Thyroid Nodule Success

A patient shares her success managing her Hashimoto’s and thyroid nodules with dietary changes.

If you need help managing your thyroid, click here

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Thyroid Nodule Success

Dr. Michael Ruscio: Hi, I’m Dr. Ruscio. I’m here with Patricia. And she had some really good results in a short period of time. So I asked you if you wanted to share this, especially for people who have a hard time making the dietary shift. I think that was really key for you. So why don’t you tell me a little bit about what you came in with, what you experienced, and what you noticed?

Patricia J: Okay. So I had gone to my primary care physician for a thyroid nodule. And it’s not anything you see on the outside. But it was causing some swelling. And I felt like I couldn’t breathe at night. And so when I went to the doctor, he said that it wasn’t really enlarged to any additional than it had been, and there wasn’t any really anything I could do. If I wanted to have an operation, that may or may not alleviate it. But I would probably have to go on medication.

DrMR: Not the best…

PJ: No. So I also had an ear, nose, and throat doctor look down my throat because maybe there was something there. And they didn’t find anything. But I still had these feelings. So I had heard about you because I listen to Jimmy Moore on the Livin’ la Vida Low-Carb Show. So when I thought about going to another doctor, I thought, well, I’ll go to Dr. Ruscio because you studied thyroid.

DrMR: Sure.

PJ: So when I came here and your suggestion was for me to go on this autoimmune diet, I was a little skeptical because I thought that I had been eating pretty well. I know I needed to lose weight. But I had been eating some things I shouldn’t eat. But they were all what I consider to be healthy things.

So I studied the diet for a week because it took a while to kind of take it all in, like, “Wow, what am I going to eat?” And so then I prepared myself, got my kitchen all prepared. And I started following the diet. Within three days, the swelling was gone, amazingly! And I kept waiting for it to come back. It didn’t come back. And now it’s been about three weeks. It’s amazing. Absolutely amazing. I can’t believe that the swelling is completely gone. My energy level is greatly improved.

DrMR: And you’ve lost maybe eight pounds?

PJ: And I probably have lost about eight, maybe 10 pounds.

DrMR: We’re about to do the weigh-in. But from her home scale, she thinks about eight pounds.

PJ: Yes. Yeah. So I plan to follow this, I don’t know, forever. It just feels great. It’s not that hard once you start. And I’ve gotten used to not having any yogurt. And the nuts, I love nuts. But if that’s what’s causing my swelling, I won’t have nuts.

DrMR: Sure. And eventually what we’re going to do with Patricia is we’re going to start to reintroduce some of these foods so that she doesn’t have to be off all these who can definitely. And we’ll see if we can pin down one or two foods that may be causing this issue.

And what we found with Patricia was we did find Hashimoto’s. And what I think was happening was coming to our thyroid model here, in a healthy thyroid gland, it’s smaller. But when the thyroid gland becomes enlarged, as you see here or when the thyroid gland has Hashimoto’s, it can become enlarged. And that can cause some occlusions and some pressure on the throat.

This is why when a goiter gets bad enough, they may have to do surgical removal of the thyroid gland because it can encroach on swallowing and breathing and things like that. So what’s probably happening underneath the surface is that the thyroid autoimmunity that’s causing the inflammation and swelling has been quelled by a change in the diet. And now that feeling is gone.

PJ: Yeah, that’s miraculous. It’s amazing! Because if you touch it, I don’t feel anything. That’s pretty amazing.

DrMR: Yeah, it’s a good feeling. Yeah, you feel much better.

PJ: You could bottle that and sell it.

DrMR: Well, the problem is you can’t bottle it and sell it!

PJ: Yes, that’s right! That’s right! [Laughs]

DrMR: And that’s why it hasn’t gotten more popular than it is. But she’s done great. 30 days, autoimmune paleo diet. We also put you on some basic vitamin support, low-dose hormone replacement therapy. And that was pretty much it. And I’m convinced that the largest contributing factor has definitely been the diet. And I wanted to share that for people out there who may think that they need a more serious intervention to get benefits. And they may. But sometimes the simple things really work the best.

PJ: Well, and I thought that I could come here and get started on something that would prevent my thyroid from getting any worse, because according to the doctors, there’s not anything I can do. It’s the wait-and-see-what-happens. But it was getting a little worse. So now I can breathe great. And I don’t have any problems at night. And now I’m working on my sleeping, working on my exercise. And I’m sure the weight is going to go down.

DrMR: Continue to go down.

PJ: No cravings. It’s pretty good.

DrMR: And we didn’t have to do a lot of expensive lab testing. We did one blood panel to look at her thyroid function. But we did not have to do extensive food allergy testing or other works. We may do some additional tests in the future. But our agreement now is we’ll follow up in 30 days. If she’s still feeling this great, we’re pretty much done. Cool.

Well, thank you so much for talking with us.

PJ: Oh, thank you very much.

What do you think? I would like to hear your thoughts or experience with this.

If you need help managing your thyroid, click here

Discussion

I care about answering your questions and sharing my knowledge with you. Leave a comment or connect with me on social media asking any health question you may have and I just might incorporate it into our next listener questions podcast episode just for you!

60 thoughts on “Thyroid Nodule Success

      1. Hi Dr R
        Does this diet shrink nodules? I am confused because there’s so much info out there about juicing and going vegan to heal thyroid nodules yet I’ve done that on and off for almost two years and my thyroid nodules haven’t gotten smaller (they haven’t grown either thank god)

  1. I’m happy for Patricia – happy that her wonderful diet cured her. Not so happy for me since I will never know what exactly she started and stopped eating. I am left with a disappointed meh – don’t really need to start my day like this.
    Then I clicked on the blue button (need help with your thyroid) and realized that the answer is simple – I just need to buy a consultation.

    1. Hi Julia,
      We discussed exactly what she ate 🙂 It’s in the video and transcript, the diet was the autoimmune paleo diet. We have also interviewed authors of autoimmune paleo diet cookbooks on our show and gone into detail about this diet. Not sure how to make this easier for ya 🙂 Hope this helps!

      1. Dr. Ruscio,

        I just wanted to say that I appreciate that you let that comment through, and tried to help, despite the unpleasant tone. A lot of health websites wouldn’t have let it post.

        You share so much good information here. I especially appreciate the transcripts, a lot of times with videos it can be hard to catch everything folks are saying.

    2. If you are really interested, it is no grains, no nuts or seeds, no beans or legumes, no eggs, no dairy, no nightshades, no alcohol or artificial sweeteners including stevia, no NSAID’s, no chemical food additives . Mickey Trescott has a good autoimmune Paleo cookbook (hope it’s okay I put that in here–don’t know her personally just bought it because so many experts I respect recommended it.)

      She lays out at the beginning everything you can and can’t have. The can’t have list seems extensive but when you see the can have list you’ll see there is plenty to eat.

      Best of luck whether you try it or not.

    3. WOW Julia, go back to bed and get up on the RIGHT side! Clearly the article says she started an AIP diet.. Congrats Patricia! So happy your breathing is not affected any longer and your energy is better! Two biggies! Weight loss is a bonus! Great work, keep it up!

    4. Hi Julia….I understand, it’s very frustrating to not be able to get some relief, especially when it seems like it’s supposed to be so simple. Well, I felt that way as well, but I was determined to do the best I could for my body. That’s why after spending $1,700.00 at the HMO Dr office (insurance covered a portion of that) I was so disappointed at still not having any relief or understanding about what I could do. I didn’t give up, cause I did know that not doing anything would be worse for my health in the long run. Don’t give up, your Health is worth it! What it cost to see a Funtional Dr. is well worth it, & it’s not out of reach for most of us.

      Patricia

  2. Can you please send me your paleo elimination diet. I have Hashimotos and would like to get started.
    Thank you

      1. Hi Dr R
        Does this diet shrink nodules? I am confused because there’s so much info out there about juicing and going vegan to heal thyroid nodules yet I’ve done that on and off for almost two years and my thyroid nodules haven’t gotten smaller (they haven’t grown either thank god)

  3. I’m happy for Patricia – happy that her wonderful diet cured her. Not so happy for me since I will never know what exactly she started and stopped eating. I am left with a disappointed meh – don’t really need to start my day like this.
    Then I clicked on the blue button (need help with your thyroid) and realized that the answer is simple – I just need to buy a consultation.

    1. Hi Julia,
      We discussed exactly what she ate 🙂 It’s in the video and transcript, the diet was the autoimmune paleo diet. We have also interviewed authors of autoimmune paleo diet cookbooks on our show and gone into detail about this diet. Not sure how to make this easier for ya 🙂 Hope this helps!

      1. Dr. Ruscio,

        I just wanted to say that I appreciate that you let that comment through, and tried to help, despite the unpleasant tone. A lot of health websites wouldn’t have let it post.

        You share so much good information here. I especially appreciate the transcripts, a lot of times with videos it can be hard to catch everything folks are saying.

    2. If you are really interested, it is no grains, no nuts or seeds, no beans or legumes, no eggs, no dairy, no nightshades, no alcohol or artificial sweeteners including stevia, no NSAID’s, no chemical food additives . Mickey Trescott has a good autoimmune Paleo cookbook (hope it’s okay I put that in here–don’t know her personally just bought it because so many experts I respect recommended it.)

      She lays out at the beginning everything you can and can’t have. The can’t have list seems extensive but when you see the can have list you’ll see there is plenty to eat.

      Best of luck whether you try it or not.

    3. WOW Julia, go back to bed and get up on the RIGHT side! Clearly the article says she started an AIP diet.. Congrats Patricia! So happy your breathing is not affected any longer and your energy is better! Two biggies! Weight loss is a bonus! Great work, keep it up!

    4. Hi Julia….I understand, it’s very frustrating to not be able to get some relief, especially when it seems like it’s supposed to be so simple. Well, I felt that way as well, but I was determined to do the best I could for my body. That’s why after spending $1,700.00 at the HMO Dr office (insurance covered a portion of that) I was so disappointed at still not having any relief or understanding about what I could do. I didn’t give up, cause I did know that not doing anything would be worse for my health in the long run. Don’t give up, your Health is worth it! What it cost to see a Funtional Dr. is well worth it, & it’s not out of reach for most of us.

      Patricia

  4. Thank you Patricia (and Dr Ruscio) for sharing this video. I too have been eating healthy, but include organic grassfed kefir and Organic nuts (a LOT of nuts) in my diet and haven’t tried 100% autoimmune diet–I did remove dairy for many months but have never eliminated the nuts. I am stuck and my thyroid doesn’t seem to be improving and thyroid antibodies were up on my last labs. You inspired me to try it once my bottle of kefir is empty ? (It’s almost gone.) I have an autoimmune cookbook so going to go get it out and review the rules and soak it in and wrap my head around what I’ll eat like you did! Thanks again so much

    1. Your welcome Kristie, best of luck! Also, remember that thyroid antibodies don’t have to be in the normal range for you to be doing well. In my opinion, support by science, TPO antibodies around 100-300 are a clinical win 🙂

      1. I have a question regarding antibodies. My thyroid levels (tsh, t3, T4 etc) are all within normal ranges. My tpo is normal but thyroid peroxidase was very high at 340. Is this normal? Last month they were below 30. I have to say I did have a major flare this month. I was allergic to dairy and didn’t know it. Ate cheese all the time, the next day I had a flare. Can eating something bad for my system cause a flare?

        1. Hi Renee,
          Some cases appear to have chronically elevated TGabs. What drives day to day fluctuations in levels is hard to say, a little off plan food shouldn’t be that big of deal. Chronically eating foods known to disagree with you might be problematic.

  5. Thank you Patricia (and Dr Ruscio) for sharing this video. I too have been eating healthy, but include organic grassfed kefir and Organic nuts (a LOT of nuts) in my diet and haven’t tried 100% autoimmune diet–I did remove dairy for many months but have never eliminated the nuts. I am stuck and my thyroid doesn’t seem to be improving and thyroid antibodies were up on my last labs. You inspired me to try it once my bottle of kefir is empty ? (It’s almost gone.) I have an autoimmune cookbook so going to go get it out and review the rules and soak it in and wrap my head around what I’ll eat like you did! Thanks again so much

    1. Your welcome Kristie, best of luck! Also, remember that thyroid antibodies don’t have to be in the normal range for you to be doing well. In my opinion, support by science, TPO antibodies around 100-300 are a clinical win 🙂

      1. I have a question regarding antibodies. My thyroid levels (tsh, t3, T4 etc) are all within normal ranges. My tpo is normal but thyroid peroxidase was very high at 340. Is this normal? Last month they were below 30. I have to say I did have a major flare this month. I was allergic to dairy and didn’t know it. Ate cheese all the time, the next day I had a flare. Can eating something bad for my system cause a flare?

        1. Hi Renee,
          Some cases appear to have chronically elevated TGabs. What drives day to day fluctuations in levels is hard to say, a little off plan food shouldn’t be that big of deal. Chronically eating foods known to disagree with you might be problematic.

  6. It’s really encouraging who had such great results with an autoimmune conditions.

    I’ve been on an autoimmune paleo diet for several months (also low oxalate due to kidney stones). I’m also taking natural dessicated thyroid medication, and a glandular/vitamin/mineral adrenal support formula. But I really don’t feel better. I don’t have elevated antibodies, but still suspect Hashimoto’s based on past symptoms and family history. Weight isn’t a problem, but I’m usually cold (especially my hands and feet), fatigued, have a lot of muscle pain, and heal slowly. Blood work and a stool test didn’t find any infections. I have two other autoimmune conditions, as well.

    Any ideas what I could look at next?

    Thanks very much.

    1. Hi Dee,
      If you haven’t had a good GI eval, that is always a good place to start, not a guarantee but a good starting point. A good GI eval require more than stool testing 🙂 I would try to find a good doc locally or reach out to my office if you can’t. Hope this helps!

      1. Thank you. Can I ask an example of what a GI eval should include? I had the Doctor’s Data 3-day comprehensive test with parasitology (sorry if that’s TMI for others reading!). I see an integrative doctor that’s a couple of hours away, but don’t know what other GI tests she does.

        It’s possible my fatigue and slow healing is partially caused by chronic pain and interrupted sleep, I was hurt in an auto accident over two years ago, which damaged soft tissue and discs in my back and neck. I wake up all night and have to switch positions due to pain. I also have two other autoimmune conditions that cause pain; reflex sympathetic dystrophy, and undifferentiated connective tissue disease.

        And I have familial hypercholesterolemia, and osteopenia. All these conditions together are making it tough to figure out diet. The only starchy item left in my diet (because of needing to be low oxalate) is winter squash, so I was eating coconut butter, flakes, or milk to help being hungry all the time. But I’ve been told I shouldn’t do that because of the hypercholesterolemia. And I got conflicting advice about calcium supplementation, because of the kidney stones and osteopenia (I’m not taking any).

        Thank a lot for anything you can say!

        1. Hi Dee,
          I will outline this in my book, it’s beyond what I can list here. I wish I could be of more help but I can’t offer personal health advise in this context, there is just too much I don’t know. Sorry! 🙂

          1. Thanks anyway. I will look forward to your book. Things are so complicated, those aren’t my only health conditions. I’m just hoping for improvement, I’m no longer expecting to get back to normal.

  7. It’s really encouraging who had such great results with an autoimmune conditions.

    I’ve been on an autoimmune paleo diet for several months (also low oxalate due to kidney stones). I’m also taking natural dessicated thyroid medication, and a glandular/vitamin/mineral adrenal support formula. But I really don’t feel better. I don’t have elevated antibodies, but still suspect Hashimoto’s based on past symptoms and family history. Weight isn’t a problem, but I’m usually cold (especially my hands and feet), fatigued, have a lot of muscle pain, and heal slowly. Blood work and a stool test didn’t find any infections. I have two other autoimmune conditions, as well.

    Any ideas what I could look at next?

    Thanks very much.

    1. Hi Dee,
      If you haven’t had a good GI eval, that is always a good place to start, not a guarantee but a good starting point. A good GI eval require more than stool testing 🙂 I would try to find a good doc locally or reach out to my office if you can’t. Hope this helps!

      1. Thank you. Can I ask an example of what a GI eval should include? I had the Doctor’s Data 3-day comprehensive test with parasitology (sorry if that’s TMI for others reading!). I see an integrative doctor that’s a couple of hours away, but don’t know what other GI tests she does.

        It’s possible my fatigue and slow healing is partially caused by chronic pain and interrupted sleep, I was hurt in an auto accident over two years ago, which damaged soft tissue and discs in my back and neck. I wake up all night and have to switch positions due to pain. I also have two other autoimmune conditions that cause pain; reflex sympathetic dystrophy, and undifferentiated connective tissue disease.

        And I have familial hypercholesterolemia, and osteopenia. All these conditions together are making it tough to figure out diet. The only starchy item left in my diet (because of needing to be low oxalate) is winter squash, so I was eating coconut butter, flakes, or milk to help being hungry all the time. But I’ve been told I shouldn’t do that because of the hypercholesterolemia. And I got conflicting advice about calcium supplementation, because of the kidney stones and osteopenia (I’m not taking any).

        Thank a lot for anything you can say!

        1. Hi Dee,
          I will outline this in my book, it’s beyond what I can list here. I wish I could be of more help but I can’t offer personal health advise in this context, there is just too much I don’t know. Sorry! 🙂

          1. Thanks anyway. I will look forward to your book. Things are so complicated, those aren’t my only health conditions. I’m just hoping for improvement, I’m no longer expecting to get back to normal.

  8. I wish I had seen a functional medicine doc when my thyroid nodules were discovered by ultrasound. My biopsy was inconclusive and so I had a complete thyroidectomy. I always wonder if things could have been different……

  9. I wish I had seen a functional medicine doc when my thyroid nodules were discovered by ultrasound. My biopsy was inconclusive and so I had a complete thyroidectomy. I always wonder if things could have been different……

  10. I also have thyroid nodules that were biopsied and came back inconclusive. Dr want to removed my thyroid “just in case” it was cancer and I said no. She told me to find another Dr. So I did. I went on a raw food diet and started juicing and my nodules have shrunk a bit. My last ultrasound was good, and my Dr said my labs were good…”BUT” she was concerned about my thyroglobulin level (not antibodies) which was 150. This all started in Dec of 2013. Last ultrasound and labs were in June of this year. She wants to do another biopsy which I am opposed to. Can this diet help with thyroglobulin level? I am so glad I found you on youtube and then this website!!

    1. Hi Lori,
      Glad to hear of the success you have had thus far. It might. It is certainly worth a shot. Use our search box and search thyroid nodule for more info on this 🙂 There are a couple posts you should see

  11. I also have thyroid nodules that were biopsied and came back inconclusive. Dr want to removed my thyroid “just in case” it was cancer and I said no. She told me to find another Dr. So I did. I went on a raw food diet and started juicing and my nodules have shrunk a bit. My last ultrasound was good, and my Dr said my labs were good…”BUT” she was concerned about my thyroglobulin level (not antibodies) which was 150. This all started in Dec of 2013. Last ultrasound and labs were in June of this year. She wants to do another biopsy which I am opposed to. Can this diet help with thyroglobulin level? I am so glad I found you on youtube and then this website!!

    1. Hi Lori,
      Glad to hear of the success you have had thus far. It might. It is certainly worth a shot. Use our search box and search thyroid nodule for more info on this 🙂 There are a couple posts you should see

  12. I do not have my thyroid anymore due to cancer. My thyroglobulin levels are now undetectable. I have been on synthroiid for ten yrs. My TSH was always below Range until a few yrs ago. Right now I am .17 tsh and do not feel great. I have low energy. I do have problems with my bowels. I also just started burping. I want to try the paleo diet but not sure if I can stick to it. Any suggestions ?

  13. I do not have my thyroid anymore due to cancer. My thyroglobulin levels are now undetectable. I have been on synthroiid for ten yrs. My TSH was always below Range until a few yrs ago. Right now I am .17 tsh and do not feel great. I have low energy. I do have problems with my bowels. I also just started burping. I want to try the paleo diet but not sure if I can stick to it. Any suggestions ?

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