Monday, July 18, 2011

my first day on the LID.....

yesterday, i got out my trusty book, "the low iodine diet cookbook", by Norene Gilletz and decided to re-read it before i began the diet. i have mentioned the "why it is important" facts in some of my blogs, but i have not mentioned anything about the history of the diet. in the book, there is a forward by Dr. Kenneth Ain, who is director of the thyroid oncology program at the university of Kentucky. one chilling fact that i re-read in the book is that thyroid cancer can not currently be treated with traditional chemotherapy. so, i think patients should be diligent in understanding the importance of the LID, both in treatment with the I-131  and before full body scans.

for over 50 years doctors have been using radioactive iodine to treat thyroid cancer. while they recognized the importance of a low dietary iodine diet, there was much disagreement as to what a LID should be. so, in 1988, the NIH ( national institutes of health) located in bethesda, maryland, came up with a simple diet that was proven to be effective. dr. ain learned about this diet, and has made only a few changes in the past few years. the LID was unknown to most physicians,though, as late as the late 1990s. in 1997, dr. ain was invited to speak at a thyca conference, and since then, with thyca's help, the word has gotten out to doctors as well as thyroid cancer patients. ( footnote here: in case you are not aware, thyca is a website for thyroid cancer patients. they also have regional meetings, as well as sponsoring local thyca meetings which are organized by (usually) other thyroid cancer survivors.) if you have not checked out this website, please do. they offer wonderful information and support.

norene gilletz is a renowned cookbook author, and has used  the NIH guidelines in composing a cookbook that is informative, as well as indispensable. i personally could not be on the LID with any degree of confidence without this cookbook! whatever source you use,though, i would make sure that it follows the NIH guidelines. even a small mistake can wreck the diet.

so, yesterday, i spent a large part of my day cooking. i needed to be prepared for the next two weeks on the LID. i made coleslaw, blueberry muffins, baked chicken, and homemade bread. i have stocked up on fresh fruits and vegetables. i complain about this diet, but really, i think that it is probably what we should be following  all of the time. i really, really, miss chocolate and dairy! but i probably need to eat less of them- i know it would be healthier for me. one thing that i had to get,though, i am not so fond of. and that is unsalted( you can add your own non-iodized salt later, but no sea salt or iodized salt, of course) brown rice cakes. they are a snack for me- especially when i am at work and need a little energy to get through my shift. they have hardly any flavor, but are filling- the way styrofoam would be i think. anyway, they are a necessary evil for me, and one that i WILL NOT be going back to after the diet!

knowing a little bit about the diet- how it came about, why it is so important that we follow it just as closely as possible, helps a little i think. for anyone who will be on the LID now, or in the future, i recommend buying the cookbook. of course, you can go to the thyca website and see it there. but personally, i like to have a cookbook in hand. i enjoy cooking, and this makes it a little easier for me. i will let everyone know how i am doing, and good luck to those of you who may be on the LID with me.


  1. Bea, is this different than the cookbook that is a free download on the Thyca website? I think that one is made up of contributed recipes from members. I found that to be a good cookbook too. Preparation is the key for this and it sounds like exactly what you are doing. It'll go by faster than you think, I bet. Good luck.

  2. i am honestly not sure. i know that they must be similar, because dr. ain gave an address at the first thyca conference, and had been contributing to their website before that. he was interested in a good LID and used the NIH guidelines( he and cookbook author norene gilletz)to come up with a good cookbook/guide. i just liked the cookbook. it is easy to use, and it explained a lot about why be on the LID and the history of the diet. hope you are doing well, and i will probably say this again, good luck on your upcoming tests!