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106 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 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...
Published on November 10, 2006 by SA

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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing...but please read on.
This review is of the 2000 edition from the library.

Living Well with Hypothyroidism is put together more like a college treatise on the subject and quickly becomes tedious. I kept losing interest and flipping to different sections. Too many quotes or referenced segments of other books and/or studies. Mary Shomon is certainly a positive champion of the...
Published on January 27, 2010 by Victoria


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106 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone MUST read this book, November 10, 2006
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This review is from: Living Well with Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You... That You Need to Know (Revised Edition) (Paperback)
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.
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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is very good, but I found a website even better..., April 9, 2008
This review is from: Living Well with Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You... That You Need to Know (Revised Edition) (Paperback)
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.

And P.S. if you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome related to hypothyroidism (or for all I know related to any problem this is what made all the difference for me:

My prayers were answered! I found out about a machine called a Sota Magnetic Pulser. It is used to do things like help with muscle pain and cleanse out the lymphatic glands. It occured to me to try it on my wrist. I placed my wrist down on it, rather than vice versa because it is a bit heavy and those bones are small there, and I pulsed every night for 5 - 10 minutes. (It feels like virtually nothing is happening. In a couple of days I could draw for an hour w/o that tingly feeling. In a couple of weeks I could, and do, draw for hours (though I do take stretch breaks every hour or so) with no CTS at all!

I also used to have CTS problems with much use of the computer keyboard but not any more.

Now I also lie flat on my back when sleeping, what is called the corpse position in Yoga, which I don't like at all but I've gotten used to it. When I draw I use a little mini easel to keep my hand in a position pointed pretty much toward the cieling. No matter what else I do though, aspirin, ergonomics, whatever - if I stop using the Pulser the pain comes back. I have no financial connection to that company btw. Wish I did! :-D

Edit 8/2014: After about a couple of years my Pulser died. I have not replaced it. I now take B6 (don't take too much or it causes neuropathy), wear a magnet at my wrist and continue to use the corpse position in sleeping. The corpse position is by far the most essential thing for me.

It has it's problems. It can cause apnea. Sometimes I would wake up kind of gasping for breath because my tongue had apparently fallen backward to impede my breathing. The solution? I got two big, fat pillows placed to the right and left of my head which is lying flat on the mattress. I lie in the corpse position with my hands at my thighs, but I rest my head to the right or the left on the side of the pillows. It took awhile to get used to this and train my body, even in sleep, to stay where it should be. If this is too big a hassle for you, well it's worth it to me. I don't have to get surgery, which many people say is not effective for them anyway. I don't have those pains and tingly feelings in writing and drawing. I can do what I have to do and feel comfortable.

Sometimes I will wake up at night and feel like I just have to turn my body in another direction, and maybe that helps with circulation or something (though the corpse position has not caused any problems with circulation that I know of). So I will flip over for the count of 20 and then go back to where I was. Works for me!

Also, I switched from Synthroid which truly sucks & has awful side effect to Armour, as the sttm site recommends. But then, because Armour is made of pork and I am a Messianic, or Hebrew Roots, Christian who does not eat pork, I found out about a bovine thyroid called ThyroGold. It is available online w/o a prescription. It was developed by a doctor, now deceased. His wife will guide you in how much to take, based on blood testing results. I think it works better than Armour. It only comes in 2 sizes, but the capsules are easy to open so that you can take half of one if that is your dose, for ex. I do that and it works fine.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Step 1 to Living Well..., January 18, 2007
By 
This review is from: Living Well with Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You... That You Need to Know (Revised Edition) (Paperback)
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.
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46 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than the Original, March 29, 2005
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This review is from: Living Well with Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You... That You Need to Know (Revised Edition) (Paperback)
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!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing...but please read on., January 27, 2010
By 
Victoria (SF North Bay) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Living Well with Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You... That You Need to Know (Revised Edition) (Paperback)
This review is of the 2000 edition from the library.

Living Well with Hypothyroidism is put together more like a college treatise on the subject and quickly becomes tedious. I kept losing interest and flipping to different sections. Too many quotes or referenced segments of other books and/or studies. Mary Shomon is certainly a positive champion of the Hypothyroid movement, and my intent is not to demean her work. However [as an analogy] if this book were about Art, it would be like reading information written by a fan of Art as opposed to being written by an Artist. The facts are there, but the depth and passion are missing. The author is not writing from direct experience and really only covers the broader aspects of a complex and remarkable subject.

[In my own research online, I particularly enjoyed all the info about Hypothyroidism from the "Stop the Thyroid Madness" website and forum. There, you can also find the best sources for dessicated thyroid now that Armour Thyroid has been ruined.]

I also just finished Dr Mark Starr's book, Hypothyroidism Type 2: The Epidemic. Stunning work! I give it 5 stars and the highest recommendation if you want a true in-depth look at this subject. His book covers studies done with 1,500 of his own patients over many years. It's enlivening to share in the excitement of his discoveries, as well as those made by other thyroid luminaries who preceded him in both the 19th and 20th centuries. Dr Starr is one of the actual pioneers on this issue. If you suffer from Hypothyroidism, you owe it to yourself to get the full scoop on this fascinating subject straight from the horse's mouth. The far-reaching implications that Hypothyroidism has on nearly every health malady from which we suffer will likely shock and amaze you.

Dr Starr's work also left me very eager to read Dr Broda Barnes book, Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness.
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90 of 114 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Bother..., June 11, 2008
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This review is from: Living Well with Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You... That You Need to Know (Revised Edition) (Paperback)
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
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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, but some of the information is controversial and outdated (TSH value troubles), January 24, 2012
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This review is from: Living Well with Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You... That You Need to Know (Revised Edition) (Paperback)
I was very excited to receive this book because of all the positive reviews. I am testing with borderline hypothyroidism but with a lot of symptoms, and getting a correct diagnosis has been challenging. This book was great when it came to explaining what I was going through, giving other patient perspectives, and just discussing the challenges that come with being hypothyroid. However, some of the information in here is outdated. Shomon constantly (over and over and over...) refers to the fact that the AACE (American Association of Clinical Endrocrinologists) recommended changing the lab test standards in 2003, but that they have yet to be adopted, and that is why a bunch of people are undiagnosed and not receiving treatment.

Okay, well a few years later, the AACE released another statement called a "Positions Statement" that a middle ground between the old and new values is correct, and that treating people with borderline (subclinical) hypothyroidism is ineffective and controversial. (Note that subclinical hypothyroidism is different than something like Hashimoto's, where the Hashimoto's is an autoimmune disease that causes hypothyroidism and thyroid antibodies, in which case they reccommend early treatment to preserve the gland.) So you read this book and you think you have all the information, walk into your doctor's office and...it's totally outdated. The AACE is saying that up to 4.5 is normal, and that treatment for subclinical hypothyroidism (between 4.5 and 10.0) is not warranted unless thyroid antibodies or growths are present. Any doctor (or reader) with a computer can Google the information and check it out on the AACE web site's position statements.

Unfortunately, a certain informative thyroid site is run by Shomon as a "Guide" and so it is useless in assisting in getting the links to medical sites. And most thyroid boards and information are FILLED with Shomon's information and quote Mary at length. I work in media, and I'm telling you I wish I had this woman on my team because she is EVERYWHERE and it can be hard to get around her. But, the National Association for Biochemistry also lists that up to 4.0 is a valid TSH, not 3.0 as Shomon writes. NHLBI.gov uses 4.5 (same as AACE), CDC uses normal of up to 5.4 or even 5.6...none of them are using Shomon's 3.0 TSH from an outdated AACE publication. And as much as I would love to believe her, I need a valid scientific agency to back my lab values for my doctor to listen, not just a well published author. You can't just choose one conference publication press release and latch onto it, then use it everywhere. If the AACE was still using this value, they would continue to use this in their position statements and treatment manuals, and send these recommendations to other agencies. These ranges would have to appear somewhere else, even on the AACE web site, and they just don't.

She also wrote extensively on Armour and natural dessicated thryoid. While I do see the advantages, I didn't feel that it was appropriate to insert a bias towards one class of drug into a book that is based on patient education. Armour has in fact reformulated, and many patients are saying that they are not experiencing the same level of quality of life/maintenece that they once had on this drug. I would hope that Shomon's book does not sour any patient on trying synthetic thyroid hormone since it might work better for them...who knows? If hypothyroidism teaches us anything, it is that every body is different.

I feel that the author covered quite a bit of information, the book was well researched if not a bit biased at points, and I did identify with it on so many levels. It does give you courage. Unfortunately, it just had too much outdated information to be useful to me or my physician.
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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Overview..4.5 stars!, December 5, 2005
This review is from: Living Well with Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You... That You Need to Know (Revised Edition) (Paperback)
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.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE Book for Thyroid Patients, January 7, 2006
This review is from: Living Well with Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You... That You Need to Know (Revised Edition) (Paperback)
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.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars finally hopeful, November 7, 2006
This review is from: Living Well with Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You... That You Need to Know (Revised Edition) (Paperback)
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)
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Living Well with Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You... That You Need to Know (Revised Edition)
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