Good and Bad Food for Thyroid (Especially if You Have Neck Pain)

Danh NgoHolistic Medicine Division, Neck Pain, ThyroidLeave a Comment

If you are reading this article you probably have one of two conditions, neck pain and curious about your thyroid’s relationship to your neck and/or you have thyroid condition with neck pain.  We have a Part 1 to this article called “How to tell if you have thyroid problems”, and would help you to understand why we are choosing these foods.  When you read a food health article, you tend to get a list without the rationale behind why and how it fits you.  The length of this article helps you understand our perspective and why you should commit to eating more of the food for thyroid gland health.

We do not know where your journey is with your neck pain or thyroid problem is.  If you have dived into the literature you will come to two groups of thoughts.  There is a group of medical practitioners that believe the thyroid is the main cause of what you are going through.  There is another group (we are in this camp) that believe the majority of thyroid conditions is a victim of another system.  Based on the functional medicine perspective that is highlighted by world-renowned practitioner Chris Kresser, he speaks that the digestive system is a common root cause that drives the thyroid to be under or overactive.  He has demonstrated through research and case publications about how the gut treatment can help the thyroid work better.

Just as an FYI (for your information), here are the lists of symptoms you may feel and the foods may benefit you.

  • Stubborn weight changes
  • Constant hunger
  • Hair loss, thinning or texture changes
  • Sleep issues
  • Fatigue, tired, energy fluctuations
  • Brain Fog or difficulty concentrating
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Cold hands or feet
  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Swelling or edema
  • Puffy eyes or face
  • Body temperature fluctuations
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Mood swings, irritable, anxiousness
  • Restless legs
  • Headaches or migranes
  • Joint pain or cramps
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tingling and numbness
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Heart beat palpitations
  • Tinnitus or Vertigo
  • Goiter
  • Throat tightness
  • Swollen tongue
  • Skin changes or eczema
  • Constipation
  • Loss of libido
  • Abnormal menstrual periods
  • Brittle or ridged nails
  • Bulging eyes or strained eyes

There is another foundational premise for our article that we have seen a tremendous correlation when it comes to neck pain and holistic thyroid presentation.  As an Orthopedic Specialist who deals with muscles and joints on a regular basis and has helped 1000’s of cases over the past 13 years and taught academically at the university graduate level, we have realized that it is easy to help address pain but helping it resolve completely is another issue.

Neck pain is one of those regions of the body that has huge vulnerability when it comes to the daily grind of life.  If you sit at the desk, you are asking your neck to stay strong without two key parts of strength production.  Those are your legs.  You are asking your arms to do repeated work which we hardly exercise for good fitness to handle the arm-work demands.  Your neck is at a high work cost or energy demands.  We do not sleep well and get recurrent kinks when we wake up.  Many wake up and wonder what they did wrong and spend countless of money to change their pillows. We can add the 100’s of push, pull and lifting tasks that we do on a repetitive level.  All of these factors add up.

The listed above is a common sequence of factors that drives an Orthopedic neck injury to reoccur.  Honestly, that is the easy part to address.  One would think that with more experience and tons of money invested in learning from the best from around the world, you would think that an Orthopedic care will help to reduce the reoccurring nature of helping people with neck pain.

The opposite is happening where people are coming to seek care with more stubborn and fundamentally problems like breathing and reverse pattern of muscle control.

If you have followed us to understand that breathing (or better-termed respiration) is a subconscious factor.  So the logical question is why would your breathing change where you would use your neck to breath as oppose your diaphragm?  If you do not know, your diaphragm is a muscle that is located at mid to lower rib cage and expands 360 around your trunk.  It helps to work with your lungs and move your organs up and down.  The organ pressure pushes outwards 360 degrees towards your stomach and low back fascia to activate your “core” muscles.  The rhythmic motion, along with hydration, well-tuned physical body, and well charged electrical energy system, helps to drive oxygen and circulation like the plumbing of your house.

Our breathing changes based on our nervous systems and brain’s interpretation of threat.  Our job is to define your list of threats and address them.

If you are physically under threat from being scared crap out of your mind or with the sight of your boss, your respiration will change.  If you are undertrained and running a 1/2 marathon, your respiration will change.  When you are ill from the inside, like flu or viruses, you will breath harder and abnormally.

Where am I going with this as you are just wanting food for your thyroid health?

As a Holistic Physical Therapist working out of Long Beach, my main focus is to bring lasting results so you can stay active.  If you desire to stay active with more confidence and less worry, you will benefit that getting to the root cause is an important factor as your symptoms will boil back up.  Anthony Williams, the author of Medical Medium, brings up a valid explanation of why conditions are more common and chronic.

Did you know that 1/2 people will eventually get a chronic illness in their lifetime?  That is huge!!!

The Medical Medium brings up the suggestion that heavy metals, environmental toxin like DDT and pesticides from the 60’s, and Epstein-Barr Viruses are the common triggers of thyroid chaos.  The first two reasons fit with the paradigm of a Functional Medicine Philosophy of “getting to the source by understanding how the body works together”.   The latter reason of virus is very plausible as a virus does not go away unless treated at the source.  If you ever had shingles or herpes (type 1 or 2), the virus goes away when your body’s immune system is stronger and shows up when you are stressed and immune-weakened.

Virus likes to hide in your nerves (think shingles) and presents along the nerve track (like sciatic, median, or vagus nerve).  The thyroid gland is connected to the nerves that surrounds the neck and upper back region.  If you have a Epstein-Barr Virus, your thyroid gland and neck tend to go for the wild ride together.  If you ever been diagnosed with Mono as a child, then this article maybe beneficial for you as Epstein-Barr Virus is associated with Mono.

In this article, we will highlight foods to help address the digestive system, cleanse of toxin, and boost your immune systems.  In order to do you justice, we highly you recommend following the whole protocol as advised by Anthony William by supporting his passion to help others with the purchase of his book.  Follow Chris Kresser on his journey to reshape the conventional health care with high-level evidence holistic medical care.



Here are some sample podcast link to help you to understand that the whole body is more connected than you think.


Good and Bad Food for Thyroid (Especially if You Have Neck Pain)


The BAD.

  • Digestive symptom trigger: Avoid gluten and diary for 30 days.  Both have been research validated to cause sensitivity to the digestive system.    During this 30 day period where you will be adding clarity to your nutrition program, it will be wise to take out the food categories that will make your body work harder and take most of the effort to breakdown and absorb.  Both categories are highly inflammatory to your body.  This usually brings on the follow-up thoughts of “What do I do for Calcium and easy to prep for work?”   To keep this article short, we eat numerous variety of fruits and starches.  You maybe worried about the sugar with this suggestion.  The reason fruits and starches get a bad rap is because they are usually consumed and prepped with processed ingredients and flavoring.  Many have never eaten potatoes without added proteins and fats like bacon, butter and cheese.


  • Cellular membrane health.  Avoid vegetable oils like canola, sunflower, sesame, safflower, and others.  Swap for avocado, coconut, macadamia, and (non-transparent looking) extra-virgin olive oil.  We are what the oils we put in our body.  The oils to avoid are usually rancid and stored where they are easy to spoil.  They are shown to promote inflammation.  Your cell membranes are made up of these oils that limits the nutrients exchanged that happens throughout your body, including all of your organs.


  • Virus trigger: Anthony Williams expresses that eggs are a big food for viruses and during this time period where we are focusing opening up your body’s pathways to cleanse, we need to “starve” the Epstein Barr viruses and others so they can stop causing chaos to your neck and thyroid gland.  



Anthony Williams #1 food choice is ARTICHOKES: This vegetable is filled with phytochemicals, vitamins, amino acids and enzymes.  They are good at increasing your B-12 levels.  He states that the phytochemicals communicates with the thyroid delivery frequency system.   There is a group called the isothiocyanate that works with amino acids and enzymes while shrinking nodules, cysts and tumors.  Isothiocyanate helps to supplement the thyroid with tyrosine so the thyroid gland can produce thyroid hormones.  Make sure you eat the meat of the artichoke leaves.  The compound in the “meat” helps to protect the thyroid from more “invaders”.

CUCUMBERS: This vegetable is good at providing your body with nutrients and minerals important for the nervous system, adrenals and lymphatic systems.  Your adrenals are your stress organ.  Your lymphatic systems are your garbage disposal system.  You will feel better when you can eliminate the old waste and toxins of modern society with a working lymphatic system.

ARUGULA: This plant helps to reduce and prevent nodules, tumors, and cysts from forming in the thyroid.  The leafy green is powerful to eliminate while “rejuvenating” healthier thyroid gland tissues.

SQUASH: This vegetable group is powerful to help boost production of thyroid hormones.  If you read out Part 1 of thyroid-neck care linked at the beginning of this article, we wrote a sluggish liver can mimic a thyroid problem.  Squash helps to address and restores the liver so the thyroid – liver connection is healthy.

WATERCRESS: This is important to help stop the growth of scar tissue in the liver and thyroid cased by the Epstein-Barr Viruses.  It simultaneously helps to flush out the pharmaceutical medication waste.

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DANDELION GREENS: This leafy green is a power lymphatic system cleanser so you can rid yourself of environmental modern world toxins like pesticides, DDT, and lead.


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Hopefully this article helped you to start a happier and healthier journey to rid of a common cause of recurrent neck pain, a sluggish thyroid gland.  If you have not been followed-up and prefer to be more objective with your thyroid gland care, read our Part 1 article which goes over lab work, common diagnoses, and how we use Visceral Manipulation to heal your thyroid gland.


Need a second opinion, click on the schedule button and we can help you make sense of what you are dealing with.



Danh Ngo

Board Certified Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Specialist

Holistic Doctor in Physical Therapy

Mind Body Health Results Coach

ReVITALize Rehab Club

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