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From Our Readers - Comments, Suggestions & Questions 04-01-09

  [ 21 votes ]   [ 2 Comments ] • March 31, 2009

Foods & Thyroid Function - Did You Know?

[For those who are hypothyroid] there are numerous foods that interact with thyroid function. These foods are called goitrogenic foods. You can Google that topic for a complete list... [e.g., at]

The two main ways that goitrogens suppress thyroid function are by disabling the body's ability to absorb iodine, or by inhibiting enzymes that help us convert our thyroid hormone from the inactive to the active form.

There are many goitrogenic foods. Fortunately, most of the fruits & veg that are goitrogenic are much less so in the cooked form. So, for example, if you love broccoli & cabbage, eat them in moderation, and preferably cooked, for the least impact on thyroid function… - S


More on Sensitivity to Fluoride in Meds

Re: The letter: “Beware of Fluoride in Many Meds” - (sharing the info that “Four percent of the population is allergic to some form of fluoride.”)

Now that explains something that I go through when I get the fluorescein eye drops during my yearly eye exam. My eye doctor just shakes his head when he puts those drops in my eyes because of how much distress they cause me with the stinging and burning and pain. He has told me that I'm the only one of his patients that reacts this way to those drops! This is my ‘normal’, but evidently it isn't. Imagine that! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and experience with fluoride! - B


Probiotics Helped Heartburn

I've been using probiotics for a number of months now. During that time, I've had hardly any stomach difficulties (an exception was when I inadvertently drank some tainted water). I used to have bad heartburn daily, and had resorted to sleeping apart from my husband in a bed with the head raised… - P


Vitamin B-12 and Neuropathic Pain

Re: The research report that “Vitamin B-12 may be more effective than nortriptyline in improving painful diabetic neuropathy”

It would be wonderful if a non-toxic vitamin could replace a drug with side effects in treating neuropathic pain. Wanting to know more about dosage and administration of the vitamin B12, I tried to find the article. I searched in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, and in Medline, but did not find the original article! - B

Note: As with the majority of recently published journal articles, the publisher of this article charges a fee for online access to the full text. However, very often if you e-mail the author with questions, you will get a good response, which is why we try hard to include an author e-mail link with each abstract. In this case, with some extra Googling, we located the e-mail of the lead author - Dr. Afsaneh Talaiei, a university-based endocrinologist. Her E-mail is

Visit the ProHealth Store for More Information:

Grade School ‘Hypochondriac’ Vindicated

Re: The letter – “Newsprint is My Chemical Sensitivity Trigger.”

I was actually relieved to find that I am not the only person allergic to the newspaper! In fact, when I was in grade school back in the '70s, they used to print our lined paper every day, before it was available loose-leaf. They used this paper every time we had a test, and every time I would get a severe response to the smell of the paper: headache, nausea and dizziness. Of course I was sent to the nurse’s office to lie down, but was labeled a hypochondriac by students, teachers and even my family.

Years later I discovered that some of the oils used in the ink were what was causing my very real physical reaction. Ah, sweet vindication! At least we can read the news online now, sans smelly, caustic ink! - Lil


Another Alternative for Dandruff

Re: The letter – “Primrose Oil for Itching Scalp.”

I also experienced improved skin and hair when taking Omega-6 oil, which is the main ingredient in evening primrose oil. However, I have menstrual disruption with flax or primrose (due to the estrogen-mimicking qualities of each), so I use [Omega-3] fish oil (ensure it's tested for heavy metals). Works great! Those people with dandruff using Head and Shoulders need to just take more Omega-3, in my opinion. - Sandy


Not Thrilled About Taking Coumadin

Q: What is a good substitute for [the blood-thinning anti-clot drug] coumadin? – Alice

A: We asked ProHealth's expert customer service staff, and they mention one possibility - which they caution should only be considered under the direction of a knowledgeable physician familiar with your case - may be Boluoke®, aka lumbrokinase. This is a purified extract of digestive enzymes from a species of earthworm most commonly found in apple orchards. It was used in cruder form for centuries in Chinese traditional medicine, and has been shown to help dissolve fibrin - a protein substance that the body releases in forming blood clots and fibroid cysts. Physicians sometimes consider this alternative for those who can’t tolerate, or choose not to use, pharmaceutical drugs, after weighing possible contraindications and all other supplements or drugs one might be taking, as they would in prescribing coumadin.


Don’t Always Assume a New Symptom is "Just the Arthritis or Fibro" …

I've been suffering blinding headaches for about a month, they came on suddenly and eventually progressed to headaches plus toothaches, plus earaches, etc. I was also even more exhausted than usual. I tried upping my exercise, cutting out exercise, adding sleep, taking more muscle relaxants, less muscle relaxants, more sleep medicine, less sleep medicine, more pain killers, less pain killers, etc. I did lots of "research" on the web and figured my symptoms were caused by my fibromyalgia and inflammatory arthritis.

Finally, my husband got worried enough about me to insist I go to the Urgent Care clinic and at least be seen about them. I didn't want to go because I'm so sick of either being told everything looks "normal" or that it's because of my fibromyalgia and arthritis. Turns out I had a raging sinus infection... Four days of antibiotics later and I'm feeling like a new woman.... Just wanted to share this experience because I'm sure we all go through this at one time or another and… not want to go through the "embarrassment" of another wasted doctor's appointment. – S


Avoid Garlic if You’re Coping with Orthostatic Problems

[If you have orthostatic intolerance] Remove garlic from your diet. It lowers blood pressure and contributes to an NMH/POTS* attack. Sometimes you won't feel it till the following day or so, but if you look back at what you ate, it was the garlic in the food. – TB

* Neurally mediated hypotension or postural tachycardia syndrome - abnormal drop in blood pressure/exaggerated increase in heart rate after rising to upright position.


Surprise Solution for the Acid Reflux/Heartburn

My daughter had a terrible time with GERD, nothing helped, including the purple pill stuff... Our gastro doc sent her to have allergy testing. It turns out she is allergic to soy, and sensitive to peanuts and rice. She eliminated soy totally from her diet and got her life back… Soy is in almost everything! Within a week she was back to her old self. When she slips up, the symptoms return with a vengeance! - Linda


Chemical Sensitivities – Good Carpet for Us

I found some room size carpet at Costco that has no smell and they are made from recycled pop bottles. Their website is – BL

Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is generic and anecdotal, and is not meant to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure any condition, illness, or disease. It is very important that you make no change in your healthcare plan or health support regimen without researching and discussing it with your professional healthcare team.

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Article Comments Post a Comment

Posted by: CFS Facts
Apr 1, 2009
I am also allergic to soy, and you're right, nowadays they're putting it in everything, with bright pink starbursts on the package "now with soy for women's health!" Not for THIS woman's health. I pointed out to the manager of the health food store that they have a section for gluten free foods, and a section for dairy free, etc., they need to have a section for soy free. He was stunned to learn that soy is one of the Top Ten Food Allergens. I can't even rely on "I've eaten this before with no problem" because so many manufacturers are reformulating to put soy in -- I have to read labels every single time I shop. As much as I would like to become a vegetarian, I can't, because I can't eat soy to get protein, and I need a lot of protein to remain functional.
Reply Reply

Don’t Always Assume a New Symptom is "Just the Arthritis or Fibro" …
Posted by: CFS Facts
Apr 1, 2009
Amen to that. Doctors need to be hit over the head with that. I have a family history of colon cancer, and my symptoms were the same that had resulted in my dad getting his diagnosis, yet even though I met the American Cancer Society guidelines for screenings, repeated pleas for a referral for a colonoscopy were rejected. Apparently they have x-ray vision that they were positive that it was "just the CFS". Four or five years later, I finally got a new doctor who was willing to order the colonoscopy. The GI specialist asked "what took you so long?" and when I told him why I couldn't get a referral, he muttered "I hope I find something so you can sue them for all they're worth". Fortunately, he didn't find anything, and fortunately, the problem went away when we finally found a combination of drugs that helped me sleep through the night, rather than only 2 hours. If your doctor is inclined to blame everything on the CFS, remind him that patients have died or nearly died (resulting in long/costly hospitalizations) from such myopic attitudes, and insist on getting the appropriate tests/screening.
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