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Friday July 19th 2019


Hypothyroid Lifestyle – Mating in a Hypothyroid World

Post Published: 07 October 2010
Category: Guest Bloggers, Hypothyroid Lifestyle - Mating in a Hypothyroid World
This post currently has 8 responses. Leave a comment

I was drinking my lemon water this morning, minding my own business, and my brain began a root cause analysis of why so many of us are struggling with dysfunctional thyroids.

Does your brain do this?

I was looking broadly at root causes, Is it iPhone EMFs? Avoidance of shellfish as we shrink from mercury-toxic aquatic food? Or the usual culprit – stress and how it shocks our hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal axis?

Enter Dr. Ron

Then I was floored by an idea put out by Dr. Ron Rothenberg, MD: maybe the epidemic is due to the “hypothyroid lifestyle” going viral or at least reproduced widely. Let me explain. An increasing number of us are hypothyroid. Ron says one major reason is that people with hypothyroidism tend to have a particular lifestyle, which is, well… MICRO. Slow, insular, isolated, underactive, low libido, cold, inclined toward naps. Now before you get defensive, hear me out (I know there’s exceptions).

Go on, Ron.

We tired hypothyroid people then hook up with other hypothyroid partners with a similar lifestyle that we meet, say, at Blockbuster or maybe match.com because it’s efficient when you don’t have energy. Then we mate, and birth hypothyroid babies.

Then I had a scarier thought: I’m one of those people with a “hypothyroid lifestyle,” married to a stressed hypothyroid guy and we’ve made 2 kids.

Agro vs. Micro

I did the worst next thing: compared myself to someone younger, in this case my euthyroid sister. She worked a 10-hour day yesterday, then joined friends for dinner, and hit a local neighborhood  dive bar and danced until 1am. Pure joy. This morning she got up at 5, drank a sugar-free red bull and headed to the gym before work.

If I drank a red bull, I’d need CPR.

She’s probably is going out again tonight too. True, she’s in her 30s, has no kids yet and I’m squarely in my 40s.

But still. She does not have a hypothyroid lifestyle. When I was 30, I came home from work exhausted, got takeout and a video.

I’m not advocating a caffeinated agro lifestyle, but Ron’s hypothesis has me brewing fresh thoughts.

My hypothyroidism? Diagnosed 5 years ago when I stepped away from conventional endocrinology I learned at Harvard and ordered my T3. Big surprise: crazy low. My parents too. Hmmm. My husband’s mom? Hypothyroid. As I said, scary.

But how long did I have hypothyroidism before 2005? Signs of hypothyroidism in children: short (check), thick trunk (check), small hands (checkety check), chunky (check), thick skin (check). Learning disabilities? Um, still investigating that one.

Excuse me while I go check my childrens’ T3s.

PS: I’m not sure my sister went out last night (she hasn’t texted me back yet!) but chances are, she did something euthyroid with her free time. I’ve memoired her typical weeknight, but you get the point.

-Dr. Sara Gottfried

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8 Responses to “Hypothyroid Lifestyle – Mating in a Hypothyroid World”

  1. Amanda says:

    Dr G.

    Lots of things to think about with this one. While I generally agree that lifestyle greatly affects our well being, I really wonder if it creates hypothyroidism? Who knows? Wonder what Dr Ron thinks caused my Graves Disease? It definitely wasn’t too many Red Bull’s, ick.


  2. Laura says:

    I think this article makes complete sense. We attract and are attracted to those with similar interests, habits, likes, dislikes, and lifestyles. And yes who knows how long before we get diagnosed are our habits/bodies changing. I think many of us chalk it up to age, or “growing up” and before we know it we’re in a hypothyroid routine and then a diagnosis. And yes it’s a scary thought that we are reproducing more hypothyroids. I don’t have any children of my own, but to be honest I’m a little scared of having a child go through what I’ve been through. I personally think there’s so much more to genetics an reproducing than the average American thinks about.

  3. Amanda – just want to clarify that I don’t think lifestyle caused hypothyroidism; rather hypothyroidism creates a particular lifestyle that attracts other hypothyroid souls, and then we mate, repeating the cycle.

    Laura – right on about genetics and what soup we’re using for creating babies. How great to be mindful about this going forward.

    All the best, SG

  4. Linny says:

    Interesting idea….but concerning Graves which is HYPER~then zapped to Hypo (hopefully?) Which is another question…..how can making hyper into hypo be considered a solution to anything~! Then we start again~lifestyle? I’m confused~! Linny

  5. Sarah says:

    I am a nutritionist and one of the most brilliant professors I had, many years ago, said that he felt that the body slowed the thyroid down when the adrenals were stressed because of the constant high cortisol levels. He said that since cortisol is catabolic, the thyroid’s response is to slow down metabolic processes to slow down the constant breakdown in the body. Made sense to me. I started testing peoples’ adrenals and over the next few years did see a scary trend where most of my testees tested as stage 1s or 2s in terms of adrenal fatigue, but after a few years everyone came back as stage 3’s! I was so stunned I called the lab I use to see if they had changed the way they evaluate their tests. No, they said, “We’re seeing it, too”. My clients ere presenting with extreme fatigue by that point, and many of them had said that just a few years orior, they were running marathons, rock climbing, etc. etc. Really scary. I think we all need to slow down.

  6. Sarah says:

    Sorry for the typos: I am on the road and am using a different keyboard.

  7. Linny says:

    I have been organizing my things for almost a year now. Prior to this I just was hanging on and barely keeping up around my home. I was once an interior artist and with this illness my creativity continued but I could not keep things in any order. My home, became a jungle of objects that did not connect. I knew it but I couldn’t fix it. I would begin and then be lost. I would wake in the morning and see my hectic issues.
    Anyway, I found a medical evaluation of mine piror to my learning in 2oo2 I had Graves.
    In 2000 11/9 , Dr. Reith comments reads
    “we do have evidence for a mild high thyroid condition- called T3 Thyrotoxicosis. Atenalol or a beta blocker should help. M
    My free T3 was 5.4 my thyroid function <0.03
    my primary doctor said it was not evident that we should be concerned!
    When my heartrate scared the hell out of me I went to a different Dr. never to return to the other. 2002 my levels were identified to me to be the # 77. I did not know what they were talking about.
    Anyway I had the rad. and they found the goiter….on and on.
    Could they have stopped this in its tracks?
    thank you, Linny

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