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Mary Shomon

Could Oprah Winfrey Really Be Cured of Thyroid Disease?

By January 8, 2009

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As far back as 2001, I was perplexed that Oprah never raised thyroid disease during her shows about depression, weight gain, menopause, infertility, and sex drive. So along with readers, we launched a campaign, Let's Raise Oprah's Awareness of Hypothyroidism. At that time, hundreds of people joined me in writing to Oprah to describe their thyroid experiences, and urge her to do a show on thyroid disease. More than 20 of those letters are featured here at the site, in Letters to Oprah.

Then in 2003, after Dr. Phil, in an appearance on Oprah to discuss weight loss, rather cruelly laughed at a woman's claim that she had gained weight due to a thyroid condition, we again raised the issue. I wrote, Dear Oprah: Why Are You Ignoring Thyroid Disease?.

After watching Oprah gain back the weight she'd lost in recent years, she announced in the fall of 2007 that she had developed a thyroid condition. She reported that she had to go to four different doctors before one recognized that she had a thyroid condition. (Meanwhile, her viewers and my readers had been contacting her for years, suggesting she have her own thyroid checked.)

At the time she announced her diagnosis, she had as her guest Dr. Christiane Northup, and Dr. Northrup and Oprah discussed how thyroid conditions develop in women due to an inability to speak out, and that rest, stress-reduction, mind-body approaches, and nutrition -- including adding soy to the diet -- would resolve a thyroid condition like Oprah's.

In the year that followed, we watched as Oprah continued to gain weight, until more than a year later, she went public with the fact that she had reached 200 pounds. She claims that her thyroid condition caused her to give up, as she was told by a doctor that she must "embrace hunger" and that she would no longer have any metabolism. Surprisingly, she appears to have believed that doctor's dismal assessment wholeheartedly, and said that she then decided that if everything she ate would make her gain weight, she'd eat anything she wanted.

On her show this past Monday, January 5, 2009, Oprah Winfrey discussed her weight challenges, claiming that her weight gain is not about her thyroid, but is a symptom of a life out of balance. She says that in 2009, she plans to start losing some of the 40 pounds she has gained in the past two years by practicing self-love and following her trainer Bob Greene's diet and exercise plan.

It's interesting, however, that Oprah breezed past her thyroid discussion, except for dropping one bombshell. Oprah said she is "cured" of her thyroid problem.

Oprah has never clearly explained what specific thyroid problem she was diagnosed with, but has suggested that she started out with an overactive thyroid, which then shifted to underactive. In both conditions, however, she said she gained weight. This shift from hyperthyroid to hypothyroid, with weight gain, is consistent with the autoimmune disease Hashimoto's thyroiditis. She said that she received treatment -- we can assume it was thyroid hormone replacement medication -- and that she decided to stop treatment.

As anyone who has a thyroid condition knows, thyroid conditions are treatable. But most thyroid disease is not "curable." And there is a difference. You can give thyroid hormone medication to help replace missing hormone, but that treats the symptoms. It does not cure the underlying problem. Whether it's thyroid cancer, Graves' disease, Hashimoto's disease, nodules -- again, treatments typically resolve the symptoms, and allow patients to return to normal as much as possible. But rarely do we see a "cure" of the underlying disease itself.

So all week, I have been getting letters from readers, wanting to know what Oprah is talking about. If she really is "cured," how did she do it, and why isn't she sharing it with the millions of other thyroid patients who haven't been cured. Did she ever even have a real thyroid problem in the first place? Could she have a thyroid problem that is in remission right now? Or, is she getting astonishingly bad advice, and making bad decisions -- and it's likely to have a negative on her health and her efforts to lose weight going forward?

So, given that Oprah isn't being forthcoming regarding her thyroid diagnosis or how she has achieved her "cure," we are left to speculate the answer to a question: What really IS going on with Oprah and her thyroid? Here are my theories.

1. Oprah May Be in the TSH Normal Range

It's obvious that Oprah still has clinical signs of hypothyroidism. She is overweight, her face is puffy, her neck appears to be somewhat enlarged, and she says that she is struggling with fatigue, and some depression -- all these symptoms are consistent with a thyroid condition. But since Oprah is claiming that her thyroid is "cured," it's possible that her thyroid tests that previously showed abnormal levels are now showing levels in the "normal" range.

Does this mean Oprah is cured? No really, because someone with a thyroid condition who has test results that are "borderline" can fluctuate in and out of the TSH "normal range."

It also depends on what TSH reference range Oprah's doctors use. The outdated range -- .5 to 5.5 -- is still the range used by most labs and many doctors. While the newer, recommended range of .3 to 3.0 has not been adopted by many physicians. That means, patients with a TSH of 3.0 and higher are often told that their thyroid is "normal."

Also, if Oprah has Hashimoto's disease, she may have thyroid symptoms for a number of years, with "normal" or borderline TSH levels, and elevated antibodies. But research has shown that treating patients who have elevated thyroid antibodies -- even if the TSH level is normal -- may help relieve symptoms, and slow or stop the progression to overt hypothyroidism.

2. Oprah May be In Remission

It's possible for someone with Hashimoto's to go into remission. As an autoimmune disease, Hashimoto's can be considered relapsing and remitting in some patients -- when antibodies elevate, symptoms become more troublesome, but if antibodies are lowered, symptoms abate.

It's not common, but some patients who are extremely dedicated to holistic approaches can, with nutritional, lifestyle, and mind-body approaches, calm their autoimmune reaction, and move into remission with Hashimoto's disease. Typically, however, it's a process that requires a serious commitment of time and effort, work with knowledgeable holistic experts, major dietary changes, and a variety of supplements.

Could Oprah's program of trips to Hawaii, lots of soy milk, "expressing herself" and opening up her throat chakra -- and other approaches she may be implementing but has not publicly shared -- calm her autoimmune disease and move her into a remission -- meaning that her TSH tests are normal and antibodies are lowered or normal? It's possible.

But, let's be clear. That's not a cure. It's a remission.

Is remission likely? No. In fact, Oprah's overconsumption of soy foods, her high-stress lifestyle, and the fact that she's also going through menopause -- a time of added hormonal shifts -- is likely to put further strain on her thyroid, and worsen her thyroid problem over time.

3. Oprah May Have Transient Thyroiditis

It's not common, but some people have a condition known as transient thyroiditis. This is a temporary inflammation of the thyroid -- sometimes caused by a virus -- that resolves itself over time.

Transient thyroiditis doesn't typically go on for several years, or cause 40 pounds of weight gain, so it's not especially likely that this is why Oprah is claiming she's cured.

4. Oprah May be in Denial

As humorist Jody LaFerriere said in her Open Letter to Oprah, "I take my medication because that's what it is…medication meant to treat a disease. Perhaps that's part of the problem – you don't know you have a disease. I find it hard to believe a smart lady like you would not take it seriously if presented in that way. Unless you also believe that you don't need to treat things like kidney disease, gum disease, or mental illness?"

It's not likely that if Oprah were diagnosed with another autoimmune disease -- like multiple sclerosis, or rheumatoid arthritis -- that she would refuse medication. But she seems to be comfortable refusing medication and treatment for thyroid disease. The reason? I suspect it's because thyroid disease has a stigma -- the same stigma that we see time and time again, when comedians and advertisers use "thyroid problem" as a euphemism for "fat," or doctors assume that women who ask if they might have a thyroid problem are really just overweight, lazy, middle-aged women with "Fork in Mouth Disease," looking for something to blame or a pill to take.

Oprah's refusal to cover thyroid disease on her show, time and again, suggests that she has some sort of a mental block about thyroid disease. And her refusal to continue medical treatment for her thyroid disease again suggests that she can't or won't accept that she has a disease that requires treatment.

So, she may be refusing to take medication against medical advice -- and refusing to take prescribed thyroid medication can have a number of negative side effects.

Or, she may be borderline, where a doctor offers her the option of a "wait and see" approach, and she's waiting to see what happens. But again, refusing medication, or waiting to see what a borderline problem does is not being "cured."

What Should Oprah Viewers Think?

Oprah's viewers should understand that thyroid disease is rarely curable. Unless Oprah explains in detail what she's done to "cure" her thyroid condition, her claim that she is cured is questionable.

Stress reduction, mind-body treatments, and good nutrition are all incredibly helpful approaches to help achieve wellness. But for most people with thyroid disease, these approaches are part of an overall integrative program -- one that needs to include medical treatment and holistic/nutritional treatments -- for wellness.

And, finally, if you are overweight, and you have a thyroid condition that you're not treating, you are sabotaging your diet and weight loss efforts. You may find it difficult or impossible to lose weight until you get your thyroid properly treated. In fact, without proper thyroid treatment, you may continue to gain weight, despite diet and exercise.

The bottom line: Oprah may be a powerful and wealthy celebrity, but she's getting, and giving, unwise medical advice to millions of women with thyroid conditions. If you suspect you have a thyroid problem -- or you've already been diagnosed -- educate yourself about thyroid disease, but think twice about doing it at Oprah.com, reading O magazine, or watching Oprah.

MORE ON OPRAH WINFREY'S THYROID AND WEIGHT CHALLENGES

Read all of Mary Shomon's About.com Thyroid site coverage of Oprah Winfrey's thyroid condition here.

Photo: Getty Images Entertainment/Alli Harvey

Comments
January 8, 2009 at 10:04 pm
(1) Amy says:

Excellent article Mary. Certainly one of your best.

I find the reliance on TSH so asinine. TSH can lag behind symptoms for years. It is a myth to think a TSH can be used as a sole benchmark. Plus thyroid hormone in the blood is no indication that it is being converted properly to usable T3 or that it is getting into the cells. Areas of the body can be deprived of the hormone even as it circulates in the blood.

I know you know all of this. It’s just painful to watch Oprah and her doctor dismiss her visible hypothyroid symptoms and the unsuspecting American public buy into the well trod belief that “thyroid” is codeword for “excuse.”

January 8, 2009 at 10:27 pm
(2) Eliza says:

Dr. Oz was on Larry King this week along with Bob Greene and this is what he said:

“Dr. Mehmet Oz, Oprah’s medical adviser: She had Vitamin D deficiency. Why would that be shocking for a darker-skinned person who spends a lot of time in Chicago? If you’re watching this show right now, if you live in a Northern state, you are probably Vitamin D deficient. And then what does that cause?

It causes autoimmune problems. So for her, it takes your thyroid gland — which is like your thermostat in your house and it shifts it off kilter, so you can’t quite get the right temperature in your body.
And those things tend to lead to guess what –changes in the metabolism and weight gain.”

He seemed to indicte that Oprah was diagnosed as having autoimmune thyroiditis. If so, why on earth ws eating all that Soy? So, I guess we are to believe that condition can resolve on its own or be cured by Vitamin D. I know it us beneficial to thyroid, but a cure?

January 9, 2009 at 3:39 am
(3) Kin says:

Oprah has been struggling with weight issues for years. I honestly think she eats too much, because she lost a whole lot of weight a few years ago, only to put it back on again. She doesn’t seem to have a fatigue problem, as she keeps really busy and active. However, she surrounds herself with admirers…people who cater to her every whim. She needs someone who will tell her what she NEEDS to hear, not what she WANTS to hear. Sure, her metabolism is probably slower now that she’s getting older, and menopause can really mess up the hormones, so losing weight is harder, anyway. She probably figured she could lose the weight like she did before, without taking into account that she’s older now and has a slower metabolism. When she didn’t lose it, she probably believed it was a thyroid issue. I think she is getting some bad advice and she should be putting Mary Shomon on her show to straighten her out. haha Seriously, Oprah…don’t you want the truth?

January 9, 2009 at 4:59 am
(4) a.b. says:

Has Oprah done low carb? The study from Stanford validating this way of eating should be known by her support people. Low carb curbs hunger, making it so easy to eat less and improves insulin resistance issues.

January 9, 2009 at 5:28 am
(5) Lori says:

Thank you, Thank you…. I can not thank you enough for this article.I watched Oprah the other day when she said that she was “cured” of her thyroid conditon. I was waiting for an explanation ok, how in the world did you cure it, there are millions of people suffering from this disease and she just drops it like ,har, har I got cured and you didnt, tell us how you did it???? I felt like it was a slap in the face. I have suffered for years with this disease. I was finally diagnosed with “Hashimotos disease” after being on thyroid medication for hypothryroid for many, many years. It took about 2 years for the anitbodies to show up in my blood work. Thank god I have a great ANP that listened to me when I told her my medication was no longer working. The last two years waiting for that diagnosis was like I was losing my mind. My doctor thought I had it, I had all the symptoms but it took 2 years for it to show.
I am very blessed to have great doctors that help me now with this disease, I do it all and I have read everything I can possibly can to do the right thing so I can lead a normal life. How dare Oprah say she is cured and then just drop it! I am 47 and have been dealing with this for over 20 years, I was never able to have children, went thru years of the fertility rollercoaster ride with my husband of 22 years. I know I am not the only one they are millions of people suffering and if I knew the secret to curing thyroid diseases I would sure let everyone know about it!!! Sorry, this is just very emotional for me. I am going to have to write a letter to Oprah and pray that they take this seriously of how her comment the other day effected millions of people and I am sure not in a good way. I know I was so upsent, still am but I truly appreciate all you do and all your emails and articles. I have honestly found your emails to be most accurate to what I have gone thru and have me more than anything. Thank you again, I truly believe you are an angel disguised as a Thyroid specialist helping millions of people.
God Bless you!
Lori

January 9, 2009 at 6:25 am
(6) April says:

Your article certainly mirrors my own experience. I cannot understand why doctors like to rely only on TSH. The TSH is not a thyroid hormone, and reliance on the TSH test presumes that the HPA is fully functional.

I am a person who’s TSH does not work, and will normally test at 1.0 or less while the free t’s are below the normal range. Thank God I learned how to read my tests, so that I could find a doctor who learned basic hormonal downstream in med school.

I’m sorry for Oprah, because an untreated thyroid initiates many other diseases. It would be a shame if she ends up on medication for other diseases that were brought on or encouraged because of hormonal imbalance.

January 9, 2009 at 7:39 am
(7) Anne says:

Quite honestly, I feel it must be awfully hard on Oprah to be suffering publicly with weight gain and/or thyroid problems…and then have to submit to finger-wagging from all her fans and having her medical problems discussed on Larry King.

She may be simply repeating what her doctor may have told her; she could be taking the “best” advice money can buy but which we may disagree with. She, I’m sure, is doing her best, as are we, to deal with this devastating condition.

I have dealt with Hashimoto’s with a certain kind of energy work recommended by a psychic. Most people would groan with disapproval. But for me it works. Let Oprah find her own path in peace.

January 9, 2009 at 7:49 am
(8) Ginger says:

I was enraged while watching Oprah on Monday as she so casually touched on her own thyroid disease and her “cure”. It is disappointing that a woman of her intelligence and means makes such poor choices in this area of her health. I applaude many of her efforts in allowing the public into her personal challenges. I believe she is helpful to people. But to me, if she is not going to be fully forthcoming on thyroid issues, then she should have just kept this area of her personal life to herself. I wonder how thoroughly she has even researched thyroid disease.

Even Oprah cannot ignore the millions of us sufferers of thyroid disease if we make our voices heard. She now owes it to the public to give more complete information – even if she chooses not to recognize it for herself.

January 9, 2009 at 8:11 am
(9) Sharon says:

Mary, why don’t you call or e-mail Oprah and try to get through to her? I have been so frustrated this week watching her talk about her “cured thyroid disease.” I was yelling at the tv telling her she has lost her mind! What is wrong with Bob Green and Dr. Oz? Why aren’t they telling her the truth? Are they afraid that she won’t like what they say and take away their face time on her show? I think she’s finally gone off the deep end! My suggestion would be for her to have a show on thyroid conditions and have the audience filled with thyroid sufferers, both hypo & hyper. We would tell her a thing or two and not be afraid of what she thinks!

January 9, 2009 at 8:13 am
(10) Robbo says:

Oprah has the same problem many of us have, lousy doctors. Even though she has unlimited resources, she only goes for the celebrity Docs instead of the most qualified. They spend all their time on the talk show circuit, speaking engagements, writing books but are not true practitioners that are seeing sick people day in and day out.
Be thankful if you have a good Dr.

January 9, 2009 at 8:34 am
(11) Sarah says:

Yeah for Mary!!! What a great article. We should all email a copy to Oprah.Suggest she also reads Thyroid Power.

January 9, 2009 at 8:59 am
(12) susan says:

Mary, I was waiting for your article after watching only a portion of Oprah’s show this past Monday. Suffering from hypothyroidism myself, I became increasingly agitated as she spoke and refused to continue watching and listening. I absolutely agree she is in denial and wonder why, with her team of caregivers, she still isn’t dealing in reality on this subject, let alone, her disease. I am tempted to send her an email that I will no longer watch her show, which, by the way, I didn’t for the rest of the week. Susan

January 9, 2009 at 9:04 am
(13) Donna M. says:

After reading the thyroid article in Oprah’s January magazine, I sent them an email and complained that they never mentioned Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroiditis, the leading cause of hypothyroidism. Doctors will use terms like “hypothyroid” and “low thyroid” and “thyroid problem”, but will not mention Hashimoto’s to their patients.

Hashimoto’s is treated like a big taboo word that nobody is allowed to say. Why must doctors dumb down the diagnosis? If patients do not receive a correct diagnosis, how can they learn about their disease and make informed choices about treatment?

After my family doctor told me that I was hypothyroid, I researched it on the web. I found a lot of info about Hashimoto’s, but I thought it didn’t apply to me. I figured I must have some rare form of hypothyroidism that did not involve Hashimoto’s. When I consulted an endocrinologist, she didn’t say anything about Hashimoto’s either until I asked her point-blank. She said I probably have it, but she never did an antibody test. I plan to order a TPO test myself just to be sure (you can order your own tests on the web).

I watched Oprah’s thyroid show earlier this week, and once again, they NEVER mentioned Hashimoto’s. I heard Dr. Northrup use the C word (for a female body part) on a previous Oprah show, and but nobody can say the word Hashimoto’s on the show! This is unreal!

Oprah mentioned that her resting pulse is very low (I think she said 59 to 62bpm?), and Dr. Oz said this is in range for a highly trained athlete. But Oprah is no longer an athlete, she is someone who has fallen off the diet and exercise wagon, so a slow resting pulse says *hypothyroid* to me.

I was an avid runner for 14 years, and even when I was training for marathons, my resting pulse never got below 62. It wasn’t until my thyroid failed that my pulse got that low. Wake up, Oprah! Ignore those who pat you on the back for your “athletic” pulse, and resume your thyroid treatment!

January 9, 2009 at 9:12 am
(14) Elaine says:

Thank You Mary!
For all the work you have done educating us about hypothyroidism – and Thank You for writing this article about Oprah and her claim to be cured. I hope she gets a copy of your article. She is a disappointment to us all, I have been waiting for her to do a show since her claim of having a thyroid condition. Now people can finally see who she really is – human and a lady with too much influence and money. What a farce – I don’t put much stock into her or what she says. For too long people have been worshipping the ground she walks on, she isn’t anything special.

You are special Mary – helping all those who really need help and advice with all your research – Thank You and keep up the good work!

January 9, 2009 at 9:26 am
(15) Linda says:

I was diagnosed with ‘hypothyroid’ approximately 6 years ago after my diagnoses of Type II Diabetes. It does seem to be a disease that is diagnosed in conjunction with menopause. I was post menopause at the time of my diagnoses and also post hysterectomy (within months of hysterectomy)so seems like there could be a direct link between the 2. Would suggest research, but it being mainly a woman’s disease it won’t happen. My Internist just kind of blows me off whenever I question her about thyroid issues. She’s obsessed with my BP & weight issues & a bit concerned with my Diabetes issues, which fortunately are pretty well under control. I am almost certain I need an increase in my med because I’m starting to experience some new symptoms that were not problematic before but are now. I am going to start a new search for another doctor for myself. We only have 2 or 3 Endocronolists where we live and what I’ve read and heard they are questionable in their methods…..

So when Oprah mentioned a while back she had been diagnosed with thyroid I thought good now maybe there will be real discussions about the issues. I to watched her show and was both surprised and appalled when she mentioned she was ‘cured’! She has done a great disservice to all who watch her show and suffer from the disease. I agree with some of the comments on here, she needs to have several shows about the disease, clarify her comment and then do follow up shows on the subject.

January 9, 2009 at 9:36 am
(16) Patty says:

Mary great article…Thank you so much we all know its not to be “cured” Oprah as smart as she is you would think she would know this.
I have Graves’ and believe I have had it for a long time before I had one doctor question something…and run extra tests after compaining about my weight issues for a long time to many doctors. I persoanlly will never go to a regular MD. Give me enternal medicine doctor any day I’ve had great luck with him after many many different ones that just would not listen.

January 9, 2009 at 9:45 am
(17) butler612 says:

Thank you for clearing this up for me.

January 9, 2009 at 9:47 am
(18) Mary says:

Mary – Excellent article and you have certainly touched a raw nerve in me as to how Oprah and others in the medical profession treat women with thyroid issues. Oprah has the wrong people around her all hanging onto her famous and monied coat tails. Oprah hears what she wants to hear and has enough “yes-men” to bolster her and support her poor/bad choices. Her choice in choosing to ignore or thinking herself “cured” with her thyroid problems, could possibly kill her – does she not realize it? Plus, Oprah’s fans treat her as a goddess. She is doing them quite a disservice as too many listen to her as gospel truth and will follow her poor example/decisions.

January 9, 2009 at 10:25 am
(19) Vicki says:

Thank you for such a great article. I went to Oprah.com to try and say the same things. I watched the show and couldn’t believe what a disservice all-knowing Oprah was giving her audience. I feel bad for her but she definitely is getting some bad advice. Has anyone out there tried losing weight with phentermine? I have been using it, my endo gave it to me after trying for 3 months to lose weight. I have lost 27 pounds, it’s not magic, I still eat low-carb (fruits, veggies and meat) and exercise a lot. If I don’t stay on the plan I will gain weight. I would like some feedback from anyone else that has tried it. Mary, keep up the good work!

January 9, 2009 at 10:48 am
(20) Mo Green says:

Not being forecoming with her “cure” to me means she is saving it up for a some person/self to sell a forthcoming book!

I do wish her well! I would hate to have my weight battle be so public and talked about by everyone. “How-Big-Will-My-Butt-Get-This- Time”, is not something I would want anyone to make “book” about.

When I start to sing the “Size Two” blues song I’ve written, it is a very private thing done in my closet accompanied by the
can-I-get-in-my-pants dance. It starts like this: “I’m back in my fat pants again–trying to cover my rear end”. I would not want media coverage of this struggle to gain power over my posterior. Just because she has a
bigger-than-life persona doesn’t mean she should be big-for-life–just be honest about what is happening and DO, I repeat, Do find a good thyroid doctor she will listen to and follow their instructions if it is about thyroid.

January 9, 2009 at 11:01 am
(21) Jenny says:

Let’s face it – Oprah is a queen and is running her Empire. She has the money and the people at her beck and call to do whatever and whenever she wants. Her guests on the show always say what she wants to hear. If she doesn’t like it- she talks over them and gives them less time then her preferred guests and goes to commercial. Oprah will loose the weight – again – but I could loose 40 lbs too if I had someone paid to make my meals for me, clean my house and paid to tell me to exercise and keep with it.

What I am trying to say is she isn’t an example and its too bad she has so many people who follow her every word and way. Oprah is not the gospel truth. She is just a very smart lady who pays people to do things for her. Its time that people see that she isn’t an example , just because she says something doesn’t mean its the truth. We all need to be wiser and follow our own hearts and minds and when we have something that needs medical help or treatment its better to listen to those who have been educated or have researched it through to give us advice! Oprah is not that person.

January 9, 2009 at 11:20 am
(22) Carol says:

I also watched the Oprah show on Monday with much anticipation, hoping thyroid issues would be covered in depth. I waited and waited for more information but never got it. I had surgery to remove my thyroid and have Hashimoto’s. I did get this at age 53, just like Oprah, and was going through menopause at the time. My thyroid levels are checked every three months since 2003, and I’m always trying to find the “right dose.” It’s very difficult and I’ve noticed a defintie change from summer to winter. I ready your articiles, Mary, to inform myself and have read many books on the subject. Oprah definitely needs to inform herself!

January 9, 2009 at 11:26 am
(23) Joyce says:

We have given Oprah way too much power! She is a talk show host, not a doctor. Listen to your body, educate yourself, find a doctor who will listen to you, work with you to a right diagnosis and medication that will bring you back to feeling well and staying well. Please ladies, don’t rely on Oprah for your well being, that is not the answer!

January 9, 2009 at 11:40 am
(24) ibivi says:

You spend a deal of your time writing about Ms Winfrey. Frankly, Ms Winfrey is being rather irresponsible in her claims and actions regarding her health. She is self-diagnosing and not getting proper medical advice concerning her thyroid condition, if that is what she has. She certainly has the means to access the best health care available. That is what she should be doing instead of what she is doing now.

January 9, 2009 at 12:14 pm
(25) Denise says:

I read a few years ago that if you are hypothyroid, your body starts to deplete its normal reserves of vitamins. (I think it was a description of the endocryne system in an anatomy text book) In my case, it was B12.

My doctor told me that my vegetarianism had caused it and I needed a regular B12 shot from then on… *sigh* It wasn’t my vegetarianism! I had been vegetarian for years and years with perfectly normal B12 levels. It was my hypothyroidism! All I needed was a top-up on my B12 and for my meds to be adjusted.

It always ticks me off when the medical community cannot see the extent to which thyroid disease can affect your body’s normal functions.

I’ll bet that Oprah’s vitamin D deficiency was a result of her thyroid, and not the other way around.

BTW, we can’t blame Oprah for not getting all our messages to her. She said on her show that her staff had not given her those e-mails.

Maybe we should all register for her Best Life Health Webcast on January 13th, 2009, with Dr. Oz. Maybe someone make themselves heard.

January 9, 2009 at 12:32 pm
(26) Pam says:

I’ve been following Oprah’s shows on health and spirituality the past two years, since I’m now at home when her show is aired locally. Oprah has access to the most informed guests and cutting edge information money, power, and influence can command, and even if I don’t agree 100% with everything she or her guests say, I admire her greatly and have learned much from her shows in many areas. So I, like others of you here, gasped when she said she was cured. Like you, I waited for Oprah to reveal how, and when she rather flippantly dismissed it, I felt betrayed. Later I watched Dr. Oz on Larry King, and was quite amazed that his diagnosis of Oprah’s weight gain and malaise was due to a deficiency of vitamin D. If it were that easy, we’d all be cured once we took enough of that vitamin. Anyone who has dealt with thyroid disease knows how difficult it is to get it under control, and that it takes a willing advocate physician or specialist, the patient, time, commitment, and yes, some experimentation with dosage to again feel healthy mentally and physically. Oprah has matured and refined many of her views over time, and I suspect that she will do so on this issue as she gains more personal experience and insight. After all, it took going to four doctors who couldn’t or didn’t diagnose her tyroid condition, with one arrogantly dismissing her questioning by telling her “That couldn’t be it, we’d already have checked that”. If Oprah can be dismissed so easily, no wonder the rest of us struggle. Mary, please keep trying to reach out to Oprah on this issue. If she were to get behind this, many thousands of women the world over (and some men too) would be the benefactors.

January 9, 2009 at 1:34 pm
(27) appleks says:

I began eating some of the products that had soy lecithin as an indgredient. They kept me more full than a bar without any soy in it.

My TSH ramped up to a higher level and I began having the symptoms of sluggishness, puffy face & a little weight gain.

I read up on soy lecithin; I was eating around 10 to 15 grams of soy lecithin inmy Kashi products & lean cuisines. Too much soy can actually do something to the thyroid function. I think that unprocessed soy is safer to the thyroid than tofu in a cube.

I now steer clear of products that have soy in them.
I’m not a medical Dr., but I know that soy isn’t good for the underactive thyroid.

January 9, 2009 at 2:02 pm
(28) Karen says:

Thank you Mary, not only for this great article but for all you do with this website and helping others.

I just sent a copy of this article and a note to Oprah, maybe if enough people did, it would get their attention and as I suggested, Mary should be on a show she does on thyroid.

Bad, misleading information is worse than no information at all.

January 9, 2009 at 2:39 pm
(29) Fran says:

I was considered by my medical doctor 3 years ago that I was borderline hyopthyroid. My TSH was 5.2 but I had all the symptoms of full blown hypothyroid…went to another doctor who did a antibody test and I had Hashimotos.
A pill relieves some of the symptoms but diet and exercise has to be a daily lifetime goal to keep my weight down and sometimes it is hard to accept. Oprah is in denial…oh well.

January 9, 2009 at 2:50 pm
(30) Tish says:

I was shocked to see Oprah claim to be cured. I have emailed her so many times with never a reply over the past 10 years. She is in big time denial. I’m one of those who has flare ups and remissions, been that way for 30 years now. She needs to know the truth and you are the one, Mary, to tell her

January 9, 2009 at 3:15 pm
(31) Maggie says:

Hi Mary,
Many thanks for this article. I have been a follower of yours for such a long time now, and you keep me going and updated. Having Hashimoto’s and it taking Drs downunder about 2 years to listen to me and diagnose what I had. (They told me I needed to see a shrink and stop eating rubbish – My diet is A1 my partner and I even eat only organic veggies etc) It saddens me to see the
disservice Oprah is doing. So many Women in Australia follow this lady as though she is a God. She does wonderful works I agree HOWEVER, when she totally dis-empowers women with her stupid actions and comments on such a vital subject one has to wonder! I fought for 2 years ridicule from others and the medical profession until I got a diagnosis. I knew something was wrong, one does not gain 25kgs within 7 months without a good reason! I was strong enough to know I was Right on this issue. Other women may not be as strong. Keep up the good fight. I from Down-under will also ONCE AGAIN send Oprah a message. To all the other people who follow Mary as I do I say “United we stand, divided we fall” – it is so fabulous to see us all united. I send you all Love, Light and Understanding and say Mary once again THANK YOU!

January 9, 2009 at 4:17 pm
(32) Tracie Olin says:

I am not only saddened by Oprah’s unwillingness or fear of sharing her story regarding her thyroid condition, I am also extremely frustrated with the medical profession in general in regard to women’s health care issues, medical care, lack of knowledge regarding thyroid conditions as well as many other hormonal and glandular problems that affect women especially in mid-life. We are all quite aware and have been watching Oprah for years struggle with her weight, having the best physicians, resources, nutritionists and experts to assist her in all the best methods to acheiving health. Oprah is assertive and outspoken, so therefore the unwillingness to express “her words” I truly doubt has brought upon her thyroid condition, so are we too believe that rubbish? I don’t think so! After being diagnosed as a child with hypothyroidism, I spent 25yrs on .150 synthroid and had a very successful, active and rewarding lifestyle. As I went into menopause, I began having severe symptoms that something was terribly wrong. My physical healthm as well as appearance began to deteriorte significantly. I don’t need to tell those of you reading this what aggravating symptoms I was having, as I am certain you know all to well. All the information I researched in an effort to try to help myself, left me feeling depleted and exhausted, always pointed to hypothyroidism, yet doctors said my thyroid was fine. After visiting 6 different physicians, 2 of which took me off thyroid medication entirely, and replaced it with anti-depressents, the other 4 remaining changed my dose of synthroid ranging anywhere from .25 to .125 plus adding cytomel at various milligrams. All attempted to put me on unsafe HRT which I refused when all the negative facts were introduced. I have to say, that none of these physicians listened to my story, heard my symptoms, or took the time to investigate. I became so severely ill that I finally had to quit my job, of which I had built my career for over 15yrs and was in a high salary range and was continuing to climb the corporate ladder in hopes of retiring young and being financially secure. Not only was I physically ill, but severely mentally exhausted in my attempt to seek answers. I might add that the anti-depressants which I took for one year, gave me absolutely no relief. I finally stepped away from conventional medicine and after visits with many naturopath’s and thousands of dollars later, I have a sense of hope just this very week. I found a woman naturopath, who finally believed in more that “tsh numbers” and is assisting me on my journey to better health. There is much more to my story than I can relay in this message, but do hope that woman reading this will listen to their internal voice, trusting what it is saying, and continue to seek help in finding their thyroid solution. After 5 yrs of suffering and being at my lowest point, as of three day’s ago, I am taking 1/2 grain of Armour Thyroid and participating in acupunture to assist with my thyroid function. I can honestly say that I am feeling 45% better on this day than I did three day’s ago. I know this isn’t a quick fix and isn’t the end of my journey. Although I am not by any means completely healed, I finally have hope and believe I have found a physician who is supportive, hears what I say to her and truly wishes to help. I guess what I am saying to women who are advocate’s of Mary Shomon, is to continue your search for answers, but don’t depend on the media or physicians that truly do not have your best interest at heart, when you feel it’s time to move on, trust yourselves and make the necessary change in physicians regardless.
Sincerely, Tracie Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

January 9, 2009 at 4:35 pm
(33) ss says:

I was/am hypothyroid. I even had a positive titer for autoimmune disorder indicating Hashimotos. But, NO MORE. I read Suzanne Somers book “Ageless” and sought help from a qualified age-management, (often called anti-aging doctor) for my many hormonal symptoms including weight gain. I got bio-identical hormone replacement therapy as well as all natural nutritional supplements because every measurable level in my body was deficient. I lost all my weight in a few months from a 14 to a 4. My blood results are now all in the normal range. I feel great. I did this almost 2 years ago and I continue to improve. I have significantly reduced my thyroid supplementation as my tsh levels have dropped to the point of being almost too low. I eat right, exercise and enjoy life again.

I never believed the feeling of being “normal” would ever be possible again. But perhaps it is. It was for me. Perhaps the real problem is the doctors. After all, doctoring has gone from a helping people feel better movement to a highly profitable make as much money as possible in as little time as you can type of business. I highly recommend anyone with thyroid or weight issues read “Ageless” and seek treatment. It is expensive. My medical insurance didn’t cover any of it. So I used my retirement money. I honestly didn’t think I would live to retire in my pre-bioidentical hormone supplementation state, I honestly did not want to. So I took matters into my own hands and sought answers at the library and on the web and managed to change my quality of life.

I now have no doubt that from a wellness point of view I can and probably will live well into my retirement age.(Providing no major accidents occur, of course.) But, if nothing else, I now feel good enough to want to live well into the aged years.

I know that the pharmaceutical companies are trying to make bio-identical hormone replacement therapy go away by lobbying congress with information saying that it is bad for us. But this is all about money. The pharmaceutical companies are losing a great deal of money because people like me are reversing illness and improving their lifestyles with these hormones an no longer need their prescription medications. Face it, the pharmaceutical companies make a great deal of money off of sick people. They don’t want us well! If we get well, they lose money. It time for us to wake up and take matters into our own hands, like I did and get well.

January 9, 2009 at 5:00 pm
(34) Terri says:

I rarely watch Oprah, there’s just too much hype, and frankly she comes across to me nowadays as anything but sincere.

I did happen to be home nursing a cold the other day when Oprah came on, with her guest Dr. Oz, discussing her quite noticeable 40 plus pound weight gain. I was STUNNED with her lack of discussion of her thyroid “condition” and her pronouncement that she is “CURED”. CURED??? This is a medical miracle and she just blew it off??? Hummm… Something strange there, and no correction or little comment about the poor treatment or condition from the good physician, Dr. Oz?

IMO, Oprah is playing with fire here. Her denial of her thyroid disease is stunning, and at the same time it is a huge disservice to her viewers!

Wasn’t it Dr. Oz who a few years ago did a heart scan on Oprah, on the show, which showed she already had a fair amount of plaque? That was well before menopause… quite early for that much plaque to develop in a woman. Doesn’t he/she know that untreated hypothyroidism can be like throwing gasoline on a fire, at least as far as coronary plaque growth and coronary artery disease are concerned?

I don’t want to hear any more about Oprah’s chakra, or her weight gains, or Heaven forbid, her heart attack! I just want to see her get appropriate treatment for her thyroid condition, and to use her show as a forum for the honest dissemination of the BEST medical information available. Until that happens, watching Oprah is for me like watching a train wreck waiting to happen, and that I don’t wish to view.

I wish her the best with her “cure”, but I don’t think anyone has heard the last on thyroid issues from Oprah. Eventually she will be forced to face the truth and to get real treatment… hopefully she won’t have to struggle as much as we all have.

January 9, 2009 at 6:07 pm
(35) Andrea says:

I feel great empathy and sympathy for Oprah; I agree that it must be painful for her to deal with her weight gain in public. She needs time to psychologically untangled what was a helpful medical explanation from an excuse to go hog-wild with her food addiction. At the same time, her self-proclaimed commitment and sense of responsibility to her viewers – as well as to herself – to educate with balance and accuracy seems not to be in focus; her thyroid condition is incredibly unlikely to be “cured” and I felt, despite my sympathy, pissed at the self-delusion of her message and the inherent devaluation of the suffering of others with diagnosed (like me) and undiagnosed thyroid disease.

One theory, Mary, that you did not mention is the possibility that Oprah’s medical condition may be something else, or something more, she is unwilling to share with the world – something like major depression, which has, in my estimation, a whole lot more stigma attached to it than hypothyroidism.

Despite being a big fan, her apparent ignorance and/or denial of medical reality was a disappointment to me.

January 9, 2009 at 6:16 pm
(36) Bernice says:

I was hyper, had all the symptons, loss of weight, hair, heart palpatations(not sure about spelling)finally got an appt with endo.and had radioactive iodine then went hypo and have been on medication ever since 2002. No known cure for thyroid disease as far as I know, so in my opinion, Oprah never had thyroid disease.

January 9, 2009 at 7:05 pm
(37) P Clemens says:

I don’t think Oprah cares that she doing damage to those of us who do have thyroid issue. I have tried for many years to get her to at least say that people like me exisit. Oprah is in a happy little bubble saying that people choose to gain weight. That thyroid is a cop out…. Will she ever learn? I think not.

January 9, 2009 at 8:32 pm
(38) Amy says:

You wouldn’t believe how many people are confused over at oprah.com. Just think. It was Oprah’s viewers, fellow patients, who alerted Oprah to a diagnosis her Drs were missing and now they are left in the dark about her supposed “cure.”

They won’t let one post links at Oprah.com, so I tried just letting people know they could google Mary Shomon’s name to find this informative article and the Moderator cut her name out of my post entirely. I couldn’t believe it. So much for trying to help people become informed.

January 9, 2009 at 10:04 pm
(39) Lori says:

I left an earlier comment, I too watched the show the other day when Oprah said she was “cured” of her thyroid problem, and was left in shock when she dropped it and said no more…

I just left a message on her website and begged them to PLEASE not leave so many people that suffer from this disease just hanging out there and do another show with more detailed information.

I too thought I was cured at one point during my 23 years of hypothyroid disease and went off my medication because I became hyper with the heart palputations, night sweats, insomnia… it was the wrong thing to do believe me dont do this without having blood tests done to check your levels and talk to your doctor. I spiraled down so low it took my body a year to recover. I had to get blood tests done every week and change my dosage of synthroid medication many times, at least 5 times. I also had the diagnosis of Hashimotos which alot of people know is a roller coaster ride at first to get your medication at the right dosage.

At one point my blood tests said I was hyper when I could not even function, I was depressed and just getting out of bed and getting dressed was almost impossible.

Luckily I have great medical doctors and Nature path doctors that listen to me and I am now doing well. I have not had to change medication for about 8 months now so I finally feel I am in control, but not without alot of hard work, by educating myself, reading and reading more.

Thank you to Mary for her articles, I find the informtaion she has more accurate for what I have been thru. I wish I would have found her website earlier on and I probably could have avoided my spiral. But we all live and learn.

After alot of thought on this I now believe that Oprah is feeling better and her blood tests probably say she is where she should be, so she thinks she is cured, that would be great if that is what is really going on.

January 9, 2009 at 11:35 pm
(40) Bentley says:

I do know that it is possible for hashimoto’s to remit, even go away forever, but it is rare. Maybe one in eight people with it or less have this occur.

My guess is that Oprah had the same trouble I had with thyroid meds–T4 made me feel worse than no meds at all. I even stopped taking them after six months, not realizing I should have consulted my doctor. Later when I got sicker and sicker and went back to the doctor was when I finally learned that not only did I have to keep taking them, I was supposed to come back for followup blood tests. I felt sicker because the more T4 I took, the lower my T3 got. Finally I found a doc who would give me both T4 and T3 and I no longer felt sick on the thyroid medication.

It is not easy to adjust from thinking of oneself as vibrant and healthy to accepting that one must deal with a chronic disease. It is probably easier for Oprah to declare herself cured, especially since she has been hanging out with people like Dr. Phil who have a dim appreciation of how debilitating thyroid trouble can be.

She is going through the roller coaster, like we all did when we were first diagnosed. She is probably not cured, but she likely does no understand that yet.

January 10, 2009 at 4:24 am
(41) JP says:

I saw her show, and like many on this post, was annoyed by Oprah lack of discussion or more like denial on this subject.
How can this talk show host, who can have the best advice anywhere, be so ignorant. When she said “Cured”, it was her way that she didn’t want to discuss it. Why did she decide to have this best week, if she wasn’t going to explain, than deny that topic.
I can’t stand how her advice on this subject, to many people who watch, may stop their thyroid medication, because she claimed she’s “cured.”
The best cure for all of us, is to stop listening to this woman. I still can’t believe what she said, and being hypothryoid with hasimotoes disease for the last 5 yrs, is annoying to have someone like Oprah, be uneducated and misinform about this subject.

January 10, 2009 at 9:57 am
(42) Melanie says:

THANK YOU Mary!!!!!!!! Ever since I watched that show i’ve been what the heck is Oprah talking about and your article read my mind and gave me some answers as to what could be going on here. Your article was so validating for me.
thanks!

January 10, 2009 at 10:17 am
(43) Lisa says:

I totally agree with other people that your article is right on Mary. I used to watch Oprah all the time but she is so up and down on things she totally confused me. Also, since she is NOT a doctor I should not have listened to her. I am in the process of trying to get my medication regulated. One minute my thyroid is overactive, the next underactive. I drank soy milk for years and wondered why I was so bloated and did not feel good.Now I do not eat or drink any soy products. Keep up your good work Mary and let’s forget about Oprah. Money does weird things to people.

January 10, 2009 at 6:05 pm
(44) Greta says:

Take a look at the last page (p. 220) of the February issue of O Magazine, where you’ll find Oprah’s “What I Know for Sure” article. She says that she had her blood analyzed by a “gynecologist who specializes in hormones and antiaging” who has put her on bioidentical estrogen replacement therapy. This gynecologist told her, “Your hormonal tank is empty. That’s why you feel like your life force is being drained.” So she started taking the bioidentical estrogen that he prescribed, and, she says, “After one day, I felt the veil lift. After three days, the sky was bluer, my brain was no longer fuzzy, and my memory was sharper. She mentions her bout with hyperthyroidism in the article, but not her subsequent hypothyroidism. I think she’s implying that the estrogen is what got rid of the thyroid problem, but she makes no clear statement about this.

January 11, 2009 at 1:03 am
(45) Char Brooks says:

Hi Mary:

I just wanted to say – thank God for you!! You are so knowledgable on this issue – and for the life of me, I can’t understand how Oprah could run into such incompetence given all her knowledge and resources.
It is indeed unfortunate that so many people love her – as I do – and understand where she’s coming from.
In my humble opinion, she is dead wrong with respect to this thyroid issue and passing along potentially harmful information to her viewers.
My opinion of her has definitely changed since her “best life” series – I think the authorities she relies on are lukewarm at best, and some downright unknowledgable.
Knowledge is power and in her own way, at this point, by sharing her story and her “cure” she is hurting more than helping others – though I know that is not intentional.
I have to remember that she is doing the best she can in her life – it’s just not a match for your skills and expertise in this area Mary.
So, again, thank you for always presenting reliable and factual information – your voice is as Godsend.

January 11, 2009 at 9:55 am
(46) Kim says:

Hi

Thank you for your aritcle. I was quite upset with Oprah saying that she was cured. I am 45 years old had had my thyroid removed 30 years ago. I had Hashimoto’s, I was 13 when I started to get sick. My doctor did every test possible, everything was normal. Thank god my mum insisted on having me tested for thyroid at the urging of a family friend. The doctor said “sheis to young for that, but tested anyways. Thank god they did and within in days I was admitted into the hosptial, undergoing treatment,that was in the November.
Not only being 13 and having this condition, I was going through pubrity.
I went to a speaicalist in the April, and was informed that I had to have my thyroid removed.
What Oprah needs to learn is that no you can not be cured, it is a life long condition.
Thank you so much for writing this blog.

Kim Valentine

January 11, 2009 at 12:55 pm
(47) "eyesee" Linda says:

Thank you so much for this articulate discussion! Well said indeed. I’m three years into Grave’s Disease and I’ve poured over more books, more articles, and more personal stories in search of educating myself on the intracacies of thyroid disorders and especially Grave’s Disease. And trying to make sense of the misinformation too. Simply put, blanket statements such as “I’m cured” made by anyone, let alone famous celebrities, without so much as an explanation are irresponsible. Especially so when they are made without any explanation whatsoever as to what resulted in “the cure.”

I can appreciate the fact that Oprah has had significant weight challenges in her lifetime. And millions of people all around the world have born witness to this. That said, Oprah, of all people, has been very forthcoming with just about everything she has gone through in her life. Some very personal, and tragic, circumstances. If she truly ever had a thyroid issue, and I assume she really did, then why “hide” the rest of the story behind it now? It doesn’t make sense.

I agree with many of the commenters above–why drop it now when millions of people like us are left wondering not only, “what’d I miss?” but also where is she coming from dispensing this (mis)information?

I wrote to Oprah once on this issue and I’m compelled to write yet again. I encourage your readers here to do the same. Change can happen one person at a time.

Thank you again Mary for your passion when it comes to advocacy, information, education and more. We appreciate all that you do.

January 11, 2009 at 6:56 pm
(48) Karen S. says:

I’ve had Hashimoto’s since 1993. Thyroid cancer in 2000. Levels have been up and down, now finally stable. The best advice for everyone is to move your body even when you don’t feel like moving. This disease makes you feel like sitting all the time. Exercise, and you will feel better.

January 12, 2009 at 2:34 pm
(49) Ed Arnold says:

It’s quite possible that Oprah is being treated by a doc who says she’s fixed because her blood tests are normal. Of course, that’s not always true.

If she’s going to a conventional doc, he’s probably told her that all the stuff about basal temperature is bunk. But if she is still in the 2-bags-of-chips a day mode, someone ought to get her to check into the idea of Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome (WTSmed.com).

January 12, 2009 at 5:28 pm
(50) sheila coleman says:

I cured myself of thyroid disease, the doctors could not do it, so i set about doing it myself

January 13, 2009 at 4:49 am
(51) ibeji says:

Dear Mary,

in your otherwise excellent article you said that Ms. Oprah Winfrey was giving “unwise medical advice to millions of women with thyroid conditions”.

I would like to remind you and other readers that 20% of sufferers from a thyroid condition are male, which is not a negligible quantity in my opinion. ;-)

Especially since I am one of them.

Best regards and keep up the great work!

January 13, 2009 at 12:15 pm
(52) Nancy says:

Wow! I also was wondering what the heck she was talking about. Cured? I doubt it. What I can’t figure out is why someone who has access to the best medical care possible wasn’t diagnosed properly. My primary care MD always felt my thyroid, especially when I complained about the symptoms associated with hypothyroidism. He thought my thyroid might be slightly enlarged. Sent me to an endocrinologist and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. I also have a small node which is checked regularly with a thyroid scan. I take 88 mcg of Synthroid every day on an empty stomach (a lot of people don’t seem to be aware that you must take it on an empty stomach to get the optimum effect). Anyway, hope O gets with the program and stops denying what is so obvious.

January 13, 2009 at 12:21 pm
(53) Janet says:

Mary, I have been reading your newsletters and books for years and have found your information extremely helpful and supportive! I must say, though, that your approach to Oprah, both your previous campaign to get on her show and your current comments, have a negative and sarcastic attitude that isn’t going to win her over to your way of thinking. I don’t disagree with anything that you’ve said to and about her; it’s just the way that you have said it that I am concerned about. What’s the expression? You get more flies with honey than with vinegar. It surprised me before and does once again, that you haven’t approached this from your usual caring/wanting to help frame of reference. We thyroid patients need you as an advocate and for that reason I feel I need to “speak the truth to you”, as you have suggested that Oprah’s support people should do with her. Please don’t let the fact that she didn’t listen to you the first time (and put you on her show) influence the tone and attitude of the way you are trying to convince her to get appropriate treatment for herself and thyroid education for the rest of the population. Thank you for all your research, advice, and support. Keep up the good work. And keep it positive with Oprah, as you have done for the rest of us.

January 13, 2009 at 3:15 pm
(54) Kalle says:

Great article. I suffered hyperthyroidism as a teen and had half my thyroid removed. That was 30 years ago and I am still on levothyroids and yearly blood tests. I have my thyroid controlled, and I can live with that.
Oprah also said that she thought she was done with dieting and weight loss. THAT is her biggest problem. Like an alcoholic, she needs to admit that she has a weight problem and only then will she start to permanently remove the pounds. And if she has no self control, she should fire her trainer for letting her put the weight back on.

January 13, 2009 at 6:21 pm
(55) Carla Koykkari says:

I have fibromyalgia and Dr. Oz was on Oprah’s show and a woman in the audience was there by invite of Dr. Oz. She had went to a Chicago hospital and went to a Doctor who SUCCESSFULLY TREATS Fibromyalga. For anyone with Fibro, you know how few answers/txs there are for ‘us’. I am disabled and had 3 different people, 3 different times try to get info on name of this Chicago Dr. and the hospital. NO RESPONSE. I find this very irresponsible. It’s hanging a carrot out in front of very ill people and not doing what Oprah show claims — that they will answer all emails, etc.

January 15, 2009 at 8:07 pm
(56) Bea says:

Dear Mary,

thanks for your sage advice. it is unfortunate that someone as respected as oprah seems to be so misinformed about thyroid disease.it is frustrating to me,being in health care,that oprah could be influencing so many others to not treat, or ignore, their thyroid problem. i appreciate your website, and i recommend it to all of my patients. too bad oprah can not seem to heed your good advice. keep up the good work!!

July 6, 2009 at 4:49 pm
(57) Lotusdoll says:

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I’m not on medication but am presenting a large goiter which isn’t cancerous. My TSH levels are in the normal range so I’m not given meds but my doctor suggests surgery for the goiter. I’m refusing the surgery because every member of my family that’s had a similar surgery wound up more serious problems than before the surgery, including severe depression, heart disease and high blood pressure, despite medications for all. I’m exhausted more than not, going through menopause and have the 20 lb plus weight gain that won’t leave.
I take yoga when I have energy, go to exercise class when I have energy and meditate when I have energy – Yikes! Anybody have some advice for me? I’m going to take a much needed nap…zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

September 25, 2010 at 12:02 pm
(58) elaine says:

hi, i have read your comment, of course more than a year later. i have hashimoto’s and know what you are going thru. i wanted to tell you there is a new book out by dr. kharrazian, it is called “why do i still have thyroid symptoms” it is well worth reading and may help us sufferers where lots of doctors have not by treating the cause of thyroid disease not just the symptoms. good luck

March 16, 2010 at 9:45 pm
(59) Meg says:

People with thyroid problems are like mice on a wheel. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos when I was 14. The doctor put me on 125 mcg of Levoxyl and I was on my way. Being a kid who didn’t see the importance of that little pill every day, I stopped taking it after a year of so. I didn’t really notice any horrible affects. I am now 23 and for the past five years have been medication free. I recently went back to the doctor and she put me on meds. . .I WAS MISERABLE for two months but stuck it out to get my tests done. Sure enough, TSH was fine, but I felt like a pile of trash and had more problems ON the meds than OFF. So what are we to do? I am very frustrated and in the process of trying to find a post college job with insurance. I can’t afford to have tests done all the time. I hate this.

April 17, 2010 at 10:29 pm
(60) Lisa says:

I became ill right before my 40th birthday in 2004. I felt as though I had flu-like symptoms with the lower back and leg aches and pains, woking up in pools of sweat, and my left side of my jaw up to my ear was in pain. The first Dr. wanted to biopsy my thyroid stating if he drew blood, he’d have to remove my thryorid?! What the heck was that all about?! His PA called me to say that there was NOTHING wrong with me! Hmmm, my symptoms clearly told me there was something not right. I found a very good endo Dr. who diagnosed me with Hashimoto’s and put my on 100 mcg of Synthroid. I went from hyperthyroid to hypothyroid which was expected. I remained on 25 – 50 mcg Synthroid over the years until last year. I had my bi-annual labs to check my thryoid levels and everything was normal. I’m pretty bad about forgetting about taking meds and when the labs were done, I had been off the Synthroid for about 2 weeks. My Dr. kept me off the Synthroid purposely to do a retest weeks later and again, labs were completely normal. The ultrasound tech who did the check of the my thryoid nodules was completely surprised to see that my thyroid appeared normal as well. I used to have 2-3 nodules on the left and one on the right side and they’re gone now! I’ve had no symptoms of Hashimoto’s in over a year. I’ve recently read about remission of Hashimoto’s though. I hope I don’t have to go through it again.

September 17, 2010 at 11:41 am
(61) Steve says:

Actually I have heard of a possible cure . It involves something called the Marshall proticall .

its for Hashimoto and a number of other immune system disorders .

it involves going 3 years without vitimem D and what was called low dose pulse antibiotics .

the cure sounds hard so I think it might be real but I don’t really know much about it so hear is the link maybe you can tell me . http://www.suite101.com/content/can-antibiotics-cure-hashimotos-disease-a101506

P.S. I have Hashimoto I use the real pigmones as opposed to the synthetic crap and I don’t watch Oprah.

September 17, 2010 at 3:22 pm
(62) mary mihaylo says:

i wish i could see more about my thyroid disease, graves.
i’m about to have my second eye muscle surgery for double vision. my thyroid tests are normal. i’m very hyper, and can’t tolerate heat. thanks, mary

September 18, 2010 at 12:16 pm
(63) Hungfun says:

Hi mary I don’t know much about graves but this site has a forum for it : http://forums.about.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?webtag=ab-thyroid2

you will have to register if you haven’t allready but its free and I hope that helps.

October 1, 2010 at 12:22 pm
(64) Connie says:

Right on, Mary!

How I wish I had had your newsletter when I first developed Hashimoto’s thyroditis in 1984.

November 10, 2013 at 10:31 pm
(65) Cured says:

Brought to you by pharmaceutical companies of America! Wanting you to believe there is never a cure.
I was cured by taking Youngevity products. Dr. said I was probably misdiagnosed but had tests done by three different drs. I have been med free for over a year now and feel great and have lost 21 lbs. This wasn’t possible on Levothyroxin. It makes your thyroid lazy. The human body will cure itself given the right vitamins and minerals.

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