Many of my patients have asked me to offer comments and critiques on the latest books, articles and medical reports. I have taken the requests to heart and as of today, I will be offering brief comments on as much new information on matters affecting our health found in the public domain as well as medical literature as I possibly can.
I just finished reading The Thyroid Diet – Harper Collins 2004, by Mary Shomon. We all know how important the thyroid is and there never seems to be enough information about its role in our normal, physiologic functioning. Any new book will certainly be welcome with a high degree of expectation and hope.
Mary Shomon is a victim of under active thyroid who like all too many others went undiagnosed by the medical profession for too long. She did her own research and as she found her path to thyroid health, became a patient advocate and a self-made expert. I applaud her commitment and desire to share her knowledge with the public.
The medical terms she uses and the physiology she describes are solid and based in anatomical and medical facts. The basic information she provides is helpful to get you to a good level of understanding of your thyroid function, the diagnostic dilemmas you and your conventional physician face, and the treatment options available today.
Beyond that, the book takes an unnecessary and even misleading turn. If you were to follow Mary Shomon’s beliefs, you would think thyroid is the core issue for all your problems. That is a little shortsighted. While the thyroid is an important hormone, an under active thyroid is not the only reason you are getting overweight, have lost your sex drive and have menopausal symptoms.
The human body is very complex and the solutions to most of our problems come when we properly integrate all aspects of our lives: diet, exercise, stress management with proper hormone balance and supplements.
Mary Shomon is not an expert in any of the information she dispenses beyond her own experience with thyroid. When I got to page 131, where she describes mesotherapy, a questionable method of decreasing fat under the skin with numerous injections, I started wondering if the book might not have been better titled as “The Kitchen Sink Diet”. And by the way, it is not a diet book, it is a general information book about everything Mary Shomon has researched.
Finally, the book’s resource section is something you could use to further your research on the topic. The physicians she recommends are knowledgeable and willing to look at your thyroid as a potential source for your problems.
Unlike all too many physicians in our day and age, the physicians in her resource section will not just follow your TSH levels when considering treatment for your problems. Clearly ,they endorse the book and have provided Ms. Shomon with help in the area of medical information.
If you do not look for the book to provide you with a true diet to solve your thyroid or other metabolic problems, it makes for an interesting afternoon’s reading. If what you are searching for is more in depth answers and more professional direction, move to the next shelf in the bookstore.
For more information on your thyroid, refer to my article "Could it be your Thyroid" in my note pad.