As scientists work to develop the latest “miracle diet drug” to help the millions of us battling thyroid issues, women from coast to coast are reporting their own miracle — a plan that has freed them from tiredness and stubborn pounds. It doesn’t come in a pill; it doesn’t even come from a medical doctor. Yet thousands of women and their doctors swear by it. The man behind the plan: Anthony William, author of the wildly popular book series Medical Medium ($16.19, Amazon), who says a voice (which he calls the “spirit of compassion”) tells him cutting-edge health information.
It may be unconventional, but it’s caught the attention of the medical community. “Every time I read one of Anthony William’s books, I learn something new — something that rings true that they don’t yet teach in medical school,” says Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Dodging Energy Vampires: An Empath's Guide to Evading Relationships That Drain You and Restoring Your Health and Power ($16.99, Amazon). “I actually apply a great deal of what I’ve learned to my own life.” One new thing doctors are learning about: Thyroid virus as a cause of chronic health issues.
What is thyroid virus?
William contends that an unreported epidemic of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is behind nearly all thyroid problems — he’s dubbed this the “thyroid virus.” Best known as the cause of mononucleosis (aka “the kissing disease”), EBV is common — 95 percent of adults are infected, according to the National Institutes of Health. But unlike other viruses that run their course and go away, EBV remains dormant in the body after infection.
At any time, the virus can reactivate and turn into chronic EBV. Mainstream doctors acknowledge that this does happen, but say it’s rare. William, on the other hand, feels the establishment underestimates how damaging EBV is. His belief: EBV can attack the liver, then move into the thyroid, disrupting the gland’s ability to make hormones. Since common blood tests don’t detect EBV, doctors conclude the problem is with the thyroid itself. This, he argues, leads to a diagnosis that is all wrong: a thyroid problem, not a viral problem.
Left untreated, the virus continues to damage the thyroid and organs, William says, pulling women into a health spiral that can lead to a range of symptoms, including thinning hair, fatigue and weight gain. These symptoms are largely unrelated to the thyroid, he adds. Instead, they’re mostly due to the virus. Underactive (or overactive) thyroid is just one more symptom of EBV.
Researchers have begun looking into the EBV/thyroid connection, and science shows there is a link. In 2015, a team from Slovakia found signs of EBV in thyroid samples from 81 percent of cases with Hashimoto’s disease (an autoimmune disorder that can cause hypothyroidism). In 2016, Polish scientists concluded there’s enough evidence to suggest EBV plays a role in autoimmune thyroid diseases. And in 2018, scientists at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital linked EBV to at least seven conditions, highlighting the possibility that it plays a much larger role in disease.
That’s led doctors to change the way they approach thyroid problems. Andrew Lenhardt, MD, a functional-medicine practitioner and professor at Tufts University, says he now tests for EBV in some patients. “Does [EBV] have the potential to be important relative to thyroid dysfunction, Hashimoto’s, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and other issues? There’s no doubt in my mind,” he says. “The next question, which for me is the hardest, is how do we manage it?”
A big part of recovery is building immunity, experts say, and immune support is also key to prevention — when the immune system is compromised, the body may be more susceptible to the virus. The good news: Women all over the world are saying William’s plan can help. Read on for their insights — and for the easy how-to that’s working wonders.
Regain Energy, Clarity and Health
For many who have battled health issues for years, the plan Anthony William outlines in his book is like an answered prayer. Take Adrienne Jones, 36, a mom of four from Sugar Land, Texas, who suffered hair loss, weight gain and extreme fatigue — the kind that had her falling asleep at the dinner table. Diagnoses of Hashimoto’s, rheumatoid arthritis and prediabetes led to new meds and new diets. Nothing helped. “One day I Googled ‘medical mystery doctor,’ and William’s book came up,” Adrienne shares. She implemented his advice, and her progress was fast. “My doctor said, ‘I don’t know what you’re doing, but keep it up!’”
Brandy Villareal can relate. “The pounds just started dropping off,” says the 38-year-old from Houston. In three weeks, she lost 30 pounds.
Word of such success spread to women around the globe — like Anika Piest, 31, from Germany, who found relief from slow thyroid, tinnitus, GI issues, depression, and pain. Today she’s down 45 pounds and tests show no sign of Hashimoto’s or hypothyroidism. Says Anika, “The doctor called that a miracle.”
7 Superfoods That Energize and Slim
In a nutshell, William calls for filling up on antiviral, thyroid-healing, immunity-boosting foods like raw nuts, fruit, and veggies, while avoiding eggs, dairy, gluten, canola oil, soy, corn, and pork (which he says fuel viruses).
Apples: Anti-inflammatory pectin helps stop viral cells from multiplying to ward off thyroid virus.
Artichokes: Rich in nutrients that rev thyroid hormone production and signal the immune system to protect against viral invaders.
Garlic: Delivers sulfur compounds that boost immunity by up to 40% to help kill virus cells.
Celery: Improves the body’s ability to produce thyroid hormones and contains antiviral minerals to help eradicate thyroid virus.
Maple syrup: Provides minerals that protect the body from the damaging effects of toxins released by the thyroid virus.
Berries: High in antioxidants that heal thyroid tissue from virus-induced damage. Bonus: 1 cup daily can boost mood by 45% within four days.
Spaghetti squash: Helps boost production of thyroid hormones and delivers trace minerals that improve immunity.
Your Personalized Thyroid Rehab
His program also features three 30-day plans. As he explains when he details the plans in his book: “Each month, pick which of the three 30-day plans to follow based on your needs, resources, and schedule. Essentially, it’s mix and match.” You can start with the one that targets your top concerns, then cycle to the others — or repeat one for 90 days and beyond, if desired.
As always, consult a doctor before starting any new diet.
Gassy or bloated? Try the GI-healing detox.
This 30-day GI-healing cleanse offers a gentle way to help your thyroid heal while supporting the liver, lymphatic system, and digestive system. In addition to eating healthy, thyroid-healing foods at meals and snacks, do the following every day:
- Drink 16 oz. of celery juice every morning (recipe below). William calls this juice a “secret weapon” against chronic illness thanks to its antiviral and antibacterial properties.
- Sip lemon or lime water (squeeze the juice of half a lemon or lime into 16 oz. of water) in the afternoon (16 oz. at midday; another 16 oz. in late afternoon) to help flush immunity-sapping toxins and boost healing hydration.
- Enjoy 16 oz. of cucumber juice every evening. (To make, juice 2 large cucumbers, or chop cucumbers and blend in a high-speed blender until smooth, then strain and enjoy.) William says this juice is a rejuvenating tonic that nourishes the kidneys and the lymphatic system to improve the body’s ability to flush health-sapping toxins and detoxify the thyroid gland.
Gut-Nourishing Celery Juice: Rinse 1 bunch of celery and run through a juicer, or chop and blend celery in a high-speed blender until smooth, then strain and enjoy.
Foggy, mood swings? Try the heavy metal detox.
The thyroid virus feasts on heavy metals in the body, excreting toxins that can interfere with brain function, William says. To combat the fog and fatigue that result, he advises eating thyroid-healing foods at meals and snacks and doing the following for 30 days:
- Drink celery juice on an empty stomach every morning.
- Sip 16 oz. of lemon or lime water in the early afternoon.
- Drink William’s brain-boosting heavy metal detox smoothie every day (rercipe below). As he explains, the ingredients in this sip help draw heavy metals out of the body while providing antiviral support so your thyroid can heal.
- Sip 16 oz. of detoxifying ginger water or ginger tea in the late afternoon (grate 1" to 2" of fresh ginger into 2 cups of water and add the juice of half a lemon; let steep at least 15 minutes, then strain, add honey or lemon if desired).
- Sip 16 oz. of cucumber juice in the evening (recipe above).
- Avoid tuna, swordfish, and bass.
Brain-Boosting Smoothie: Blend the following until smooth: 2 bananas, 2 cups blueberries, 1 cup cilantro, 1 orange, 1 tsp. barley grass juice powder, 1 tsp. Hawaiian spirulina, 1 tsp. Atlantic dulse, and 1 cup water. Enjoy.
Tired, achy, anxious? Try the thyroid virus detox.
This 30-day plan is designed to offer the most intense healing. In addition to eating thyroid-healing foods at meals and snacks, you’ll drink daily celery juice, lemon/lime water and ginger water. Also:
- Drink a thyroid-healing smoothie daily. William says this is great for (or with) breakfast (recipe at right).
- Sip healing tea at any time. (To make, bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add 1 tsp. each of thyme, fennel seed, and lemon balm. Steep 15 min; strain and enjoy with 2 tsp. of raw honey.)
- Have 1 cup of healing broth daily. (To make, in pot, bring 2 cubed sweet potatoes, 2 diced celery stalks, 2 diced onions, 6 garlic cloves, 1" of peeled/minced ginger, 1" of peeled/minced turmeric root, 1 cup of chopped parsley, 4 sprigs of thyme, 2 Tbs. of Atlantic dulse flakes, 1 Tbs. of kelp powder and 8 cups of water to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. Strain.)
- Drink 16 oz. thyroid-healing juice. (To make, juice 1 bunch of celery, 2 sliced apples, 1 bunch of cilantro and 2" of fresh ginger; or chop all and blend in high-speed blender, then strain.)
- Cut your fat intake, which William says will help your body detoxify and heal more quickly.
- Avoid tuna, swordfish, and bass.
Thyroid-Healing Smoothie: Blend the following until smooth: 2 cups mango, 1 banana and 1 cup water. If you like, add any (or all) of these: 2 cups spinach, 1⁄2 cup arugula, 1⁄2" peeled ginger, 1 orange (juiced), 1⁄2 cup cilantro, 1⁄2 cup raspberries. Enjoy.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.