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Attention All Experts (Thyroid Suppression Question)

This is a question for all the T-Mag experts here.

One of the people that I work with has a thyroid problem and he has approached me with some questions that I need a hand answering.

First, here is a little background from what this guy has told me.

When he was younger he was diagnosed with an over active thyroid. Doctors put him on a script to suppress his thyroid but warned his parents that it was dangerous to be on it all of the time. The doctors also gave he and his parents two options to alleviate the issue. Now I don’t know all of the medical details and I don’t remember the exact terminology he used but option one was to have surgery to cut out part of his thyroid, option two was to inject him with some stuff that partially “killed” the gland. The doctors didn’t want him to experience a hormone “storm”, which could be fatal, so he and his parents opted for the injection.

Now 10 plus years later his thyroid is under active, he puts on weight just walking by food and exercise and watching his eating doesn’t help at all. He is on Synthroid, I think, to help normalize his hormone levels. Of course after I reviewed what this dude was doing, it hardly resembled anything that of a prescribed nutrition plan or training program that would be found here.

I would like to help him out by designing a nutrition plan and training regime but I have a few questions with regards to approach.

I know that Dr Berardi’s seven habits apply to everyone, but is there any special guidelines he needs to follow for a nutrition plan to be truly effective?

Would a supplement like HOT-ROX interfere with his thyroid medication? Would HOT-ROX help this kid at all?

His frame of mind is in the shitter as he feels that since his thyroid is wacked, he will be overweight for good.

For the record, the guy isn’t me as I’m just lazy. Knowing this guy’s story makes me count my blessings that I am not in his situation and motivates me to take advantage of my health and do something about my own fat-assness

Any help is appreciated and I will keep you all abreast of his progress.

Raige

giving this a little bump as I posted it late last night.

Again any help and advice here is appreciated

“his thyroid is under active, he puts on weight just walking by food and exercise and watching his eating doesn’t help at all.”

One hads to wonder if he is taking enough synthroid. Latest guidelines are that one be given enough thyroid replacement to bring the TSH down to under 3 and preferably under 2. He should find out what his TSH is and talk to the doctor about increasing the dose of thyroid replacement.

[quote]Raige wrote:
This is a question for all the T-Mag experts here…[/quote]

I don’t really qualify as an expert, but I’d like to chip in on this since you haven’t yet gotten a reply.

[quote]Raige wrote:
…Doctors put him on a script to suppress his thyroid but warned his parents that it was dangerous to be on it all of the time…[/quote]

I don’t really know what the danger would be, unless he experienced some specific side effects that are, in some cases, associated with antithyroid drugs. At times, antithyroids meds can decrease WBCC or be hepato-inflammatory, but these are fairly uncommon side effects (<2%).

[quote]Raige wrote:
…option one was to have surgery to cut out part of his thyroid, option two was to inject him with some stuff that partially “killed” the gland. The doctors didn’t want him to experience a hormone “storm”, which could be fatal, so he and his parents opted for the injection…[/quote]

I cannot help but wonder this guy’s age at this point, because for some reason, I am envisioning a very young individual. The injection was likely radioiodine, which can also be administered orally. Unfortunately, it is not all that uncommon for this method to cause hypothyroidism in later life.

[quote]Raige wrote:
…Now 10 plus years later his thyroid is under active, he puts on weight just walking by food and exercise and watching his eating doesn’t help at all. He is on Synthroid, I think, to help normalize his hormone levels. Of course after I reviewed what this dude was doing, it hardly resembled anything that of a prescribed nutrition plan or training program that would be found here…[/quote]

Then does he really gain weight from “walking by food?” Sounds like something that he is just saying as a cop-out. “I can’t gain weight, and I eat CONSTANTLY!” Sound familiar? This is likely the converse. I’m not trying to belittle the situation, as it is serious, and a normal, healthy thyroid will most always be more efficient for optimizing body composition than a chemically-augmented one. However, if he is having such dire problems, it is likely he has not found an appropriate match for his Synthroid dose. It is a very tricky thing, and some people never find a match. It is actually much easier to achieve an optimal dose after a complete thyroidectomy rather than trying to match to a partially functioning gland.

[quote]Raige wrote:
…I know that Dr Berardi’s seven habits apply to everyone, but is there any special guidelines he needs to follow for a nutrition plan to be truly effective?..[/quote]

There is such a wealth of information here, I don’t really know where to begin. I would start by making HIM get online. If you are doing all the mental work for him, I promise you, he is not going to stick with anything. Make him learn–that is the best motivation you can give him.

[quote]Raige wrote:
…Would a supplement like HOT-ROX interfere with his thyroid medication? Would HOT-ROX help this kid at all?..[/quote]

Couldn’t tell you. You’ll have to wait on Cy, as the ingredients in HOT-ROX are a bit ambiguous, as far as IUPAC or other standardized naming goes. It kind of makes it difficult to do much research unless you are “in the know.”

[quote]Raige wrote:
…His frame of mind is in the shitter as he feels that since his thyroid is wacked, he will be overweight for good. For the record, the guy isn’t me as I’m just lazy. Knowing this guy’s story makes me count my blessings that I am not in his situation and motivates me to take advantage of my health and do something about my own fat-assness…[/quote]

Bull-fucking-shit. Hypothyroidism is not a death sentence. First, he needs to ensure that he has an appropriate dose-match for his drugs. Imagine if someone injected your testes with ionizing, radioactive sources. Do you really think you’d be able to have sex if you were taking, say, a nanogram of testosterone weekly? The dose has to match. Otherwise, he should be fine to alter body composition, bulk up, shrink down, or whatever. Sure, he has a challenge, but isn’t exactly quadraplegic.

I hope I’m not sounding too harsh, but I am completely fed-up with excuses. It just doesn’t sound as if this guy legitimately wants to make any progress, and hence, he is using his metabolic shortcomings as excuses. I don’t know if that is the case, as this is merely the Internet, and I cannot read anything beyond the alpha-numerics that appear on my screen. I just hope that this isn’t laziness being covered by disease, as that is the exact type of attitude that propagates misinformation. Seriously though, let me know if I can help any further, and please don’t take me as being hostile or not understanding. Good luck with all of this.

~Terumo

Thanks for your response Termumo. Believe me, I feel the same way in many respects.

I had another talk with him about it and he has been questioning his doctor about his synthriod dosage so it leads me to believe that he is getting the correct balance of synthetic since the doc won’t up his dosage. He lived with this into his teens, he got used to being able to do what he wants so it seems that now that he has a below average thyroid output he wants to have a super metabolism again without the work that the rest of us mortals have to put in.

I’m his boss so it makes this situation a little sensitive, being corporate America, I have to kind of watch my approach or it will become an HR nightmare. So I don’t want to offend him, over the years he has proven that he has thick skin and he is a buddy but this is a sensitive subject.

He’s about 5’11’’ and has to be at least 250-260. Must be nearing the 40% mark also. He’s about 30, I think.

His eating habits aren’t the best and he doesn’t have much experience with nutrition or weight training so I was looking to get him off on the right foot.

I really think if he turns his eating habits around and hits the weights a few times a week he will see changes in his body in as little as 3-4 weeks.

I have told him about the site but I think he may be a little intimidated by it due to his lack of knowledge.

I’m his boss so I want to help get him started, how far he takes it is totally up to him.

Just wanted to know if I had to advise anything “special” with his condidion or if some sups would interfere with his medication. That’s all I need is a sicky due to my recommendations in the office.

No offense taken to your response, I can’t stand cop-outs and execuses either.

Thanks again

Raige

Taking Synthroid and HOT-ROX concurrently is fine. What can result, however, is a potential increase in T3, via increased monodeiodinase activity, which technically speaking, could put one at a greater risk for experiencing side effects with exogenous thyroid hormone use, such as increased heart rate. However, there have been a number of people who have asked this question previously, used the two concurrently, and presented no problems.

HOT-ROX would still be nearly just as beneficial in a person which completely lacks a thyroid, period, versus a normal human. The fact is that nearly every mechanism involved does not require a functioning or present thyroid gland.

[quote]Raige wrote:
…he has been questioning his doctor about his synthriod dosage so it leads me to believe that he is getting the correct balance of synthetic since the doc won’t up his dosage.[/quote]

Ideally, this would be true, but not all docs are as meticulous about matching dose protocol as others. If he is feeling sluggish, depressed, or is simply gaining weight faster than a two month-old seal, he should get a second opinion. Is he seeing an endocrinologist, or is just going to his head/neck surgeon or PCP? I ask simply because clinical endocrinology is a very sparse field, and often, patients that need to see these specialists are bumped to the family doc. Bad…

Anyhow, the best advice you can give him, as far as making physical changes, is to get on T-Nation, create an account, read some article/posts, and post a question if he has one. Good luck again.

~Terumo

I just want to second the getting him on here. Read and become a part of the community. It can be Huge in giving ppl the incentive to go for their goals.

Fact is he really has to WANT to make the change for himself, not that we all cant help by both being, wel helpfull and flaming his ass when needed. LOL

Bring him on, well welcome him and try and help.

Phill