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Helping Thyroid and Autoimmune Disease Patients Lose Weight and Feel Great

from Mary J. Shomon
Author of Living Well With Hypothyroidism, Living Well With Autoimmune Disease, and The Thyroid Diet Success Guide
  • Peanuts – Can They Actually Help Your Diet?
  • What If It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie? The Low-Carb/High-Fat Vs. High-Carb/Low-Fat Wars!
  • Recipes: Chicken With Salsa & Peppers
  • Forget Aspartame, Saccharine and Splenda -- Try Stevia!
  • The Benefits of "Body Pump"
  • New Potential Health Benefits for CLA
  • The Thyroid Diet Success Guide
  • Synthroid Approved by the FDA
  • A Third of Patients Become Obese After RAI
  • People Who are Overweight Frequently Have Undetected Endocrine Problems
  • Low-Calorie Diets Cause Reduced Thyroid Function
  • T3 Treatment for Obesity?

    Online, back to December 2001

    A Weight Off My Mind email edition is published monthly, and is copyright 2001-2002, by Mary Shomon.
    Regular mail: Mary Shomon, P.O. Box 565, Kensington, MD 20895-0565
    Fax: 425-977-1175

    IMPORTANT NOTE: All information in this newsletter is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should always seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and always consult your physician or health practitioner before starting a new diet, fitness regimen, herbal therapy, supplement or other self-directed treatment.
  • Welcome to the seventh 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 to receive this free email report. (Note: If you are no longer interested in receiving future issues, or you wish to unsubscribe, email If you have something you'd like to see covered in future issues, drop me a line anytime at

    IF YOU’VE SENT ME A QUESTION: If you wrote me a personal message or question with your "subscribe" message, I'm afraid that my system automatically pulls out email addresses, so I didn't see your message. Feel free to send it again to me at, with a subject line that doesn’t say “subscribe.”


    I'll admit...after "falling off the wagon" so to speak for a while this spring, I came to my senses and returned to my program of eating well and following my own Thyroid Diet in early June. Results? I've lost 9 pounds in about 7 weeks -- slow but steady...and from the way my clothes fit, it's mostly fat! Nothing like dropping a size to feel better!

    In this edition, I'm sharing some of the things that I've discovered that, in addition to following my own Thyroid Diet Guide, are really making a difference for me.

    While I've been very faithful to my diet, there is the occasional time when I find myself starving. It's 10 or 11 p.m., and I've eaten all my allocated foods, protein bars and such for the day, and yet still, there it is, hunger. Before I was following the Thyroid Diet, I used to grab for easy carbs -- you know the kind -- a handful of Ritz Crackers, a rice cake, some pretzels -- but these days, those are a no-no. Now, I usually drink a big bottle of water -- and that'll take away the pangs. But when even that doesn't work, what I've ended up doing is getting a handful of peanuts. I rationalized that they had good fat, protein, some carbs, and fiber, so they were a decent mix of nutrients. And even a small handful turned out to be satisfying and filling. And I have still been losing weight, despite an occasional (probably once or twice a week) dip into the peanut jar.

    This week, it just came out that a new study has shown that when people ate peanuts, they felt very satisfied and naturally decreased food consumption during the rest of the day. Despite the inclusion of a extra calories, little change in body weight was observed. This study was the first clinical study designed to confirm and explain a body of epidemiological data showing that nut-eaters tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) than non-nut-eaters. The study entitled, "Effects of Chronic Peanut Consumption on Energy Balance and Hedonics," is published in the August issue of the International Journal of Obesity (Vol. 26, Issue 8, p.1129-37), which is a respected medical journal -- and not an advertisement from the Peanut Council!
    In the study, researchers at Purdue University studied the effects of daily peanut consumption on dietary intake, satiety, energy expenditure and body weight. The principle investigator, Dr. Richard Mattes, Department of Foods and Nutrition, Purdue University, observed that, "the high protein and fiber content in peanuts may play an important role in curbing hunger and thereby not promoting weight gain." The findings are consistent with large population studies such as the Seventh Day Adventist Study and the Nurses' Health Study, where researchers found that people who consumed about an ounce of peanuts, nuts and peanut butter frequently, had lower BMI scores.

    This new cross-over study included three diet treatments. Every subject participated in all three diet treatments, each providing a research-sized portion of approximately 500 calories of peanuts (Note from Mary: This is a pretty substantial amount of peanuts! A handful of 20 peanuts is only about 150 calories). In any case, the first treatment group consumed a Free-Feeding diet, which included the peanuts without any dietary guidance. Subjects in the second Addition treatment group were given instructions to add the peanuts to their usual diets. The third Substitution treatment group followed individualized diets, substituting the peanuts in place of 500 calories in the diet.

    According to Dr. Mattes, in both the Free-Feeding and Addition groups, the subjects spontaneously remarked that they felt full and could not eat all of the food they typically eat daily. The men and women compensated for most of the additional calories by eating less than usual, even without dietary instruction to do so. This resulted in lower actual weight gain than was expected from including the extra calories into their routine.

    Surprisingly, in the Free-Feeding group, the researchers found the actual weight gain to be just 2.2 pounds, far below the expected weight gain of about 8 pounds. Total daily energy intake was significantly lower than predicted, as the subjects naturally compensated for 66% of the energy provided by the peanuts.

    In the Addition diet group, subjects were instructed to add peanuts to their usual diets for three weeks. Because this treatment period was shorter, expected weight gain with peanuts added to their usual diet was about 3 pounds and actual weight gain was only about 1 pound. This strong dietary compensation may be due to the high satiety value of peanuts.

    "Peanuts have a great mix of features, such as high protein, high fiber, and a crunchy texture, which enhance satiety," said Dr. Mattes. The eating satisfaction is partly responsible for the lack of actual weight gain in this study. The results of this study are consistent with earlier research at Purdue showing that peanuts and peanut butter satisfy hunger up to five times longer than some high-carbohydrate snacks such as rice cakes. There is also some previous research that demonstrated that whole peanuts are inefficiently absorbed, which may be another possible factor contributing to the prevention of weight gain.

    One of the major problems people have with sticking to a diet is that they feel deprived or get tired of and bored eating "diet food." Researchers usually predict some decline in the pleasantness, or hedonics, of foods eaten daily for a long period of time. Surprisingly, the pleasantness, or enjoyment ratings for peanuts stayed high over the five months of trial periods. This is an important finding for long-term adherence to a healthful dietary pattern for weight loss or maintenance.

    In the most highly controlled Substitution group, fat intake was decreased by 50% and the calories were replaced with an equivalent amount of energy from peanuts. Essentially, subjects were instructed to follow a low-fat diet and include the peanuts each day. Weight gain was predicted to be zero because this was a calorie substitution diet. As predicted, no significant change in body weight was seen when peanuts were substituted for other fats in the diet and overall diet quality improved. In addition to containing good unsaturated fat, peanuts provide plant protein and fiber, as well as vitamin E, folate, potassium, magnesium, and zinc, all which are thought to be important to health. Peanuts also contain bioactive components such as phytosterols, flavonoids, and antioxidants, the benefits of which nutrition scientists are only beginning to discover.


    You would have to be asleep to have missed all the low-carb/high-fat versus high-carb/low-fat diet wars that have been going on since Gary Taubes' article "What If It's All Been a Big Fat Lie?" was published July 7, 2002 in the New York Times. That article said that there is growing body of evidence that the food pyramid, and the promotion of high-carb/low-fat diets over the past several decades have made Americans fatter, and that vilified diets like the high-fat, low-carb Atkins Diet approach are actually healthier and more effective. It launched a huge debate across America -- in newspapers, doctors' offices, on morning television shows, dinner parties -- people who have lost weight on Atkins or other low-carb approaches are yelling "I told you so!," while practitioners who have been claiming that these diets are untested, unproven and potentially dangerous are rushing around trying to defend the food pyramid and its 10 or more daily servings of grains.

    I heard Meredith Viera, host of the daytime show "The View," say the other day that she had started the Atkins Diet herself. She is hypothyroid, and hypoglycemic, and said that she'd "heard" that it would help her metabolism. I've talked with people who followed the Atkins approach, and gained weight. Others lost 10 pounds in a week, and then the minute they reintroduced any carbohydrates into their diet, gained it all right back. But I have also heard from some people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off on this approach. But some of them reported that their cholesterol and triglycerides levels elevated, and that they ultimately needed to switch to a different approach in order to return these levels to normal.

    Bottom line: there is probably a small percentage of people who can lose weight, keep it off and not face an increased risk of high cholesterol and heart disease by following the higher-fat, lower-carb approach promoted by Atkins. But it's a difficult diet, it may not result in weight loss, and may cause further health problems for others -- and ultimately, it's not particularly balanced or nutritionally sound. You're not going to get a rich balance of antioxidants, healthy doses of fiber, and key nutrients following this sort of approach. So, even though it has some valuable points, it's not a diet that you should be rushing out to try simply because it's the latest trendy news story.

    pyramid.jpg - 35474 BytesOn the other hand, the classic food pyramid, says that the base of the pyramid, 5 to 11 servings a day, should be breads, cereals, rice, and pasta - all foods from grains. The small top tip of the pyramid shows fats and oils. So, this "low-fat, lots of grains" mantra gave rise to the idea that you could eat at restaurants that served unlimited "pasta bowls" (as long as the sauce was fat-free or low-fat), and indulge in bread products, and unlimited quantities of air-popped popcorn, and dish out heaping servings of rice -- as long as you kept the fat levels down.

    Not so! This food pyramid is still what traditional nutritionists point to as the ideal diet. And this is what the Atkins diet proponents are actually fighting against. They are trying to tell us that all these grains are simple starches that convert to sugar and act in your body no differently than a piece of chocolate cake. So in that sense, they are right. Sugars and other refined carbs like white bread and white rice cause spikes in blood sugar and surges in insulin, which, in turn, stimulate appetite, worsen cholesterol profiles, and decrease fat-burning, contributing to the fattening of America.

    For the average person -- and that's a person who is not already overweight, or who doesn't have pre-diabetes, diabetes, thyroid disease, or any other metabolic dysfunction -- the food pyramid doesn’t have to be a complete washout. But several things need to be recognized.

    First, in the grains category -- grains should be high-fiber, complex carbohydrate, and whole grains -- NOT white bread, white rice, or pasta. Pretty much, if it's white, you shouldn't be eating it. Instead, the grains should focus on high-fiber whole grain breads and cereals, oats, brown rice, and other grains such as quinoa and amaranth (ok, we have to learn how to say them, much less cook them, but they are the grains of the future!). You can also include beans in this category. They have protein, but also being high in complex carbohydrates, they really fall into the grains category.

    Second, when it comes to fruits and vegetables, emphasize vegetables whenever possible, aim for 5-9 servings a day, and choose less processed, higher-fiber, lower-sugar fruits and vegetables over their more sugary relatives. That means, cantaloupe is a better choice than banana. Eat apples versus applesauce. And high-fiber, high-nutrient, low-calorie berries -- such as blueberries and strawberries -- are always a good choice. And in the vegetable category, for example, a high fiber sweet potato is a better choice than a lower-fiber, higher-glycemic white potato. But a whole potato is better than mashed potatoes.

    When it comes to proteins, emphasize fish (especially fatty fish like salmon) and poultry, with limited weekly servings of lower-fat cuts of red meat and pork. With dairy, emphasize low-fat yogurt whenever possible -- the live cultures are an added health benefit, with low-fat cheese and low-fat milk rounding things out. When fats are called for, stick with olive oil whenever possible.

    Bring some knowledge of the glycemic index and good fats to your food choices, and you can make the food pyramid work for you.

    So What Does This All Mean for Thyroid Patients?

    Of course, these ideas discussed so far have assumed that you do not have a thyroid condition, and that your metabolism is normal. Because those of us with thyroid disease know all too well that if we follow the food pyramid to the letter, we might as well strap on the feedbag and start packing on the pounds. I simply cannot eat 5 to 11 servings of grains -- even high-fiber, whole grains -- without gaining weight...steadily. I don’t care what Dean Ornish or the Pritikin people or anyone else has to say about it. That much grain and I will gain weight.

    This is where you need to think about a new sort of food pyramid...with emphasis on high-fiber vegetables and fruits, sufficient low-fat protein, limited but sufficient good fats, and very limited high-fiber grains. This is the basis of the Thyroid Diet Guide, and is the diet I follow myself.

    I eat 2 servings of grain a day -- usually one serving is a Wasa cracker (I particularly like the ones with sesame seeds), and sometimes my other serving is beans, or a slice of Pepperidge farm light wheat bread, or a piece of Ezekiel bread. But in addition to high-fiber vegetables, to ensure that I get enough fiber, I always have a fiber drink, such as psyllium, or the new Benefiber (I really like this, it's a guar gum fiber that dissolves immediately, doesn't clump, and has no taste, so you can mix it in a glass of water, or iced tea, or even your cup of coffee, and get extra fiber.) I'm getting about 10 to 15 grams of fiber a day from supplements, plus another 20 grams a day from food.

    I eat at least 3 servings of vegetables, and 3 servings of fruit a day, and if I'm going to go overboard on anything, I help myself to a bit more vegetables. I use low-fat or fat-free dressings, but when I'm feeling like a splurge, I make an olive oil vinaigrette.

    I have one to two servings of dairy a day. Usually one of them is a latte (I like Hazelnut coffee, with heated non-fat milk, and the sweetener stevia (see below). I sometimes make a yogurt/fruit smoothie as well, as a special treat.

    When it comes to proteins, I like fish (especially salmon) and though I can get amazingly bored with chicken breasts, lately I'm really enjoying good quality ground turkey breast (turkey breast meatballs are fantastic!). I limit my red meat and pork to once or twice a week.


    Here's a recipe developed by Jim McCauley, a friend who also happens to be serving as food consultant for one of my upcoming books. Jim, who is a trained gourmet chef, is working on developing low-glycemic, healthy, easy -- but incredibly delicious -- recipes (did I mention easy and delicious?) that fit into my Thyroid Diet program, and this one is so good, I couldn't wait to share it. I cooked it last week, took all of about 4 minutes of preparation time, and I loved it, my family all loved it, and it even made for great leftovers.

    4 Chicken breasts
    Large jar of fat-free salsa (Jim makes his own, but if you're like me, you'll get a fat-free, lower-sodium salsa already from the grocery)
    1 bag of frozen peppers (I like the Birds Eye that has red, yellow and green peppers with onions sliced)
    Cumin, 1 teaspoon
    Olive oil

    Put a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, with the cumin
    Sautee the chicken breasts for a few minutes until lightly browned
    Pour in salsa and add the frozen peppers
    Cover the pan
    Simmer on medium heat for about 20-30 minutes until chicken breasts are tender
    You can serve this over a high-fiber brown rice, or with a Wasa cracker (that's how I like it, I dip my cracker in to soak up the juice) and you have a very well-balanced meal.

    Ok, how easy is that?

    You've taken a boring chicken breast, and made it special! The chicken is juicy, moist and has a nice flavor from the salsa.

    AND, the cumin even has immune-enhancing properties – just for added pizzaz!


    Ok, if you're's one recipe for fresh salsa... (but lazy me, I use the stuff in the jar, as I mentioned...)

    1 chopped onion
    8 ripe tomatoes
    3 jalapeno peppers, minced
    1/2 a head of Cilantro, chopped
    juice of half of a fresh lemon
    juice of half of a fresh lime
    2 tablespoons vinegar
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    1 teaspoon black pepper
    1 chopped fresh clove of garlic
    1 teaspoon oregano

    Dice everything up as small as possible (or to make it easier, stick it all in a food processor and give it a whir – but don’t pulverize it into total mush). Combine ingredients and chill.
    READERS: Do you have a favorite low-fat, low-glycemic healthy recipe that you'd like to share? If so, share the wealth!! Send me your recipes at If we print your recipe, you'll receive a free copy of the Thyroid Diet Guide!!

    One of my favorite diet and health secrets is stevia. Pronounced steve-ee-uh, it's a natural sweetener, derived from a plant, that is very sweet, has no calories, and does not cause any effect on blood sugar. With no chemicals, it also doesn't pose some of the concerns that aspartame and the other artificial sweeteners present. Many people, for example, report that aspartame gives them to headaches, and causes nausea, insomnia, dizziness, diarrhea, depression, anxiety, memory loss and even vision changes.

    Stevia, however, not only sweetens food without adding calories, but is actually a nutrient for the body, and has no side effects, and no chemicals to cause reactions or sensitivities. The stevia plant, native to Paraguay, is approximately 300 times sweeter than sugar. With a glycemic index of zero and no calories, stevia also reduces cravings for sweets. Hundreds of studies show that stevia lowers elevated blood pressure, helps oral bacteria, and can even regulate blood sugar. Stevia is also versatile, and unlike most artificial sweeteners, it can be used in hot and cold beverages, on fruit and cereals, and as a sugar replacement in baking and cooking.

    One of my favorite things is to take natural unsweetened cranberry juice (I get mine at Trader Joe's), and use about a fourth of a glass of cranberry juice, mix with water (or seltzer), add a splash of stevia, and I have a cranberry juice cocktail that has almost no calories or carbs, but intense flavor and sweetness. (Check out the calorie and carb content on a bottle of Ocean Spray cranberry juice for comparison!) I also use stevia in teas and coffees. Most mornings, I brew up my Hazelnut latte with skim or low-fat milk, and use stevia to sweeten. Tastes like a huge indulgence, and it's actually a pretty healthy part of my diet!

    I also put a drop or two of stevia into unsweetened lemon/lime seltzer, and make my own sugar-free, HEALTHY "Sprite." And since it's not a "soda" -- it actually counts toward your daily effort to get 64 or more ounces of water!

    I also like to use stevia to naturally sweeten plain yogurt. If you take plain low-fat or fat-free yogurt, mix in fruit and some stevia, you have healthy, low-fat fruit yogurt, without the artificial sweeteners!

    Just like when you first switch to any sweetener besides sugar, I'll be honest -- it takes a few days to adjust to the flavor of stevia. But once you're used to it, it's delicious, satisfies your sweet cravings, and regular sugar -- not to mention the artificial sweeteners -- will taste VERY "chemical" to you.

    stevia.gif - 5321 BytesFor use at home, I prefer liquid stevia products. My absolute favorite brand for taste is Now's Stevia Liquid Extract. It's a very intense and concentrated stevia, and just two small drops sweeten a cup of tea or coffee easily for me. A 2 ounce, $7 bottle lasts me for months. Order Now's Stevia Liquid Extract from Iherb.

    The Now formulation comes in an alcohol base, however, so for those who don't want products with alcohol, I recommend Now's Stevia Glycerite formula, which comes in a glycerine base. Still a good flavor, just not quite as concentrated, so you may need to use a bit more. Order Now's Stevia Glycerite from Iherb.
    And for work, restaurants and traveling, the little bottles are a hassle, so I always have a box of powdered stevia around, so I can stash a few packages in my handbag. They are packaged in small single servings, just like the "pink stuff" and the "blue stuff!" I like Now Foods' powdered stevia packets.
    Order Now's Stevia Single-Serving Packets from Iherb.

    I buy my stevia products from the Iherb online store (and I’ve included the above links to the products at Iherb if you are interested) but you can get of course get various stevia products at most health food and natural food stores as well.


    A reader writes to tell us about a particular type of exercise class that is giving her great results!

    "I have hypo for the last 7 years and have gain about 50 % of what my body weight use to be. No luck in loosing it. I'm active and have always exercised. I'm also on HRT, but I only take it every other day. Anyway I starting going to this class at 24 Hour Fitness called Body Pump.

    The class is one hour long. It's a weight training class. The whole class is lifting weights to upbeat music. We do a warm up, squats, 2 arms routines, dead rows, clean and press, one ab routine and stretching at the end. We all work to our own pace. First few times I didn't use the weights I worked on my form. Each routine is about 4 - 6 minutes. My body fat is now down 4%, and I'm still losing. I also have a lot more energy now and can carry my own groceries up into the house and open my own jar of pickles or what ever else I buy.

    If I can do this anyone can. I just had major knee surgery 2 years ago, in February I had surgery to remove a tumor on my ovary. I also have neck and back damage from car accidents. Trick is to go very slowly and work on your form to avoid injuries. I just love this class, it's given me such a uplift and I feel so much better about myself. I'm 51 years and not ready to get old yet.

    I go to 24 Hour Fitness for this class. They also teach it at Bally's. Good news is that I'm still loosing and shaping up. Side note, I'm also sleeping better at night. In the seven weeks I've been going I've lost 8 pounds. I've even taken a week off and missed a class or two. I feel so much better and I'm down a whole size. Best part is I love the class and you only go to it twice a week. I've used the weight machines before but never got results. Maybe Body Pump can help others.”

    READERS: Have you found a particular exercise class, fitness center, or exercise that is working for you? If so, let me know. You can write me at


    I've written in the past about conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and its benefits for weight loss. Following the publication of five studies in various professional journals that reported on the body fat reduction properties of CLA, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) convened on May 16th to present information on other studies that are evaluating new, potential health benefits for CLA. The program, held on the campus of NIH, brought together leading experts from around the world to discuss current findings on the biochemistry, pharmacology, and toxicity of the various isomers of CLA.

    "The recent global CLA research presented at NIH is exciting as it demonstrates the potential multiple health benefits related to CLA supplementation,"said Dr. Delbert Dorscheid, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of British Columbia. "In particular, the work on glucose control, atherosclerosis, blood lipids and control of asthma and allergies appear to hold near term promise."

    Conjugated linoleic acid is the common name of a group of fatty acids found in dairy and meat products. However, over the last 50 years, changes in livestock feeding practices have largely removed naturally occurring CLA from our diets. In several recent studies, CLA has received considerable attention due to its apparent metabolic and other health benefits in animals, as well as some similar, initial results in humans. The effects seen in animals include reduced body fat content, improved serum lipid profiles, decreased aortic lipid deposition, and improved glucose control and delayed onset of diabetes.

    I regularly use CLA as part of my own weight loss efforts. I find that it is particularly helpful in targeting weight loss on fat in the abdominal area (what I lovingly refer to as my little loaf of Pillsbury bread dough...) and in the torso.

    I like the Natrol Tonalin CLA, and according to some initial studies that were done, I typically make sure I get approximately 3500 grams of CLA each day. That means I need about 5 of the Natrol Tonalin CLA pills per day, because each 1000 mg pill is approximately 75% CLA.

    The main thing to be particularly careful about is that you use a Tonalin trademarked CLA. There are a variety of brands that contain Tonalin CLA. This is the CLA that has been specifically formulated, and was tested for weight loss properties.

    Get Natrol Tonalin from Iherb.


    Thousands of people have already ordered their copies of the “Thyroid Diet Success Guide,” and I’m getting lots of emails and letters from people who are happily using the low-glycemic approach of the diet that can be so effective for many thyroid patients. This is the only way I’ve been able to effectively lose weight (and believe, me, I’ve tried them all!!) 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
    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!

    legalus.gif - 3069 BytesOrder online now, securely, using Visa, Mastercard, American Express or your Discover card, via secure processing with CCNow.

    US ORDERS: $12, plus $2 shipping and handling, for U.S. online orders
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    To order by phone, call our toll-free order line during weekday business hours at 888-810-9471 to order using your credit card. If you'd like a call-back, leave a message with your name and number, and Pat at the office will call you back to take your order. U.S. cost is $15, outside the U.S. is $25.

    DELIVERY TIME: Don’t forget to allow 10 days to 2 weeks from receipt of your order for delivery of your Thyroid Diet Success Guide.

    SPECIAL OFFER: Everyone who orders the “Thyroid Diet Success Guide” by August 31st will receive a free pocket-sized "Mini-Guide" that summarizes the key diet tips in a portable, easy-to-carry format.


    Nearly two years after the initial deadline, and almost five years after the FDA initially called for new drug applications for levothyroxine drugs, it was announced on July 24, 2002 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Synthroid. Synthroid® is manufactured by Chicago-based Abbott Laboratories, and is, according to Abbott, the second most prescribed drug in the U.S. The new Synthroid has not been reformulated, and so the size, colors and shape and way you take it are the same. According to Abbott Labs' spokesperson Jennifer Smoter, "The only difference is that, for easier identification, where the pills used to say ‘Flint,’ they now say ‘Synthroid.’” Despite being the top-selling levothyroxine, Synthroid is the fourth levothyroxine drug to receive FDA approval. Jerome Stevens’ product Unithroid was the first approved, and was the only one the received approval within the FDA's original August 2000 deadline. King Pharmaceuticals' product Levoxyl -- Synthroid's chief competition -- was approved May of 2001. A generic levothyroxine Levo-T, manufactured by Mova, was approved in March of 2002. With Synthroid's approval, the only remaining major levothyroxine drug still awaiting approval is Forest Labs' Levothroid.

    Abbott Press Release -- You can read Abbott's press release announcing the Synthroid approval

    Synthroid Information Center -- A comprehensive chronological history of Synthroid, featuring dozens of articles covering Synthroid's research controversies, class action lawsuits, the FDA new drug application process, and other issues related to the controversial drug is available at my Thyroid site.

    Thyroid Drug Database -- For information about various thyroid drugs, see the new database now.

    The Best Thyroid Drug? -- Given this latest development, are you more confused than ever over what is the "best" thyroid drug for you? Is it Synthroid, Unithroid, Armour, Thyrolar, or perhaps something else entirely? Find out how you can discover which drug is actually best for you.

    Don't Feel Well On Your Current Drug? -- If you are on Synthroid or another thyroid drug, but are finding that you are not feeling well, be sure you read "Living Well With Hypothyroidism." The book walks you through the various steps you can take -- including talking to your doctor knowledgeably about the different thyroid drugs and dosages, as well as the array of alternative approaches – that can help you feel your absolute best. Visit the site for more information, and to read a free chapter.


    If you are not receiving the Sticking Out Our Necks bimonthly print newsletter, you may be missing out on some essential thyroid news. But...there's still time to order your subscription and receive the July/August issue, which includes important stories including:
    • What To Do When Your Hair is Falling Out
    • Could You Have Alopecia?
    • Levoxyl Recalls Millions of Pills
    • Multinodular Goiter: Should You See an Endo or Surgeon?
    • Do You Need Potassium Iodide in Case of Nuclear Attack?
    • Thyroid Screening Needed for All Women of Childbearing Age
    • Soy/Thyroid News
    • Pregnancy/Thyroid News Developments
    A one year subscription is only $25. Order securely online now, with Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover, or via mail/phone/fax (Visa and MasterCard only).


    Our new secure online ordering system makes it easy to order a subscription right now, AND, when you order online, you'll get a special, free 8-page "Summer 2002 In-Depth Thyroid News Roundup Report," which features 45 news reports on thyroid disease, with research references. Some brief highlights of just the weight-loss related news stories include:

    A Third of Patients Become Obese After RAI
    South African researchers found that among patients treated with RAI and surgery, 86.7% became hypothyroid and ended up on levothyroxine treatment. Before the therapy, median weight of the patients was 138.6 pounds. The median weight gain after 6 months was 11 pounds. After 12 months almost 20 pounds, after 24 months 25 pounds, and then weight gain stabilized. Before the therapy 19.3% were obese, and two years after treatment, 51.3% were obese.
    Source: Brunova, Jana, et. al., “Hyperthyroidism Therapy and Weight Gain.” Abstracts, 84th annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, June 2002

    People Who are Overweight Frequently Have Undetected Endocrine Problems
    Researchers have found that among a group of overweight people studied, the majority, had elevated insulin levels, 44% had T3 levels that were below the norm, suggesting either impaired conversion of T4 to T3 or reduced T3 levels.
    Source: Mogul, Harriette et. al., "The Endocrinopathy of Obesity: Correlate, Consequence or Cause?" Abstracts, 84th annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, June 2002

    Low-Calorie Diets Cause Reduced Thyroid Function
    In research that looked at the effects of obesity and starvation on a variety of hormones, including thyroid, it was found that treatment of obesity with low-calorie diets typically causes changes in thyroid function, including a decrease in total T4, total T3 and free T3, with a corresponding increase in Reverse T3.
    Source: Douyon L, et. al. "Effect of obesity and starvation on thyroid hormone, growth hormone, and cortisol secretion," Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am 2002 Mar;31(1):173-89.

    T3 Treatment for Obesity?
    Researchers have found that among a group of obese patients studied, while only 3% were actually hypothyroid with TSH levels above 5, more than 90% of the people studied had T3 levels that were below the mean.
    Source: Sanalkumar, Nishanth et. al., "Prevalence and Potential Implications of Undetected Thyroid Abnormalities in a Population of Obese Patients." Abstracts, 84th annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, June 2002

    In addition to more detailed versions of the above stories, the free 8-page "Summer 2002 In-Depth Thyroid News Roundup Report" contains a total of 45 different thyroid-related news stories including:
    • Hyperthyroidism Increases Carbohydrate Cravings
    • Obesity and Hyperthyroidism Linkage Explored
    • Thyroid Disease and Its Effects on Blood Pressure
    • Iodine Use During Pregnancy
    • Gluten Sensitivity and Loss of Balance/Coordination
    • Thyroid Linked to Vitiligo
    • Subclinically Hypothyroid Women With Infertility and/or Menstrual Problems Should Receive Treatment
    • Thyroid Hormone Treatment Can Help Subclinical Hypothyroidism
    • New Cause of Congenital Hypothyroidism Discovered
    • Calcification and Solitary Nodules Present Greater Risk of Cancer
    • Head And Neck Cancers Rising Among U.S. Kids
    • T3 after Thyroidectomy or Prior to Thyroid Cancer Scan May be Unnecessary
    • Graves' Disease With Thyroid Cancer
    • Relapse Rates After Antithyroid Drugs for Graves' Disease
    • Total Thyroidectomy Recommended As Standard Graves' Treatment Outside U.S. Controversies Over RAI Examined
    • Effects of Suppressive Goiter Treatment on Osteoporosis Risk
    • Moderately Low TSH May Point to Nodular Disease
    • Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Can Show Up As Knee Pain
    • Cigarette Smoking and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
    • New England Journal Researchers Followup on T3 Use
    • T4 Plus T3 Best Achieves Normal Levels in Blood and Tissues
    • Thyroid Surgery Under Local Anesthesia?
    Order online now -- Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover accepted -- and you’ll get a one-year subscription (6 bimonthly issues) plus the 8-page free special report, for only $25.

    legalus.gif - 3069 BytesOrder online now, securely, using Visa, Mastercard, American Express or your Discover card, via secure processing with CCNow, and receive a year's subscription (6 bimonthly 12-page issues), plus the special 8-page Summer Thyroid News Roundup Report, which features 45 important thyroid-related news stories!


    Thanks again for subscribing to "A Weight Off My Mind." I'll look forward to hearing your feedback.

    If you're a new "Weight Off My Mind" subscriber, you may not know about my monthly thyroid newsletter, "Sticking Out Our Necks," which features thyroid-related news and information, both conventional and alternative. Each monthly issue covers a variety of the latest thyroid disease news and information of interest to patients and practitioners. If you signed up for this diet newsletter, you are NOT automatically subscribed to the monthly thyroid newsletter, so if you would like me to add you to that list, be sure to send an email to with the subject "Subscribe Thyroid Newsletter."

    Also, your starting place for information about hypothyroidism is my book, Living Well With Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctors Don't Tell You...That You Need to Know. The book, published in 2000 by HarperCollins, is a top 40 health bestseller, and now in its 13th printing. It's a manual of living well for anyone with an underactive or non-existent thyroid. Keep in mind, if you've had your thyroid removed due to cancer, nodules or hyperthyroidism, have had radioactive iodine treatment, or are on thyroid hormone replacement drugs, you too fall into the category of being “Hypothyroid” -- even if you're being treated. So ultimately, people with every type of thyroid problem have found my book helpful in their struggle to return to wellness.
    You can find out more information, read a free chapter online, order it now from, or get more information on the book and how to order it at The book is available at online bookstores, or your local bookstore, and at many libraries as well.

    For those of you who have Hashimoto's disease, Graves' disease, or any autoimmune condition, 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 with "Subscribe Autoimmune" in the subject for news and updates, including advance information on the book. You can pre-order the book now at, find out more about the book, or read a free chapter at the new website, at the new website,

    -- Mary

    All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician or health practitioner before starting a new treatment program. Please see our full disclaimer.

    Sticking Out Our Necks and this website are © Copyright Mary Shomon, 1997-2006. All rights reserved. Mary Shomon, Editor/Webmaster
    All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician or health practitioner before starting a new treatment program. Please see our full disclaimer.