For the last few months, I have been gaining weight, regardless of what I ate, and I have not radically changed any eating habits. I have been sluggish, and my hands and feet were freezing all of the time. Of course, it was winter when it started; so I assumed that it was my slow circulation, and the cold weather. Even when spring came, and I started being outside, working in the yard and garden, and exercising more, I still gained weight. I was seriously frustrated ! ! When I went to the doctor; they said it could be an underactive thyroid, and gave me a blood test for that, which turned out positive. I started reading about the natural treatment, and it turns out that many people (some say 30 % of the population in the United States) have an underactive thyroid. We are low on natural iodine, for one thing. I went to Amazon and ordered a pound of natural kelp, and have started taking some of that every day to increase my mineral supplements as well as add the natural iodine to encourage the thyroid to produce more of its hormone. When I went back to the doctor for the test results; she wanted to start me on Synthroid, and I refused. I have read some horrific things about this medication, and it seems like the side-effects can be worse than the problem. My doctor was flustered, and she said that both she and her mother have taken it for years now, and it was perfectly safe. Well---- that was NOT what I wanted to hear either. I want to FIX the problem, not just treat it with synthetic hormones for the rest of my life. She just ignored the idea of kelp, and said she was sure that I was not short of iodine, and it was just my age. Finally, she came up with the idea of giving me Armour thyroid, which is at least a natural substance from a pig's thyroid. Siince pig is genetically the closest animal to a human, I agreed to try that. Meanwhile, I am taking the kelp, adding more seafood to my diet, and reading up on other natural methods of healing the thyroid gland.