No Goitrogens Please

This could be a blog beyond all blogs today as I have so much to say or I should say I have learned so much this week. This will take tremendous discipline not to bore the reader into a comatose state but bear with me I promise to be succinct. I will edit and rewrite and publish my “brief” this afternoon come, as they say, hell or high water.

This week I got the great news, not, that my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) was at an all time high of 13.2. Even the most conservative endocrinologist would acknowledge that this is unacceptably high and my FMD flew in to a panic as a good TSH runs in the range of 1.0-2.0 although some Neanderthals will say up to 5 is okay. My last TSH was 4.7, so even that was high and was recorded 4-5 months ago. Looking back I would say it was creeping up since last summer and I know most of the reasons why but then I added Iodoral (Iodine and Potassium Iodide) to the mix about a month ago after my iodine loading test indicated I needed it. It has its own side effect of raising the TSH for up to 6 months (one has to go by the FT3, FT4 and body temperature at this point and not the TSH which reflects your pituitary output).

After my rather impromptu phone consultation with my FMD I took a dip in to a dumpster of moods, albeit only briefly, but I could not believe his news, I was flabbergasted. After all I was doing everything right. Looking back after my week of research I wonder how in the world I could have been so arrogant and so wrong? It prompts me to blog yet again on thyroid disease and its many bumps in the road.

Last summer I started to drink a green drink once or twice a day that made me feel really good, my inflammation went away, several cysts around finger joints disappeared, aches and pains went away, all was right with my world. I still, by the way, think this green drink is fabulous it just isn’t for me, a person who must face that she really does have hypothyroidism and what I eat affects my little butterfly shaped gland that sits in the front of my throat just under the Adam’s apple. In addition to the green drink (which shall remain nameless because I have no reason to condemn it for the general population) I was taking rather hefty doses of alpha lipoic acid, resveratrol and DIM.

So what, you ask? What is significant about these items, I discovered this week, is the goitrogenic effect of all of them and that blew my mind. Something as good as alpha lipoic acid could be bad? Resveratrol, the king of antioxidants, having an adverse effect? DIM, Green Drinks, what next? Broccoli, broccoli which is so good for you that everyone hates it with the exception of me. My green drink was full of dehydrated raw cruciferous vegetable and root juices including broccoli, kale, cabbage, maca and spinach (and many acceptable things which is why I was drinking it). These are all goitrogens and goitrogens interfere with the conversion of T4 to T3 and thus interfere with the function of your thyroid gland. I was slowly killing my thyroid. Well I hope I was only slowly killing it and that I haven’t done any permanent damage.

Here’s the real crux of the matter for me, I knew about goitrogens and I was ignoring my intuitive sense that the green drink wasn’ t right because it made so many things seem better (it was simply masking the symptoms of hypothyroidism). I was innocent of forethought and malice with the intake of alpha lipoic acid and resveratrol. I really  didn’t have an inkling that they were bad especially since I was taking very high quality forms of these supplements and my doctor approved (sometimes I really must remind myself that they, too, are only human).

So dear reader, I am going to supply you with a list of possible goitrogens, to save you the mind blowing experience I have dealt with for about 5 days now. I will also tell you that there are some really good discussion groups out there and the “iodine group” and the “thyroid group” on Yahoo! groups have been amazingly helpful in my search for answers. Breast cancer choices is a great source of information regarding the “iodine protocol” even for those of us who don’t have cancer. Mary Shomon has some of the information I am going to share, also Janie at Stop the Thyroid Madness and I just found some good information at this site . Several bloggers supplied the rest but it is all out there to be researched in depth and if you want more information just Google “hypothyroidism”, “sluggish thyroid”, “goitrogenic foods” you will literally entertain yourself for days I know I have.

Foods that people with hypothyroidism should limit in their raw state:

Peaches, pears, strawberries, canola oil, rapeseed oil, flax seed, hemp seed, pumpkin seed, peanuts, pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, millet, soybeans, turnips, spinach, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, cassava root, rutabaga, sweet potato, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower (actually all brassica family veggies), lima beans, brussel sprouts, radishes.

It is best to avoid dairy, nitrate rich foods like lunch meats,wheat, caffeine, alcohol, fluoride, chlorine, processed foods,antihistamines, sulfa drugs, lithium, alpha lipoic acid, DIM, and resveratrol.

I have asked about but never had answered before how fermentation affects vegetables like cabbage, turnips, rutabaga, cauliflower (I ferment all of those in a kim chi mixture). I finally got an answer from a  C. Masterjohn in Special Reports Volume 1 Issue 1, 2008 where it is stated that “fermentation makes crucifers more goitrogenic”. Darn! Is that why I almost always get irregular heartbeats after enjoying a bowl of my “special” kim chi? My best guess is I have yet again suppressed my thyroid function and that sends a signal that releases adrenalin and BAM! my heart reacts to the adrenalin rush.

I close with the words of an undisclosed blogger who kindly posted a lot of this information on a raw food discussion site (I cleaned up some of the typos but otherwise it is a quote) “People who have resilient health while eating these foods should continue to eat them with impunity. However, people who have thyroid problems or other problems associated with iodine deficiency or cyanide exposure should consider experimenting with the following dietary restrictions: 1) eliminate millet; 2) moderate soy and only consume it with additional sources of iodine; 3) limit crucifer intake to five servings per week, only eat more than this if it is boiled, and match one’s crucifer intake with extra iodine; 4)avoid foods with cyanogenic glycosides unless they are extensively boiled or crushed and leached in running water for several days, and match one’s cyanogen intake with extra iodine and vitamin B12-containing foods or supplements (but not cyanocobalamin). These foods are not inherently unhealthy but simply contain chemicals that have the capacity to harm the health of some people under some circumstances; this is true of all foods. Experience always trumps theory, so the individual should use this information as but one tool with which she or he can experiment to find the most appropriate diet for herself or himself.”

Namaste. If this helps just one person my day will be complete.

59 responses to this post.

  1. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism 6-7 years ago and was put on synthroid right away. I have been very punctual about it, but none of the doctors (I have moved a bit in last few years) ever told me about what foods to eat and what to avoid. So, I have been eating spinach, kale etc as salads. In last 6-7 years, I have put on 50 pounds and lost 40% density in my hair along with most of body hair (a rare side effect of levothyroxine) In last few weeks, I noticed swelling on front and back of my neck. First I thought it might be mosquito bite or something as it’s been raining and I go for a jog in a park that has a lot of plants and trees. But for last two days I am fearing it’s goiter. I just don’t know what else to do. It hurts and sucks! I can’t even get an appointment with an endocrinologist till end of Oct- all are booked. I am really tired. Can someone give some tips? I am afraid to eat or drink anything now since two days. It’s stressing me out and I just don;t know what to do. I have been crying for two days and feel very hopeless. It’s screwed up my whole health, social life and everything else. I am not even 40 and just hate it. Can someone please give some advice? Thank you.


    • Correction- the swelling does NOT hurt- it just hurts emotionally to be in such bad state of mind and body.


      • Posted by Lynne on 4:26 at Monday, July 4, 2016

        Have you read Dr Datis Kharrazian’s books – He is cutting edge. His latest is Why isn’t my brain working which adresses thyroid and so updated research and his earlier book, Why do I still have Thyroid Symptoms. I have his later book. If you want to address and get the whole picture buy both books

    • I am getting so much spam these days that I don’t respond to questions but yours calls out for an answer.
      First I would obtain a copy of Stop The Thyroid Madness, the lastest edition is available at In STTM (also there is an online site ) they list good doctors to see when you have hypothyroidism. Not being able to see an endocrinologist right away may have been a blessing. Many are not knowledgeable when it comes to the most current treatment of hypothyroidism. If there is a good doc in your neighborhood, I would schedule an appointment asap. The book I mentioned also provides questions to ask your doctor when you see them. If a doctor is not receptive to the questions you know you have to find another doctor. It is critical that you educate yourself and go in to your appointment informed. If you put hypothyroidism into my search box you will find a plethora of information regarding my journey.
      There are plenty of foods you can enjoy but brassicas should be eaten in small amounts and primarily cooked. Peanuts are not a good legume to consume and soy is the worst. That said, coconut would be a good item to add to your diet. Coconut oil, chunks of coconut, coconut in trail mix. Protein is important and vegetables just not kale and brassicas. Most of us also do better if we give up gluten and often dairy (I have not given up dairy).
      Since you cannot see a doctor until the end of October I would really cut back on your running. What happens when your thyroid isn’t being treated optimally is your adrenals are over-worked and pretty soon you have adrenal fatigue as well as hypothyroidism. Once you have adrenal fatigue you lose your energy and ability to cope with all that is happening around you.
      I feel your pain and understand your despair. Please ask any questions you want. I encourage you to stay in touch with people who can relate to what you are going through. There are many groups out there especially on Facebook. Enter thyroid in to a search and you will see several groups. I have a private group on Facebook and there are folks there who would understand what you are going through but I think it would be best if you talked to me here. If you still think you would like more information I can “friend” you and put you on my group (I have not figured out how to do it otherwise, now I understand that Facebook designs it this way.)
      I am sending you healing energy today and hope that you will very soon feel like yourself again.


      • Hi Kris, Thank you very much for the reply and the tips. I was in a very bad state for the past 2-3 days and glad to read that there’s hope, and that there are more people going through this. I’m not very active online and thats been one of the depressing aspects— all the weight gain and mood swings have destroyed my social life and left me quite isolated. I will check online support including face book. I have been reading a lot of things and will get the book that you suggested and will try out coconut as its very easily available here in local store. Thank you again. There are many things that go haywire with hypothyroid and unfortunately I have all of them, but I will keep trying and not give up. Thank you again. I really appreciate it. I just didn;t have any idea about anything and really appreciate your reply. Thank you.

      • You are most welcome. It is awful to feel you are alone or there is something wrong with you that knows one experiences. Everything you are going through is a common problem and can be solved but it isn’t always a quick fix.
        Here is an example of a site you could look at for information:
        She is a doctor who has experienced Hashimoto’s which is the autoimmune form of thyroid disease (some 90 % of thyroid disease is an autoimmune issue).
        Do keep in mind that the last week not only had a powerful super full moon but a sun flare that is affecting almost everyone (and everything). My sleep has been really poor this week. Last night I finally slept very well and today I feel much better.
        Stay in touch and let me know how things are going. Again, I send healing energy your way,

  2. Hello,

    The quote in your blog post that is by the undisclosed blogger seems to have been directly taken from C. Masterjohn’s abstract of his paper “Thyroid Toxins: The Double-Edged Swords of the Kingdom Plantae”. If you wish to credit Chris for the quote, it is mentioned on his website here:

    This is a helpful list of foods that are and are not goitrogenic:


    • Interesting that she quoted C. Masterjohn and did not credit him. I was just cutting and pasting from another blogger, so Chris Masterjohn you may have credit for your list of foods. And thanks for the second reference I will take a look.


      • I just attempted to read your link and Paleohacks will not let you just read without signing up. I detest sites that do that, so unfortunately I cannot read the link you provided, I appreciate your effort.

  3. Posted by Anonymous on 12:10 at Friday, June 21, 2013

    I have been receiving Alpha Lipoic Acid infusions and do notice that it affects my TSH.


    • Posted by Kris on 12:27 at Friday, June 21, 2013

      If I may ask, why are you receiving Alpha Lipoic Acid injections? Are they treating liver failure? And if it is affecting your TSH I assume it is causing it to rise, right? That would be tricky because if one has acute liver failure then you can’t convert T4 to T3 (the active form of thyroid hormone) as that is where it occurs. If nothing else you might talk to your doctor about T3-only (Cynomel or Cytomel). You could explain to your doctor that the liver is where this conversion of T4 to T3 takes place and with T3 only the conversion issue isn’t a problem and the injections might not affect your TSH. Obviously a wholly functioning liver is of utmost importance for your entire body but so is a fully functioning thyroid.


  4. PS …after much reading , oily skin can be sign , too. Usually they think dry. In hind sight, my dermatologist at 14 mentioned to mom about my neck. Her oBGYN did not test my blood. Told mother big neck due to Karate and weights. My parents did not know starving at time. Thank you so much for help.
    I have done well , but want to just feel better.


  5. Posted by Lilly on 19:14 at Monday, May 27, 2013

    It would be nice to see a list of non-goitrogen vegetarian foods.Thanks for all the great information in this blog!


    • Posted by Kris on 21:30 at Monday, May 27, 2013

      That’s a good point Lilly. I will add a blog on the foods that are good for us to eat perhaps next Monday but honestly vegetarian and vegan diets and thyroid disease don’t mix very well. I have a friend who told me once that she eats lots of healthy fat, some good meat and root vegetables. It seems really limited to me but she has found that by eating the right food she has almost totally eliminated her fibromyalgia pain. We thyroid types fall in to a similar category as fibro folks and we really have to listen to our bodies in regards to food because the penalty is living with autoimmune attacks or under treated thyroid issues.
      Thanks for the suggestion, now I will get to work.


  6. Thank you for info. I have after having Hashi for over 25 years…started researching. i have fibro and we got it under control , but my hair and body and IBS and so tired last year… I have went to PA and hope to get better. I guess I am at a very low and on synthyroid. They added cytomel , but called after 2 weeks and said not to continue. I am very frustrated. I thank you for sites and info and will continue to pursue this. I am very tired of not eating that much. Then i cannot eat greens.. they are no calorie… for bodybuilding…and then allergies no antihistamines… is complex..but, as a patient and person this is something that really needs to be addressed. they will not even let me try armour or one of meds that takes care of T3 and T4.
    Again, thank you!


    • Posted by Kris on 9:06 at Monday, May 27, 2013

      Autumn if you are on Facebook you should join some of the thyroid groups, if nothing else you learn a lot and know what questions to ask. One group is Stop The Thyroid Madness (I have mentioned this group many times). Another one is T3-only or T3CM led by Paul Robinson.
      Interestingly, I just read that there is some suspicion or reason to think that people with Hashimoto’s should not take NDT and now I wonder if this is why T3-only has worked so well for me. It was to do with enzyme production in Hashi folks (way too much info to digest in one read). With that in mind and the fact that you are having so much trouble perhaps Paul Robinson’s book or Janie Bowthorpe’s Stop the Thyroid Madness would be good starting places for you. From there you could find a good doc who knows how to treat your specific issues.
      As for goitrogens, you can eat them just don’t eat them copiously. Gluten seems to be a much bigger problem for Hashi folks and I have finally given it up totally and it has changed my world. I hate asking for the gluten free menu and making a big deal of what I will and won’t eat but when you don’t experience horrible heart issues anymore it is worth it. Just to confuse things, many autoimmune diseases also make oxalates a problem and if you get in to that it will overwhelm you for sure, so take it one step at a time. Just know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you will make it there.


      • Posted by Anonymous on 10:15 at Wednesday, May 29, 2013

        Thank you for your info. I have had this forever, just did not have issues until read symptoms and gaining weight so fast. I have cut out gluten. This is so interesting and I know a light at end of tunnel. I got better with fibro to where I could workout and compete…however, often taking an antidepressant tends to mask symptoms.

      • Thank you, Kris! I am just researching now. I do understand a lot of terminology due to being a dental hygienist . I just hope to find Dr. that will address this.
        Again, thank you. Yes, I found you from sexy Thyroid.lOL! .

      • Wow another dental hygienist, where do you practice? I have been in hygiene for 37 years this year and practiced primarily in MN. Do you ever wonder about the x-rays we have taken over the years and whether the lead in the liners and the radiation itself has contributed to or caused our issues? My mind goes over and over this and I can’t help but wonder.

      • I work in Midland, Texas for Vincent bash,DDS. I have been reading a lot of your posts from past this am. I am only working 1 and 1/2 days also. I have worked for him 10 years. I was working for Monarch. They were good to me… Just needed a break.
        I have had what I am reading about you somewhat and the cytomel can cause heart issues. I have noticed once in blue moon my heart races. I have the hole you are born with , but did not close off.
        Due to weight training and doing cardio… I have done well like i said with fibro and thyroid, too. Not so now. I have had tremors after a surgery and we fibro people get reactive I try to eat small frequent meals like my son that is Type 1 diabetic. I am writing everything down. I am going to do a much needed workout. again, thank you. Your posts explain my whole life!LOL! Later!;)

      • Yes, mam to those taking x-rays… I wonder, but had to do.

      • Sorry, I thought i replied earlier. i leave in Midland, tx and work for Vincent Bash lll, DDS. I have worked part-time mainly on Fridays for 10 years. I will work more this summer. I have been doing 28years. The last 5 I worked at Monarch …but I needed a change. They were very good to me. Now, I know more why this past year so more tired than usual. I was anemic and Vit d… depleted and I was taking the potassium….that helped a lot. However, still not right and skin usually oily …dry… fingernails just peeling..healing time longer. and hair is so thin.

      • Posted by Kris on 12:16 at Sunday, June 2, 2013

        I thought I approved your first comment Autumn, sorry. I have been on vacation and managing the computer on a mountainside has its challenges. Now both of your comments are posted which may be confusing but I think you had interesting things to say in each post, so post them I did. You have so many issues that make absorption of T3 difficult from anemia to low Vitamin D levels. Isn’t oily skin often due to sex hormone imbalance(estrogen dominance perhaps)? Fingernails can be a low selenium issue.
        Spectracell makes a great nutrient test and there are places online you can order it for much less than you will pay a doctor. However, if you can find a doctor who will prescribe it the Spectracell company takes what your insurance pays and all you have to pay is $175. I had it done and it was eye opening to me because I was taking all the supplements I was low in-selenium, sublingual B12, CoQ10, etc. If you are depleted in any of those nutrients your thyroid meds will not work as well.

      • Yes, you are right as I am learning from research…it is ugh!LOL! Thank you. My levels are ok now with anemia and the Potassium..I used to give blood regularly so I was very surprised to find out anemic. I am taking Iodine now and co-factors to help with absorbtion. I found out I have Uncle that has thyroid issues. The hair loss is I think thyroid. Your male hormone test can cause hair loss or polycystic ovarian syndrome…it is all over. I am searching for one that will work with me. At least try. I am really reading some much to try to figure out. I found old Bodybuilding pic from when 19 and I am skinny due to starving…lol! However I can see my goiter. So frustrating. I am on knees bendinding to touch head to feet. I was told had big neck due to workout background. I am on FB. friend me !

      • Posted by Kris on 13:36 at Sunday, June 2, 2013

        I will do that Autumn and also I can put your name on my Krisinsight group there. You would be a great addition and you can remove your name anytime you like.

      • Never, I just thank you! thank you!

      • Posted by Kris on 13:54 at Sunday, June 2, 2013

        I think I might have just sent a friend request to someone with a similar name (not Autumn Spenser2). If you don’t see a friend request please send me one. My name is Kris Carver Peterson on Facebook and I will accept and add you to my group.

  7. Kris, I noticed in the posts you are in the Twin Cities. MN??? If so, Im desperately looking for some type of doctor or practitioner in MN who can help me. I have been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism but have a goiter. I have been keeping my thyroid levels balanced with Iosol iodine. Recently, my goiter has been growing. I wasnt aware of of the extreme effect of goitrogens. I have been juicing spinach and kale for the last 3 yrs with no apparent ill affects until recently. I just ran across your blog and am shocked. Most all of the “good choice” foods Ive been eating may be causing me more problems! If you know of anyone knowledgeable in MN. please let me know. Thanks so much!!


    • I am in the Twin Cities, so I am happy to meet you. Good doctors that recognize thyroid issues are few and far between. Dr. Rob Bruley in Linden Hills is a good start but he is not in network, so you pay cash and send in the payment for reimbursement from insurance. I am currently seeing a MD/Homeopath whom I really like. Her name is Dr. Kim Lane and she can be reached through In one week’s time (February 18, 2013) she will be practicing both allopathic medicine and homeopathic medicine out of one clinic, so she can provide thyroid meds and blood tests should they be needed. At the moment I feel like she might be your best bet as she is very open minded and the homeopathy is working wonders for me, so the combination of allopathic and homeopathic works well. She, too, will not take insurance and you just submit for reimbursement.
      If you need someone who is in network you might try this person: My daughter saw her recently as a midwife but will see her now as her care provider. She loves to see women who aren’t pregnant and was very open minded and knowledgeable. I haven’t personally seen Aszani but she sounds amazing and knew all about Armour Thyroid which many do not. She is willing to run necessary tests to determine thyroid issues which many are not, they will only run a TSH.
      You might want to obtain the book “Stop The Thyroid Madness” if you don’t already have it. It has a plethora of information for the beginner and refers you to many groups who can help if your doctor isn’t helpful (doesn’t make you feel any better). There are groups on Facebook who are really helpful such as Stop The Thyroid Madness and T3CM (all about a Circadian Method of taking T3 to regain adrenal health) and Hashimoto’s 411 (for we folks who have an autoimmune thyroid condition).
      If you have further questions feel free to ask, I will answer those I can and find answers to those I don’t know. I am also on Facebook and have a lively group of mostly thyroid advocates but other health advocates as well. My group is private but people can join by asking (I think that is all you have to do) and the name is Krisinsight. If you have an interest in participating in that group you may have to “friend” me on Facebook. My name there is Kris Carver Peterson and then I can put you on the group list. Sorry to be so vague on that one, I need to ask some of my group how they joined. Also you can send me messages privately at
      I hope this helps. So many are out there who need help. Many doctors end up diagnosing mental illness in women when it is really a thyroid not working well combined, in many cases, with peri-menopausal symptoms that are unrecognized. Men do have thyroid troubles as well and sometimes I think they are the ones who almost die before they seek help, so I am starting to feel like Thyroid disease is the elephant in the room. No one wants to even try to talk about it much less diagnose it, they just ignore it.


      • Thank you so much Kris for all of the great info and contacts. I was seeing Dr. Thomas Sult who is also a naturopath. He is very good but he moved 5 hrs away from me. Will look into the contacts you gave. Thanks again!

    • Dr. Susan Haddow at Hennepin off Nicollett is amazing and is open to whatever testing you feel you need…she doesn’t know everything but is the first dr covered by insurance I’ve ever met who actually knows what she’s doing and is open to research you find on your own. And she is soo kind and generous w/her time!


      • Posted by Kris on 16:46 at Friday, July 19, 2013

        Thanks so much for the recommendation. I have a friend who might look in to Dr. Haddow as her tests show a RT3 problem but no doctor she has seen recognizes the issue. Amy, are you on any of the thyroid groups like Stop the Thyroid Madness on Facebook? They have a good doc’s list and it sounds like Dr. Haddow needs to be on that list.
        Thank you again.

      • Posted by Anonymous on 8:37 at Saturday, July 20, 2013

        Thanks so much Amy!! I will look into Dr Haddow.

  8. are you kidding me???~!~!!! i have been on a crazy candida diet for almost two years and have been eating primarily what i now come to find out are goitrogens… almond, walnuts, raw kale and spinach, green’s powder, kelp, resveratrol, pears, broccoli, brussel sprouts, alpha lipoic acid…. hemp and flax seed, radishes – the works!!!!
    i was just tested because i have been losing my hair for the last 4 months or so and come to find out that i have low thyroid.
    so do i completely stop eating my “normal” diet (?) and not take the thyroid meds (?)
    endocrinologist never said a word about goitrogens… i am just freaking out by this – what in god’s name do i eat…
    maybe i need to go to a nutritionist…. good lord!


    • No kidding there are foods that are not good for folks with hypothyroidism. I wouldn’t quit eating everything nor taking everything but reduce your consumption (goitrogenic foods no more than three times a week) and treat your thyroid optimally with medications like Armour Thyroid, Naturethroid (also referred to as NDT). Have you read the book “Stop the Thyroid Madness”? If not, order it today and start reading all the great information Janie Bowthorpe has to share about treating your hypothyroidism.
      One word about endocrinologists-ignorant. They do not know how to treat thyroid issues despite being “experts” in the field of the endocrine system. If you are lucky yours will know how to treat you properly but too many endos have treated folks with hypothyroidism so badly that they have been in bed and categorized as hopeless. If you can get the STTM book, read it cover to cover and then take your new found knowledge to your endocrinologist. If he/she is open to some of the ideas you have found a keeper. If not, look around and see if you can find someone more knowledgeable and willing to help you treat your dis-ease more optimally.
      Let us know how it goes. One friend of mine eats lots of healthy fats, a few root vegetables, fish and meat. She gets plenty of calories and feels great, so I know it can be done but it takes some doing.


  9. Posted by Anonymous on 15:34 at Thursday, January 10, 2013

    powdered green foods by vitamineral green have no cruciferus


  10. Hi. I, too, really struggle when I eat goitrogens. I went vegan 12 years ago and replaced dairy with several soy products. After several months I was so ill I could barely function. I do take thyroid and iodine supplements and it really helps me feel better, but I still can not tolerate many goitrogens. I wish I could figure this out, because I am always “on the bubble” and any little goitrogen tips me over the edge.

    On another note, I, too, was suffering from hair loss and discovered that my adrenals were low. I started taking an adrenal supplement that came from a bovine source. It is the adrenal gland ground up and encapsulated. It works well. I also added 1,000 mg of pantothentic acid and my hair quickly quit falling out and is growing in nicely now.

    Hope this helps. Thank you for your blog. I have enjoyed reading.


    • I always find it fascinating what seems to help different people. I can’t take any kind of adrenal supplement as it seems to “upset the apple cart”. I tried licorice recently and that made me feel much worse and then I thought I would try Ashwanghanda again and that made me feel really hyper. It is an adaptogen and should never have that effect but I can’t seem to take any kind of ginseng. On the other hand, I might try the pantothenic acid as I have some on hand. I don’t think I have ever taken 1000 mg and that might be the secret. Thanks for the suggestion.
      I am reminded of what my homeopathic doctor told me recently when I complained of hair loss. She said we have a natural shedding of hair about every 6 weeks because, as I understood it, that is the life cycle of a hair follicle. The hair grows for 6 weeks and then is exfoliated, so you lose it. It made some sense to me but I still think I lose more hair than I should.
      I hope you have a nice holiday season and I look forward to hearing from you again.


  11. Posted by Elizabeth on 19:22 at Sunday, June 24, 2012

    I thought walnuts and flax were a good source of Omegas which those of us with hypothyroidism are supposed to be eating…??


    • Posted by Kris on 20:28 at Sunday, June 24, 2012

      Walnuts and flax might be okay if kept to small amounts per week. If you want to increase your Omega 3s try chia seed, it provides a lot of Omega 3, does not easily go rancid and is a thickener just like flax. Also krill oil continues to gain fans among the medical gurus as well as fish oil for Omega 3s. Nuts are more difficult because many of them are not good for those of with hypothyroidism but macadamia nuts are high in fat and have no ill effect on the thyroid that I am aware of.
      All that said, that was a very restrictive list of foods in “No Goitrogens Please”. I don’t follow it strictly nor take iodine anymore. I am getting a FT3, FT4, and TSH done tomorrow and can tell you more about how my diet is affecting my thyroid. Personally, I would have a few walnuts and eat a little flax but pay attention to how they make me feel. Flax and I don’t get along and walnuts stick to my teeth, so I tend not to eat very much of either one.


  12. Posted by Bernadette on 9:15 at Tuesday, May 29, 2012

    This was a great article but I want to comment that this article isn’t just for people with Hypothyroidism. My 11 year old son was diagnosed with Graves disease when he was 10 but in hindsight had a goiter since he was a baby!! I actually can watch his goiter grow if he eats the wrong stuff. He also has an iodine dificiency & I have been treating him naturally (Lugols, GSH, Mininerals) after taking him off of the tapazole of 4 months. After a year, his Total T4 is normal. He still has an elevated heartbeat at times which I know that I now need to put him on a stricter diet. Ialready got rid of bromine (found in 90% of bread products), flouride, mercury, etc. I now am going gluten free and will really try to make a lot by scratch. Thank you again!!


    • Hi Bernadette,
      What you have to say is fascinating to me as I have never been able to see a goiter grow. Also you make me wonder about something that happens to me now and then, a racing heart. I think it may come down to too much of something, perhaps bromine (when I imbibe in a wheat containing bread) or goitrogens, which I do eat but try to limit. I have always blamed MSG which I only get if I eat out or something prepared in a deli but I am going to pay more attention.
      I hope you will let us know about going gluten free and how it works for your son. I found that I had terrible GI issues while gluten free (diarrhea, gall bladder pain, etc.). I never isolated the culprit but surmised that it was either too many carbs (I ate GF bread like I never ate bread before) or specifically sorghum flour.
      We really are in this together and a “village” always makes it somehow more palatable.



  13. Posted by Margaret on 13:54 at Thursday, February 2, 2012

    Hi, all ~ reading these posts with great interest, wondering how to moderate my diet as an almost-vegetarian hypothyroid patient, currently on prescribed dessicated thyroid medication…. I was religiously eating walnuts, blueberries and hemp seed for breakfast, about 2 hours or less after my med dose, then come to find out that they are also goitrogenic! However, I saw on one site that walnuts were to be taken within 4 hours of the medication, so I assume it is OK to have them? Would roasting them help? I have been soaking them for 8 hours or more, as it is healthier according to raw dieters. (The hemp seeds are high in OMega 3 and protein, so I would also take them opposite my med….)

    It is hard to think I will have to rely on meat for protein, since soy is out ~ and I am staying away from dairy, due to allergies…. what’s a girl to do? I understand Chlorella has a lot of protein ~ will they tell us that it is goitrogeinc, too?

    In the meantime, here’s to lettuce soup and salads without arugula… sigh.

    I hear that saturated fat as in coconut, avocado, and olives is good for the thryroid, by the way…. so will increase that. Any ideas from anyone on goitrogens and how to moderate them?



    • Hi Margaret,
      Cooking or roasting any food will negate some of the goitrogenic properties in them. Soaking then roasting or dehydrating nuts should help. Fermenting seems to enhance the goitrogenic effect somewhat, so fermented cabbage might be worse than cooked or raw cabbage. Fermented soybeans recently came up in a conversation and the general feeling is natto is no better than other forms of soy, so should be eaten with caution. I was sorry to hear that as I rather like natto (miso and soy sauce also fall in to the fermented soy category). Lucky for me it is very hard to find in the Twin Cities for some reason.
      I think after years of watching these foods like a hawk my feeling is everything in moderation. Have your arugula but don’t have it every night. Eat a few nuts but not every day. As a friend of mine does you could survive quite well on the good fats like coconut oil, avocado and olives, a few root vegetables and maybe some quinoa for protein (unless you are sensitive to phytic acid or foods high in oxalates) but I like food too much to be that restricted. Most hypothyroid people I talk to do better with some meat/fish in their diet, sorry.
      I hope this is helpful. If anyone else has something to add please share your experience.


  14. Hi
    I really did not know about the Resveratrol
    I am shocked since I have been using it for over a year now, even though I take Armour Thyroid for my condition
    I just wanted to know if you are totally sure about the Resveratrol containing Goitrogens and if you got the info from a reliable medical source, or is just something that they have not really proven yet?
    Would you mind to get back to me?
    I am in such a shock
    How about the Garlic and Onion, is that something sure as well?



    • Anna, I believe originally I took that comment from a moderator of the thyroid forum I participate in. She has studied everything to do with thyroid and its effect on her by blood test and she found resveratrol was not doing her any good. Rather than just tell you that I just found a scientific article on the subject and if you don’t mind being compared to a rat you might appreciate the outcome of feeding rats resveratrol over a period of time. It actually made their thyroid weigh more and did raise their TSH. I guess the question is are humans comparable to rats? I would like to think not but they use rats for a reason.
      The study is “Effects of Resveratrol on Thyroid Function in Normal and Hyperthyroid Rats:A Mechanistic Study”. It was done as a thesis paper for a Master’s degree in Toxicology by one Ibrahim Abduh Khardali. You can Google it and read the paper as I can’t seem to cut and paste the URL.


      • Hi Kris
        I really like this blog, is it yours?
        Thanks for the reply

        I did look into that, wow,thank you! that is terrible, the problem is that unfortunately not enough doctors know about this and even about all the other food and which food exactly is goitrogenic,

        It seems from what I read on online that every food is, and every fruit is, all kind of fruit, and even all beans and pasta and there is nothing left to eat lol

        I wish there were more precise info, medical doctors do not have enough time to educate themselves and so there is lack of knowledge, even among naturopathic doctors

        Anyway, about that rat experiment, I wish more medical professionals would look into it, and be able to tell us more
        HOWEVER if it can be of any consolation, I remember that I found a similar experiment last year online, that showed that rats had been tested with Tryptophan and their livers had been damaged even at low doses .I asked the opinion of a good doctor online and he explained that we cannot really compare rats to people, and that Tryptophan has never shown to damage the liver and is safe
        So that is good

        I also wanted to add, that the moment I stopped taking Resveratrol (which I had taken to stop my hair loss due to my low levels of Thyroid, and which had worked perfectly until now, 3 days after stopping taking resveratrol, I had some hair loss again, not much, but I had not shed any hair, since I had been taking it
        So I wonder if all this fear about Grapes and Resveratrol not being good for the Thyroid, if is too much, as I was doing fine until I stopped taking it, so i did start it again, but this time I will take it only every other day and see what happens

        I also have posted a question about the Resveratrol on this great website:

        It takes time for them to answer, but I would encourage more people to place the same question, so maybe it will get their attention and the answer will come faster,

        Also there this other great medical site, which I have used in the past and gotten great answers:
        And he is also on Facebook now and you can post your question there as well

        I placed my question about the Resveratrol on his site too, but so far I have not received any answer
        So I would encourage others to do the same, the more questions about Resveratrol, the better!!!

        Do any of you know anything more precise about the the rest of the food? Is so confusing

        How much do you know about, GARLIC, ONION? is it true?

        And are all kinds of BEANS goitrogenic? Or only some? Which?, beside Soy beans of course

        And what about GREENS are all greens goitrogenic (except Lettuce and Dandelion)? or only:

        And what about FRUIT?
        It seems that all fruit is goitrogenic

        First I read it was only the Rosacea family, which includes : PLUMS, PEACHES, ALMONDS, BERRIES, APRICOTS
        but then on other sites I found that even all citrus fruits, and pineapples and strawberries are goitrogenic
        What about berries, are all berries goitrogenic
        and GRAPES of course, any more info?

        Anyone knows more precise info about NUTS?
        I knew WALNUTS are, but now I hear even ALMONDS are, is it really true? And what about PISTACHIO nuts and other nuts? Anybody knows?
        Am I the only one who wants to have a clear idea about which is which? Or are there others like me, who seeks knowledge? LOL

        Please, any more CLEAR,PRECISE info or referral about the above, is appreciated
        Thank you

      • SORRY

      • Don’t worry Anna I will just delete your second entry and yes, it’s my blog I’m glad you are enjoying it. I love to experiment and come to my own conclusions and then write about what I have learned. I also decided when I started Krisinsight that there are so many things that we don’t know and no wants us to learn that I just had to, if nothing else, try to expose people to the things I have learned.
        I think we have to use our common sense and insight to determine what is good for us and what isn’t. It really comes down to being willing to experiment (as you just did). I eat goitrogenic foods but I do try to keep them to three times a week even my Boku superfood. On some iodine discussion groups (I think it was Dr. Brownstein of Michigan) the feeling was if you increase your iodine intake you will more than make up for the goitrogenic effects of food on your thyroid. I no longer take iodine due to my Hashimoto’s as it really increased my antibodies and my TSH sky rocketed, so I feel limiting goitrogens is my better option. That said, I take resveratrol but I haven’t noticed that it decreased my hair loss (getting my thyroid optimized seems to be doing that). I eat almonds (they are goitrogenic as are peanuts), spinach, broccoli and other vegetables in the cruciferous family. I do not eat soy in any way shape or form and won’t. I do not eat packaged foods. I make my own salad dressings and we only eat organic produce at home. Our beef is grass fed, our chicken is pastured raised, our eggs are from local pastured raised chickens and our milk is real and delivered by a farmer. We eat very little fruit because of the sugar content but apples are a daily affair and pears are also in the fruit bowl (both are good for the gall bladder). In other words, good clean food that is locally sourced if possible.
        I would love to get conversations going on my blog Anna, so spread the word and see if we can stimulate conversation. I have a keen interest in all you said and will look up the sites you mentioned. In the end, we really must educate ourselves. Doctors don’t have the time or inclination to study things as in depth as we are doing. Please feel free to share more interesting information with us and pass my site on maybe we can get a really useful conversation going on many topical subjects.

  15. Posted by Layna Johnson on 23:10 at Thursday, November 18, 2010

    Hi Kris, thanks for saying as it is. I recently tried this “amazing” blue green-algae, ha, ha and has this rather interesting reaction of high, high, anxiety. I too have forced myself to gulp down greens because of their touted health benefits, “amazing.” Ha, ha, while I agree with the “everything in moderation” advocates, please understand that some of us are just that sensitive, and even these “super-greens” in their raw state in moderation, cause stress for the thyroid and create symptoms. All said with love and blessings, L


    • Kris
      Thanks again, of course I will refer people to your site,
      You say the Resveratrol has not helped you with hair loss?

      May I ask you how long have you used it?

      For me it took several months but then as I have monitored, (when I would not take it for over a week I would see the difference)

      I know that after some months then it starts to work, and also, you have to take it with at least 1500 MG Taurine and 50 Zinc a day, that is the formula why it worked for me,
      it was my Italian Dermatologist who put me on that over a year ago, when I went to Italy to visit my family

      by itself, is not so powerful for hair loss, and the best Resveratrol formula i have found here (exact amount needed and made from Red Wine extract together with Green tea) is Natural Rseveratrol by NOW FOOD,

      I hope this ll help 🙂
      SO, hang in and be hopeful,you will see your results eventually, also, if you not already do it, meditation helps 🙂

      unfortunately, I have to take some soy milk, here and then, as it is the only supplement I have tried that helps me with some night sweating I was experiencing, they are totally gone since I started to drink very little soy milk every other day or so

      I felt kind of less depressed when I read what this Dr (in the link posted below) says about Soy and other Gotrogenic food, is objective and have a larger perspective rather than just confusing you, about Hypothyroidism and goitrogenic food

      How did you know that you had Hashimoto, from thyroid hormone tests? (TSH, T3 T4)? or you had to do another blood test to find out ? Did you have some kind of difficulty swelling or dry throat?

      I wonder why my doctor has never suggested I do a test to find out, well maybe i should I ask him
      Thanks Kris


      • Anna,
        I have taken zinc and resveratrol in a supplement by Life Extension called Anti-Alcohol Anti-Oxidants for several years. Despite its name it has a great anti-oxidant combination along with 2000 mg of Vitamin C and I think is good for everybody but especially if a person like an evening glass of wine or a drink. I have to be very cautious about taking zinc as it is hard on your adrenals and I have some amount of adrenal stress. That said, it is good for people to know that it is helping you with the hair loss.
        Hashimoto’s generally is tested with a TPO test (thyroid peroxidase). Doctors are reluctant to test for the antibodies but it should be included with every thyroid panel in my opinion. Sometime they test for it and if it comes back low enough they discount it but generally if you have antibodies present you have Hashi’s. My daughter was tested and tested for thyroid problems and because her TSH wasn’t out of line she was told her thyroid was okay. I finally recomended that she see my functional medicine doctor and he ran the thyroid panel. Not only did she have hypothyroidism she had autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s) all of which was probably to blame for her infertility but that is another subject altogether.
        I enjoy the Women to Women site and their perspective on things but I don’t buy in to everything they say. I will check this link and see what I think. Thanks again. They do have a great healthy bone site that is on Facebook as well as Women to Women.
        I lived in Italy for three years in the 90’s and love the country. We had the privilege of living in Roma and loved it, the people and the food. How wonderful to have family there that you can visit.

  16. Thanks Shirley for your comment which reminded me to read my posting again and to stay away from some of these foods. I did add the green drink back once or twice a week and things seem okay. I also decided to make my own green drink and have ordered barley grass powder, alfalfa powder, chlorella and spirulina from Mountain Rose Herbs. I can add them to my morning smoothie which I make with Mercola’s Whey Protein.
    I have increased my dessicated thyroid to 150 mg (75 mg twice a day melted in the vestibule of my mouth just opposite my upper first molar). I gradually raised it over the last month. Several times a day I take a half teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt in warm water and then drink water until I need to use the loo which helps my Iodoral detoxify my system. I am also taking Cytozyme to strengthen my adrenals along with magnesium, Vitamin C, niacin and tyrosine all of which seem to be helping as even my sleep has become very peaceful and restorative.
    Just for those who might find it interesting I also went back to my bio-identical female hormones(I quit taking them when things got so messed up a month ago). I found the book “Natural Hormone Balance” by Uzzi Reiss invaluable in using bio-identicals correctly. My doctor had not given me any advice on using them effectively and Dr. Reiss made so much sense and his advice has made all the difference. I highly recommend his book to any female who would like to get things back in to balance no matter their age.


    • I read something from Dr.Brownstein this week that I thought might update the above information on goitrogens. He was quoted as saying “that in the amounts that we eat these goitrogenic foods iodine supplementation will take care of any negative side effects.” He did not like the demonization of these otherwise healthy foods. I am not a doctor but I study a lot of research papers and I would tend to agree with Dr. Brownstein that iodine might overcome the thyroid suppression that otherwise might occur but when these foods are in your diet three times a day, 7 days a week I think they present a problem. My spousal unit says “All things in moderation” and I do try but somehow I always get carried away.


      • Posted by Anonymous on 14:35 at Thursday, March 6, 2014

        Kris, alpha lipoic acid is a chelator! if you have metals, it would be moving them. that can be hard on one’s thyroid. additionally, if you were taking it randomly it could cause redistribution of metals. you may want to look look into Andy Cutler’s frequent low dose chelation therapy. you also may want to try cutting out gluten/casein or being tested for sensitivity (this helps some thyroid patients) proper chelation can actually reverse thyroid disorders, potentially.

      • Your point regarding ALA is a good reminder for me. I still take it almost every day and if I do have heavy metal toxicity it could be shifting them and creating problems. I will look up Andy Cutler and what he has to say.
        As far as gluten and casein, I went totally gluten free about a year and a half ago and it has made a huge difference. I finally connected the dots between gluten and autoimmune issues when I got shingles in the autumn of 2012 after eating gluten for two weeks. I had never realized that the two weeks I took off from gluten free living while on holiday always resulted in some kind of autoimmune attack. Last autumn I went on holiday for two weeks, did not eat any gluten, slept really well and came home and didn’t get sick. Hurrah!
        This blog entry is several years old and I leave it to help someone who might be looking at solving a major issue. Taking T3 only has really solved most of my issues and even goitrogenic food seems a whole lot less scary, so I eat them in moderation and mostly steamed.

  17. Hi Kris–Finally getting over to comment on this post. First, thank you for entering the giveaway at gfe. Second, you have a great blog. I can never get enough of this kind of info myself, and like you I have a hard time being concise when I want to share a lot of info! But, you did a wonderful job with this article. I am hypothyroid myself and my doctor (who is very knowledgeable, functional medicine, etc.) told me I could drink green smoothies a few times a week with no arm. However, that said, I had the palpitations the other night AFTER drinking smoothies earlier. After reading your article, the light bulb went off. I sitll wonder though when one says limit, what exactly does that mean? Eat rarely? Like once a month instead of a couple of times a week.

    I wsn’t familiar with the source of dessicated thyroid that you cited. Your dosage makes me think my own is way low (only 15 mg of Armour, I took 30 today just to see what would happen and feel tons better). And, my doctor wants to wean me off that. I went off thyroid meds about 2 years after going gluten free, but slowly my issues returned.

    Anyway, I’m going to read your post again and check out your references, some of which I’m familiar with.



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