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Gittit Shwartz
03-08-2009, 07:34 AM
Hi all,

I've been slipping into hypothyroidism over several months. It's only recently showing up on blood tests badly enough to be defined as "clinical" but the symptoms have been there for a while: low body temperature, fatigue, hair loss, anemia, problems with memory and concentration etc.

I'm still poking around trying to find a treatment/cure that doesn't involve synthetic hormones, but it'll probably take a while. Meanwhile, I've had to lower my expectations of training to a minimum. I get sick often, I can't do long/intense workouts or I start getting severe orthostatic hypotension and feel even worse the next day. Basically my recovery ability is in the toilet. Appetite is poor and I'm barely maintaining strength.

I know this is a temporary state I'm in, but i don't want to totally let myself go until I've got it under control. I need some advice on how to balance training and recovery.

I'm thinking I can probably handle strength training upper body twice a week, lower body twice a week... I split them to keep workouts short. I do some squat or deadlift variation for 3 sets of 1-3 reps, pullups+HSPU with the same scheme. Stretching and handbalancing 6 days a week since that is low impact. I get to 1-2 Capoeira classes a week, these are the hardest for me but hard to give up...

Should 1-2 times a week be enough to maintain strength? I tend to lose upper body strength fast. Is there anything I can do to maintain minimal conditioning? Should I try to keep protein intake up although I'm not hungry for it, or am I just putting more stress on my body? How do I decide when I'm too run down to train, and should I make up the session later? Any particular PWO strategies that might help?

I know I'll mostly have to feel it out on my own, but any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Gittit

Ari Kestler
03-08-2009, 08:37 AM
Can you tell us why you are concerned about taking "synthetic hormones"? Especially if they will solve your problem.

If you were a type I diabetic would you let yourself take insulin?

Steven Low
03-08-2009, 09:17 AM
Don't have problems with iodine deficiency?

Mike ODonnell
03-08-2009, 09:23 AM
When's the last time you took a week off to just relax?

Garrett Smith
03-08-2009, 09:27 AM
Adrenals and thyroid are intimately tied together. More work may need to be done on the adrenals--including minimal training.

Have you read the Adrenal Fatigue book yet to modify your workouts based on its suggestions?

Dave Van Skike
03-08-2009, 09:43 AM
Hi all,

I've been slipping into hypothyroidism over several months. It's only recently showing up on blood tests badly enough to be defined as "clinical" but the symptoms have been there for a while: low body temperature, fatigue, hair loss, anemia, problems with memory and concentration etc.

I'm thinking I can probably handle strength training upper body twice a week, lower body twice a week... I split them to keep workouts short. I do some squat or deadlift variation for 3 sets of 1-3 reps, pullups+HSPU with the same scheme. Stretching and handbalancing 6 days a week since that is low impact. I get to 1-2 Capoeira classes a week, these are the hardest for me but hard to give up...

Should 1-2 times a week be enough to maintain strength? I tend to lose upper body strength fast. Is there anything I can do to maintain minimal conditioning?

I know I'll mostly have to feel it out on my own, but any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Gittit

3 days a week is plenty to maintain and maybe even increase strength on a number of basic barbell exercises. i bet if you find a real easy rep scheme/progression you'll even gain strength as you throttle back on conditioning.

something that auto-regulates like ladders or a real simple, 5,4,3,2,1 progression working up to a medium heavy single 1-3 times a week is very easy on the body and CNS. works very well for BB and simple bodyweight stuff, dips, pull-ups etc. I've done this exact thing while on protein fast, nowhere near the same but super low energy environment anyway.


i wouldn't bother preserving a high level of conditioning, it goes so quickly and comes back so quickly.

best of luck.

Gittit Shwartz
03-08-2009, 09:46 AM
Thanks all for your replies.

Can you tell us why you are concerned about taking "synthetic hormones"? Especially if they will solve your problem.

If you were a type I diabetic would you let yourself take insulin?

I'm not convinced it's a permanent condition. I had mono a year ago following several years of chronic dieting and haven't completely recovered since, but my thyroid gland is intact.

One big problem with the conventional treatment (so far as I know) is that getting exogenous hormones will make your body downregulate its own production of these hormones... So you're basically on it for life.

If I find no other solution, I'll do the conventional treatment, but I'm still optimistic.

Don't have problems with iodine deficiency?

Nope. Dr. G took care of that :)

When's the last time you took a week off to just relax?

I've taken a few breaks lately because I was sick or feeling too run down... Honestly I feel if I was doing less than I am I would qualify as "sedentary"!

Adrenals and thyroid are intimately tied together. More work may need to be done on the adrenals--including minimal training.

Have you read the Adrenal Fatigue book yet to modify your workouts based on its suggestions?

Thanks for the suggestion Dr. G. I'll try to get hold of a copy.

Mike ODonnell
03-08-2009, 12:13 PM
I'm not convinced it's a permanent condition. I had mono a year ago following several years of chronic dieting and haven't completely recovered since, but my thyroid gland is intact.

I've taken a few breaks lately because I was sick or feeling too run down... Honestly I feel if I was doing less than I am I would qualify as "sedentary"!


You do extreme dieting, workout alot, can't recover, strength is going down and get sick often....can you say excess stress and immune system is shot? Eat normal, don't do IF, lift with moderate intensity 2-3x a week, get your sleep, stop all crazy GPP stuff....your body is crying for help....keep running it at full pace and you will regret it.

Get your AM fasting cortisol levels checked....I bet they are blown out. Less stress on the body....more healing and slow recovery. Otherwise you will just gain more weight later in life because of the damage to your adrenals/thryoid. Give them a break and just take it slow and steady....that and find a way to be happy with your self image right now....as I know plenty of healthy people (who are lean and look great) who get OCD and do extreme stuff.....that's where the real issue is with some...make sure that is not the case with you.

Hence...another reason I hate the V-diet.....gets people all neurotic about quick weight loss especially for those that may not even need it....

Dave Van Skike
03-08-2009, 12:49 PM
Word.

Gittit,

I'll bet you an airmailed Grassfed Brisket of your choice that if, for 1 month you;

Hit a basic medium frequency, medium volume strempf program focused on practice, not a workout (Ghost of Pavel Past);

precede your strempf work with skill practice and close it out with stretching and mobility work;

Do ZERO metcon;

Limit your Gym sessions to 4 days a week max;

Do ZERO extracurricular sneak workouts or marathons stretching sessions

Hit 3 square meals a day and get to bed by 9.

In month you'll be stronger and feel better regardless of your bloodwork.

Garrett Smith
03-08-2009, 06:43 PM
Gittit,
Dave and MOD's advice are both solid.

If you decide to test your cortisol levels, talk to your ND about a Diagnos-Techs Adrenal Stress Index, it's a 4-time saliva test (~6am, noon, ~5pm, ~10pm), much more valuable than just a single AM cortisol.

I did get the job at Future Formulations, Dr. Wilson's company (the author of the Adrenal Fatigue book), so if you have questions or need to get their supplements for your adrenal recovery, let me know off-line.

Gittit Shwartz
03-09-2009, 08:56 AM
OK. Thanks all for the input.

I think I have a pretty good idea of how I got to this point. I actually wised up and have been taking really good care of myself lately, which is why it's so dismaying that my condition is getting progressively worse. I quit IFing, stopped trying to lose weight, I don't count or restrict calories or any macronutrient, just eat Paleo when I'm hungry. I don't do any metcon, and except for Capoeira classes I don't do any training when I'm not feeling up to it. Sleep is so-so, I admit.

I actually took an AM cortisol test a couple weeks ago. It was too high, not too low. Don't know how significant that result is but it shows they're still working.

Maybe Capoeira needs to go for now, and more sleep. I'll try that for a couple weeks. Also doing some acupuncture and Chinese herbs so hopefully things will get better.

Garrett Smith
03-09-2009, 09:05 AM
Gittit,
If your cortisol was high, barring any other condition (which if this keeps worsening despite treatment you'll need to get more thoroughly investigated), you are in the resistance/adaptation phase of the General Adaptation Syndrome. See here for more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stress_(medicine)

If you have any family history of adrenal issues or pituitary issues, it would warrant further investigation soon.

The good news is, if you get this dealt with soon, you won't fall into the third phase of exhaustion, which takes a lot longer to get out of...

Mike ODonnell
03-09-2009, 04:19 PM
Cortisol high in AM is the natural state....as you need it to wake your ass up out of bed.....it's when you blow it out and it's nothing across the board you are screwed and the damage is more severe. Sounds like you just need a little patience and things should get better.....the body heals at it's own pace, not based on how quick we want it to.

Garrett Smith
03-09-2009, 05:14 PM
MOD,
In the "resistance/adaptation phase", cortisol actually gets even higher than it should be. This is the middle phase between normal and adrenal fatigue. Many folks, often nurses or military or shift work, find that they can maintain this chronically elevated cortisol state for years, until the bottom falls out on them and modern medicine has no explanation why, because they only check the adrenals for outright disease (not subclinical low function).

I have one patient with this currently, his cortisol levels are high across the board, all day long. This is not good, but definitely not as bad as crossing the line into the "exhaustion" phase.

I actually think I'm in the "resistance/adaptation" phase currently, due to all the life stresses I've been under lately. My wife and I will both be testing the Future Formulations products on ourselves (I think my wife may be in the early phases of "exhaustion", actually) to get firsthand experience with them.

Steven Low
03-09-2009, 05:44 PM
Yup, elevated cortisol is basically "chronic" stress levels and stress on the adrenals. Definitely test it more throughout the day though and see if it stays up.... hopefully not but we'll see.

More sleep, more rest... even though it may seem like too much. Couple a weeks isn't going to be a bad thing in terms of training. :)

Mike ODonnell
03-09-2009, 06:40 PM
Yes....all day elevated cortisol spikes is not a good thing....

Liam Dougherty Springer
03-27-2009, 03:44 AM
Wow I bumped into this thread at the right time..... I have been haveing some similar problems.