But I have to say, that while I know that Oprah has regularly featured menopause expert Dr. Christiane Northrup, I'm quite concerned that Northrup may be the only expert Oprah features on the show, especially if they're going to to talk about thyroid disease. Northrup is a major promoter of soy for women in perimenopause and menopause, and at her website and in her book "The Wisdom of Menopause," she regularly dismisses the various medical studies that show soy's negative effects on the thyroid, and instead says that they are wrong. Her evidence? Northup points to studies funded by the soy industry and paid consultants.
Northrup herself is a heavy soy user, and, suprise surprise -- she's hypothyroid.
Northrup also believes that we women are to blame for our thyroid problems, because, as she says at her website, "In many women thyroid dysfunction develops because of an energy blockage in the throat region, the result of a lifetime of 'swallowing' words one is aching to say. In the name of preserving harmony, or because these women have learned to live as relatively helpless members of their families or social groups, they have learned to stifle their self-expression." Adds Northrup: "It’s no coincidence that so many more women than men have thyroid problems. Thyroid disease is related to expressing your feelings..."
Does Oprah seem to be someone who has spent a lifetime of "swallowing" her words or stifling her "self-expression?"
I've long felt that Dr. Northrup's "advice" on thyroid disease -- not to mention her advocacy for soy -- actually causes more problems than it helps for some women -- and Oprah may not be immune.
If this "eat more soy" and "you brought it on yourself" theory of thyroid disease is the sort of information that Oprah and Dr. Northup plan to share, I'm going to be especially disappointed. I guess we'll have to tune in to find out.
Photo of Oprah Winfrey, June 2007: Peter Kramer / Getty Images