Tag Archives: Dr. Galitzer

ME & MY THYROID – We’ve Been Battling

DISCLAIMER – I am not a doctor and do not pretend to be.  The post below discusses MY personal health and the course of action decided by my doctors and I.  Please seek consultation with a trusted medical professional regarding any health issues you may be experiencing.  

I thought I would get a little personal today.  I have been on thyroid medication since I was 20 years old which means that I am going on 17 years now.  My hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) was discovered at the same time my endometriosis was.  For years my thyroid had been functioning properly on medication and then as the years went on my medication was slowly and steadily increased as my regular (every 3-6 months) blood tests indicated that I needed more.

For the last three years my thyroid has been indicating that it is absorbing less and less of the medication.  We (my doctor and I) finally reached a point where we did not want to increase my medication any further (thyroid medication can increase bone loss).

It was time to investigate every possible reason why my thyroid might be reacting poorly.  We needed to figure out what we could do to help my all important thyroid function as well as possible.  I have now been following this protocol for the last 3 months and just had my blood re-tested May 7th, so I am very curious to see the results.

The list below is one I compiled from both of my doctor’s recommendations concerning what to AVOID if you are experiencing hypothyroidism.

AVOID

  1. Refined Sugars & Grains – Replace with whole grains and whole foods.
  2. Limit Alcohol If you must drink (no more than 1 50z. glass per day), red wine is preferred.
  3. Gluten / Dairy – For those with unexplained or auto-immune related thyroid disease, eliminating gluten and dairy is oftentimes met with good results.  According to my doc, “A variety of food antigens could induce antibodies that cross-react with thyroid hormone, particularly during times of stress.”
  4. Millet – UPDATE…I JUST LEARNED ABOUT THIS FROM A COMMENT ON CRAZY SEXY LIFE.  The comment read…  “In listening to a recent podcast with Chris Kresser & Chris Masterjohn, millet was discussed – “the most goitrogenic food in the world is millet, and this could be a problem if people are getting rid of gluten and they start eating a lot of gluten-free bread that’s made from millet, for example. And millet basically inhibits every step of thyroid metabolism, and high iodine intakes cannot overcome the effect of millet.”
  5. Estrogen Containing Medications – i.e. the pill.  These decrease your body’s intake of T-3.  Antihistamines and Sulfa drugs aggravate the problem.
  6. Table Salt  – Use unrefined salt i.e. Centic Salt that has naturally occurring minerals.  Dulse and kelp powder can be used in place of salt (they are rich in iodine which is good for the thyroid).
  7. City Tap Water – Most contains fluoride and chlorine which may reduce thyroid function by competing with iodine and blocking iodine receptor sites in the thyroid gland.  If possible switch to spring water for cooking and drinking.
  8. Iron – If you take thyroid medication, AVOID consuming iron 1 hour before and after taking your medication.
  9. RAW Foods That Prevent the Utilization of Iodine – i.e. turnips, cabbage, mustard, soybean, peanuts, pine nuts, and millet (when cooked these foods are inactivated)
  10. RAW Goitrogenic Foods* –    i.e. soybeans, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower), spinach, kale, peaches, and pears.  THESE FOODS MUST BE COOKED to deactivate the goitrogens.  *Goitrogenic Foods are naturally occurring substances in some foods that inhibit the fundtioning of the thyroid gland.  

Fortunately 1, 2, the dairy portion of 3, 4, and 5 are recommendations I was already following.  However, I have been guilty of occasionally cooking with tap water (due to impatience…it takes FOREVER for the reverse osmosis faucet to fill a big pot) and for the last few years I have been consuming a lot of of RAW spinach, kale, and pears as well as lesser amounts of the other goitrogenic foods…they were in regular rotation too.  I also have to wonder how much my food allergy to oats and occasional consumption of gluten containing foods contributed to my thyroid not absorbing my medication as it should have???

I have read so many conflicting positions with regards to thyroid health and soy.  Some experts say that consumption of soy is fine in any form when you have hypothyroidism and others say that it is fine only when cooked. I have opted to remove soy from my diet for the time being.  I am a person that will do all I can to try and assist my body in it’s effort to heal and this seems like the safer choice for the time being.  Do I think soy is a “bad” food?  No.  If I wasn’t experiencing a problem with my thyroid gland I would be consuming soy.

Now onto the positive list…what you can do / add to your diet to assist your body in its quest to heal your thyroid (These recommendations are for HYPOthyroid).

DO – 

  1. Exercise It stimulates the thyroid.
  2. Supplement with Tyrosine (500-1,000 mg/day) – Tyrosine stimulates the thyroid gland by facilitating the production of Norepinephrine.  Tyrosine can also alleviate dry skin and hair loss when caused by hypothyroidism.  To be taken on an empty stomach.
  3. Eat Iodine & Tyrosine Rich Foods –  Avocados (not too much, they are high fat), sesame seeds, almonds, apricots, molasses, oats (I’m allergic), sea vegetables, and cranberries.
  4. Foods Rich in Vitamin E, Zinc & B12 – Vegan Vitamin E foods – whole grains, nuts and seeds, turnip greens, tomatoes, pine nuts, peanut butter, wheat germ (I’m avoiding gluten), avocado.  Vegan foods high in zinc – toasted wheat germ, sesame seeds & tahini, roasted pumpkin & squash seeds, dried watermelon seeds, dark chocolate & cocoa powder, & peanuts (must be cooked…see above AVOID section).  B12 supplementation needed when vegan.
  5. Eat Carotenoid Rich Foods – Winter squash, carrots, mangoes, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes.
  6. Eat Vitamin-A Rich Foods & Adequate Omega-3s – Vitamin-A foods are paprika, red pepper, cayenne, chili powder, sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy vegetables, butternut squash, dried herbs, lettuce, dried apricots, cantaloupe.  There are vegan Omega-3 supplements available.
  7. Eat Olives – Olives have shown an enhancing effect on the thyroid.  Eat 5-10 olives a day.  I have been eating 5/day.
  8. Eat Organically Grown Unprocessed Fresh Food – Enough said.
  9. Supplement with Selenium – Conversion of T4 to T3 is dependent upon many nutritional agents, most notably selenium, as well as an overall balanced endocrine system.  Vegan Food Sources – Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, bran (wheat, rice & oat)

This is the protocol I have been following.  I am very curious to see how my body has reacted and what my blood tests reveal.  I have always felt strongly that it is our responsibility to take care of the body we were gifted with.

While doctors can give us advice, they can’t make the changes for us.  I feel very fortunate to have forward thinking doctors that involve me in my health care.  I so appreciate that my doctor did not just UP my thyroid medication.  She realizes that there are possible changes that can be made and that we should make those changes and follow-up to see the results.  She also knows that I am a patient that WILL do EVERYTHING in her power to help my body heal.

Fingers crossed xxxxx

Click HERE to view the post where I updated my progress.

Image courtesy of Flickr‘s The Commons

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Filed under Education, Vegan, Vegetarian

SRC – PEANUT BUTTER GRANOLA BARS (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oat Free)

My how time flies!  Somehow it is already May and brochures have started coming in the mail for summer camps, etc.  I don’t feel ready to plan the summer yet.  I LOVE having my kiddos home with me, but I am sitting here wondering what the heck happened to winter???  Time needs to slow down a bit.

A new month means another Secret Recipe Club assignment and this month’s was a good one.  I was assigned the blog, An Opera Singer in the Kitchen which got me all excited because I had already spent quite a bit of time surfing Noelle’s blog prior to even being assigned it.  We both share similar food styles (she has a fondness for vegan food) and both of us are very into the health aspects of food, so this is a great pairing for me (Click HERE to learn more about Noelle).

There were a LOT of recipes I wanted to try; Fluffy Pumpkin Biscuits, Farmhouse Veggie Burgers, Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic & Mint (A post she did for SRC), Lasagna SoupI could go on and on.

When i sat down to make my final decision I was in a sweet / crunchy kind of mood and decided to make the recipe she posted for Peanut Butter Granola Bars since it looked so AMAZING.  I have always loved peanut butter and I am a granola monster, so I knew this would be a winner.  I had a truckload of gluten-free oats in the pantry, so I thought I was all set to make this recipe and then I found out…I am ALLERGIC TO OATS!!!  I had been suspecting this for a while and during my last appointment with Dr. Galitzer I had him test me and he informed me that my body REALLY doesn’t like oats.

Despite my new found knowledge that I have an oat allergy, I was bound and determined to make this granola bar recipe because I had my heart set on it, so I lugged myself to Mother’s Market on a quest for quinoa flakes.  When I got there I was pleasantly surprised to discover Eden Organic’s Short Grain Brown Rice Flakes (Roasted & Rolled).  These puppies looked very similar to rolled oats.  Score!  They are harder than rolled oats, but that is easily rectified by adding a little bit of liquid.  I made the recipe as listed below with my notes in red.  The next time I make these granola bars (you’d better believe there will be a next time, and a next time, and a next time), I plan on adding 1/4-1/3 cup of liquid (water, fresh juice, nut-based milk) to soften the brown rice flakes even more.

This recipe was a winner…

Peanut Butter Granola Bars
makes 18 bars

1 1/2 cups rolled oats (1 1/2 cups Eden brown rice flakes)
1 cup puffed brown rice cereal
3/4 cup puffed millet cereal (3/4 cup quinoa flakes)
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 cup dried sweet cherries (3/4 cup raisins & 3/4 cup dried cherries)
3/4 cup brown rice syrup
3/4 cup Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds (organic peanut butter)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line a medium baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray with coconut non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients.

In a small bowl add the peanut butter and the brown rice syrup. Place in microwave for 30 seconds (or heat in a saucepan on the stove over low heat…I would add the extra liquid at this point too).

Add the warmed wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well until evenly distributed.

Pour the mixture on a lightly greased baking sheet or casserole dish. Pat until evenly distributed.  I pressed the granola mixture down as evenly and flatly as I could and then placed an identical pan on top and pressed that down to compact it further and even it out as much as possible.

Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool for 5-10 minutes. Using a knife, cut into 4×2 inch bars.

NOTE – I accidentally dropped the pan when I was flipping it onto the cutting board (oops!).  The pieces that I couldn’t rescue and make into bars became granola.  I broke them up into a pan and baked them for another 7-10 minutes…delicious!!!

Cool completely and then wrap individually in Saran Wrap or store in a glass container (glass mason jar works perfect for the granola.



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Filed under Breakfast, Cookies / Bars, Dessert, Energy Bars, Gluten Free, Grains, Kid Friendly, Quick, Recipes, Secret Recipe Club