Skip to main content

Diet And Drugs

Some of you know about my fight with Graves Disease, an auto immune system disorder, which causes an overactive thyroid. Since I was diagnosed 7 years ago, I have made it my business to know everything I possibly could about the condition & this has probably saved my life.

I have blood tests on a regular basis & in November last year, I was told that my T4 levels are normal & again in January the same. 
My thyroid stimulating hormone was finally starting to work too, after 7 years of lying dormant, so I suggested I came off the anti thyroid drug & my GP's response was to continue for a while longer.

A month ago, I rang my GP & suggested again that I come off the drug or at least halve it, as I was feeling so well  & was concerned about the drug pushing me into being under active. Again, she said to be patient & they would send for me when it's time for a blood test. I don't normally do as I'm told, but decided to stick with it a bit longer.

Last week I became aware that I was definitely becoming under active, so demanded a blood test.
I had the test on Monday, my GP rang me on Tuesday & asked for me to get into the surgery straight away.
Surprise, surprise - my thyroid has become so under active that I've virtually gone off the scale!!!

The doctors are completely baffled as to how this could have happened within 3 months & I explained it was due to my diet changes... They won't accept this, but I know I'm right. 
My body is finally working properly & with no complicated foods to break down any more, it's allowing the healing process to kick in naturally. So I'm off the anti thyroid drug, which was on the verge of damaging my bone marrow (& probably would have done if I hadn't strengthened my immune system). A lot of people don't survive this severe side effect of carbimazole because they are usually extremely ill & weak.

Although being under active is a bloody nuisance (apparently my levels are so low that it is a miracle I am able to get out of bed & my GP couldn't believe that I am capable of working & actually don't appear to have too many side effects). I am happy in the knowledge that I stopped the drug before any permanent damage was done & so grateful I educated myself on my condition. I am lucky to know my body extremely well & would urge anybody taking conventional drugs to do the same. Do lots of research on your condition, the drugs you take & make sure you eat as healthily as you possibly can. Doctors are not always the experts we expect them to be, their knowledge is often limited & they certainly don't know enough about food & nutrition.

I was told that diet would not make a difference to my condition & after Sime & I were shown the graphs of my blood tests over the last few years - we both know that the last 3 months has made a terrific impact on my health!

If you have an auto immune system disorder, I would recommend giving up dairy & oil - you will be absolutely amazed!

Porridge time, then work...

Hope you all have a good weekend!

Kay :)


Rebecca said…
Its great that you are feeling better, I think sometimes we all assume that doctors know everything, when clearly they dont. I'm all for listening to your body, you know it the best. ?I just wish doctors wouldnt treat us like we are stupid! have a great weekend x
Scarlet said…
I agree- doctors don't know everything. I read everything I could about my heart condition and found that first line medication that should have been offered hadn't been.Since I asked for that and also to be discharged from the coronary clinic at the hospital I've been so much better. I was wasting my time attending clinics where doctors knew little or nothing about what was going on. Losing weight, exercising and eating better have all contributed too- the heart condition still has the ability to rear its ugly head from time to time but it's not at the intensity or frequency that it was before I got the right medication and changed my lifestyle.My vessels are damaged but I'm giving myself the best chance I can.
Kath said…
A very inspirational tale Kay and much respect to you for sticking to your beliefs in the face of "those who know best".
The only drug I take is for blood pressure and I am determined to be able to reduce my BP to normal levels through weight loss and food choices (I am reluctant to use the word diet here).
It's scary the side effects of the drugs we take :-O
Jane and Chris said…
I was once given a drug for Fybromialgia..I tried it...I was a Zombie so promptly refused any more drugs. I switched from being vegetarian to vegan and have virtually no symptoms. My Dr says that only I know my body, and that being vegan is one of the best things I can do for it. Good on yer Kaye!!
Jane x
Thanks Becky- hope you're having a good weekend!

Kay :)
Thanks Scarlet - that's great, I sacked the endocrinologist last year. The main guy was fine, but his juniors were just dreadful & patronising, so I refused to go. We've recently read a book called: Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselstyn. He says it is possible (& shows evidence) for vessels & arteries to repair themselves when following a plant-based diet. It is an interesting read & although neither of us suffer with heart conditions, it has completely inspired us.

Kay :)
Leanne said…
That's great news! Well done for pushing at the doctors
Thanks Kath - I have no doubt you will make a difference to your BP!

I never thought about my use of the word diet... I just mean what we eat - we're not on a weight loss diet, but we have lost some weight because of cutting out dairy & oil. Now thinking about the post title - it sounds quite sinister... Like I'm talking about weight loss drugs! Hahaha.

Kay :)
Thanks Jane - that's great & how nice to have a supportive doctor!

Kay :)
Karin said…
They don't always tell you about the side effects of drugs, do they. Sometimes taking drugs is the lesser of two evils, but if you've managed to control your condition by a change in diet then I'm sure that is the far better option. I hope your thyroid levels will correct themselves over the next few weeks and months as you continue on this diet.

I am thankful that I don't need any drugs, although I could do with a bit more energy most of the time.
Mrs Thrifty said…
What an interesting post - thank you - there is a school of thought that says that Meniere's is an auto-immune disease, but they aren't sure and I have hypothyroidism as well, and take thyroxine daily. I believe that I could probably do wonders if I radically transformed by diet and we want to go raw, but I find it really hard - food is my addiction. Why oil? I would be interested to find out more about that... even good oils (flax etc)? I have bought some oat groats ready to try your oat milk xx
Scarlet said…
Thanks for that Kay - I'll be checking that book out.
dreamer said…
Food and pharmaceutical industries have a lot to answer for in my opinion,profits come before people and our medical profession is so used to dishing out the latest wonder drug that they have lost touch with natural health and nutrition which could often help more.I also like to read up a lot about my medical condition and tackle it from the nutrition angle, I'm glad that you have found what works for yourself :)
Unknown said…
Kay, I wish you could sort me out (dietary speaking!).

I feel sluggish and then I have a little chocolate and I feel great again.

Now what's that all about then?

Kath said…
I know exactly what you mean with the use of "diet", as it doesn't have to mean what most people have come to assume, that it is a weight loss diet.
When I tell my friends I'll pass on their kind offer of fatty food, I feel I am expected to explain why. As soon as I try to explain that I'm eating differently they assume I'm on a "diet". Maybe I should say I'm on a new "eating plan".

Like you, I primarily started eating differently for my well-being, the weight loss has been a pleasant (and well needed) bonus.
Thanks for your continued support and encouragement! xx
Thanks Kath - the nurse who took my blood last week, lectured me about being vegan & the importance of eating quality protein & calcium at my age... I ran rings round her & then she shut up when she realised I knew what I was talking about!

I really enjoy our emails & love seeing your meals & hope one day we'll get to meet!

Kay :)
Thanks Karin - it will probably take about 6 weeks for the anti thyroid drug to totally wear off... But I'm confident, I'll continue to improve - The body is amazing at healing itself, just got to give it the right fuel.

We've experimented recently with our energy levels while working, we were taking pitta & houmous, along with salad & fruit, but by the afternoon we'd experience a drop in energy. So we took rice instead of pitta, which was much better - though still not perfect. Now we take a mix of fruit (bananas especially), dried fruit, nuts & seeds - this really sustains us throughout the day & we make sure we have a big salad on arriving home before we even start cooking dinner. Our energy levels are far better without bread/wheat, but we just eat it later in the day...

Kay :)
Justine said…
I found your blog today. I am so glad I did. I had hyperthyroidism for years until it was treated now I have to take thyroxine for life. I am a veggie not a vegan mainly because I love cheese. Might have to wean myself of it. I love your blog by the way and I am interested in hearing about your progress with your thyroid.
Thanks Mrs Thrifty - I'd love to talk to you more about your condition(s). If you want to email me at I could share with you what I know & continue to learn...

We've cut out oil, along with all processed fats - as it clogs up your system & damages blood vessels & arteries. It adds no benefit to our diet at all. On the other hand, you're right - linseeds (flax) are very good, but in their natural form or ground. We eat about 2 tbsps a day & this gives us the essential fatty acids we need.

Hope you like the oat milk - it's quite watery, but you could add a few almonds to soak with the oats if you're not keen.

And thank you for the award - we are very grateful! We were given some others a while ago & haven't yet got around to posting about them...

Will attempt to put that right this week!

Kay :)
Thanks Dreamer - That's great, it's really good to know that so many folks are helping themselves & I agree totally, I would be so impressed if a doctor could talk to me without looking in a book. Or if they even had some knowledge of natural health...

Kay :)
Hi Sft - it sounds like you're eating milk chocolate, which contains caseins (as well as caffeine). It's addictive & our brains tell us that we need it to feel good... Giving up chocolate is easier said than done, for me cutting down just didn't work - I would spend so much time thinking about it, but at that time we wanted to stop spending so much money on it.

Sime decided to become vegan & I really wanted to too, so I watched horrific film footage about dairy farms & that was it - I stopped! Cutting out dairy altogether, meant after a few days I was no longer physically craving chocolate & after 3 weeks, I had stopped snacking altogether. We had increased our green leafy vegetable intake & were eating more pulses (legumes) & ever since - I have felt completely satisfied with our meals... I also used to have quite bad PMS & would be climbing the walls for something sugary, but not any more (much to Sime's relief - hahaha)!

Hope this helps!

Kay :)
Hi Justine & welcome to our blog!

I'd be really interested in hearing your story. I refused conventional treatment for 2 years, but ended up in hospital after having a thyroid storm & then agreed to carbimazole, but have continued to refuse radio active iodine. I just didn't know enough at the time, but now I do - thank goodness!

Look forward to chatting more.

Kay :)
Catherine said…
I would have no problem giving up oil but it would be hard to give up dairy for me. I do drink soy milk but.... hmmm...
I'm so glad you are feeling healthier Kay - fantastic!
xo Catherine
momto8 said…
so interesting!!! I know most of the medical community does not recognize the importance of diet...maybe you can be the voice!!!
I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.
Anonymous said…
Good for you for standing up for yourself!! Sometimes we give doctors too much credit. Nobody knows our bodies better than we do.
Karin said…
My daughter made a bean salad a few weeks ago and I was surprised how satisfying that was. Rice is meant to be slower to digest than most carbohydrates, so that sounds like a good idea. The trouble is when you are cooking for people who don't want to change their diet it gets complicated, but I could look at my week day lunches. Plus it's not quite the weather for salad at the moment.
Hello Kay:
We were so distressed to read of the health problems which you have been experiencing but are delighted to learn that you are feeling so much better, largely it would appear on account of a change of diet. This is all to the good and we do so hope that all will continue to be well for you.

Clearly, from what we read, you live in Cornwall. How wonderful is that for it is the most magical of counties. We have very close friends who live just beyond Penzance although living in Hungary we do not see as much of them as we should like.

We have discovered your most entertaining blog through the comment which you have left on 'Jazzy's Place' and have signed as Followers.
Thanks Catherine - Most people say the same about dairy. It's something you have to really want to do...

Kay :)
Thank you & welcome to our blog!

Kay :)
Thanks Mel - I think so too!

Kay :)
Thank you & welcome to our blog!

Cornwall is magical & we feel very lucky to be living here!

Kay :)
Hello Kay, I just popped over to your blog following a link on Tales from Beyond the Nook. This post particularly attracted my interest because I am convinced that most of today's 'modern' diseases and conditions are caused or can be helped by diet. I have MS and became vegetarian about 4 years ago when I read that it is more healthy for my condition. I think going vegan is a much bigger step but will definitely consider it if I suffer a relapse(I suffer very few symptoms compared to some).
See you later, I'm just off to become a follower.
Teresa x
Hi Teresa,

Thanks for following us, here's a youtube video which is really interesting:

Hope you find it helpful!

Kay :)
Unknown said…
Hi Kay
Enjoyed reading your experience and positive outlook. I was diagnosed in 2019 with over active Thyroid,knew there was something not right when i had rapid weight loss and Thyroid all swollen. Was also anaemic and felt so ill.
Hi there,

Thanks for getting in touch.

Hope you are on the road to recovery - I have remained symptom free now for 9 years and am very glad I refused conventional treatment.

If you need any advice - please do email me (I'm very happy to help) on

Best wishes,

Kay x

Popular posts from this blog

Our Neighbours

The ladies next door have been giving birth in the field. Their babies are like any other babies - they sleep, they feed, they follow their mums everywhere, they run around, then fall asleep again.  These little beauties are completely unaware of their fate... But we know... And this is one thing which makes living here difficult. How can people eat other beings without feeling terrible?     It just doesn't make sense. Both the posters are from the  Cornwall Vegans  website. If you are in Cornwall or will be on Saturday 22nd April - do support this event! Perhaps you have been considering veganism - this  Vegan Starter Kit  will help you to get started and if you have any questions, need help or ideas for recipes - just ask, we are always happy to talk to folks who want to change their diet for the better. And in case you haven't seen this on iplayer - Here is  Simon Amstell's Carnage . Please, please think seriousl

Spring Forward

We are gradually coming out of our winter hibernation and two weeks of pet sitting on The Roseland in Cornwall has been a wonderful way to slowly "wake up" and enjoy being with one of our favourite furry chums. We are all enjoying being outside more and after 5 years of caring for our little pal - we have finally made progress with her ability to listen, focus and follow commands! She has always been a delight to be with, but her excitable behaviour tends to get out of control...perhaps she is calming down as she gets older or maybe we are more relaxed around her. We have certainly felt our bond with her has strengthened over the last two weeks and in turn she is eager to please. She can now have time off her lead and is thoroughly enjoying beach play time, with excellent recall.  We had almost given up on the idea that Mabel could enjoy such freedom, so it is a joy to us all! We do hope that she will continue with her Mum, but are confident that we will slip back into our ne