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Another opinion regarding soy


Q. I think too many people are experimenting with a potentially dangerous food item -- soy. I myself have experienced some odd symptoms that doctors could not figure out. I finally determined that the problems appear after eating soy products.

At the time of my worst symptoms, I was eating up to three pounds of tofu a week. (I loved it for breakfast, warmed with a little soy sauce, plus various recipes for dinner.) I thought I had thyroid problems causing weight gain, hair loss, depression, water retention in hands and feet and breast swelling. Tests showed nothing.

After self-observation, I have decided to avoid soy whenever possible. I can tell when I have eaten some hidden soy -- the first sign is swollen breasts, then feet and hands. As a pre-menopausal woman, I am being bombarded with information on soy as my savior, but I am skeptical.

A. Some people are allergic to soy, but we don't know if that accounts for your reaction.

Soy is a food that can interfere with normal thyroid function. Low thyroid activity could be linked to weight gain, hair loss, depression and water retention. When you were eating three pounds of tofu a week, you might have precipitated such a problem.

In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of the People's Pharmacy, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, N.C. 27717, or e-mail them via their Web site (www.peoplespharmacy.com) on the HealthCentral. com network

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