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Madonna My Thyroid, Please

Post Published: 13 January 2011
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Category: Guest Bloggers
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One comment personal trainers hear daily from overweight women makes them want to shoot themselves: “I want Madonna arms.”

Actually, um, I too want Madonna arms.

While she is controversial, chameleonic and doesn’t always comment wisely on her art, she is arguably looking might fine for age 52. In fact, I think she may have hacked the aging female body.

Madonna is the same age as her boyfriend’s granny, but I’m pretty sure she could kick my ass even though I’m ten years younger.

What am I getting at? I’m convinced that Madge does everything right for her thyroid, and we could all stand to learn from her. She exercises regularly. I saw her in concert in 2008 and she literally danced nearly nonstop for 2 hours. Not just a two-step but high-kicking, anaerobic-threshold type of dancing. While one can never really know what she eats, she seems to follow macrobiotic principles and we don’t hear about her overindulging in alcohol and spewing epithets like Lindsay Lohan. She says she’s devoted to family and it’s her top priority. That helps cortisol levels.

Oprah, frankly, has done everything wrong.

Let me explain.

Oprah likes sugar. Lotsa lotsa sugar. Oprah has owned several aspects of her eating: that she overindulges, eats to soothe, and especially loves bags of potato chips. Her exercise regimen, is, well… “episodic” is the best euphemism I can think of. Is she still with Stedman? Or is Gayle her only family? She states her thyroid function tests are in the normal range, but to my eye, she continues to look puffy, exhausted, hormonally imbalanced, overweight, and while I aspire to have the type of robust synthesis and intuition she deftly reveals on her show, I don’t want to look like her.

Here’s how the good Dr. Oz describes Oprah’s thyroid to her (with thanks to the super shero Mary Shomon for posting this on her blog).

Well, just to be clear, your thyroid problems aren’t the usual thyroid problems. And by that I mean although the ailment itself is common, there’s two issues that can happen with your thyroid. It can underperform—that’s hypothyroidism—or it can overperform—hyperthyroidism. But your issue, Oprah, and you’re so unique, is you were having a frat party in your thyroid. You were having a bunch of different things happening at once. And so you have these two ailments: One was stimulating the thyroid with antibodies; the other one was actually waging war on the thyroid. And so when those two level out, they actually can bring you into a place of peace—which, interestingly, is where you are right now.

A frat party in my thyroid? No, thank you. Can this be prevented? We don’t actually know if a whole-foods, Paleo or macrobiotic is preventative or if regular exercise, like dancing consistently for 45 years as Madge has done and the Tracey Anderson method, keep our TSH in the normal range. But there’s some suggestive data (again, Mary Shomon is our go-to princess here). Or perhaps it’s having a 20-something boyfriend as we age that is the best preventative?

–Written by Dr. Sara Gottfried

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One Response to “Madonna My Thyroid, Please”

  1. Amanda says:

    Dr G,
    I think Madonna has done more things “right” than others. I also believe that her strong sense of self and her confidence have been key to many of her choices in life. You can’t have, keep, get another 20-something boyfriend if you don’t have either of those qualities. She is wise about her body, where others [myself, Oprah…] have not always been.

    When I was young, I wanted to be and dress like Madonna.. Now I just want her energy! [she can keep the boyfriends]

    Amanda

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