Welcome


Welcome to our Low Iodine Diet (LID) blog.


This blog is a record the foods and meals eaten while preparing for Radioactive Iodine (RAI)Therapy for treatment of thyroid cancer.

Meals and snacks we prepared during the LID.  See Tabs at top of this page for recipes, links and unsalted products we used.  See the link at the right, top of this page for additional recipe ideas.

After having a total thyroidectomy in August, 2012, my husband was diagnosed with follicular variant of thyroid papillary carcinoma.


One of the treatments for this type of thyroid cancer is radioactive iodine (RAI) therapy.  Since the thyroid naturally absorbs almost all of the iodine in the blood, when radioactive iodine is introduced into the body, any cancer cells that remain after surgery are typically killed with minimal ill effects to the rest of your body.


This brings us to the low iodine diet (LID).  Often doctors instruct their patients to follow a low iodine diet for 2+ weeks prior to the RAI therapy.  The purpose is to starve the body of iodine so that when the radioactive iodine is given, any remaining thyroid cells absorb it.


The diet is a little complicated in that you should not eat: dairy products, seafood, processed or bakery foods, foods from restaurants/carry out, whole eggs, foods containing iodized salt, most chocolate, red kidney beans and anything containing Red Dye #3---and that's just the short list!


While the diet is NOT non-salt it is low/non iodine.  Don't panic- your doctor will give you lists of foods that are approved and several online resources are available.  Check the links section on the right of this page for an online, 100+ page free cookbook prepared by the Thyroid Cancer Survivors Organization. So the short of it is- many foods/recipes may be easily prepared at home using salt that contains NO iodine and then avoiding the items listed above.

                             

I hope our experience will give you some menu ideas to make your journey less stressful and more flavorful.  Use the Day Tabs at the top of this page for information about the foods we selected for the Low Iodine Diet (LID) each day.  

YOU can DO THIS!

Wishing you and your family good health!












 



40 comments:

  1. This is very helpful. Thank you so much. I will have RAI in nov. and your blog gives me hope that I will not suffer during LID:)

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    1. Thank you for your kind note- Best to you with your LID and RAI! Sonya

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  2. Wow...you are a "life" saver! Thanks so much for all your detail, it will certainly make my life much more easier and tastier when I do the next LID this coming Feb 2013 (my third). I'm going to print out all the recipes. My dilemma was always, "what can I make?" You've solved that for me! All the best to your hubby...thanks so much again.

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    1. Many thanks- Well wishes to you, Sonya

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  3. Thank you so much for taking the time to do all of this...I'm on day 2 of my 2nd round of this LID and I am finding lots of helpful information from your blog...Sure wish I had this in April for the first round...Thank you again for taking the time to do this...Best of Luck to your Husband...Christie

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    1. Hi Christie-Thanks for your note- I wish you the best! Good luck with your second round LID. Sonya

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  4. Thank you, thank you! I am just starting my treatment and this is so helpful. I appreciate the follow up notes, I know what to expect now -- even the "pill". Great work!

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  5. Bless you for making this blog! I am on the LID right now. I like how you pointed out which stores carried what products. So very helpful, thank you! Robin

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    1. Thanks Robin! Sending healthy wishes your way! :)

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  6. Thank you for this really informative submit. ive been trying to drop some weight for about 1 week now but im still puzzled what to complete initial or where to start. you just assisted to set my priorities to slim down. thank you.

    Patricia Joyner
    Author of foods to help lose weight website

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  7. Other than the www.thyca.org site you have been the only helpful place to go! Thank you so much for making this journey a little easier. You are a God sent for taking your time to make this blog :) I am on my second day :/

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  8. What a wonderful blog! I went through my RAI treament Dec. '12 and will be going back on my low iodine diet this month for my follow up whole body scan. Your blog gave some me some great ideas! Hope your husband is doing well!

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  9. Thanks so much for posting this, it's been helpful for my current LID. Here's a cookie recipe that's saving me from milk chocolate cravings! :)
    http://freerangecookies.com/2013/04/25/salted-chocolate-pb-cookies/

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    1. Thanks for your kind words and for sharing the cookie recipe. I have posted it on my LID Pinterest board. Best to you and wishes for good health!

      http://www.pinterest.com/wssonya/low-iodine-diet/

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  10. I have shared your blog with my endocrinologist so that he can mention it to other patients who are freaking out about the LID. I start in in 2 weeks. I have another week off work and I am going to spend it preparing and freezing some of the meals you recommend in addition to trekking to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's for some basics. Thank you so much for posting this. I hope your husband's health is well. I'm sure that having your support was very instrumental just as it will be in helping me and many others getting through this diet. Jennifer

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    1. Hi Jennifer- Thank you for your kindness. I am happy this blog has helped you during the stress of the LID. Best wishes to you and your family. Sonya

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  11. THANK YOU so much for this blog!!! I wish I had seen it a year ago during my first LID! I love the recipes. It is going to make it so much easier this time around! (I have a rescan on April 10th). Thank you, thank you, thank you! :)

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    1. Hi Julie- Best wishes and Good Health to YOU! Sonya

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  12. I just wanted to say thank you so much for this blog! I'm preparing for my treatment in a few weeks and stumbled across this. Although my sister went through this a few years ago, some details are forgotten in the time so this is a GREAT resource of what is allowed on this special diet. Thank you again!

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    1. Good luck and best health wishes to you and your family- Sonya

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  13. Thank you for this blog as well as your pinteret board! I was diagnosed with Tall Cell Variant Papillary Cancer in August 2014, and will begin to prepare for RAI soon. I think you are almost my neighbor--I live in Burnsville, NC. Thanks again.

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    1. Glad it's helpful for you- and I do constantly add new items to the LID Pinterest board.
      Best health wishes to you! Sonya

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  14. Dear Sonya. First of all thank you for your excellent blog! It is truly a 'labor of love'! Second of all - and most importantly - I'm so glad your husband is cancer-free as of Sep 2014! My wife and I used the information in your blog, but we had a very specific problem. I have Crohn's Disease and cannot eat too many vegetables, nor "fresh" fruits (except for a few). So, using your example, I came up with a YouTube Video to help my fellow IBD Patients who may need to go through the LID. You may post this link on your web-page, if you feel it would be helpful to other IBD patients! - Paul https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABqZPS4K8Co

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    1. Hi Paul- Great job on the video/slideshow! I am sure it will help IBD folks plan during the LID. Happy to post link on this blog site. Best health to you and your family. Sonya

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  15. Thank you Sonya. You inspired me with you VERY helpful blog!!! btw: I have a question for you, about your husband's treatments. I see that he got the RAI treatment. However, did his health care providers want to perform a 6-month follow-up scan with a much lower dose of RAI I-131? After my RAI, I had a whole body scan done. The nuclear medicine director suggested that in 6-months I follow up with another LID and a much smaller dose of RAI, in order to obtain another scan. I'm confused about this though. Of course, I'll know more when I go to see my endocrinologists in a couple of months for a Thyroglobulin blood test and an Ultra Sound of my neck to see what she recommends. However, the Nuclear medicine doctor threw me a "curve-ball" when he suggested that I have a 6-month follow-up scan. Did you husband have that done, or was it even suggested to him to have one done? (I'm confused.) - Paul

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    1. Hi Paul- No, my husband did not have a repeat LID or RAI treatment. He had the RAI about a month after surgery and whole body scan, then regular bloodwork/labs and at the 12 month point, an ultrasound. Then more regular labwork and another ultrasound at the two year point. Every physician practice/medical center seems to do things a little differently. I do think that my husband would continue the planned labwork and have the ultrasound done- ONLY if it detected something suspicious, would he consider additional RAI therapy. We are not trained medical professionals of course. For your peace of mind, you could always consider a second opinion- my husband has done that often during all this mainly because he wanted to try different thyroid replacement meds- and not all endo's will prescribe other than traditional synthyroid....interestingly, he is full circle back to synthyroid :) Best to you- Sonya

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    2. Thank you Sonya for that prompt and detailed reply. I REALY appreciate it Sonya! Again, I'm wishing your husband continued success!!! That was interesting about the thyroid replacement meds. I follow the Yahoo discussion group, which I found out about through the www.Thyca.org web-site. There's a lot of discussion around alternative replacement hormones. For now, I'm going to stick with my levothyroxine - which essentially is synthyroid, I believe. Thanks again for your prompt reply! Best Wishes!
      Paul

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  16. You mentioned you loved the frances' brownies from the THYCA website. Were you concerned about the baking powder the recipe called for containing iodine? I'm worried it may as it does have sodium in it.

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    1. Hi Jennifer. I understand your concern of wanting to strictly abide by the diet guidelines. We did feel 100% comfortable with all the recipes listed in the THYCA cookbook. Remember it is low iodine- not NO iodine. I do think the sodium/iodine content in baking soda is quite small and it is only 1 teaspoon for the whole recipe which makes a 9x12" dish of brownies- so divide that yield by the number of servings in the baked recipe and I really think it will be minimal. Of course, you need to do what you feel comfortable with and what your doctor suggests. I am sending wishes of good health to you and your family. Best, Sonya

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  17. Hi Sonya
    Thanks for the blog. I was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid carcinoma in January, 2015. Today is my 13 day on the LID. Yesterday did labs and I missed my mark by 5. I started with a .9 TSH level and yesterday got a 25. I wish I had found your site before. Doctor provided me with thyca.com page info for LI diet recipes, but many of them are not appealing because is not what a Hispanic usually eats. Your husband is very lucky to have you prepared his meals. I am going to use some of your recipes today and tomorrow to see if my levels go up, wish me luck. I have to do labs again on Monday. If everything goes well I should have my RAI treatment on 3/26/2015. I am also documenting in a blog (not as nice as yours) my adventure and diagnosis. Please let me know when I am talking about my LID experience if I can add your blog link to mine so more people get your awesome recipes. My blog is http://liveloveandbutterfly.blogspot.com/.

    Hope you and your husband are doing well.

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    1. Hi Demaris- Sorry for the delay responding. I appreciate all of your kind comments and yes, feel free to add a blog link on your site. I did visit and it is very well done! Wishing you good health- Sonya

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  18. Sonya,
    You deserve a Gold Medal for this blog. This is my 2nd, maybe 3rd prep for a full body scan and I do my best to observe the LID so when the Radioactive Iodine is introduced, it will go right towards any target without it being confused by too much Iodine in one's body. My Endo says "it's a low Iodine diet, not a no Iodine diet". I cut out all fish (usually eat it twice a week with maybe tuna salad for sandwiches... And I am careful to use no-iodine salt - very easy to find. I also use Bragg's Sprinkles and sometimes no-salt Mrs. Dash. You are INCREDIBLE. This is so well done. My first time I had no idea what to do. Had Thyroidectomy 12/11; and 2nd surgery to remove Lymph Node right behind my Thyroid that they could not see - Thyroid was in the way and they tested... and said "it's the Thyroid", later they felt, the Cancer started in the Lymph Node and spread to the Thyroid. This is a great resource for us, I am going to bring your website to my Endo, she will love this and share with her other patients. Thank you so much for your time and incredible effort!!!

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  20. Wishing you a good health to your lovely husband and family.

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  21. They removed my thyroid for a papillary carcinoma. Waiting for radioactive treatment by the end of this month. Thanks for sharing all this and wishing you all the best.

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  22. It's been a week since my total thyroidectomy. I'm waiting for my TSH levels to get high enough for the RAI treatment. I'm about half way through the LID diet. I've got 2 kids (10 & 7) so it's hard to make dinners that they want to eat also. I happened to stumble across your blog & I just want to say Thank You. Your meals look delicious & I can't wait to try some! I know it's been a few years since your husbands surgery & treatment. I hope all is well with him. Thank you again for sharing your meal plans & his experiences & side effects. It helps to have an idea of what I'll be dealing with.

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    1. Thanks for your note Tammy! I wish good health to you- and yes, he is doing well- thank you.
      If you want more recipe ideas- see my LID pinterest board- I still add recipes whenever I see one: https://www.pinterest.com/wssonya/low-iodine-diet/
      Sonya

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