vegetarian hashis sufferer

I've only been diagnosed for 6 months, I am a strict vegetarian and really really want to avoid NDT, so I hope there'll be an alternative for me out there, just on 50mg levo at the moment

Also, the paleo diet just wont work for me either as a veggie

Are there are any other veggie hashis sufferers out there who have managed to improve through dietary changes and if so what have you done?

Many thanks

24 Replies

  • Zoeblsvc, the non-animal alternatives to NDT are synthetically produced Levothyroxine and Liothyronine (T3).

  • You will probably do fine on synthetic levothyrxoine when you get sufficient to make you feel well and not be kept 'in range' due to your TSH level alone and disregarding any of your continuing symptoms.

  • many thanks Shaws and Clutter

  • Zoe, do you supplement B12? It is only available from meat, fish and eggs and isn't available from plant foods.

  • b12 is in the multi vit I take, which is one designed for veggies


  • Zoe, I recommend you have a B12 and folate blood test. The amount of B12 in a multi vit is unlikely to be sufficient.

  • ok thanks clutter

    I'm waiting for an endo referral and then I plan to prepare and take a full list with me based on what people have advised here

  • Zoe, your GP is more likely to do the tests than the endo.

  • The nerve damage from low B12 is irreversible. In my view, it is folly to wait. Weeks and months of waiting for appointments, then tests, and follow-up appointments, count. Get a test (preferably active B12) from your GP or, if you have to, privately.

  • Hi again Zoeblsvc!

    I am also a vegetarian hashi sufferer! I've been a veggie my whole life (I'm 31) , I have not yet really tried any dietary changes but I am getting a nutribullet for my birthday so I'm hoping this will help kickstart me making some changes, I want to try gluten free but I think I'm going to find it hard to stick too!

    Have you tried going gluten free or anything yet?

  • Hi Turtle83 - yes I've been veggie or vegan or a mix for 32 years now too

    Maybe we should direct message and confer?

    I haven't tried gluten free etc and I've got mixed feelings about it - I've eaten a pretty healthy diet for years, ie lots of fruit and veg, wholegrains nuts etc and worry about what you lose when you cut out a chunk of your diet, some people also say cut out pulses which I would find impossible

    I also see a lot of people say cut out soya but I haven't done that yet either - again I've got mixed feelings as there are lots of good stuff in soya - protein and anti cancer substances etc and stuff that's good for menopause!!

    I do think that refined foods and high sugar and caffeine are all not good for me, so I've cut out caffeine and I've stopped drinking normal tea as I hear its got fluoride in it which is supposed to be a thyroid poison

    I also go for pretty much 'no white' processed stuff and low sugar although do have some chocolate occasionally but stick to dark!

    when I was diagnosed I asked my gp if I needed to change my diet etc and she said don't change anything! its all very confusing and frustrating and I don't want to spend my life obsessing either as I've really got enough to do with work, home, family etc

    hey ho sorry for the rant!

  • No problem rant away! I'm more than happy to chat via dm, sounds like we have a lot in common!

    Yes it's difficult knowing what to try for the best, I guess maybe try going without certain things for a few weeks and see if you feel any better, I think it seems harder to remove things when you're vegetarian, feels like there will be nothing left we can eat!

  • Zoe, any form of soy, other than fermented soy, is very bad for the thyroid. If you type Soy or Soya into the HU search function you'll find lots of posts on the subject.

  • Trendfriendpa, I think it's bad for people for a multitude of reasons and best avoided.

  • Clutter and Helvella are right about the importance of B12, especially as you get older and, being vegetarian, you need B12 from, ideally, grass fed animals - butter, cheese (Swiss cheese contains higher amounts) milk and eggs, as well as a high supplement.

    This site gives lots of information on soy, one important disadvantage being that it destroys B12 analogues:

  • There may be protein in soya, but humans can't absorb it. If you are relying on soya for your protein, then you aren't going to get much!

    Soya is very, very bad for hypos - especially if you still rely on your gland for some of your hormone. It contains substances that are called goitrogens, which impede the uptake of iodine by the thyroid gland. It also impedes the uptake of the hormone by the cells, so is going to make you very very ill.

    And there are better things for the menopause than soya, which contains endocrine disruptors that will screw up your whole endocrine system. It really is not a health food. It causes far more problems than it cures.

    Oh, and it also is carcogenic.

  • I just wanted you to know what i have been told and read. Apparently, Hashimotos, being Autoimmune, can be caused by food sensitivities and allergies, among other things. My son and i had food sensitivity testing done and we are both sensitive to all kinds of nuts and fruits, coconut, gluten and dairy. These foods make the body inflamed, the stomach too, thus contributing to autoimmune diseases. So actually, your diet may not be healthy for you. With Thyroid you need to avoid Soy and Veggies that cause Goiters..and all this has been tested and proven.

  • ok thanks, a bit overwhelming

  • Quite sure an awful lot of people here agree, and sympathise.

  • I am vegetarian but I am taking NDT after several years on levo. I find that Rose Elliots's Low carb vegetarian diet makes me feel better and also helps with weight loss. If you want to lose weight then you have less carbs than if you don't.

  • I'm a strict vegetarian (over 40 years now ... oh blimey ... now I do feel old). I'm on 100mg levothyroxine which, I think, does work for me but I have a dreadful problem with absorbing anything so am on prescribed supplements for several deficiencies. Lots of people do OK on levo, you may well be one of them too.

    I did wonder what I would do if I felt I had to have something like NDT but, you know what, although it would have gone against absolutely everything I believe in, I have been so ill that I think I would have done anything to get well. It really would not have been an easy decision, but my health has been in the toilet.

    I went gluten-free last summer, purely because it is recommended - my (new) endocrinologist has supported me with that decision, and also suggested I looked at the FODMAP diet. I rejected it as it would mean giving up even more of the staples I eat and, as a veggie, I am already restricting what I eat. I looked at the Paleo diet but, like you said, it isn't very veggie-friendly.

    I used to use soy-based products, which I have now stopped - that was harder because so many of my veggie stuff contained soya. I now seem to be developing a problem with dairy, and am dreading having to further limit what I eat.

    I guess I have a fairly typical vegetarian diet - nuts and pulses, and I eat plenty of fresh veg and fruit. It's very easy to cope at home, but it is certainly much harder if you are trying to eat out.

  • I've been vegetarian for most of my life and three years ago added Fish in an attempt to improve my health. After 20years on levo only and suffering took the hard decision to take NDT and still trial and error. Not feeling a 100% yet. But you've been diagnosed six months ago, so you might be one of the lucky ones go do well on levo alone like my mother. Take a day at a time.

  • Thanks everyone for your replies, it feels daunting being at the early stages of what sounds like it's going to be a mammoth journey.

    In terms of soy I thought people in Japan and related communities have eaten tofu for many many years and I thought they were known to be healthy populations traditionally. Anyone know anything more on that?

  • No, that a myth. They do not eat masses of tofu. They eat small amounts of fermented soy products like miso and tempeh. Tofu is unfermented.

    You might find this helpful to read:

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