Dieting with Obstacles - Soy diet?

View Full Version : Soy diet?

07-19-2009, 05:06 PM
Eating too much dairy causes me gastrointestinal problems, so I drink soy milk and avoid most dairy products(except for yogurt, apparently the bacteria in yogurt helps). I am only mildly lactose intolerant, so the amount of lactose found in bread and others seems to be fine, it's really true dairy products like milk, processed cheese, ice cream, etc. that cause problems.

Anyway, my doc says my thyroid function is a little sluggish, not enough for medicine apparently, but not great either. I have read that soy products are bad for thyroid function and others saying that it only inhibits the absorption of medication. Does anybody know what this is about? I dislike almond milk, rice milk is ok I guess, but I am really in love with the Silk Light Vanilla Soy milk(mmmmmmmmm). Is it necessary that I give up my soy milk?

07-19-2009, 05:12 PM
Ask your doctor! That's probably the best source to start with. We aren't professionals here...


Suzanne 3FC
07-19-2009, 07:25 PM
I moved your thread to Dieting with Health Obstacles. We have a lot of members here that have varying degrees of thyroid problems, so hopefully some can share their experiences with soy. You should ask your doctor, as Jay pointed out, but you'll hopefully get some good pointers here based on what she says.

Good luck :)

07-19-2009, 07:48 PM
Myself and many people in my family have digestive problem too (sometimes called IBS and other names) which leads to the fox trots, and the doctors now think we also have lactose intolerance which is contributing to this problem. You can get pills to eat with dairy to correct this too.

I still eat dairy but just make sure to LIMIT HOW MUCH I have at one time; as long as I eat it in small amounts over the day, I am fine now. If I eat too much at once (like a big serving of ice cream), then I get the consequences.

I am a bit puzzled why soy milk would interfere with your thyroid function; soy milk is a natural food source, but soy products could have a mild estrogen effect from my personal research, so that's another reason why some people like to drink it.

This is what I did: I now drink skim milk only, yogurt, cheddar cheese in measured amounts, low fat yogurt ice cream about 1/2 cup (actually any ice cream in small amounts is OK now), cheese slices (one at a time), and my IBS has improved immensely. I also eat more fiber as in bran and whole grain cereals and breads; and that seems to be helping too.

To give you some perspective, I had IBS so bad at one time, that I would have severe pain and diarrhea with accidents almost on a daily basis. Slowly over time and changing my eating habits as stated above, I rarely have diarrhea now; just occasionally ...

Hope you find a solution soon. :hug:

07-19-2009, 08:12 PM
From what I've read, soy products are more of an issue with those of us who are clinically hypothyroid and already on medication. If your thyroid still tests within normal ranges while you're enjoying your soy milk, then I'd say you're fine. :)

BTW, my DH and DS are lactose intolerant and like LactAid products, such as milk, cottage cheese, and ice cream. Have your tried them as an alternative?

Fat Chick B Gone
07-19-2009, 08:31 PM
I'd certainly talk to your doctor about it but I'd try different brands of rice, almond, hemp etc milk also. I find I like certain brands better then others.

Me Too
07-20-2009, 10:23 PM
So much in common with you all.
I am lactose intolerant and avoid dairy as much as I can, I love soy milk, in fact I make my own soy milk almost every other day.
I also have IBS-D and at times its unbearable to say the least.
I have a sluggish thyroid too, last year my TSH was 1.47 this year is was .89, i just had another test and am waiting for the results as will as for the T3 and T4.
As I age everything seems to just happen, like high cholesterol and HBP, and being over weight hasn't helped either.
At 54 its time to change all my bad habits like i quit drinking (20 years), smoking (2 years), drinking coffee and am cleaning up my act, just hope it isn't to late.

07-21-2009, 05:54 AM
Hi Karen from NM! My DD lives in NM and I love it there. :)

Did you know that your TSH numbers are fantastic? They're better than mine are, even with my medication. TSH can be confusing because it measures Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (hence TSH) and the higher the number, the worse your thyroid is. When your thyroid starts to shut down, your body pumps out more and more Thyroid Stimulating Hormone in an effort to get it going again so your TSH number goes up, up, up.

Most people think that a low TSH number = low thyroid but it's actually the opposite -- people with high TSH have sluggish thyroids. People are usually put on thyroid hormone once their TSH gets above 3 - 5. Mine was 13 when I was diagnosed in 1995. I wish I was at your level, even today!!

So the good news is that your TSH is great! And the best news is that you're never too old to change your life. I'm 54, just like you, and didn't get this whole weight loss thing figured out until eight years ago. I'm sad that I missed so many wonderful years but having more fun now than should be legal. 50 is the new 30, didn't you know? :D

Best of luck to you on your journey!

Me Too
07-21-2009, 08:58 AM
Thank Meg for the words of encouragement, I know I can do this weight loss journey and in the end I will not only look better, but feel so much better too. So I am not going to stress out over a bunch of numbers and go by how I feel. Today I am down another pound so I am happy.

07-21-2009, 09:00 AM
Yay, Karen!! :carrot:

08-11-2009, 03:44 PM
Keeping in mind that Dr's typically only take 4 hours of nutrition during medical school, I would recommend a nutritionist or acupuncturist who knows alot about nutrition. My friend is one and she says soy is horrible for you unless you just had a baby and need the estrogen rise. In eastern cultures they only ate soy at certain times of life (after birth, during menopause). It is especially bad for boys, causing early puberty.
My son has a bad dairy intollerance. I have him on rice milk which I enrich with coconut milk for flavor and fat content.
The almond milk is by far the most nutrtious. I wouldn't stay on the soy if I were you. Soy isn't bad in the form of miso or edaname, but processed soy is bad. My holistic dr. says it's terrible as well. I would limit the intake if it were me. Maybe you could try carob almond milk or rice milk? Costco has rice milk for super cheap, if you could find something to flavor it with that you like?

08-11-2009, 04:36 PM
Uhh... I don't know a lot about soy but it is very common in asia to eat various versions of soy from soy milk which can be part of breakfast to tofu which is part of various meals and also edamame which is eaten as well.

Of course what they generally don't eat is dairy (very rare) and large portions of meat, if any meat at all.

That isn't to say that we should model other cultures 100% but soy is definitely eaten quite a bit in various parts of Asia.

Having said all that, I am careful with how much soy I eat. I vary it a lot and it definitely isn't an every day thing.

08-11-2009, 04:42 PM
Actually that is a big misconception about Asia. They do not actually eat processed soy like we do. My friend studied nutrtion/acpuncture in China for a summer, and they only eat the safer forms like edaname and miso, which don't effect estrogen levels.

08-11-2009, 04:46 PM
I went to China and was in remote parts of China (by this I mean, where Americans and other non-Asians don't go but still major local populations) and they certainly ate tofu and they drank soy milk. Obviously rice is the major staple of the food and soy wasn't at every meal but it was there.

I've talked to many people who grew up in China and they did say soy milk and tofu was eaten as well.

Of course different parts of China have different food routines and meat is more abundant now in certain diets than it was in the past.

Also "The China Study" is a 20 year study of eating habits of Chinese from all over China. It is a good book to read.

08-11-2009, 05:10 PM
I want to try the rie milk..I couldnt drink tasted awful! I am lactose intolerant..I get bloated and cramps with pain and gas....Some times I get diarrhea. But What can I drink with my cereal?....Im confused.

Affecting estrogen levels? I dont know which soy milk to drink.

08-11-2009, 05:18 PM
Rice milk is good although I much prefer almond milk. I occasionally use some soy milk that I buy at my local asian market.

Some foods contain what are called phytoestogens, soy is the most popular but there are others. These phytoestrogens are generally considered beneficial. Unlike hormones in animal products that are injected, these are naturally occurring.

09-07-2009, 02:53 AM
"Actually that is a big misconception about Asia. They do not actually eat processed soy like we do. My friend studied nutrtion/acpuncture in China for a summer, and they only eat the safer forms like edaname and miso, which don't effect estrogen levels."

I live in Japan and here people drink all different kinds of soy milk and eat numerous forms of fresh/fried/fermented tofu, as well as miso and edamame. I can't speak for the whole of Asia, but the Japanese are quite happily eating soy in all its processed/unprocessed forms.

I've also had soy milk and/or tofu in Korea, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia so processed soy products are pretty prevalent in the Asian countries I've visited, although different regions have different food traditions.

09-07-2009, 03:56 AM
i love your avatar ^

09-07-2009, 10:52 AM
I am not sure about the medical information regarding hypothyroidism, but I like all the various types of "milks" Soy, rice, hemp, almond... Soy is the most common. I have very bad acid reflex when drinking milk. This really only developed about 10 years ago. I love the flavor of milk, but apparently it causes me too uch pain to drink it. I generally can eat yoghurt (like you) and I can eat a small amount of cheese. I stick to soy ice cream and milk, but do not drink milk often. If I have an opened box in the frige I wil drink it, but then, won't think of dinking it for a long time. I do not eat ceriel in the morning-- there goes the majority of my milk drinking.

I am not sure there is a satisfactory alternative to soy milk if you do not like the other alternatives. Almond and hemp milk are prohibitivly expensive for me.

As far as soy burgers and so on, the brand Quorn doesn't have soy and is very good, and there are also several non-soy fake meats, many are simply veggie patties like rice or bean patties. They taste pretty good anyway.

09-07-2009, 06:09 PM
My nutritionist limits me to soy only 3 times a week and it has help my thyroid since I do. Once you have a disease, you are not in the normal eating group anymore. My dh had chronic kidney disease and was not allowed grains and whole grains, although most of use are told not to eat white products.

09-13-2009, 04:19 AM
Hello Karen I have IBS-D as well it has been worse here lately then before. I am also intolerant to any sort of dairy product except cheese for some reason. I was wondering what kind of tips do you have for me, my ibs tends to flair up in high-stress situations, which for me is constantly. What kinda healthy things can I eat to keep it down.