A Weight Off My Mind, Thyroid/Autoimmune Diet Newsletter -- Back Issues
Helping Thyroid and Autoimmune Disease Patients Lose Weight and Feel Great|
from Mary Shomon
Welcome to the fourth issue of "A Weight Off My Mind," Mary Shomon's email newsletter for thyroid and autoimmune disease patients who are interested in losing weight and feeling better through diet and nutrition. You are receiving this issue because you signed up at some point in 2001 or 2002 to receive this free email report. (Note: If you are no longer interested in receiving future issues, or you wish to unsubscribe, email
email@example.com. If you have something you'd like to see covered in future issues, drop me a line anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IN THIS ISSUE
In this issue, you'll find information about how not taking the new formulation of Levoxyl properly is making some patients unnecessarily hypothyroid – and may be sabotaging weight loss efforts, reader input on the "Eat Right 4 Your Type" weight loss approach, ways to confirm your diet is working, readers' favorite diet/protein bars – and mine too – as well as some feedback on the Weight Watchers program and Overeaters Anonymous.
LEVOXYL WOES FOR THYROID PATIENTS
If you take the thyroid drug Levoxyl, and have noticed that you're gaining weight, or having greater difficulty losing weight lately, there may be a reason. Levoxyl was reformulated in the second half of 2001, and the newly reformulated drug is even just now reaching some patients. Others have been taking it for several months now, but did not receive the proper instructions regarding how to take this new formulation that were supposed to be provided by the manufacturer and pharmacists. The key issue is that Levoxyl, the brand of levothyroxine made by King Pharmaceuticals, was required as was other levothyroxine drugs to go through Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s approval as a new drug. To date, two brands of levothyroxine -- Unithroid and Levoxyl -- have received FDA approval. Synthroid and Levothroid have submitted applications but are awaiting approval. Levoxyl's approval came in May of 2001. The formulation for Levoxyl submitted to the FDA for approval was different than the previous formulation, in order to ensure greater stability of the active ingredients. This addressed product consistency, which one of the chief complaints of the FDA that the new drug application process was meant to address. The reformulated Levoxyl is now lactose-free, but the chief difference is that the product is a quick dissolving formulation, unlike the previous formulation.
The quick dissolving formulation appears to be the change that has caused the greatest confusion and concern. According to a company spokesperson, King issued extensive information to pharmacists and doctors, indicating that patients should be counseled to take the drug with plenty of water, and to swallow it immediately. Green also said that the pharmacies had been asked that the drugs carry a label indicating that they should be taken with plenty of water. Apparently, without enough water, there is a risk that the product will dissolve rapidly in the mouth, which could potentially interfere with a patient getting the proper dosage. The new formula was being dispensed and distributed since August of 2001, but it wasn't until October, however, that communications were issued to pharmacies regarding the new formulation. Some patients who had larger supplies have only recently been getting refills, and getting the newly formulated product for the first time.
Many patients have reported that when picking up Levoxyl prescriptions filled since August, they have not received any counseling from pharmacists regarding these new instructions, nor are their bottles carrying labels saying to take the product with plenty of water. Some patients, who refilled prescriptions in the past several months and got the new formulation -- but were not counselled regarding swallowing the product immediately with sufficient water -- are also now reporting that their TSH levels have risen and they have become hypothyroid.
So, keep in mind then that if your diet and exercise program is not working and you take Levoxyl, be sure that you are taking it properly. According to the manufacturer, you should swallow the medicine immediately, with plenty of water, so that the Levoxyl does not dissolve on the tongue. If you have not been feeling well on the newly formulated Levoxyl, have your thyroid blood levels tested to make sure that you're not currently hypothyroid, which can contribute to weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
EAT RIGHT 4 YOUR TYPE – READERS REPORT
Readers have written in to share their thoughts about the "Eat Right 4 Your Type" approach developed by Dr. D'Adamo.
Corinne writes: "My husband and I have incorporated these recommendations into our eating lifestyle for the past 3 months. He's O+, I'm A+. He's a "meat eater" and I'm the agrarian type. Boy, it fits! He's always been the meat type and I'm always so bored with that, trying to find ways to include more fruit-of-the-earth type foods into our diets. We haven't followed it to the letter, but we have incorporated some of it, to include weaning ourselves off processed wheat products. This has had the most beneficial result, I think. I buy the "Ezekiel" bread - sprouted grains - at Whole Foods. We try to make food choices when grocery shopping now based on our blood type recommendations. Not so hard, really, since it's food we were "attracted" to, anyway. Well, the good news is that we both have lost weight - hubby almost 15 lbs, me about 11 lbs since last Dec. We've also been following the Weight Watcher's On-Line point system and I've increased my exercise quite a bit. But, that's okay because I have more energy to exercise most days now. My exercise record this month is the best so far with 20 out of 27 days of at least 30 min. each day. Pretty amazing for a former couch potato. I have Hashimoto's and am on Thyrolar, 3/4 grains each day, BTW. So, I have more energy with some of this weight gone. But the significant difference of the ER4YT is that I'm so much less bloated than before! My belly is not bloated and I don't seem to hold water like a sponge anymore in my face, legs, arms, etc. My digestion is much improved, too. This could also be attributed to the exercise, which helps move things, you know. But, it starts by putting the right kinds of things into my body, too, I guess! I'd say to incorporate the recommendations as well as you can - it's not an all-or-nothing type program - the great thing is that a little change in food choices makes a healthy difference. And, it's compatible with food choice programs like Weight Watchers (which, by the way, has gotten away from advocating the heavy carbs and provides food plans to fit your preferences, like vegetarian or more protein, etc.)
Another reader, Ellen, shares her thoughts: "I started the blood type diet 6 months ago while doing aqua aerobics 3X/week plus yoga and weight lifting and have gone from a size 14 bathing suit to a 10!!! My blood type is 0- and believe me, it's a very tough diet to get used to but once you know the rules it's easy to focus on what you can have, even while eating out. After receiving your Thyroid Diet Guide I have combined the 2 food plans to expand my choices a little and added Tonalin by Natrol 1000mg 8 days ago and I feel like my clothes are already fitting even better!!! Thanks so much for helping me move forward even faster with my difficult weight loss and I look forward to lowering my body fat even more toward healthier living thanks to you and the Blood Type Diet together!!"
Note: For information on "Eat Right for Your Type"
For information on "Eat Right 4 Your Type Complete Blood Type Encyclopedia"
PAIN FREE WEIGHT LOSS -- by Michael Stefano
As a society we're out of shape and overweight. The Center for Disease Control reports that obesity results in 300,000 preventable deaths each year in the United States alone. More than sixty per cent of all Americans are classified as overweight or obese, while at any given time thirty to forty per cent of us are trying to go from fat to fit.
Doctors have come up with a new label for this all-to-common problem of the "under-active foot" combined with the "over-active fork", or simply put, Foot and Fork Disease.
So how can you go about increasing your activity level to match your caloric intake without exercising hours a day and eating like a bird?
Let's take a closer look at several options you might consider.
10 Ways to Increase Activity Levels for Pain Free Weight Loss
WALK, DON'T DRIVE -- Instead of driving everywhere, consider walking or even bicycle riding to work, the local stores, or wherever you can. This is a built-in calorie burner that everybody has access to.
TAKE UP A SPORT-- Play racquetball, join a softball team or a hiking club, or even learn to play golf. Burning calories while you have fun is totally painless.
MOW THE LAWN -- Fire your gardener. The work involved in maintaining a healthy lawn, not to mention a flourishing garden will have you burning 400 calories an hour.
TAKE THE KIDS TO THE PARK -- This is another example of playing to burn calories. Running around with your 12 year old in the park all afternoon will make it clear to you why kids can eat and eat and not gain an ounce.
WASH THE CAR YOURSELF -- Spend the afternoon washing and waxing the car. You'll save ten or fifteen dollars, and burn about three or four hundred calories and hour.
TAKE THE STAIRS -- Pass on the elevator and escalator rides. Stair climbing is excellent aerobic exercise, and it also builds strong legs.
LIMIT TELEVISION WATCHING -- The time you spend planted in front of the TV does not reward you with many calories burned. At least get up and move around during the commercials.
PARK FAR AWAY -- On your next trip to the local mall or supermarket, don't circle the parking lot looking for the closest spot. In contrast, park as far from the store entrance as possible and walk, you'll be glad you did.
VOLUNTEER YOUR SERVICES -- Once a week, for an afternoon or evening, volunteer your services at your local hospital or good will organization. This will not only benefit the physical body, but will give you a spiritual and psychological boost as well.
EXERCISE -- Okay, you knew I couldn't possibly leave this one out. Workout for 30 minutes a day, three to five times a week.
The benefits are endless, and too long to list here, but exercise is considered the closest thing we've come to the fountain of youth.
Michael Stefano: New York City firefighter and author of "The Firefighter's Workout Book, The 30 Minute-a-day Train-for-life Program for Men and Women," Special Offer: Lose weight and get in shape with the FREE Train For Life Newsletter
Subscribe at: http://www.firefightersworkout.com
WAYS TO CONFIRM THAT YOUR DIET IS WORKING
As anyone who's ever set foot on a scale could tell you, there are plenty of ways to fight "the battle of the bulge." Still, maintaining overall health is of prime importance as you shed those unwanted pounds.
Here are some basic steps that should be a part of any healthful weight loss program:
THINZ MetaboSTIX, created by Alva-Amco Pharmacal Companies, Inc., is a non-invasive test strip that indicates the presence of a ketone compound, acetoacetic acid, in the urine. This ketone is present when the body is breaking down fat.
- Drink plenty of water. Experts recommend dieters drink at least six glasses per day. Not only does the fluid help flush out the system, but it also helps you maintain a feeling of "fullness." Half of your daily fluid intake can be other beverages-as long as they contain no caffeine or alcohol, both of which dehydrate you. However, be sure to remember that most fruit juices are sweetened, and thus high in calories.
- Exercise. Diet alone is seldom enough. Most people experience a "plateau" on the way to their weight goal. During this plateau, the body's metabolism slows down, no matter how dedicated you remain to the diet. However, it is during this period that you may notice your stomach shrinking and clothes becoming looser as your body "reshapes" itself. Exercise, which boosts metabolism, is considered the best way to keep the pounds coming off.
- Portion control. It's more than just willpower. There's a visual connection between the amount of food on the plate and how quickly you feel satisfied. When the food is eaten, no matter how big the portion, the brain recognizes that the plate is empty-and sends the message to your stomach that you're "done." The more food on the plate, the more you're likely to eat.
- Confirming fat metabolism. Some people fail to lose weight despite their efforts. That's because they are not adhering to a diet program that allows their bodies to metabolize, or burn, enough stored fat. Fortunately, there's a new diagnostic tool that can determine if this is the case-so the dieter can take appropriate action.
"Fat metabolism is the overriding objective for most individuals dieting for successful weight loss or overall fitness," according to Michael F. Reisner, vice president of Alva-Amco. "Confirming that fat is being metabolized every day boosts confidence in an individual's weight loss or fitness program."
To learn more, call 1-800-792-2582 or visit http://www.alva-amco.com.
READERS' – AND MY -- FAVORITE DIET/PROTEIN BARS
After last month's newsletter, I've heard from a variety of people regarding their favorite diet bars. Here are some recommendations, including my own:
Eileen likes Carb Solutions Brand, Chocolate Fudge Almond. "It satisfies the need for chocolate and has very low carbohydrates."
Calories from Fat: 80
Total Fat: 9 grams
Saturated Fat: 5 grams
Total Carbs: 2 grams
Fiber: 0 grams
Protein: 21 grams
Another reader seconds Eileen's opinion. "I've tried many of the different protein bar brands: Atkins, EAS, Carb Solutions. I've also tried many varieties and flavors. Some are tolerable...others are downright disgusting! But the flavor and brand I've found to be the best is Chocolate Fudge Almond by Carb Solutions. It contains only 2 grams carbs, 9 grams fat, and 21 grams protein. Plus it has 60% of many vitamins/minerals like A, C, D, E, B6, B12, Niacin, Calcium, Selenium, Thiamin, and Folic acid."
Sue's favorite bar is the peanut caramel crisp from Myoplex Lite (EAS). "Tastes like a candy bar!"
Fat: 4.5 grams
Carbs: 26 grams
Fiber: 1 grams
Protein: 15 grams
Linda's favorite bars are the Dr. Atkins bars. Says Linda: "They can be rather pricey but the cheapest place that I have found them is at Wal-Mart. The one I like best is a breakfast bar called "Creamy Cinnamon Bun"
Fat: 8 grams
Carbs: 2 grams
Fiber: 1 grams
Ellen writes: "As for protein bars, I LOVE the brand called Doctor's Low Carb Diet only available at my local health food store for $1.99/bar."
Fat: 4 grams
In my own case, I like the Met-Rx High Protein Bars, chocolate fudge flavor. BUT, I think any of the bars over 150 calories are too high for a single "portion," so I split them in half.
Each serving by my account (HALF a bar) contains:
Fat: 4 grams
Carbs: 6.5 grams
Protein: 17 grams
READERS PRAISE WEIGHT WATCHERS
We've received some emails supporting and praising Weight Watchers. As some of you know, I did Weight Watchers a few years ago, and despite following it faithfully, managed to gain about a pound a week on the program, much to the chagrin of my group's leader, who swore I wasn't following it as I should be. In any case, it appears that the new "points" program can be a success for some people, and some of our readers have had success!
Margaret writes: "I joined Weight Watcher's in May 2000 and I have lost over 80 pounds. I had my thyroid partially removed in 1988 and 1989 (I had to have two surgeries) (long story)... Anyway, Weight Watcher's and walking has proven to be the best thing for me and it has been a struggle. I have stayed at the low end of their point range and there are times when I am very hungry. I take 200 mcg of Synthroid daily. I reached a huge plateau for about 5 months. Then I got discouraged and stopped exercising and also stopped eating as well and I gained 10 pounds almost immediately. I realize now I have to fight it every day, but Weight Watcher's is the best way for me to do it. Your newsletter is also invaluable to keep me encouraged. I've also purchased and read your book. It was great. I had a doctor who was not about to change my dosage. Now that I've found another doctor who did change my dosage I don't feel as tired and I can remember things better."
Another reader writes: "I joined Weight Watchers On-Line Nov. 17 and have been 'On Points' ever since and have lost 10 lbs. Now, I'm thrilled because most folks gain another 10 lbs, so I figure losing 10 over the holiday season is like losing 20 any other time of the year (ha ha). I can't say enough WONDERFUL things about WW Online! I love it! I LOVE IT!! I paid $50 for the first 3 months and it's about $13 a month after that (if you renew in chunks of 3 months). I never liked the meetings much like other people so this has worked great for me. I'm so happy to find this daily thing to turn to. I really think it's a combination of a mindset you wanna do it, being on the right meds, and eating the right foods at the right times, and a little exercise. I wasn't ready before this but when the clothes size tags started to be get close to starting with a "2", I knew enough was enough.
For more information about Weight Watchers, see: http://www.weightwatchers.com/
DON'T FORGET OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS
A reader writes: "Please mention, in all your weight-loss information, Overeaters Anonymous, the 12-step support group for those with compulsive eating problems, anorexics and bulimics. Though our thyroid problems contribute a great deal to weight gain, it is helpful to have a support system to remedy the end results. I know this personally after having lost over 90 lbs after having a thyroidectomy, stabilizing my meds, and then realizing I needed to work at the weight issues."
Good advice!! For more information on Overeaters Anonymous, see their website, at http://www.overeatersanonymous.com, or call 505-891-2664.
HELP LOSING WEIGHT NOW! -- THE THYROID DIET SUCCESS GUIDE
The "Thyroid Diet Success Guide" features a diet plan that you can follow, and specific information on exercises, and many other tips and resources. The Success Guide will help you get on the right track, with information that has actually helped other thyroid patients -- including me -- to effectively lose weight!
To help you get started on the right track in your effort to lose weight, I've compiled the in-depth information so many people regularly ask for into a special "Thyroid Diet Success Guide." The "Thyroid Diet Success Guide" features information about why it's harder for thyroid patients to lose weight, insulin resistance, the role of the adrenal system, and lots of practical suggestions to help you finally enjoy weight loss success. Just a few of the key features in the 35-page Guide include:
- Weight Loss Secrets for Thyroid Patients
- The Thyroid/Weight Loss Connection - Some Theories
- How To Lose Weight With Hypothyroidism
- Weight Loss Success: How I Lost 25 Pounds in 12 Weeks
- The Ultimate Thyroid Exercise Program
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) Overview
- Choosing the Right Weight Loss Program
- The Habits of Successful Weight Loss
- How Much Weight Do You Really Need to Lose?
- Popular Weight Loss Myths
- Seeing Results with Weight Loss and Exercising
To order, U.S. residents can send a check for $15 (which includes shipping and handling) made out to "Sticking Out Our Necks" to:
Mary Shomon's "Thyroid Diet Success Guide"
P.O. Box 565
Kensington, MD 20895-0565
For an order form to pay by check or credit card, visit
ORDER TOLL FREE: Call our toll-free order line during weekday business hours at 888-810-9471 to order using your credit card.
SPECIAL OFFER: Everyone who orders Thyroid Diet Success Guide will receive a free pocket-sized "Mini-Guide" that summarizes the key diet tips in a portable, easy-to-carry format.
Thanks again for subscribing to "A Weight Off My Mind." I'll look forward to hearing your feedback.
My new book is coming out this October! Living Well With Autoimmune Disease – being published by Harper Collins, and the second book in my ongoing "Living Well..." series, focuses on various autoimmune diseases and subclinical autoimmune syndromes, their symptoms, and the conventional – and alternative – treatments that can help reduce the risk of developing these conditions, help to keep them from worsening – and in some cases, even CURE them! It's also the only book to look at autoimmune diseases as one group of conditions with common or similar causes and triggers, and many common treatments to help. I spoke with dozens of the nation's most respected physicians and natural medicine experts with expertise in autoimmune disease to develop this book, which includes a variety of lifestyle issues, including diet, herbs and supplements, that you can use to help deal with autoimmunity in general, and specific conditions. I'll be launching a new newsletter soon to cover the issue of autoimmune disease specifically, so if you're interested, send an email to email@example.com with "Subscribe Autoimmune" in the subject for news and updates, including advance information on the book.
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Weight Off My Mind Diet News Back Issues Index
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