When last we left the riveting story of my ongoing adventures in functional medicine, it was August, and I'd just been to my first appointment...Read More
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.
The Thyroid Diet Revolution on Amazon
Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal? on Amazon
Thyroid Support on Facebook
Mary Shomon on Twitter
Stop The Thyroid Madness