The Complete Idiot's Guide to Thyroid Disease

Appendix B: Resources

This Web page is an online, clickable version of Appendix B of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Thyroid Disease.


There are a number of organizations and Web sites available to help you locate the right doctor, learn more about thyroid disease, research thyroid medications, and live a healthier life. The page lists and briefly describes some of the very best of these information sources.


Finding the Right Doctor


Finding a doctor who’s highly skilled and yet willing to collaborate with you on your diagnosis and treatment isn't always easy. The following organizations and Web sites will help. Except for, these sites are all free.


In addition, take care to read Chapters 3 and 4, which explain what to seek and what to avoid in a thyroid doctor.


American Medical Association's DoctorFinder: This comprehensive site lists virtually every licensed doctor in the United States—over 814,000 physicians. You can search by location, name, and/or specialty (choose the Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism option).


American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists: This professional organization for endocrinologists will let you search for its US and international members based on location and specialty (choose the Thyroid Dysfunction option).


American Association of Naturopathic Physicians: This professional organization consists of alternative health practitioners who “teach their patients to use diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, and cutting-edge natural therapies to enhance their bodies’ ability to ward off and combat disease,” and who “blend the best of modern medical science and traditional natural medical approaches to not only treat disease but also restore health.” If you want to be assured that your request for desiccated thyroid won’t lead to a confrontation with your physician, click this site’s Find a Doctor link to search by name, location, or specialty (choose either the Adrenal Fatigue/Endocrinology or Chronic Fatigue/Autoimmune Disorders option).


Thyroid Top Doctors: Author and patient advocate Mary Shomon runs this site listing U.S. thyroid doctors nominated by her readers. According to Shomon, a top physician is “a doctor who listens, cares, has an open mind, wants us to understand and participate in our treatment decisions, and isn't beholden to a particular drug company.” Included are endocrinologists, thyroid specialists, thyroid surgeons, integrative physicians, and more. First click on your state, and then scroll through the list to find doctors in your city.


American Board of Medical Specialties: If you want to check on whether a U.S. doctor you’re considering is board certified in his or her specialty, click the Is Your Doctor Certified? link, follow the instructions for free registration, and then provide your doctor’s name.


Integrative Health Care: If you live in or near Scottsdale, Arizona, you may want to consider seeing Dr. Alan Christianson, who’s the co-author of this book. Integrative Health Care is Alan’s clinic. You can learn about Alan’s background and read patient testimonials by clicking here.


MyFax: One of the ways to get involved with your thyroid care is to have your doctor’s office fax you the results of your thyroid blood tests. If you don’t have a fax machine, you can get faxes emailed to you as PDF attachments. An especially good and inexpensive service for the latter is, which is free for a 30-day trial period, and then $10 a month (covering up to 200 pages received and 100 sent per month). For additional details, please click here.


Learning More About Thyroid Disease


We’ve tried to cover everything you’re likely to need to know about thyroid disease in this book, but there may be times when you require additional information. You can use the following Web sites to fill in further details and/or breaking news. Except for, these sites are all free.


Thyroid Disease Manager: This excellent site is written by doctors and for doctors. It’s quite technical, so if jargon makes you uncomfortable, steer clear. Otherwise, you can find a wealth of information here focused directly on thyroid disease.


UpToDate: This high-quality collection of medical articles is written and peer reviewed by doctors, and is also targeted primarily at doctors. However, the writing is better and easier to understand than that of most medical journals; plus, as its name implies, it’s frequently updated. If you can deal with the scientific details, the site is a great resource for in-depth information on virtually any medical topic—which is why it has an audience of nearly 400,000. Patient-level information (at is free. If you need more detailed technical information, you can buy full access to the site for a week—long enough to research any pressing medical question—for under $20. and Thyroid Disease: Author and thyroid health advocate Mary Shomon runs both of these sites, offering helpful information written from a patient’s perspective.


PubMed: The U.S. Government’s National Institutes of Health run this invaluable site, which is a clearinghouse for virtually all published medical research—including studies of thyroid disease. The material is as technical as it gets, but if you need to perform cutting-edge research, this is the place to start. To learn more, click the home page’s Help link.


Medline Plus: The U.S. Government’s National Institutes of Health also run this site, which—in contrast to PubMed—is designed to be patient friendly. It provides a great deal of solid information about all major illnesses, including thyroid disease.


American Cancer Society and OncoLink: As a supplement to Chapter 13, you may want to visit the Web sites of two superb cancer organizations. The American Cancer Society has a booklet about thyroid cancer here, and OncoLink has an excellent detailed article on the subject here.


Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association: Information about both thyroid cancer and support groups for those struck by the disease can be found at this site run by thyroid cancer survivors since 1995.


Thyroid Medication Web Sites


If you’re trying to decide which thyroid medications to choose (as discussed in Chapters 3 and 8), you may find it useful to explore the Web sites of their manufacturers. They are as follows:


Synthroid from Abbott


Cytomel and Levoxyl from King Pharmaceuticals


Unithroid from Jerome Stevens Pharmaceuticals


Nature-Throid and WesThroid from RLC Labs


Armour Thyroid from Forest Laboratories


Thyrolar and Levothroid from Forest Laboratories


Desiccated Thyroid Powder (the raw material for Nature-Throid,
WesThroid, Armour Thyroid, etc.) from American Laboratories


Lifestyle & Diet Help


As explained in Chapters 18-21, both your thyroid’s health and your overall health will be improved if you avoid toxins and eat right. The following are some of the finest resources to help you go green and organic...and lose weight while you’re at it.


Environmental Working Group: Founded in 1993, EWG is a nonprofit group devoted to protecting consumers from environmental toxins—the cause of most thyroid disease. Its site provides numerous tips on how to avoid food pesticides, poisons in cosmetics, and other chemical dangers.


Green Guide for Everyday Living: This site from the National Geographic Society is filled with simple tips that "make going green a gradual and affordable process rather than an all-or-nothing plunge." Click the Go Local option to find organic and “green” companies in your area.


Local Harvest and USDA Agricultural Marketing Service: Use these wonderful sites to find local family farms and farmers’ markets, which are often the best sources for inexpensive organic food.


Eatwild: Use this site to locate pasture-based farms near you that sell grass-fed meat and dairy products.


MyFoodDiary: The chances are you'll eat less and lose weight if you keep track of what you consume. This Web site makes it easy to do so, employing a database of over 70,000 foods. It also provides an exercise log that calculates the calories burned for over 700 activities, creates reports that gently encourage you to keep losing (and discourage you from gaining), and hosts hundreds of forums for online group support. It costs $9 a month.


CalorieKing: Like MyFoodDiary, this site helps you track your eating via an extensive food database and provides support via online communities. It also offers tutorials and tips that help guide you to lose weight. It costs $12 a month.


Weight Watchers: The renowned Weight Watchers program was designed for live meetings, and that’s still how it works best. This site lets you discover when and where meetings are taking place near you.


Glycemic Load: As explained on page 225, a food's glycemic load is a measure of how quickly your blood sugar level will rise after eating a specified amount of the food. You can find a list of over 1,800 international foods and their glycemic loads (compiled by professor Jennie Brand-Miller of the University of Sydney) by clicking here, and a list of the most common 100+ foods and their glycemic loads (compiled by Harvard Medical School for Newsweek readers) by clicking here.


JJ Virgin: Fitness and nutrition guru JJ Virgin has helped such celebrities as Ben Stiller, Janeane Garofalo, Gene Simmons, Brandon Routh, and mega-selling author Jack Canfield, and for two years was the nutrition expert on the Dr. Phil show. Chapter 20 of this book is devoted to Virgin’s advice on shedding fat. In addition to personal coaching, Virgin offers various products through her Web site—including her book Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy. To view some of her best exercise videos, please click here.


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