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Readers Respond: The Pros and Cons of Soy Foods and Supplements for Thyroid Patients

Responses: 174


Updated May 21, 2009

From the article: Soy and the Thyroid
Have you found that soy foods and/or supplements have a negative effect on your thyroid? Are you a thyroid patient who happily consumes soy regularly without any problem? The research is inconclusive either way, and experts disagree. Some believe soy is perfectly safe for thyroid patients, and others feel that it's a toxin that is dangerous to the thyroid. What is your experience? Share your own soy story -- pro and con -- and what you think of soy for thyroid patients.

Genenome Effect

Using soy in ones diet has always been a controversy. Some people can have a sensitivity to the product. My advice is to find if such a sensitivity exist in one's family. The genenome is passed on from generation to generation. A simple test can be administered to make the discovery. I feel this is a much simpler process and shall eliminate all doubt an individual shall have in regrds if consuming soy shall cause a problem with your health.
—Guest Sal Esqueda

Soy Made Me Hypothyroid

When I was in my 30's soy became the rage. I put soy milk on my cereal, ate soy burgers, etc. Then, I started having fatigue, brittle nails, dry skin and hair, palpitations. Finally, I was diagnosed with hypothyroid. Been on Levothyroxine for 20 years and didn't feel much better. Last year Cytomel was added and my energy has improved. Now I see the coincidence that my years of eating soy coincided with my thyroid symptoms and diagosis. I tell everyone I know to avoid soy like the plague. Nowadays that means reading your labels because you can't even buy bread without soy in it. The public needs to be made aware of the dangers of soy consumption. To think they have infant formulas with soy... that really frosts me!!
—Guest Barbara

Arbonne products

Arbonne products do not contain whey or soy in their protein shakes and they taste amazing. Too much soy is harmful to your thyroid!
—Guest Mary

Too Early, But Still...

I am 19 years old and since my early adolescence I've been threatened by hypothyroidism. Mum's already has her own removed. I am not under any medication because doctors say my thyroid hormones are too unsteady and they don't call for immediate action, but watching is essential for my condition. It's called Hashimoto thyroiditis. My hormones are close to normal, but never normal. It's a tendency to hypothyroidism. Plus, I'm having some tiny bulks called nodules. Anyway, one month ago, I decided to go vegan and see what changes would occur in my organism. I did it because I like the vegan philosophy. Want cheese? Do it yourself! Want milk? Do it yourself. Healthy planet, etc. I have to say 3 things on veganism: I lost some persistent weight, my back no longer aches (I have lordosis) and my thyroid hormones are normal for the first time in my life. I have to say I daily have around 6 portions of soya, in form of milk mainly and also tofu. but i rewrite: it's only been a month. and my th. horm are close to normal.decide yoursel
—Guest Jojo


I was told by my doctor that soy products are not beneficial for me due to my thryoid condition.
—Guest Michelle

Vegan Seems to be Doing the Trick!

I've had a slow growing, benign thyroid nodule for about 5 years. Until two weeks ago, it was the size of a small orange and quite hard. After having cancer a year and a half ago, I went vegetarian (except for fish). The nodule continued to grow! My husband has been having heart issues so, we decided to go vegan about two weeks ago. Two days ago (11 days after going vegan), I noticed my thyroid nodule was reduced in size and my husband confirmed it! We've been continuing our use of soy milk, tofu, soy products so I don't put the problem on the soy. I believe it was going vegan that caused the change because that is the only thing different that I've done. I also notice that some lipomas that I've had are also reduced in size. I'm excited!
—Guest Vicki

Soy Saturated Food Supply Because...

During the summer of 2000 I hiked the 500 mile Colorado Trail and got most of my dietary protein from textured vegetable protein (TVP), a light-weight granular powder I added to my meals. Soy nuts were a daily snack item. The following fall and winter I was always chilled, losing hair, suffering numbness in my legs at night and constantly exhausted. My doctor diagnosed me with the worst case of hypothyroidism he had ever seen! I was no longer eating soy and then prescribed Levothyroxine and I returned to good health in a month. I avoid soy as much as possible, but the food supply is saturated with it because soy (along with corn) is one of the major crops subsidized by the Farm Bill. There is such a surplus of soybeans grown that they end up being used in one form or another in what seems like nearly everything on the market shelves. It's amazing the variety of food containing soy! By carefully reading labels I do find substitutes for foods that would counter-act my medication.
—Guest Scott

Soy Milk

Last year I consumed 1 glass of soy milk every day. Later, my nails become brittle and thin. Now, I have stopped for 2 months and stop consuming any other soy product. My nails are getting better, not brittle anymore!

Experimenting with Removal of Soy

Thanks for such a thorough article, Mary! As a life long vegetarian until a few years ago, I have consumed a lot of soy all in the form of tofu and mostly tempeh. After hitting peri-menopause a few years back, I was presented with Hashimoto's hypothyroidism. While it's really hard for me to remove this very grounding and satiating form of protein from my diet, I'm removing all soy for 3 months to see if there is any difference in my thyroid blood levels, as well as overall mood and peri-menopause symptoms. I'm 1 month in, so nothing conclusive so far but I'll keep you posted. Dorothy (a T-Tapp Trainer)

Soy Lover

I must be from another planet because I have been OVEREATING soy products since I was 10 years old, when my family and I became vegetarians. I am 50 years old now and have absolutely no health problems whatsoever. I look 15 years younger, have no wrinkles and no gray hair and the bones of a 15 year old according to recent X Rays.
—Guest Elena Gascon


I must be from another planet because I have been OVEREATING soy products since I was 10 years old, when my family and I became vegetarians. I am 50 years old now and have absolutely no health problems whatsoever. I look 15 years younger, have no wrinkles and no gray hair and the bones of a 15 year old according to recent X Rays.
—Guest Elena Gascon


I was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. I am very strict on my diet as my family history has a laundry list of genetic predisposition to a multitude of long term health issues (i.e. adult onset diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, stroke, etc...). I had thought for a while that I was lactose intolerant so I started replacing regular milk for soy milk about 7 years ago. I went on Tirosint (another version of synthroid, but in a more pure form) only to find that it only made my condition worse! Puzzled and at a lost as to what to do or why I was not feeling better I questioned if soy was contributing to my ailment. I decided that I would rather deal with potential lactose intolerance (which it turns out I don't have) than the effects on my thyroid. That was about six months ago and since I stopped drinking soy milk and limiting my soy intake I have had little to no symptoms!! Whether it was psychosomatic or not, no soy equaled a progression towards normalcy for me!

Soy and Thyroid function

In the late 80's, I started eating a semi-vegetarian diet. By the mid 90's, I ate less and less milk, fish and eggs. Instead I started to incorporate more soy into my diet. In the beginning of 2001 I started having problems with extreme tiredness, but I thought it was just my work schedule. My symptoms continued to get worse. I experienced "fuzzy" cognition, swelling of extremities and face and rapid heart rate. I went to my doctor and after numerous tests he told my I had Thyroiditis, meaning I went from hyper to hypo. He said it would eventually resolve on its own. Well, I continued to be Hypothryroid so he sent me to an endocrinologist to do more tests and then he wanted to know what type of supplements I was taking (none at that time). Finally we began to analyze my diet and started by eliminating foods and then resume one new food at a time. When I began adding tofu back into my diet it was clear as day. I ate a tofu hotdog and the next day all of my symptoms returned. My doctor told me to stay away from cruciferous veggies and all soy products. Now, I can always tell if I eat something with soy in it because my symptoms return with a vengeance. Soy is bad!
—Guest Celeste

Scary Soya!

I've been a vegetarian for over 30 years and a large part of my diet is made up of Soya products, which is rather scary after reading all these stories. However, I'm 61 years old, still work full time in a very physically demanding job. I walk 2 hours a day (and that's not including walking the dogs). I've very rarely ever had a cold, taken medicine or had a day off work due to illness. I've never had an operation or been in hospital. I also have many vegetarian friends of my age who enjoy Soya products. Perhaps we have to accept that we are all different and react to foods in different ways?
—Guest Annie

Soybean Toxicity

I have stopped soy milk now after reading your posts. Thank you for waking me up before it is too late. I was drinking a lot of soy milk and looked up soybean and toxicity. So scary! We all know not to eat raw beans for many reasons, but somehow don't think that soya milk is just raw beans in water. Plus, beans inhibit protein absorption so that is enough reason to quit! Definitely google soybeans and toxicity.
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