- Random, unreasonable fatigue and sluggishness
- Increased sensitivity to cold, low body temperature (below 98 degrees)
- Constipation and usually hemorrhoids
- Pale, dry skin all over the body (psoriasis)
- A puffy face
- Hoarse voice due to swelling of the thyroid gland constricting the vocal cords
- Unexplained weight gain and loss— can exceed 20 pounds, most of the gain is fluid
- Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness, especially in the shoulders and hips
- Joint pain and stiffness and swelling in the knees or the small joints in the hands and feet
- Muscle weakness, especially in the lower extremities, accompanied with pain
- Excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia) for women
To read all the information on Hashimoto’s from the Mayo Clinic, click here.
One of the most important muscle groups in your body is the heart! Dad suffers from profound bradycardia- an extremely slow heart rate. The healthy adult should heart rate should be 60-80 beats per minute. When he experiences any temperature change, his body cannot bring him back to homeostasis. When he gets cold, he stays cold and his heart slows down. (Vice versa when he gets hot.) Once his body temperature drops, it remains, on average, at 96 degrees. (Hypothermia is declared when the human body reaches 95 degrees.) The older my father gets, the more severe this particular sign has gotten. My body stays around 97-97.5 degrees so I can relate to how he feels. During each winter, Dad is in critical danger. Dad’s pacemaker cannot combat this sign when he eats soy.
The thyroid gland communicates with the liver and gallbladder. When the thyroid doesn’t function properly, the body digests very little fat, if any. Instead, the body stores any and all fats in the arteries and as adipose tissue resulting in high cholesterol readings- even when the patient has a balanced diet. (I have high cholesterol and no explanation as to why. The nurse told me to stop eating fried food. Fried food makes me sick and I avoid it.) Dad is unable to properly digest food, especially fats, which starves his body. His starved muscles are unable to generate normal movement and he feels fatigued. These conditions keep his body temperature and heart rate low.
JULY: Dad, still recovering from the pacemaker surgery, was transferred to Pickneyville, placed in Administrative Detention (segregation without a ticket), and not fed anything for 9 days.
2008- In December of this year, my dad took the Illinois prison system to Federal court. He won the Harris-vs-Brown, 3:07-CV-03225-HAB-B6C case and was finally granted his no-soy diet and Levothyroxine.
From 2008-2016, Dad continued to fight to receive his no-soy diet. Each time he was moved, his medical records did not go with him. He would wait months after every transfer for his records to arrive, proving he had a prescription no-soy diet. Even after the records arrived, he was still denied his diet at times because “there aren’t enough funds to provide him with real meat.” <—- That is a lie. The prison guards and staff eat real meat daily because they misappropriate funds from the prisoners’ diet. Dad would initiate another lawsuit against the prison for denying his no-soy diet. After the case would begin, Dad would be transferred and the cycle would repeat itself.
2016- APRIL: Dad was transferred to Danville Correctional Center from Menard. Initially he was in segregation at Menard on a bogus ticket. He went straight to Danville’s segregation unit upon arrival and was also denied his no-soy diet. As usual, his medical records “hadn’t arrived yet.”
APRIL to JUNE: Dad ate a few soy meals and became violently ill: Rash on face down to his chest, chronic constipation (as in it will not pass and you don’t go for days at a time), rectal bleeding, fatigue resulting in 12-14 hours of sleep per day, and migraines. After his desperation backfired, he went off the soy. From April 20th to June 15th, he went from 204 LBS to 173 LBS- 31 LBS of loss in 25 days. (Some of the weight was muscle loss.)
JULY: Once out of segregation, he continued to abstain from the soy-laden prison food and supplement his diet from items at the commissary. The rash, as Dad calls it, [is actually psoriasis] continued to cover his face and chest.
AUGUST: Dad had a lawsuit in progress confirming that soy was detrimental to his health and it was medically negligent to deny his no-soy diet. The judge ruled that while the soy was harmful, the Menard medical staff responded appropriately by giving him a no-soy diet (even if intermittently) and his Levothyroxine medication. The state tried to settele on small monetary amount for damages and court fees. Dad and his lawyer have refused that amount and this case is ongoing.
Once the state made an offer to settle, Danville’s Wexford doctors stopped my father’s no-soy diet. They initially blamed the IL Attorney General even though the AG does not control prison operations in any fashion. (I wrote to AG Lisa Madigan myself.)
SEPTEMBER: The Wexford doctors issued a prescription of Minocycline at 100 mg twice a day. In less than a month, Dad’s psoriasis subsided.
OCTOBER: Dad went back to segregation on another bogus ticket. Dad was given the regular prisoner soy trays and not allowed shop at the commissary. For a week, he ate only the vegetables, fruit, and bread. He continually got hungry. One day he broke down and ate a soy-turkey patty and some soy-turkey-ham, both items on the same day. (Eww.) He had a severe reaction. His thyroid gland swelled up and made it hard to breathe. His psoriasis returned, despite his Minocycline regimen. His body temp dropped to 96 degrees. His legs hurt so bad that he couldn’t sleep and he had rectal bleeding. He saw a sick call nurse on the 31st. She documented his symptoms and prescribed him a cream. Dad didn’t tell me what the cream was. He pointed out that the Wexford doctors recognized that my father was experiencing symptoms and refused to address the cause.
NOVEMBER: He saw a prison doctor on the 2nd. The soy had finally processed out of his system and his psoriasis was gone. The doctor said he would keep prescribing the cream, the Minocycline, and laxatives for the constipation. The doctor also expressed that my dad would “just have to deal with the fatigue and shortness of breath and keep eating the soy.” His Levothyroxine dosage is currently 75 micrograms per day. The doctor refused to re-instate the no-soy diet.
As long as Dad isn’t getting soy-free protein, he will continue to experience symptoms of Hashimoto’s. Throat swelling is a latent sign of thyroid disease. Throat swelling shows that Dad’s thyroid disease is progressing because 1. the soy is negating the meds and 2. Dad is getting older. Look at how little soy he consumed before the onset of his signs this time in October. Dad is 57 years old. He cannot continue on this path. The doctors at Danville cannot tell him to eat soy after Dad has proven how lethal soy is to himself. There is no excuse for denying the no-soy diet other than medical negligence on the Wexford doctors’ part and deliberate indifference to Dad’s medical needs. Dad literally sued Menard for the exact same thing.
Please click on the “How You Can Help” tab to find contact information on who to write. I will post my own letter for anyone to use as soon as I write it. Act now before they kill my father.