book with a title that doesn’t accurately describe this gem of a book. The reference to “diet” makes me sad because I think it undermines how deeply researched and helpful this book is. It’s not a “get skinny in 10 days” diet. It’s a comprehensive look at how thyroid hormones can go wonky and the different ways we can get them back on track.

5 Great Things About This Book

1. It covers all flavors of thyroid issues.
This is the only book I’ve read that systematically explains how different treatments, habits, and foods can affect the variety of thyroid disorders, including hyperthyroidism (and its root causes) and the numerous ways a person can become hypothyroid, including nodules and thyroidectomy (like me!), thyroid cancer, autoimmune disorders like Hashimoto’s, and more. Rather than make generalizations about hypothyroidism, author Mary Shomon tackles each possibility individually so it’s clear which bits of information apply to whom.

2. It’s packed with personal stories and examples.
It can be isolating to have an illness, and it can be lonely to realize when you think you’re not like everyone else, you’re really not. The personal stories and quotes from endocrinologists, patients, and doctors in the book made me think, “Oh! That’s like me,” and it’s very comforting.

3. It provides information and options, but not prescriptions.
Shomon makes clear what those of us with thyroid issues already know: When it comes to treating thyroid symptoms, we’re all special, special snowflakes. When she arrives at food and exercise recommendations in chapters 6 through 9, she doesn’t list a bunch of “rules” to follow. Instead, she offers suggestions for what might work, based on individual experience. I was also pleased to see that she writes favorably about paleo/primal eating and quotes Mark Sisson extensively.

4. There’s an emphasis on self-compassion and self-care.
It’s not overly groovy, but Shomon spends a few chapters addressing the non-food side of weight loss and management: meditation, positive self-talk, and restorative breathing. One of her mental “tricks” from Jena la Flamme is so good, I need to share it here. She recommends thinking of our bodies as she (or he) instead of it and recognizing that our bodies are animals.

The body is talking all day long, but it speaks in signs and symptoms: hunger, fatigue, gastrointestinal issues,w eight gain. If they’re heeded early enough, they’re messages. For example, your body tells you she is thirsty. But if you say, “Tough luck, I’m busy. I’m not getting up because I have to finish this email,” that’s just cruel!… Any animal that is told, “No, you can’t have water, no you can’t sleep even if you’re tired, no you can’t eat, even if you’re hungry,” well, the poor neglected creature is eventually going to rebel.

5. There are tons of helpful resources.
The back of the book is packed with web sites, books, doctors, and practitioners so that we can continue to look for the answers we need.
If you’re struggling with a thyroid issue — or wonder if you have a thyroid issue, even if your regular doctor or endocrinologist has said you don’t — you might want to read this book. At the very least, you’ll find stories that might make you feel supported, and you just might find some answers you need.

Helpful Links

The Thyroid Diet Revolution on Amazon
Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal? on Amazon Thyroid
Thyroid Support on Facebook
Mary Shomon on Twitter
Stop The Thyroid Madness


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  • Melissa says:

    I need to read that.

    I read Stop the Thyroid Madness regularly, as well as their many Facebook groups.

    I am only 5 weeks into my treatment, with my first bloodwork on this combo of hormones at the end of the month. I definitely think there is some tweaking they’ll have to do. I’m feeling somewhat better, but far from my normal

  • Becky says:

    I was shocked but of course excited to have my doctor tell me after a recent blood test that I had no antibodies anymore and that my Hashimoto’s disease had been resolved.

    I’ve had Hashimoto’s for 20 years, probably longer, but a year and half modified paleo apparently did the trick. The doctor said it was probably cutting out wheat.

  • Jenna says:

    I was surprised when you said you had nodules and a thyroidectomy…me too! Right now I’m also pregnant, which seems to be making my thyroid levels go wonky (as if pregnancy isn’t hard enough on its own!). I am definitely putting this book on my wish list, and probably one for my mom as well (she’s Celiac and borderline hypothyroid). Thanks for the review!!

  • De23 says:

    I had a thyroid nodule I had to have biopsied – fortunately it turned out all benign and the endo dr said my thyroid function was really good. So, yay! All the biopsy cost was an afternoon of discomfort, and walking around looking like I had a hickey for a week (except for the folks at crossfit, who assumed I had popped myself doing a clean).
    I do think my thyroid function has improved over the last 1.5 yrs of paleo eating. The way I am not cold all the time anymore is remarkable.

  • Kim says:

    I have had Hashimoto’s for about 10 years now and thyroid disorders run in my mother’s side of the family. I have taken the time and energy to educate myself, and thankfully, my endocrinologist has been able to find the right levels of medication for me. I have just started to explore the Paleo lifestyle and am hoping that I will experience some improvement in my Hashimoto’s. I would love to be able to get off all of the medications that I take.
    Thank you for your straight forward approach and for reviewing this book. I will put it on my reading list!

    • Mel says:

      If you have any questions about making the switch to paleo, shoot me an email:

      Paleo is awesome for managing thyroid junk — but be careful not to go too low carb. You want to get around 100-120g of carbs per day. Less than that really stressed out the thyroid hormonal system.

      • Jeff says:

        Would love to know more about this

        5’10” 130kg 41 yrs I have thyroid nodules and want to do a high fat low carb ketogenic diet?

        What kind of problems might I expect

  • Mary Shomon says:

    Thanks so much Melissa. You really understood and got what I was trying to do and say in Thyroid Diet Revolution. Thanks for your thoughtful review of the book!!

  • Peggy says:

    A nodules was seen on catscan Jan 2012. My GP ordered sonagram, yep its about 1/2 in wide Have to get biopsy. Little nervous but I have several friends that have been thru it. I will be getting the book and will keep in touch with you wise ladies. Peg

  • Leandro says:

    My spouse and I stumbled over here different website and thought
    I might as well check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you.
    Look forward to finding out about your web page yet again.

  • Cathy C. says:

    I just bought this book today based on your review and the fact that I want to lose some weight and feel better. I had my thyroid ‘nuked’ in 2008 and went through hell until my doctor got my thyroid meds at the ‘right’ level. (right level according to him that is). I still think my levels are not correct as I wake up a lot of mornings anywhere between 2 and 6 am with a headache. My body temperature always seems to be too warm compared to others, especially my husband. I am tired a lot and can’t seem to lose weight very easily (very difficult actually).
    I am really hoping this book arms me with enough information to convince my doctor to send me to a specialist or endocrinologist for more complete testing and hopefully get my levels truly balanced. …assuming that is what is causing my problems.
    Thanks for a good review of this book.

    • Mel says:

      I’m so glad you invested in this book — at the very least, it will arm you with info to take back to your doctor. I found a lot of good ideas in it, and it was comforting to know I’m not alone in my struggles.

      Keep me posted on how you’re doing!

  • Marci says:

    HI. I am new to the Paleo lifestyle. I just bought Whole9 yesterday! I have been doing a lot of reading and am hoping this is going to be helpful. I was relieved to see that you can relate to the thyroid issues. I had thyroid cancer, thyroiditis, Graves, and severe hyperthyroidism. Of course, it was removed (4 years ago). My endo does not care how I feel…only that my numbers are in a certain range. I work out rigorously at a boot camp similar to Cross Fit 6 days a week. I am a vegetarian which I know is going to be a challenge. Do you have any advice as I transition to Paleo? It won’t be too much of a stretch as I have already eliminated legumes and dairy. I also have the Thyroid Revolution book and find it helpful. I would love your thoughts. Many, many thanks.

  • Mary Shomon says:

    Mel — I’m blushing! Thank you for such a thoughtful review of the book. It’s such a delight when someone really gets what the book is trying to do, which you clearly do!!! Many thanks and hugs! — Mary

  • Jennifer Harvey says:

    I would just like to say one word, “thank you” but for some reason it does not cover the gratitude I feel. I am new to the world of hypothyroidism. I found a lump in my neck 2 yrs ago and was too scared to go get it checked out. I finally broke down in July of 2013. My doctor referred me to a specialist which in turn she took my thyroid back in November of 2013. Where society left me in the dark you took my hand and lighted my way. I’m going to recommend your book to everyone who will listen!!!

  • Heather says:

    This is way too much information for me. I’m already worried about this swelling in my neck..which has been there for awhile…and was tested a year ago and told it was nothing.

    Now, a year later it is still there; and despite a clean diet (no soy, no grains, no sugar, or processed foods, no dairy) just a little fruit, nuts & seeds, veggies and meat…and CrossFit five days a week…I am actually at more bodyfat than when I started CrossFit in January of this year.

    I’m desperate, but confused by all this info.