Friday, August 3, 2012

Healing the Thyroid and Miso Sesame Dressing

Healing the Thyroid and my Amazing Miso Sesame Dressing Recipe!

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I have low/normal thyroid function, at times I seem to be just fine and other times my hair falls out, my energy levels are lower and I gain a few pounds.  It isn't really pronounced at this point, I don't have severe symptoms but I can certainly tell the difference.  Basically at the point I am at I just want to prevent my thyroid from entering the clinically low stage.  I have been researching ways to heal the thyroid and improve thyroid function naturally.

I do want to point out that there are TONS of articles on healing hypothyroid and these articles promote everything from taking kelp to standing on your head....okay maybe I made up the last one, but you get my point.  I read articles that are well written and yet, when I reach the bottom no sources are cited to back up the claims being made.  This is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves!  If you are going to make a claim you need to provide sound proof that what you are claiming is TRUE!

Then I see website owners who sell particular products, I won't name any names here, and they claim that these products help with 'weight loss' and 'boost thyroid' but when you get into the scientific literature the research on this is scanty at best and has only been conducted on animals with pretty non-significant effects anyway. 

I am very interested in ways I can improve my own thyroid function but I ABSOLUTELY will not spend my money on ANYTHING that is just promoted without citing some legitimate and convincing reason why it helps the thyroid or how it helps the thyroid.  

There are a few recommendations out there that do have some merit, one of them being, a gluten free diet.

Gluten Free Diet for Hypothyroid?

Studies have found that celiac disease and auto-immune thyroiditis have a common genetic predisposition, the genes HLA-DQ2 and DQ8, as well as the gene encoding cytotoxic T-lymphocute associted antigen-4 or CTLA-4.

This is one reason why I recommend a  gluten free diet to anyone who has auto-immune thyroid disease.  If you have symptoms of low thyroid function or have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism it is a good idea to start with a gluten free diet.  I will go into more detail about the reasoning behind the gluten free diet for hypothyroid as I have time to put together the research and information but I think it is important to mention in this quick article that a gluten free diet can prove to be quite beneficial.  However, there are other dietary claims being made about thyroid that are NOT true.....cruciferous vegetables being one of them.

What about Cruciferous Vegetables?

This is one that absolutely drives me CRAZY, cruciferous vegetables DO NOT cause hypothyroid and they do not contribute to it either.   The ONLY studies linking cruciferous vegetables to hypothyroid was conducted on animals and they used VERY HIGH amounts of cabbage and turnips.  The problem with this is, in a normal diet this very high intake would probably never even occur.  

According to the Linus Pauling Institute:  "Increased exposure to thiocyanate ions from cruciferous vegetable consumption or, more commonly, from cigarette smoking, does not appear to increase the risk of hypothyroidism unless accompanied by iodine deficiency. One study in humans found that the consumption of 150 g/day (5 oz/day) of cooked Brussels sprouts for four weeks had no adverse effects on thyroid function(70)."

**The take home message here is that cruciferous vegetables DO NOT increase the risk of hypothyroidism unless you have an iodine deficiency!

I am researching the evidence available on


There are as many hypothyroidism articles and 'cures' out there as there are patients with hypothyroidism.  One thing I have found though is that many of these 'claims' about hypothyroidism are not supported by any legitimate research, or even research on the compounds in the plant that may exert any thyroid benefit.

I have seen some studies that have actually shown detrimental effects on the thyroid from some supplements commonly recommended for hypothyroid.

It is unfortunate that there are people out there who only care about making a buck and selling products to unsuspecting consumers that may not provide any benefit and in fact could be  harmful.

I plan to write an e-book detailing my own hypothyroidism protocol, however, I WILL NOT include any herbs, supplements, foods, or say to exclude that protocol unless I have specific scientific research showing the benefit or negative effects on thyroid function.

Stay tuned because I will continue to update you on my thyroid research!.

Miso Sesame Salad Dressing

Doesn't that salad look AMAZING!!!  

I have to confess, this salad was SOOOOOO good that I ended up overeating a bit at lunch yesterday......I know, I know but man was it good!

It looks all fancy but it was really simple, I just used my little spiralizer and it took me like 2 minutes!!!

Question for my readers?

Have any of you struggled with hypothyroidism and if so, have you tried any natural treatment and what effect have you seen from the natural or dietary treatment?


Anonymous said...

I WOULD HAVE TO disagree with you on cruciferious vegetables. I had dealt with sever hypothyroidism for about four years. I was eating a began diet and it would not seem to change just continued to plumit. I was on 150 mcg of synthroid which was a major dose. I was drinking green smoothies with kale and or spinach- and also juicjng everyday. When I stopped drinking smoothies with the kale and spinach after a week my levels improved. I removed all grains and soy from my diet and added 2 tbsp of organic virgin coconut oil daily. I Aldo started to eat veggie wraps that where made with Nori paper daily and fish 3 times a week. After 3 weeks of doing this my thyroid is running perfect. My doctor is in shock about it. I believe I was omega 3 deficient and chai seeds and flax were nit cutting it for me.

Tandi Hartle said...

Anonymous- I am glad you were able to heal your thyroid and that you found something that worked for you, however, I will not make recommendations on my blog without sound scientific research proving a negative or positive effect. The current research on cruciferous vegetables has only shown a negative effect in combination with iodine deficiency and therefore I will stick with that until there is sound research that proves otherwise. It is likely that you were iodine deficient given that you have added nori and have improved, when you combine so many things together you cannot pinpoint one thing that worked, so there is no way to know what specifically it was that helped you.

Anonymous said...

I understand whatyou are saying about the cruciferous veggies but for me(and evrryone responds differently to things) it was an issue. I Believemy main issue was adding the fish as I did everything one thing at a time. I started to add the Nori/ seaweeds out of precaution and because I enjoy having some kind of wraps with lunch. Omega3 deficiencies can be a cause of hypothyroidism. There is evidance to show that as we'll. I. Just thought i would share my experience. I Love your blog by the have some wonderful recipes. I especially love the mock Multi use cheese sauce and is a staple in our home now. It literally tastes just like the velveta cheese my mother used for Mac n cheese. ;)

Howdy Doody said...

Tandi, I'm wondering your thoughts on miso and hypothyroid. I had a lot of the symptoms after mercury exposure from CFL bulbs. I changed environments and diet plus miso soup almost every day. Within weeks I felt 99% symptom free. Then, the one thing I dropped from the diet was miso. Months later, some of the symptoms came back such as insomnia. I started taking it again 3 weeks ago and some symptoms cleared up. I read conflicting reports all the time that say it's good for hypothyroid and that it's bad for it. I'm about to take a blood test tomorrow to determine whether it's hypothyroid, and I'm thinking about telling the doctor to give me a month before prescribing the synthetic stuff. Miso just might do it. What are your thoughts?

Tandi Hartle said...

Howdy Doody - Miso is a wonderful food with healthy probiotics, protein, B vitamins and a host of other nutrients. Miso is very nourishing as well as detoxifying, it is rich in amino acids as well as probiotics and it also contains iodine in a natural form that supports thyroid function as well. I wouldn't be surprised at all if miso soup helped support thyroid function. If it is helping you by all means continue doing it. The conflicting reports are generally about seaweed and iodine, there has been some suppression of thyroid function with very high iodine intake in Japanese people so it is important to use caution with large seaweed consumption. Miso has much lower levels of iodine which makes it a safer source than seaweed.

Tandi Hartle said...

You aren't disagreeing with me, you are disagreeing with the Linus Pauling Institutes conclusions based on all the available scientific evidence to date! I am merely stating the conclusions of research NOT my own opinions. I DO NOT support green smoothies or juicing of spinach or kale on any regular basis at all because it does concentrate the amount of these foods and removes the fiber and other beneficial aspects of the veggie and you absolutely could have issues concentrating these foods in your diet through smoothies and juicing but that does not negate the fact that research has ONLY found negative effects in combination with iodine stated that you started eating seaweeds which contain iodine so you just confirmed what I is funny that people get all upset without FULLY add iodine to your diet, reduce cruciferous veggies and say that you disagree with me when in fact you did exactly what I was eluding to, you may well have been iodine deficient.