Letters to the Editor – June 2016

Readers Respond to Thyroid Success Story
[Re: “How I Healed My Thyroid by Taking Charge of My Health”; April 2016 issue]

Broccoli and Thyroid?

I read Mary Maciel Pearson’s article “How I Healed My Thyroid” about thyroid disease. I also have a hyper thyroid. Mary wrote that she ate a lot of broccoli and cauliflower to suppress her thyroid. Is this also good for me with a hyperthyroid, or not? I am a bit confused. Would you please clarify about these vegetables.

With best regards,
Mohammed Akram (Markham, Ontario)

Mary Pearson Responds:

Raw broccoli, cauliflower, bok choi, kale and other cruciferous vegetables contain the substance thiocyanate, which in very high concentrations, can interfere with adequate iodine nutrition and suppress thyroid function.

While it may help someone with a hyper thyroid, it can be very harmful for the majority of thyroid sufferers who struggle with an under- active thyroid. It’s a classic example of one man’s food being another man’s poison.

While it did help me in the short term to suppress my thyroid, I no longer eat raw cruciferous vegetables and I am concerned about the large amounts of raw kale that people are consuming in smoothies.
Mary Maciel Pearson

Link Between Depression and Thyroid Problems?

This letter is in response to the article “How I Healed My Thyroid” by Mary Maciel Pearson. Her success story was like reading the story of my life.

When I was younger I was on medication for depression and anxiety and I’ve always struggled with feeling overwhelmed at times. I have been off any sort of medication and never touched a Tylenol for the past 20 years. I am 26 years old now and I have had two unmedicated births, my second being at home and quite overwhelming.

During my second pregnancy, things were pretty stressful just from everyday life, and near the end of the pregnancy I noticed the exact symptoms you described in your article. Some of the symptoms you had gone through had been plaguing me for years but to a lesser degree. Primarily I had very bad bowel movements, heart palpitations, neck pain, anxiety. I was back and forth to doctors but no one could figure it out.

After the birth of my second son the issues got dramatically worse. My stress was off the charts and this is when my throat became really tight on a daily basis. I went to the doctor who felt nodules as well, I had blood work done to test my thyroid which came back normal, and he sent me to have an X-ray. I was so anxious and sure I had cancer. I ran to my car crying thinking that life was over, I must have cancer, but I didn’t want to go back and deal with doctors any more. That was my breaking point.

I went home and did some searching online. I found a group of people who had very similar experiences and it sounded like I had (have) what is called Globus Sensation (a tightening of the throat which can be caused by endocrine disorders or excessive stress). It was a relief to find a diagnosis for a disorder which has since subsided quite a bit. To this day it is not nearly as bad as it was, but I still have issues with my digestive system on and off and my throat still feels as if I have a lump in it and like I am able to actually move my throat muscles (as strange as that sounds).

Your article has really shined a new light on what might truly be going on. Maybe it really is a thyroid issue. It also makes me think that maybe pregnancy and stress, and hormones being thrown all over the place, really have a big part to play.

My youngest is one year old now and since his birthday we have drastically changed our lifestyle. We follow everything that you have mentioned in your article, as well we have gone raw vegan. My husband left his job to stay home with the kids and I work an average of four hours a day from home as a private music teacher.

God has played a significant part in all of this, continuously leading me to answers and giving me peace I cannot describe. My stress is virtually gone but I still have these symptoms that tell me there must be more and I am SO thankful I read your article. I think this is something that needs to be addressed much more often because neither I, nor my doctors, would have ever thought that my symptoms could be caused by a thyroid issue.

I hope I can continue to find ways to heal, or maybe I’m on the right track and just need more time. I thank God for you and that you have found healing! Please continue to speak about this.
Anya Grace Pashka (Richmond, B.C.)

Mary Responds:

Anya, thank you so much for taking the time to read and to respond to my article. Glad it was of some help.

A word of caution because I care. Although I do not know enough about your constitutional type, upbringing, or supplementation regime, I must express some concern about you having gone raw vegan. I do highly recommend a sustainable plant-strong dietary approach, but it is tough to absorb sufficient protein, B12, iron, omega 3 and fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E & K) on a raw vegan diet, especially during Canadian winters. While this way of eating can be a great temporary antidote to the standard American/Canadian diet, at your age and stage of life, this diet may leave you and your young family nutrient-deprived.

I highly recommend Dr. Kelly Brogan’s book A Mind of Your Own. Dr. Brogan is an MIT cognitive neuroscience graduate, has her medical degree from Cornell, and is board certified in psychiatry and integrative holistic medicine. She too, experienced thyroid issues after childbirth. Her book will empower you, and others struggling to heal themselves.
Mary Pearson

(Editor’s note: Interested readers can order A Mind of Your Own (HarperCollins 2016) through amazon.com, or look for it in your local bookstores, or visit https://kellybroganmd.com)

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