Living Well with Hypothyroidism Rev Ed

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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

The Most Comprehensive Resource Available
on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Hypothyroidism

For millions of Americans, hypothyroidism often goes untreated ... or is treated improperly. This book, thoroughly researched by the nation's top thyroid patient advocate -- a hypothyroidism patient herself -- provides you with answers to all your questions, including:

  • What is hypothyroidism?
  • What are the warning signs, symptoms, and risk factors?
  • Why is getting diagnosed often a challenge, and how can you overcome the obstacles?
  • What treatments are available (including those your doctor hasn't told you about)?
  • Which alternative and holistic therapies, nutritional changes, and supplements may help treat hypothyroidism?

Customer Reviews:

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Goldmine
    The thryoid regulates the entire body metabolism and when it is out of whack, you are out of whack big-time. Yet this disease is commonplace, especially in women, yet is missed or mistreated by some doctors.

    This book provided one fantastic factoid right when I opened it at random; taking calcium tablets along with your thyroid replacement prescription is a problem. I did not know that. And grapefruit is another problem. I have been struggling with a thyroid disease almost my entire life. It is hard to treat and I only get spotty results trying to maintain my hormone levels. I need more information than any of my doctors were providing--such as information about too-low as well as too-high TSH levels (TSH is the hormone from the pituitary that stimulates the thyroid to action and is a diagnostic of thyroid activity.)

    There is a chapter on dealing with going "hypo" that is, going deliberately untreated while you wait for a needed scan (a post-cancer procedure to check for potential problems.)

    This book is a goldmine of information....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
  • Step 1 to Living Well...
    This book is a comprehensive reference book to empower hypothyroid sufferers on their elusive search for wellness. Throughout the book, the author relates her own experience with hypothyroidism as she shares the research and treatment alternatives. I found particularly enlightening the chapters that explain thyroid testing laboratory values and the chapter on infertility, pregnancy, and breast-feeding.

    I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism at age 14, and for over 20 years was treated by standard endocrinologists with T4-only medication based solely on lab values with no regard to my continuing symptoms. In recent years, I began to suffer increasingly debilitating effects of being undertreated. Armed with increased understanding of the disease, I am better equipped to advocate for myself in my doctor's office. This book should be required reading for those of us with hypothyroidism who desire the knowledge of treatment options for enhanced quality of life. ...more info
  • Empower yourself with this book
    If you have hypothyroidism, you need to KNOW the facts which means not just seeing your dr. every 4 months. This book is a wealth of knowledge. I recommend reading it, her website and any other thyroid books you can get your hands on. There are several at Amazon that I have read and reviewed. Knowledge it power. Know your disease....more info
  • An Unbiased Exploration for Patients Who Want to Feel Well
    I'm a huge fan of Living Well with Hypothyroidism. It's been on my nightstand for a year, and I'm psyched to finally get around to writing a review so I can share what this book has done for me, not to mention some friends and people I work with. This is a GREAT book, and it's the one that I've bought copies of over and over again to give to friends who suspected or actually were diagnosed with hypothyroid. As a regular reader of Mary Shoman's website and newsletters, I found her book to be a helpful and thorough, consolidating a great deal of information all in one place. It was also the first time I actually read a book about hypothyroidism that didn't just tell me that it was some no-big-deal problem that a pill could fix, like the thyroid books before it.

    Shoman's websites and newsletters are the cherry on top, and they worked well with the book, which got me up to speed, and then the news and site keep me informed on the latest developments.

    I thought it was pretty surprising that Shoman has never been a particular fan of Synthroid, because it's the drug that most people take for hypothyroidism. The book has almost an entire chapter about the scandals surrounding this drug, research problems, lawsuits and such, things I had no idea about until I read this book. My doctor put me on the synthroid, and I took it for a while, but after reading the book, I asked my doctor to try some other treatments, and they work much better.

    She's also pretty skeptical when it comes to the drug companies and the medical establishment that has no clue about hypothyroidism. I think she must have been talking to my first doctor, the one who wouldn't even give me a thyroid test.

    I found Shoman's review of all the options available along with the various alternative medicine treatments helpful. Personally, I have found that Chinese medicine is a big help to me, and she talks about that in the book. She has a section on yoga for hypothyroidism, and I'm thinking about trying that too soon. I've also added in some of the supplements and vitamins Shoman discusses in the book, and I can tell you -- they help!!!

    I can't recommend this book enough. It really helped me get on the right track after I was diagnozed with my hypothyroidism last year, and I don't know what I would do if I didn't have this book to help me. -- Ellie R., Short Hills, New Jersey...more info

  • Book Tells It Like It Is
    I have just referred this excellent book, yet again, to another girlfriend who has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Without exception, each has thanked me for putting her onto a resource that organizes available internet material into a measured and understandable picture of what the condition is and how to cope. It is therefore extremely valuable, not only for the wealth of information it contains, but also for the underlying message of hope it conveys. The fact that the message is delivered in such an articulate way by a sufferer of hypothyroidism cannot be underestimated. It leaves sufferers empowered and in a position to take control of the management of an often baffling condition and its wide array of symptoms....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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

  • A must have
    I think this book is great for patients that are undiagnosed. I suspected my sister was hypothyroid like I am but her doctor never tested and had her scheduled for a ton of specialists. I sent her this book and she had a diagnoses within the week. It helped her understand her test results and gave her the confidience to push for thorough testing. The symptom section is great. I prefer Ken Blanchard's book for understanding treatment options....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
  • What your doctor doesn't tell you, is a lot!
    This book is essential. It is a survival guide for the hypothyroid. I have been fighting hypothyridism for years. I've only known the name of my alliment for a year and a half. I still suffer from "classic" symptoms, and am still fine tuning my dose of hormone replacement. This book is a must have for anyone who is battling hypothyroidism. I also suggest doctors read this book and keep on top of this very real illness, it's not always in the patient's head. Believe me it's not easy to constantly loose hair, gain weight,and nap like a lethargic cat.
    One thing that totally clicked for me was that there can be drug interactions that decrease the effectiveness of the hormone replacement. I have Panic Disorder and depression and have been taking Paxil for both. Mary writes that this drug, along with others, can effect my hormone absorbtion. You must keep on top of your illness, and Mary J. Shomon's book Living Well With Hypothyroidism will help you do just that. Remember your doctor only has to deal with your symptoms for 15 to 20 minutes, but you have to deal with them for the duration of your illness. I highly recommend this book....more info
  • Excellent info
    This book has excellent info - it is easy to read and understand. Mary Shoman has done a great job in researching the subject and collecting information for use by other thyroid patients. Great job, Mary!...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
  • Must reading for anyone with thyroid conditions
    I have become a great fan of Mary Shomon's work in sharing the knowledge and wisdom she has gained for herself and others with autoimmune and hormonal conditions. She describes herself as a patient advocate... but she is so much more and offers such a wealth of meaningful and useful wisdom. My patients benefit greatly from reading her books, which are rich in hope, support, advise and everso readable. Must reading for sure....more info
  • A Boost for Drug Company Stocks
    This book is merely a regurgitation of information presented in previous books and readily available on the internet. In fact all the pertinent information is on the author's website. There is no need to buy the book.

    The focus of the book is on diagnosing more borderline cases and unresolved symptoms and treating them with synthroid and other drugs. While drug treatment may be appropriate for some patients, others would be better served by non-drug treatment. The drug treatment focus is evident in many of the reviews extolling the author for getting them on one drug or another....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
  • Educate yourself
    This book was perfect for me. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in Oct 2007. I purchased this book in December and I was amazed at how much I did not know about my thyroid problem. It had ALL the right questions that I needed to ask my doctor and I am now on my way to getting the correct dosage for my problem. It has been a long 3 months but I am feeling so much better and I owe so much of it to educating myself by reading this book....more info
  • Great book
    This is a book that every Hypothyroidism people should have. My suggestion is read this book first before you go to see a doctor. Knowledge you learn form this book will help you in many ways, and many years....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
  • very informative
    Was very excited to find a book,broken down for us patients whom have hypothyroidism.Not just for doctors only.I will use this for reference and questions for my doctor,from time to time.It helped me understand why things are happening to me.I thought it was part of getting old.Now I know better.And I know this is related to my fibromayalgia&vice versa.It is well worth the money to spend if you or a family member,or close friend has fibro or hypo....more info
  • Great Informational Book
    I have had hypthryoidism now for 5 fives. This book is so informative. I have referred back to it a million times. The one thing I would like to stress is the fact that doctors only check TSH and/or T4. Somehow, this standard has to change. I asked my doctor to give me a complete test, he refused stating that I only need TSH/T4. Yet I have lost about 1/2 of my hair even though my TSH level is within "normal" limits. I am searching for another doctor who is alittle more open to different approaches. Thanks Mary for the insight! ...more info
  • Average
    Well, I'm dissapointed. Most of the facts are available elswhere. One can feel clearly that the author is not a doctor.
    As a patient, I would prefer professional opinion.
    Hypothyrosis can mimic symptoms of so many other diseases. Therefore this book is aimed at an average hypochondriac readers who encounter common symptoms such as weight gain or loss, cold intolerance, yellowish or pale skin, hoarse voice etc as a tool to verify if they could be hypothyroid. Well, you have to do a thyroid hormones test then.
    If you want comprehensive info from experts, I suggest you order THE THYROID SOLUTION by Ridha Arem
    Easy to read and to the point....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
  • Living Well with Hypothyroidism....
    This is an excellent resource. I consult it again and again. There is a little too much "medical-ese" for me, but for some people that would be a plus....more info
  • My "Bible"
    As a young woman who has been recently diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, I applaud Mary J. Shomon for teaching me how to "live well" with this awful disease. I've purchased this book for my mother, and plan on dropping off a copy for my doctor's waiting room!...more info
  • hypothyrodism living well with this
    I think this book is a must have for those who are faced with this in their life. A very interesting book. ...more info
  • Living well with hypothyroidism
    After struggling for 3 years with hypothyroidism and symptoms that the DR kept telling me were unrelated. I now feel so much more informed about my illness. I know now that I'm not a hypochondriac, I'm not a baby and I'm not imagining things. And thank you so much for the list of all the suspected causes - actually I should buy a copy for my Dr. Highly recommended for anyone newly diagnosed or those struggling to live a "normal" life....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
  • Living well w/hypothyroidism: What your doctor doesn't tell you
    I recommend this book to be read for those whose suffer thyroid problem and tries to undeerstand yourself what you are dealing with. Fortunately doctor not going to tell you anything about this do called disease, sad to say, but it true. ...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

  • 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

  • A Life-Saver for Both Me AND My Sister!!
    Both my sister and I have been struggling with hypothyroidism, and finding Mary Shomon's book was a true lifesaver. The book explained why were weren't feeling well (though our doctors kept telling us we should be feeling perfect with the treatment we were following.) Mary mapped out a plan that we both used with our doctors, and now we're both doing much better. My sister is taking Levoxyl with a little Cytomel, and I'm on Armour, and we're both really happy with the changes. I've lost the extra 20 pounds I gained before my thyroid started acting up, and my dry skin has really improved. I also am not having the bad muscle aches I had for a long time before I was treated. And my sister lost almost all of her extra weight, and what she is most happy about? She has stopped losing fistfulls of hair, which was driving her nuts. I used to believe that the doctor was the last stop when it came to finding help, but not any more. They just can't keep up with everything, and I realized it's up to me to look into things and find out what I can. This book really opened my eyes, and has helped me get back to normal....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
  • 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
  • GREAT author
    REALLY helps those with hypothyroidism outside of their doctor's office. Author is very knowledgeable; I learned a great deal....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
  • 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 Well With Hypothyriodism
    This book enlightened me in that having read it I realized how little value I put on the thyroid and the other organs that work with it. Before I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism I already had four chronic diseases and so a great deal of the symptoms I just blamed on the other chronic diseases. I actually had to be hospitalized it got so bad I thought I was having a nervous break down. But blessed as I am they found out what it really was. It has been a year and I am still stuggling to find a balance in the medications. I thought you could just take medicine and it would all be good as new. This book gives you an good in depth look into all the various kinds of information as to what is happening, and why,symptoms, as well as treatments both medical and alternative. I would highly recommend it....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
  • Super-Informative Book!
    This book is well-researched and well-written. It has helped me to make sense of a health problem that has plagued me for years.

    The author has a website and e-mail newsletter that are like a port in a storm....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
  • 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


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