About Quinoa; Mistakes made on T3-only; Thyroid Patients and West Nile Virus


As a thyroid patient who went to hell and back thanks to 20 years of a lousy treatment by allopathic medicine, I care about my good health and what I eat. So I attempt to balance my eating sins. And when I was recently at a salad bar, I couldn’t figure out what a particular bowl of food was, sitting next to mixtures of fruit, pastas, etc.

It looked like “frog eye salad”, which is made up of teeny tiny b-b size pasta and sweet fruits. But this had tomatoes in it. And the small round things had a thin white line around them. Were they fish eggs??

Turns out its a high protein, higher fiber whole grain called Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa), and is loaded with nutrients, including the minerals iron, zinc, and selenium, plus vitamin E and lysine, and all essential amino acids. I got a scoop and I was impressed.

And voila….if you need to be gluten-free, this grain gets the mark! I plan on buying some at my local health food store for an occasional hot breakfast cereal (as I suspect my husband would do better avoiding gluten thanks to frequent digestive issues), besides strongly recommend it to my husband’s niece, who badly needs to go gluten-free to lower her high inflammation levels.

Don’t feel the need to avoid gluten?? This still looks like a great grain and food to become familiar with, which I’m going to do! But a word of warning: it’s not low carb. So like any carb you intake, you’ll want to eat it in moderation.

KEY MISTAKES IF YOU ARE ON T3-ONLY, says a lot of patient experience

Though ten years of strong patient experiences show that natural desiccated thyroid gives the best results for thyroid disease, some thyroid patients have to be, or choose to be, on T3-only. It’s definitely a far better treatment than the lousy T4-only treatment with Synthroid and other brands.

And along the way, we’ve figured out some mistakes we may be making when using T3-only:

  1. Dosing rigidly every certain amount of hours When patients were first learning about using T3-only (which requires more multi-dosing at first than does natural desiccated thyroid), we thought it was a good idea to dose rigidly about every 4-5 hours or so, thinking that T3 would peak about 4 hours after taking the first dose, then make a fall, and you’d then need to replenish your levels. We were wrong with that rigidity.It can be very individual when one needs a dose of T3. Some might need another dose of T3 in three hours after taking the first one due to a higher metabolism. So if they go longer, they put themselves in an increasing hypothyroid state. Another person might be a slow metabolizer and only need their next dose in 5 or 6 hours. So if you take it too soon, you put yourself in the direction of a hyper state.Turns out you need to be dosing T3 when your body tells you it’s time you need it! How to know? Your signs and symptoms. Look for clues that you need your next dose, like a rising heartrate or blood pressure, depression, fatigue, or any hypothyroid symptom unique to you. Notate that on paper, then you’ll know to take your T3 right before that time the next day. It might take a few days of experimenting to figure out when your ideal dosing times are.
  2. Multi-dosing T3 too many times during the day As patients, we used to think that we need to dose T3 up to four to fives times a day in smaller doses. But with our new knowledge about T3, several patients have noted noted that moving dosing to 2-3 times a day, and thus in larger amounts each time, has resulted in better treatment of their hypothyroid state, especially with better cortisol levels.
  3. Thinking that different brands of T3 are equal Unfortunately, some brands of T3 are weaker than others. And occasionally, some batches of a better brand may be bad due to heat exposure. Generally, patients have reported Cytomel to be of a quality and consistent strength. Cynomel has been reported as equal in strength, but lately, patients have found some batches to be weak and are reporting this to the company. UK’s Liothyronine by Goldshield has been reported by patients as weaker in strength all the time. All in all, Cytomel has received the most positive scores.

Using T3 all day while doing the T3 Circadian Method (T3CM) for your proven adrenal fatigue?? As your adrenals kick back in, you may notice that you 1) need to space your T3 farther apart, and 2) that you will need less T3.


Found out that a cousin of mine, who’s a father of two young children, found himself with West Nile Virus several days ago. I got West Nile about 5 years ago, as well. For many of us, it’s like the WORST flu you ever had, and you can take a few weeks to get over your post-illness weakness.

And since having a compromised immune system (as struggling hypothyroid/adrenal patients can have) makes one more vulnerable to the virus effects, I can see it being imperative to be on immune-supportive herbs right now, besides putting on some kind of mosquito repellant of your choice. I also read about Lomatium root, which is supposedly very anti-viral. I would talk to your local health food/supplement store for recommendations.

Important notes: All the information on this website is copyrighted. STTM is an information-only site based on what many patients worldwide have reported in their treatment and wisdom over the years. This is not to be taken as personal medical advice, nor to replace a relationship with your doctor. By reading this information-only website, you take full responsibility for what you choose to do with this website's information or outcomes. See the Disclaimer and Terms of Use.

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11 Responses to “About Quinoa; Mistakes made on T3-only; Thyroid Patients and West Nile Virus”

  1. Ivy

    Hi Janie,
    This is an old thread, but I am glad to see you back & active lately. My condolences to you & your family.
    If I may ask regarding the T3 only regime I’ve read about 75mcg is ideal for one however is it ideal to dose 3x daily every 4 hours? What if we run out by afternoon/evening? Is that normal? I try to dose 5x daily, but that isn’t working out for me it does something to my adrenals and feel like 3-4 times would be ideal for me, but that means I’ll be running out of T3 by late afternoon/evening time. Is that suppose to happen?

    Also, to make note I have tried doing every 3 hours and was left hyper, I’ve also tried every 5 hours and would become hypo. So every 4 hours is ideal for me I am still trying to find HOW to dose and the times. It seems anywhere between 65-75mcg is good for me. Still experimenting with this. CT3M works for me maybe a bit too we’ll.


    • Janie Bowthorpe

      The problem is that T3 has a short half life. The 4-hour spread represents that short half life. If I’m using nothing but T3, or mostly T3, I definitely need that 3rd dose or I start getting sleepy.

      • Ivy

        Yes, me too. If I take 5 and wanted to do 3 or 4 how can I do this? I do feel better with 4 overall but start getting “foggy” by bedtime not necessarily “sleepy”

        • Janie Bowthorpe

          Ivy, not sure what you mean by 5, feeling better with 4. Are you talking about hours between? If so, just divide the total by three.

  2. Bee Budd

    I have no thyroid becuase of Graves. Can I still benifit from Dessicated Thyroid? I was on 100 mcg. of Levoxyl. Do I take a 60 mg. of Armour. which is all I can get right now? I explained about starting at a low does,say 30mg. and titrat up within two weeks,but this MD, a family doctor, said not to worry. Im worried! He said he looked up the STTM site inline.Is everyone on Dessicated thyroids all have a thyroid gland? Please help. Bee

    (From Janie: Of course you can benefit from NDT. In fact, you need it all the more.)

  3. Christine

    Does Cynomel refer to the European or the Mexican brand? It seems the Mexican brand is potent as well as consistent. At least I’ve not heard about anyone being unhappy about Mexican Cynomel.

  4. Paul N

    As a regular quinoa (and alternative grain eater) I second Lae’s comments regarding soaking/fermenting of grains, and grain flours.

    For whole grains, I wash them first then soak in a kefir whey (kefir works best at room temperature) for 24 hrs, then rinse and cook. They are far more “digestible” than just fast cooking unsoaked grains.

    For anything involving flour from these grains (white rice, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, flax etc) I “sourdough” them with kefir for 24 hrs first. Then add eggs, oil or whatever for what you are making. They taste, bake/cook and digest much better for this

    if you want to get really fancy with the soaking grains, you keep a part of the soaking water in the fridge for the next time, for that specific grain. Then you are creating a grain-specific culture – worth doing if there is some type of grain that you use often.
    The same applies to the flours, I put some back in the fridge as my next sourdough start, though I am not grain-specific with that.

    It sounds like a lot of effort, but it’s really not, it’s just that you have to think 24hrs ahead of time. You can also store soaked grains in the fridge for days/weeks so they are ready to go anytime, just like sauerkraut.

  5. Lael

    Quinoa, like all grains, nuts, seeds and beans contain what are known as ‘anti-nutrients’ most common being ‘phytates’. Ancient peoples knew about these antinutrients and traditionally prepared their grains, nuts, seeds, and beans in a way that neurtralized and disposed of these adverse components, all while maintaining optimum health. For example, in India rice and lentils are fermented for at least 2 days before they are prepared as idli and dosas. Of course Quinoa also contains plenty of anti-nutrients, hence the recommendation to rinse thoroughly prior to cooking. Personally, I do better going the extra step recommended in Sally Fallon’s excellent book ‘Nourishing Traditions’, which is to soak Quinoa in warm filtered water for 12 hours to which fresh whey, yogurt, kefir or buttermilk has been added, rinse and drain well before cooking for at least 1 hour on low heat, while skimming off any foam. I find this form of cooked Quinoa compatible with my digestion and so much more nourishing than my experience of the ‘quick prepare’ method result from following the instructions found on packets and in most cookbooks.

    (From Janie: I know that when I post most anything about foods, folks will come on expressing certain opinions. With the phytates issue, do know that there are differing opinions. Yes, they can bind with certain minerals, but it’s also believed that by eating a well-balanced diet, you’ll get those minerals back anyway. Also, it’s stated that phytatess are anti-inflammatory, have a positive effect against heart disease, that they lower the glycemic index (which is good), and they help normalize cancer cell growth (shown with mice studies). It’s also stated that adding Vit. C, or foods rich in it, can cancel the negative effects of phytate on mineral absorption. i.e. more food for thought.

  6. Karen Young

    For those who are sensitive to Gluten: There are 13 foods that cross may react with gluten including chocolate, tapioca, potatoes, rice, hemp, and quinoa. For a long time I was eating quinoa because of the protein. However, I took a test from cyrex.com for $225.00 to find out exactly what foods I have a reaction similar to gluten. I found out quinoa was an elevated allergen. I recall having to lie down for two days after I had eaten quinoa one day, and now realize I was having a Hashimoto attack. So please be careful just because you are gluten free some foods will still cross react with gluten.

    I withdrew all my grains for one month and my TBP antibodies went from 165 to 44. My integrative doctor said lay off all grains. Endos and regular MD’s do not get into diet as much. I also had a soy and dairy allergen, and was taking a medication that destroyed my thyroid. Some of the most basic things such as foods can be endocrine disrupters. I am already in late stages of hypothyroidism, and while I’m on Armour I still avoid those foods that messed up my thyroid in the first place. It will take me a lot longer to recover I believe.

  7. wildninja

    Quinoa is generally considered a complete protein because, as you pointed out, it has all nine essential amino acids.

    If you are cooking quinoa from scratch, I highly suggest that you rinse it with cold water first to remove a strong unpleasant taste (like with a metal mesh colander).

    Quinoa also makes great pasta– check out Andean Dream’s products: http://www.andeandream.com/. I’m not associated with them but enjoy many of their offerings.

  8. m1ssdiagnosis

    Technically, quinoa is a seed, which probably only matters if you are grain-free like me. I discovered that eliminating grain and sugar from my diet completely has done wonders for my health as a thyroid/adrenal patient.

    Mosquitoes LOVE me. I’m usually the first one to complain about being bitten and the one who gets bitten the most times. I have recently started using a doTERRA essential oil blend called Terra Shield to ward off mosquitoes. I just mix with distilled water in a small glass spray bottle and apply. Keeps gnats away too.


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