Rhonda’s Cooking


Do You Have a Thyroid Problem?

Posted by rhondascooking on August 2, 2008

Major Endocrine System

Major Endocrine System

There are many people who walk around everyday and not even know that they have an overactive or underactive thyroid problem. There are more than 20 million people who suffer from a thyroid disorder, more than 10 million women have low-grade thyroid imbalance, and nearly 8 million people with thyroid imbalance remain undiagnosed!1 I was one of those 8 million people who suffered with many problems, but didn’t even know what was going on. It wasn’t until a friend of the family saw me and said that I needed to have my thyroid checked because my eyes looked bigger than normal. Though I was really offended at the time, her guess was correct! I had hyperthyroidism for months and never knew it!

The thyroid gland sits in the neck and shaped like a butterfly. The main function of the thyroid gland is to produce thyroid hormone, which regulate the functioning of the body and at the same time is a bona fide brain chemical that regulates mood, emotions, and many other brain functions.1 In fact, this gland controls the body’s metabolism; specifically it controls the amount of energy the body burns. When the thyroid gland is not performing correctly, the two most common problems with the thyroid are as follows:

1. Hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis)—this occurs when there is not enough thyroid hormones thus causing the thyroid to become underactive; this affects 10 percent of the population and is the most common cause of an underactive thyroid.1
2. Hyperthyroidism (Graves’ disease)—this occurs when there is an excess of thyroid hormones thus causing the thyroid to be overactive.

In both cases, the body faces a number of symptoms/problems. For example in the table below there is a list of the most common symptoms for each.

Hypothyroidism Hyperthyroidism
General tiredness Fatigue
Weight gain Weight loss
Aches and pains in joints and muscles Shakiness
Constipation Increased frequency of bowel movements
Increased sleepiness Restlessness
Brittle hair Brittle nails
Hair loss, including loss of eyebrow hair Hair loss
Feeling cold even in warm temperatures Feeling hot and becoming intolerant of warm and hot temperatures
Depression Eye irritation
Dry and pale skin Increased sweating & thirst
Forgetfulness Rapid heartbeat, palpitations
Mental sluggishness Shortness of breath
Decreased ability to pay attention and focus Anemia
Irritability Increased hunger and food consumption
Seizures Irregular menstrual periods
  Decreased fertility

Table 1.  Most common symptoms for both hypo- and Hyperthyroidism.1  There are other symptoms.

Since I’m all about food, I must tell you about the foods that are not in your best interest to eat if you have a thyroid imbalance? These foods listed in Table 2 contain a substance called goitrogens, according to research goitrogens suppress the functioning of the thyroid gland by interfering with the iodine uptake.2 The best diet for those of us with a thyroid imbalance is one that includes healthy foods with a low glycemic index such as whole grains, low in fat, low in simple sugars and high in protein.

Foods to Eat Foods to Avoid
Whole grains Turnips
Tuna Cabbage
Salmon Mustards
Lean beef Soybeans
Sunflower seeds Peanuts
Oatmeal Pine nuts
Carrots Millet
Almonds Spinach
Beans Strawberries
Leafy green veggies Peaches
Maple syrup  

Table 2.  Summary of some foods to eat and to avoid when challenged with a thyroid imbalance.

I know; I know; what are you going to eat??  Well, there are lots of foods that you can eat and in my upcoming cookbook, I have simple recipes that are excellent for the thyroid.  (Please email info@rhondascooking to put your name on the cookbook pre-order list!)


If you are uncertain about whether your thyroid is not properly functioning, please make an appointment with your general physician and get tested.  If you your thyroid levels indicate that you are hypo or hyperthyroid active, then please make an appointment with an endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in the endocrine system which includes the thyroid gland.  If you have further questions, please email info@rhondascooking.com.


1Arem, Ridya.  The Thyroid Solution.  New Jersey: The Random House Publishing Group, 2006.

2“Goitrogen.”  Wikipedia.  July 14, 2008. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goitrogen>.  July 30, 2008.

Source: Photo wikipedia.


20 Responses to “Do You Have a Thyroid Problem?”

  1. Monica Clarke said

    Hi Rhonda!! Great job, girl, LOVE your newsletter! I can’t wait for the cookbook too… how weird, your issue this week hits home with me, as I am about to make an appt with my doctor on my thyroid… I do believe I have Hashimoto’s and have had it for a while now… in fact my cousin was just diagnosed as well… wish me luck in getting a cure!
    Well, keep up the great work!

  2. Cynthia Metoyer said

    Hi Rhonda,
    I appreciate and love reading your newsletter. I think it is an awesome communication tool to offer helpful tips and update others about what you are doing. Hummmm…..gives me an idea. (smile) Keep them coming.
    Cynthia Metoyer (I’m from FCC, a Dillard Grad, and the one that told you I missed seeing you greet at FCC when you were in the kitchen)

  3. Cynthia Metoyer said

    Okay, yes I’ve had a thyroid problem and so did my mother. i had nodules removed from both sides 10/98 almost 10 years. By faith, I believe I’m doing well but I had many struggles to get here. Thank God for faith and healing by the Blood of our Elder Brother, Jesus.
    Cynthia Metoyer

  4. Thank you both for your wonderful comments!! I really, really appreciate the feedback. Monica, do keep me in touch with what’s going on with your thyroid. Cynthia, I remember you, my fellow DU sister! Thanks for feedback and sharing your story; I appreciate that.

  5. Narissa said

    Hi Rhonda, I was born deaf. I do have thyroid problem. I am on medicine ever since June, 2008. I lost 41 pounds already. I have about 10 more pounds to lose left to go, but it takes some time. Some people told me not to drink Diet Lipton Green Tea with mixed berry because it is not good for thyroid problem. Is it true? I drink Diet Lipton Tea with white raspberry flavors. I do not have any problem with Green Tea and regular tea. What is your suggestion? If you have a list of “allowed” or “not allowed to drink, I’m appreciated it very much.



    • Hi, Narissa, sorry that it took a while to reply, I had to try to find out a little more about your question. I have not found any research that indicates that green tea is a problem. HOWEVER, I do see what a potential problem is with the diet Lipton green tea and that is the fact that it is made with “artificial ingredients and perservatives”, which could be the biggest culprits because they could be made with things that block iodine. I think that you and I should have a conference call because there is not a simple answer.

  6. If you want to read a reader’s feedback 🙂 , I rate this article for four from five. Decent info, but I have to go to that damn google to find the missed bits. Thank you, anyway!

    • Thanks for the feedback, I definitely accept the 4 out of 5 reader review. I do want to add that the intent of this blog post was to give a high-level overview because it is impossible to talk about everything thyroid related in 1 blog post, but I am glad that you found some nuggets that were helpful. Thanks for the feedback! Do you have a thyroid problem? How long have you been challenged with this?

  7. Toni said

    Brocolli, cauliflower, and cabbage can block the digestion of thyroid meds… best to eat in moderation. 🙂

  8. Janice Bonner said

    I have recently been diagnose with thyroid problems and I needed to know what to eat to help my thyroid to get under control. Thanks for the food selection I can eat Rhonda my name is Jsnice and have a great day.



    I believe that my older sister suffers from this disease, i like to research the topic to offer her my support. Thank you for providing me with the abstract on the topic of thyroid disorders in older women, Teresa is 47 years old. I can teach her about the rhoda diet, again Thank You.


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  12. Juanita said

    Hi Rhonda,

    I have just been known to high thyroid & high sugar – kindly could you advise me on what can i eat, for my meals – to have both balanced – has i am trying for a second baby and gues its not possible at this stage – please help.

    Thanks & Regards

    • Hi, Juanita, thank you so much for reading my blog, I really appreciate you sharing and posting a question. Yes, I can definitely advise you. I’m planning on starting a blog talk radio show where we can talk openly. please let me know if you want to be on that list. In the meantime, send me an email and we can talk about options for you. You can email info@rhondascooking.com.

  13. […] chance that I develop hypothyroidism (see my previous blog entry on the basics of thyroid disease, https://rhondascooking.wordpress.com/2008/08/02/do-you-have-a-thyroid-problem/), but he never said how much was that “chance” and because I trusted him, I said okay, let’s […]

  14. Yevette said

    Thanks for the information. I have hypothyroidism and the list really helps. I look forward to using your book.

  15. Belinda said

    hi i have Hypothyroidism i take synthroid i read that we can not eat wheat@ oat @ rye @barley @ lentil and black beans is all true Thank You

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