Living Well with Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You... That You Need to Know (Revised Edition)

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As many as one in eight women have a thyroid condition. In Living Well with Hypothyroidism, Mary Shomon outlines the most common of these--too little thyroid hormones in the body. Weight gain, depression, fatigue, and what patients call "brain fog, Brillo hair, and prune skin" result. Because the symptoms of hypothyroidism mimic so many other conditions--chronic fatigue, PMS, clinical depression--it can be very tricky to diagnose, especially since patients with HMOs may not get the thorough testing they need.

Shomon knows of what she speaks: she's a health writer and thyroid patient herself. She also manages a thyroid Web site and writes a newsletter on hypothyroidism. In Living Well, she offers an extensively researched guide to this complex condition. She covers conventional, alternative, and late-breaking approaches to treatment--such as challenging the gold standard of Synthroid as the thyroid replacement therapy of choice. (Synthroid replaces T4, the less active of the two thyroid hormones, and Shomon features new research on adding T3--the more potent thyroid hormone--to treatment.)

With her down-to-earth, patient-centered approach, Shomon explains everything from how to choose a thyroid specialist to how calcium, antidepressants, and a high-fiber diet affect thyroid hormone absorption. The book includes a chapter on depression, which is a typical misdiagnosis of hypothyroidism--as well as a symptom that often persists even after treatment. She also covers infertility (women who are hypothyroid don't ovulate as regularly and miscarry more frequently) and thyroid cancer, one of the less common causes of hypothyroidism. She explains how to spot hypothyroidism in kids, and ends with a glossary, international resources, and journal references.

Shomon creates a sense of community by excerpting e-mails from her vast network of patients--voices that bring a sense of humor so often missing from health books. One quibble: she could have avoided the antidoctor stance in the beginning of her book, where she blames physicians, rather than incomplete science, for the misdiagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism. --Rebecca Taylor

  • Living Well with Hypothyroidism, What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You...That You Need To Kno

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Customer Reviews:

  • A must-read for those diagnosed with depression
    I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism 10 years ago at the age of 26. After months of not being able to stay awake through the workday and never feeling rested after many hours of sleep, my PCP at the time tried to diagnose me with depression. I relented that I was only depressed from being exhausted all the time and subsequently unproductive. After coming across an article about hypothyroidism (the first time I had ever heard the term) in Women's Day and quickly checking all 20 of the 20 possible symptoms listed on their quiz, I took the article to my doctor and demanded a full thyroid screening. Almost mockingly, he came back to say, "Ah, well there you go. Your thyroid isn't functioning at all." That "win" was just the start of a long road managing this condition. I wish I had read this book years ago and learned the many treatments available from medication options (beyond just Synthroid) to acupuncture, homeopathy and more. I strongly believe that many people, women especially, are misdiagnosed and unnecessarily medicated for depression when the cause of their malfunctioning - mental and physical - could be their thyroid. ...more info
  • Yeah, What They Say!
    I have been hypothyroid for 21 years now. An astute gynecologist noticed a goiter when I thought nothing was wrong. Mary Shomon's book is the most patient-friendly book I have read on the subject EVER. It should be in the library of every thyroid patient and their families. You will refer to it long after you've finished your first reading....more info
  • this is a keeper
    This book looks at all the angles. Lots of information. Written by a consumer for consumers. I will be keeping this one for future reference....more info
  • Better Than the Original
    I own the original version of this book - reading it I realized that all my wacky symptoms pointed to a thyroid problem. I used information I learned in the book to demand my doctor take me seriously - it also gave me the backbone to "fire" my first doctor when I didn't think he was taking me seriously.

    I thumbed through this revised edition to see if it was the same and realized it's not. It talked about the new TSH normal range (that most doctors aren't using yet) which is vital for me because when I'm at the high end of the *old* normal, I feel awful.

    I also liked the cool stuff about iodine seaweed and soy, especially the soy, now that I'm 40 and facing the prospect of dealing the menopause. So many treatments recommend soy, which you really have to watch if you're hypo.

    Great revised edition, I highly recommend this book. Thanks Mary!...more info
  • A Must Read Book About The Thyroid
    I recommend this book to those who have been diagnosed with hypothyrodism and those who suspect they are hypothyroid. This book covers virtually everything on the topic and presents the information in a logical and easy to read format. You don't need to be a doctor to take good care of your thyroid... you just need determination and this book!...more info
  • Comprehensive guide yet quick read
    I purchased this book for myself. I needed some answers and direction for Hypothyroidism that wasn't filled with long medical terms. This book, Living Well with Hypothyroidism: "What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You...What You Need To Know" gives the reader solid answers, a guide to help the reader ask the doctor for help, and medical terms that are understandable for the layman. ...more info
  • Overly Exaggerated
    I've had an underactive thyroid since I was a teen. Always had trouble with weight, dry skin, hair. However, these problems are mostly hereditary in my family, with or without a thyroid problem. Her book is wordy and forgets to get to the point. She make hypothyroidism sound like a critical illness. Bet she could have put this book into a 30 page pamphlet. I kept falling asleep trying to read it....more info
    This is a top book on the details of Hypothyroidism. It is packed with useful information, including dealing with frustrating MD's, new tests available, etc. I can't imagine a better book....more info
  • GREAT author
    REALLY helps those with hypothyroidism outside of their doctor's office. Author is very knowledgeable; I learned a great deal....more info
  • Good Overview..4.5 stars!
    In this book, Mary Shomon provides a good overview of the many aspects of this disease, including its possible causes, diagnosis, and treatment. This book is written for patients and other interested laypeople. Shomon is not a doctor--she is a patient advocate and doesn't go much into medical terminology in her book. This is great for a layperson only beginning to research hypothyroidism.

    I appreciate Shomon's objectivity in presenting the many different aspects of hypothyroidism, including areas that have not been researched and/or are subject to controversy. Since mainstream medicine dismisses hypothyroidism as "easy to treat" with a one-size-fits-all pill regimen, many thyroid books only regurgitate mainstream views while excluding very many cases of hypothyroidism. Moreover, many books written by doctors are almost always biased toward their own opinions and treatment protocols. This book doesn't have these biases and does a great job of presenting information in a manner that truly encourages the patient to look at their options and take charge of their health.

    The writing can get redundant and the tone maybe a little condescending (maybe it's just me?), but I didn't find that to be much of a distraction. Many topics are covered (more than in other thyroid books I've read), but Shomon doesn't go in-depth on most of them. She mostly provides an excellent summary of each topic/sub-topic, often including relevant quotes from patients and medical professionals, as well as her own personal experiences. I found that these summaries were not quite enough for me and I had to refer to other sources to fill in the details, but this book was the perfect starting point.

    Shomon also brings up issues such as the lack of research, "patient" organizations funded by pharmaceutical companies, problems with TSH testing, etc. These discussions are absent in other books, but are important for a hypothyroid patient and their loved ones to know. It is true that much of what's in the book can also be found in Shomon's websites. But if you're like me and would rather leaf through a book than stare at the computer screen, this book is pretty valuable....more info
  • myths
    Mary has debunked longstanding "myths" and misinformation about thyroid diagnosis and treatment options that have come from both alternative and conventional thyroid specialists....more info
  • finally hopeful
    This book was not only informative, but it really helps to know that there are other people with the same problems and concerns. Most of the symptoms described I have suffered with for over 10 years. Thanks to this book I have finally gotten my Physcian's attention and he is working with me to get my hypothyroidism in better control. I am using alot of the suggestions mentioned and I finally have a hope of feeling better. I was listening to my friends and family instead of myself, and I had begun to believe that there was nothing wrong with me.(since I was taking Synthroid I must be alright despite feeling terrible)...more info
  • Best reference guide for Hypothyroid patients
    I have owned this book for several years. I keep it close to my bedside for reference. It is one of the best sources of information on hypothyroidism I have discovered and I own many books on this annoying disease! Mary J. Shomon also has a great website which I am constantly visiting for updates. I found a great endochronoligist in my area via her website. I recommend you buy this book you won't be sorry because you just won't read it once - you will continue to reference this information as long as you need it....more info
  • Not nearly as detailed as The Thyroid Solution
    I bought this book and The Thyroid Solution (Ridha) at the same time. While this book does give some information it isn't half as informative as The Thyroid Solution. Ridha's book is not what I would call an 'easy' read but it's worth it if you can take the time to do it. But if you have a short attention span and like books that are simple to read I'd recommend this one. ...more info
  • Best book I have found on Hypothyroidism
    When I was first diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I was very confused and not getting many answers from my doctor. This book answered all my questions and is an excellent reference book to have on your bookshelf....more info
  • Explained what my doctor couldn't
    This book is wrote so anyone, even myself could understand. It is very helpful. Mary goes on and explains the medicines, when to get blood checks, what are side effects etc.. So when we go back to our doctors, we'll know excately what they need to know in order for them to help us....more info
  • domenico albarani
    Pratical advice for hypothyroidial desease.
    Good tool for choosing a remedy that is fit to your condition.
    It is a little help to remedy same doctor's negligence....more info
  • Lots of good stuff
    I haven't finished it yet, but so far so good. I am a Registered nurse and recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism. This book has given me a lot of information I did not know, as well as my Dr. did not know. I feel more impowered to know what questions to ask and be in control of my health. I would recommend it to anyone with symptoms of hypothyroidism and or diagnosed with the condition. ...more info
  • One of the best resources available on Hypothyroidism
    I was recently diagnosed 2 months ago with Hypothyroidism. My level was at 18 at that point. I had done some research on the internet and decided I wanted to try and correct my condition naturally. So I bought the Lugols Iodine and ended up setting myself waaay back. My level went up to 72 in only a matter of 2 months. (be very very careful if you try the Iodine...I'm not sure if I did it wrong or what)
    So I picked up this book that I had bought months ago and started reading and reading and reading front to back. I am so full of information right now and feel this book really helped me do my homework. I am very prepared to go to my Dr with the info I have read and discuss the best treatment plan for me. I am not happy at all to know I will be on meds the rest of my life but at least I now know what route I want to go. ...more info
  • Insightful and empowering
    This book helped me to understand that "its not all in my head" and I feel more confident in pushing my doctor for more assistance.
    Thanks...more info
  • Not that helpful
    I think everything I read in this book I've read online. And I really got tired of the doctor bashing and testimonies of others. Basically it tells you to be your own advocate at your doctor's office, ask questions until you understand the answers. ...more info
  • Best buy
    I haven't read a lot of books on hypothyroidism, but I've searched the Web for info, and asked my dr. But I've found this book to be the best book I've bought in a long time. It gives you so much information and it's so easy to read. It doesn't solve why you're hypothyroid but it is an excellent reference book. If tells you about hypothyroid contributing factors such has drugs you may already be taking. It gives you information about the kind of medication you can take for your thyroid. It helps you understand what's going on in your body. It made me feel better informed and better prepared to meet with my dr the next time I visited. I even suggested he tell his patients about this book, because it has helped me so much....more info
  • awesome resource for anyone with thyroid disease
    I wish I had been able to read this book years ago. I have been living with thyroid disease for many years now, and suffering needlessly for the entire time. This book was a God-send, and has opened my eyes to the entirety of my disease. She explains in very simple terms what thyroid disease is, and how to find a GOOD doctor who will help alleviate the symptoms and treat the disease properly. I would recommend this book to everyone who has thyroid disease, even if you have had it for a long time. ...more info
  • Good Book/loaded
    I found out more about Hypothyroidism than I ever knew before thanks to this book. It also was the catalyst for me to be more assertive regarding my TSH test results which said normal range.
    I was feeling anything but normal.

    I do feel the book is a little deep with medical jargon and information overload. I found it helpful overall but must admitt
    it was a little hard to read and depressing in some spots. Left me wondering if I will ever be normal again. Although helpful for a person in a "fog" it is a lot to handle....more info

  • If You Feel your doctor's not getting the picture...
    If you're being treated for hypothyroidism or even trying to get tested for it...and feel like no one's listening, this is the book for you. I flailed around trying to figure my Hashimoto's situation out, and finally, I stumbled on this book and blog. With thyroid disease, you often have to push and advocate for yourself, as doctors aren't always up on the newest research. This book will show you how. EVERYONE who has a thyroid problem should read this. Empower yourself! Mary Shomon has a lot of personal experience and has the intelligence to pull all the research together.

    I particularly recommend this book for anyone trying to get pregnant. The thyroid is so important for fertility AND can have consequences for the baby....more info
    Best book I've ever read on the thyroid AND MORE - better than JAMA or New England Journal of Med or Endo's newsletter. ANYONE can read EASILY and understand this book. Well written, well laid out and I've learned alot. Because of my respect for Mary Shomon, I've made appts. w/a Holistic MD and and Endo - and will be going with my pages filled out! Thank you Mary for making this dis-ease easier to understand and life with!...more info
  • Some fluff , but on the whole good,
    As a long term thyroid sufferer I've read alot of information so it's hard to tell me something new but this book did and it helped. Mary gives us her story and others, she understands the scope of the problem and tries to address as many issues as she can. Most importantly, she understands how the problem can invade every area of your life and your whole body and really tries to help you find ways to feel better mentally, physically and emotionally....more info
  • Don't Bother...
    I bought this book shortly after I learned I was hypo-thyroid. I had high expectations, because of hearing about Mary's books on her forums. I was severely disappointed. This book didn't tell me anything new...I had read the website,Stop The Thyroid Madness.... and that website had vast information vs. Mary's book. I also bought one of her e-books about Thyroid and Hair loss and was also disappointed. It didn't tell me anything new, at all. Her forum site has become a vehicle to sell her books, and not a open forum on thyroid health...New information is not allowed to be exchanged on the list if it pertains to other than Mary's books or websites....very Sad. I will look elsewhere for up-to-date relevant thyroid information.
    Stop the Thyroid Madness: A Patient Revolution Against Decades of Inferior Treatment...more info
  • Living Well with Hypothyroidism:What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You
    Excellent book loaded with helpful information....more info
  • Living Well with Hypothyroidism
    BUY THIS BOOK! This book has literally changed my life!!! It is a must have for anyone mulling around in the hypothyroid brain-fog. It has cleared the skys and given me the insight and ability to be pro-active with my health and to effectively communicate with my health-care provider. What a difference it makes when you understand what the numbers mean and that you are not alone! Mary J Shomon, Thank You!...more info
  • Everyone MUST read this book
    For years my GP tried to treat my hypo thryroid condition. The list of weird problems I had was quite long. I found a taking a bit extra synthroid made me feel better, but she did not like that. I even got her to send me to the "best" endo in our area. But that was a mistake, the man could not even listen. At they end of the appointment I asked him what he does when someones T4 tests are "normal" and they still feel bad. He said it must be in my head and set me back to my GP. At the time my normal TSH was "5.1", when you read the book you will discover how "un-normal" this was.
    I found the Thyroid foundation, a list of "favorite doctors", and this book from a web search. This was all 7 years ago. Through great treatment with Kenneth Blanchard (boston MA) I am now totally symptom free. I can honestly say he saved my life. This book, and Dr Blanchards, will give you all the inside information you need to understand why simple tests may not be enough. It will give you the real list of common symptoms (get ready to be upset). It will give you the power and knowledge you will need to manage your health. It describes the thyroid function and impacts. It discusses tests and treatment mangement. From what I have heard and experienced, you cannot rely on many Doctors to really understand this problem. They have been brainwashed by the makers of thyroid drugs to belive that just one little pill fixes everything. Thyroid problems are much more common than most people realize and the symptoms are often vague. As women age the percentage effected is higher. And if your thyroid was tested years ago, have it done again now. The "normal" range has been lowered! I know I only feel well if my TSH is about 0.9-1.0. This is an epedemic and we all need to be educated. ...more info
  • living w/ hypothyroidism
    Present for my wife,my decision was based on having heard good things about the book. My wife started reading it and finds it helpful....more info
  • Hypothyroidism Review - Excellent Information
    I found this book to be very informative and factual. For those of us living with Hypothyroidism, this is an excellent book. P.S. Find a doctor who will listen to your symptoms as a whole and not try to treat each symptom individually, such as the book carefully guides you. Be persistent in your search, as there are actually doctors out there who WILL listen and take the time to help, rather than succumbing to the HMO drive thru approach, as my first "primary" care physician did -- stating that my blood levels were NORMAL, when in fact they were not. Be educated in your condition -- as there are treatment options which will bring you out of your "fog and fatigue" and make you feel like a real person again. ...more info
  • Hypothyroidism
    A good book with a lot of information, but the author heavily pushes the drug Armour. NOT EVERYONE NEEDS ARMOUR!! Many do just as well, if not better on synthetics (eg: Synthroid)....more info
  • Living Well with Hypothyroidism: What your Doctor Doesn't Tell You.. That You Need to Know by Mary J. Shomon
    Excellent book. Gives lots of useful information on hypothyroidism. So glad I bought it. Has really been a help to me. ...more info
  • Finally, the truth about hypothyrodism
    I wish my HMO would pay for me to speak to Mary Shomon instead of the wacky endo's I have been forced to deal with. Reading this book was shocking; I felt like someone had been to all my doctor visits with me and was spying. I have had almost every, single issue and conversation in this book with my doctors and was seriously beginning to believe I was the one who had a mental issue. This book helped me start asking the right questions and empowered me to take the control of my auto immune disease away from the doctor and back to me. I am finally able to feel confident when I have a conversation with a doctor. I am more informed and have new places to go for reference. ...more info
  • A GODSEND!!!
    This book has been a godsend to me. It gave me details in real words that I could understand. The list of symptoms was very detailed and all the information is put together in such an easy to read format. I took it along to my doctor's visit and actually got thru to him for once!!

    I HIGHLY recommend this book!...more info

  • I thought I was losing my mind until I read this book..
    Thank you, Mary, for saving my life and my sanity. I thought I was losing my mind until I read this book and finally understood what it was that I had been going through for so many years. Not that I wish hypothyroidism on anyone, but I also learned that I was not alone. This book gave me validity. It also taught me to speak up and ask questions of my doctors. It gave me permission to take charge of my own treatment and to change doctors when I didn't feel that they were listening to me or working for me.

    I am a very conservative grandmother, but this book also opened up my thinking about alternative medicine. I recently began seeing a doctor (M.D.) who practices natural and homeopathic medicine and I am finally beginning to see and feel some improvement in my overall health.

    Anyone with a thyroid problem or suspected thyroid problem would do well to read this book....more info

  • fluorine poisoning/hypothyroidism
    everyone diagnosed with hyPO thyroidism needs to read this...we have been duped by whoever sold the govt the idea that we need fluorine in our water, now we are all suffering pathology of our thyroid glands....more info
  • great reading
    finally, I could get all the info in one place. Very useful for many of those who struggle with hypothyroidism and had many questions and little or no answers....more info
  • THE Book for Thyroid Patients
    If you need to know something about hypothyroidism, it's going to be in this book. Written not by a doctor, but by a patient and the leading patient advocate in this field, this book is unsurpassed....more info
  • Hypo-If you think you know all there is...
    Excellent source of information on just about everything you need or want to know about hypothyroidism. Much detail and numerous resources so that you can check it out for yourselves. Great reference book that you'll use often. A small investment that will pay dividends on improved health....more info
  • Living Well with Hypothyroidism
    Mary Shomon has done so much for all of us with thyroid disease. This book puts together her knowledge in one accessible location. Very helpful book for those trying to live well in spite of thyroid disease....more info
  • This is very good, but I found a website even better...
    It is sad but true that much in this book contains info your doctor probably never bothered to tell you, like how unreliable blood tests can be, how synthetic thyroid is NOT as good as natural and how soy and other goitrogens can wreck your health if you are hypothyroid. Someone who gave a negative review said you can find all this info online. Maybe so. But I wish I had had the book first, as I would have learned, a lot faster, many vital things I needed to know. I also have to recommend the [...] website called Stop The Thyroid Madness, and Source Naturals bovine thyroid glandulars. (Perhaps in addition to your prescription, just watch your temp and blood pressure.) If your blood tests say you are fine and you feel awful, don't trust them for a minute. Find out about temperature and pulse tests, experiment and read up until you feel good. You don't have to suffer! You may need (over the counter) Isocort for your adrenals. The blood tests for adrenal function aren't perfected yet, and many people with thyroid problems have adrenal problems...Do you have vertical ridges on all your fingernails? Per the Chinese this can mean adrenal problems and a urine (not blood test) proved this to be true for me, anyway.
    Also, if you do pretty much all that is in this book, you might look for a doctor who can check your hormonal, vitamin and mineral levels. Could be life changing. Your thyroid gland pretty much runs all your glands.
    You need to do all you can to get it as healthy as possible.
    ...more info
  • Great book
    This book arrived, as promised, full of information that I had not read in other books covering thyroid disease. I have not finished it in it's entirety, however it is safe to say that I would highly recommend it to others suffering from this ailment. The subject is covered extremely well, from various perspectives, and leaves the thyroid patient feeling more in control of the disease, from having such a great heads up from many sources.
    Roz Kenney...more info
  • most excellent! Don't go anywhere else!
    This book, along with Ridha Arem M.D.'s "The Thyroid Solution" are the two most important and helpful books for both doctors and laymen....more info
    This little book is packed with information! Though the author is not a doctor, she has suffered for years, has done her research, and offers a wealth of information about hypothyroidism. If you are suffering from hypothyroidism, Mary J. Shomon helps you to realize that you are not alone. There are so many people out there that are suffering and seeking answers just like you. Though she is not able to give specific answers (for there are none), Shomon provides the reader with a massive amount of ideas and avenues in which to take.

    She encourages the reader and sufferer of hypothyroidism to fire your doctor if you are not satisfied. Just as you would fire an accountant or lawyer if they weren't working for you, your doctor should be working for you. You know your body better than anyone else and if your doctor continues to brush you off or doesn't give you the answers you are looking for, GO ELSEWHERE. DO NOT GIVE UP.

    I am headed to the bookstore to purchase my own copy of the book so I can reread it and highlight some of the suggestions she has made that I feel will work for me. Hypothyroidism is a serious debilitating disease. Shomon, herself, works with eight or so different things to create her own formula for health. It is not easy, but she encourages you that it can be done. In the meantime, we sufferers need to join her bandwagon and continue to push for more research on this disease!

    And when I finish rereading and highlighting my own copy, I have to send it over to my friend who is feeling depressed, tired, sluggish, and fat. My friend promised me she'd make an appointment with an endocrinologist and Mary Shomon provides great questions in the front of her book that my friend can take along to ask her doctor.

    Truly, if you are suffering any of those symptoms, pick up a copy of the book and read it cover to cover. It's got to help!

    ...more info


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