Pity our poor thyroid.
This small gland is blamed for countless weight loss frustrations and is a consistent scapegoat for people who encounter fat loss plateaus.
And that’s understandable. The thyroid affects metabolism and hypothyroidism (suppressed thyroid function) can slow the basal metabolic rate and reduce fat loss if you don’t adjust your diet or get treated.
I hear from many people who have thyroid issues asking for advice on how to lose weight, how to adjust their diets, and how to improve their overall health. This isn’t a subject I’ve touched on directly, so I decided to bring on a true thyroid expert, Dr. Spencer Nadolsky, to elucidate this little gland’s function and how it relates to fitness and health.
In this interview, Dr. Nadolsky discusses …
- What is the thyroid, what does it do, and what are hypo- and hyperthyroidism?
- How big of an effect can impaired thyroid function have on metabolism?
- T3, T4, and TSH hormones
- Goitrogenic foods and whether they should be avoided
- The role of iodine, stress, and carbs in thyroid function
- Signs you may have a thyroid issue
- Hypothyroidism misdiagnosis
- And more …
In case you’re not familiar with Dr. Nadolsky, he’s a Board Certified Family Medicine Physician, author of “The Fat Loss Prescription,” and a Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. He’s also a member of Legion Athletics’ Scientific Advisory Board and a certified “meme-ologist” on instagram. 🙂
So, if you want to learn about all things thyroid, listen to this episode!
12:36 – What are your thoughts on how the US approached the lockdown versus what Sweden did? Do you think we should have made adjustments?
16:00 – What function does the thyroid have? How does the thyroid affect weight loss?
17:42 – What are the hormones involved in thyroid regulation?
19:05 – How much of an impact can the thyroid have on basal metabolic rate?
24:03 – Does hyperthyroidism mirror the effects of hypothyroidism or is there a significant difference?
26:57 – What are some signs of a thyroid issue?
29:08 – Are there natural remedies that can help with hyperthyroidism?
37:19 – How does iodine play into thyroid function?
49:22 – How long will it take to start seeing thyroid effects from dieting?
52:36 – Does stress cause thyroid problems?
1:01:55 – Where can people find you and your work?
Mentioned on The Show:
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Mike: Hi, and welcome to Muscle For Life. I’m Mike Matthews. Thank you for taking some time outta your day to listen to this episode, which is on thyroid health and function. And I feel bad for all the thyroids out there. I pity these poor little glands who are blamed for countless weight loss failures and frustrations.
And who are the go-to scapegoat for people who encounter weight loss plateaus or inexplicable weight gain. Now, that said, I do understand why many people blame their thyroid or think that their thyroid may be to blame for their inability to control their body composition, for their inability to lose fat or to keep fat off.
The thyroid does affect the metabolism. And if you have suppressed thyroid function, it can slow down your metabolic rate. And of course, the fewer calories you burn every day. The harder it is to lose fat consistently and to keep the fat off, to maintain the body fat level that you want to maintain. But how great are the effects of hypo so suppressed thyroid function, hypothyroidism, and how much can they get in the way of your fitness goals?
And how do you know if you actually have a low functioning thyroid or if that’s not the problem at all. If the reason you are not losing weight or gaining weight is something else altogether, like maybe accidentally overeating, that would be the most common reason why people hit weight loss plateaus or start gaining weight without realizing.
And as I haven’t written or spoken much about the thyroid at all, and as I would not consider myself an expert on the thyroid, I went and found one for you. And this person is Dr. Spencer Naski, who is a buddy of mine and who is on the scientific advisory board of my sports supplement company, Legion. And I wanted to talk to Spencer about this in particular because he has spent a lot of time in the thyroid literature.
He has dealt with thyroid issues himself, and he has a lot of clinical experience helping patients fix. Broken thyroids and in some cases realized that their thyroids were totally fine and that the source of the problem usually related to weight loss and weight gain is elsewhere. And in this interview, Spencer and I touch on.
Every aspect of thyroid function and hypothyroidism I could think of. We talk about, of course, what the thyroid is and what it does, and clinically speaking, medically speaking, what is hypothyroidism? What is hyperthyroidism? How big of an effect can these conditions have on not just thyroid function, but metabol?
Metabolic rate calorie burning. Talk about thyroid hormones, the three different thyroid hormones and what they do in the body. We talk about foods that apparently impair thyroid function. That’s a big thing out on Instagram. If you want a healthy thyroid, never eat these foods. I, we talk about iodine, stress, carbs, how these relate to thyroid function, and more so if you’ve ever wondered if you have a healthy thyroid or if you suspect that you have a thyroid problem and that it might be getting in the way of getting the body you really want.
Or if you know that you have a healthy thyroid or you suspect you have a healthy thyroid and you want to know how to stay that way, this episode’s for you. Also, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my v i p. One on one coaching service because my team and I have helped people of all ages and all circumstances lose fat, build muscle, and get into the best shape of their life faster than they ever thought possible, and we can do the same for you.
We make getting fitter, leaner, and stronger paint by numbers simple, by carefully managing every aspect of your training and your diet for you. Basically, we take out all of the guesswork, so all you have to do is follow the plan and watch your body change day after day, week after week and month after month.
What’s more, we’ve found that people are often missing just one or two crucial pieces of the puzzle. And I’d bet a shiny shackle. It’s the same with you. You’re probably doing a lot of things right, but dollars to donuts, there’s something you’re not doing correctly or at all that’s giving you the most grief.
Maybe it’s your calories or your macros. Maybe it’s your exercise selection. Maybe it’s your food choices. Maybe you’re not progressively overloading your muscles or maybe it’s something else. And whatever it is, here’s what’s important. Once you identify those one or two things you’re missing, once you figure it.
That’s when everything finally clicks, that’s when you start making serious progress. And that’s exactly what we do for our clients. To learn more, head over to www.buy legion.com. That’s bwi legion.com/vip and schedule your free consultation call, which by the way is not a high pressure sales call. It’s really just a discovery call where we get to know you better and see if you’re a good fit for the service.
And if you’re not for any reason, we will be able to share resources that’ll point you in the right direction. So again, if you appreciate my work and if you want to see more of it, and if you also want to finally stop spinning your wheels and make more progress in the next few months than you did in the last few years, check out my VIP coaching [email protected] legion.com/vi.
Dr. Spencer Alki. We made it. We’re here, we did it. We’ve been going back and forth for a month now. We had previously recorded a podcast on the Coronavirus, which is almost irrelevant at this point, according to the media.
Spencer: Everything we talked about is basically like we have so much more information now that it’s that would’ve been obsolete anyway no?
Mike: Actually, if you think back to it, it would’ve been still a relevant discussion.
Yeah, still good. I think to the current situation, which is basically that it’s not nearly as dangerous as we were being told at that time, which is something we discussed where we were hearing these death rates of these predicted death rates of anywhere from three to 8% here in America, and yeah, not so much.
Latest CDC data is among confirmed cases point, what is it? 0.26%, I believe, among confirmed cases.
Spencer: Yeah, that’s interesting. There’s a whole, these epidemiologists and statisticians, I follow all of ’em on Twitter trying to get the bottom line here, but it’s probably gonna end up being. Point five and like you said, really it’s in the elderly and those with comorbidities.
Mike: So you know someone, Yeah, I saw another statistic of 46% of the deaths occurred in nursing homes, which again, that’s not to trivialize that at all. It’s terrible the amount of people, but it puts things more in perspective. It’s a bit sobering considering again, the doomsday scenarios. We were being fed by the media just what, a month or so ago, four, six weeks ago.
Spencer: Yeah. I think it can at least alleviate fears for those who are, probably listening to those who are very healthy.
Mike: And youngish even. Not even young, just youngish, right?
Spencer: Yeah. And of course, you’ll see the reports and I get texts from my doctor, friends of a 25 year old who’s on a ventilator now.
And those things do happen. You see those things happen with even the flu.
Mike: I know I’ve had these discussions. I’ve actually had people attack me on Instagram, stupid and lacking compassion for simply saying what I just said and sharing that personally, I’m not concerned about the virus now. I don’t wanna give it to others who, regardless of their age, I’d prefer not to give it to others, period.
But, Personally, I could care less about it because the statistics make that clear. If I’m gonna worry about that, then I should worry about driving my car 10 to a hundred miles a day. I should worry about going and walking around Washington dc a busy city for a few hours. The chances of the virus knocking me on my ass, putting me in the hospital or killing me are so low that they don’t even warrant consideration if they do happen.
It’s like some final destination shit. I guess that’s it. That’s the way I was meant to go.
Spencer: Yeah. I think for myself too, I think we’re all feeling a little bit anxious at the beginning and we didn’t know what was going on and that we Sure. And having risk mitigation strategies with whatever we’re doing, hygiene.
Staying away from people and masks and whatever. Yeah, of course there’s nuance there, but, and getting back to as much as we can and we’re gonna see a second wave that’s gonna probably come here at some point. But I think as long as we can keep it at bay somewhat and then just understand our risks, I know for myself, I feeling anxious like I said, but then as more data came out, it’s okay, I think I don’t want it.
Of course I don’t wanna get this virus and like you said, not spread it to other people, but at least I can rest assured that if I do get it, probably fine. We don’t know long term sequela from it, We don’t know if there’s long term, long and that’s another thing that will probably know in the future, but I think at least.
It’s good to know that it probably will not be dying from it. Knock on wood. I, if this comes out and I’m gone, I would say
Mike: I’ll stick up for you. If, for the people who are gonna cheer at you, Postum say, I’ll stick up for you. I’ll say, Look, he got unlucky. He, what he said was not wrong. Oh my God. That’s, I joke about it myself.
I’m like if this shit kills me, just remember this. These are still my final words is that I got unlucky. Put that on my tombstone. How about that?
Spencer: And so I’m friends with a lot of doctors too, and they’re taking care of these patients and so we, we don’t want to belittle the risk and those who are affected, it’s sure it is very important.
Mike: These other mMental health effects of being quarantined, those things are worth discuss real, Yeah.
Spencer: Yeah. And they can be quantified somewhat. In terms of the actual effects there, there are a lot of unintended, we’re basically doing the Covid podcast, we’re talking about no?
Mike: I know, but I want to keep it going just because we’ll do a hard shift here in a minute.
Spencer: But I think this is good. These things can’t be quantified necessarily, but there are unintentional consequences.
Mike: Like the biggest thing we wanted to flatten the curve, that everybody’s hashtag flat, to which many people didn’t understand. That doesn’t mean that the virus isn’t going to spread.
Spencer: Like we can’t stop that now. It was just to prevent it from spreading at such a rapid rate that it would collapse our healthcare system, because the thought was like, okay, if this many people were going to get the virus and be hospitalized, there’s still the same amount of people that are going to be coming to the hospital for heart attack, strokes, GI bleeds, pancreatitis.
It’s all these little things. And what was interesting, I was literally every day texting with my doctor friends in New York, and they’re like, Our ICUs are filled. The media, whatever they were telling me their ICUs are filled. But what they said was weird was the people that had heart attacks all the time before and all these things, it’s usually a stable rate.
They stopped coming in, which means they were scared of coming in. So now an unintentional side effect was that these people may have died at home, which may have increased the, excess deaths.
Mike: We’ve never gone through this, we had nine suicides have been up as well.
Spencer: Alcoholism, I know from personal and friends, the home life, you’re stuck home with kids and your family and if you’re not used to that, things can get a little bit tense.
Tense. Yeah. People don’t wanna be around each other if they’re not used to it as much as you love your kids and family. I know that was an issue and again, If it’s needed because Ebola is breaking out and you have a sure very high chance of dying from it, regardless
Mike: Yeah. It is what it is then needed.
Spencer: But when you start looking at this and there were people arguing this back and forth, we just didn’t know it was scary. And now I think it’s still, not something we wanna spread to everybody, but I think personally, I. Again, don’t want it. But I think personally, my risk, I’ll take certain risks and do the things I like to do while I’m not gonna be going out to dinner anytime soon.
Mike: And that’s fine. I like to do it, but I’m not willing to take that risk. But I am willing to go out to the beach and try to stay away from people and stuff like that. Last question regarding the virus, and then we’ll move on. What are your thoughts, and again, this is something that people have been asking me, and not that I’m an expert on this whatsoever, not even close, but whatever.
I’ve been asked, more about this stuff than I do, which is why I wanna ask you. So what are your thoughts? Just quickly, and we’ll move on now, knowing what we know on the. I guess the word is severity of the lockdown. Looking back, do you think it would’ve made more sense to consider something maybe in between what we did and what Sweden did, which I guess is not much of anything and just kinda ask people to follow some simple guidelines but didn’t get involved too much?
Spencer: Yeah, it’s hard for me. I wanna justify what we did. I would say that it would’ve been nice to start. A little bit stricter right in the beginning. Yeah. But we just didn’t have the, It’s hard when you don’t have the data.
Mike: So when you’re doing hindsight and then you’re getting just awful data from literally China and like fake, like actually fake data,
Spencer: It’s really frus. I mean that whole thing was frustrating cuz it starts coming out and I’m a proponent of the W H O and cdc. I think these are good organizations, it’s tough when. They’re getting all sorts of different data and making announcements and then it turns out to be something else. And so it the trust in science is probably in Americas has gone down to all these things, so I would say, look, I think it was justified at the time, hindsight 2020, I think.
Honestly, if we knew what we knew now, I wouldn’t have done a complete shutdown. I would’ve ideally would’ve had the personal protective equipment for our doctors. We would’ve had plenty of ICU space to increase the threshold or a surge, and that would’ve been the ideal situation, that we were prepared for this and we wouldn’t have had to do a complete quarantine.
Unfortunately, and maybe in the future, this will prevent that from happening.
Mike: Again, hindsight’s 2020, and hopefully if we do see another wave, it’s not met with the same measures.
Spencer: I don’t think it will be, but yeah, I don’t think I guess we’re gonna see, but I, who knows, we’ll see. I don’t think so, but I could be wrong.
Mike: All right. Let’s talk about something else. Let’s talk about something that will help our listeners get into better. Shape and better health , and I guess that discussion’s actually relevant to health. Maybe some people, if they were concerned about the economy opening back up and what should they do?
Maybe that’s given them a little bit of consolation that if they’re not in an at risk group, they can go look at the information themselves and make their own decision. They don’t have to just follow what the TV says and hyperventilate because they’re told to hyperventilate. But let’s talk about thyroid function.
I think to give some context to you and why I thought this would be a good discussion is what I’m often asked about, and of course you’re gonna address more than just this, but I’d say probably the most common question I get about fibroid function is, and I’m sure it’s the same for you in relation to weight loss, right?
Yeah. So many people think that because they’re struggling to lose weight, they have a low functioning thyroid, and sometimes they’ve done some form of. They’ve received some kind of diagnosis. Maybe it was like muscle testing from a chiropractor or they haven’t gotten like medically diagnosed as a hypothyroid, but they’ve been told that, Oh, it might just be your thyroid.
And oftentimes they’re trying to do weird diets and cleanses and eating specific foods and so forth. And so let’s definitely address that. But I think a good place to start the discussion would just be, why don’t we just talk about, can you just explain what the thyroid is and what does it do and how does it then relate to the metabolism and why is thyroid function and weight loss, why are these things connected?
Spencer: Yeah, The thyroids, that little gland, is so cliche cuz it’s every blog that starts off with this, but it’s a butterfly shaped gland at the kind of the front lower part of your neck. And it basically makes thyroid hormone, which helps. Regulate your body’s metabolism, and that’s all the different little metabolic processes you go through, whether it’s muscle growth or bone turnover, or recycling your cholesterol.
All these different things are controlled by your thyroid or have some control from your thyroid. And so when people get a lower thyroid or hypothyroidism, hyper is high. Thyroid levels, these metabolic processes with hypothyroid and low thyroid, these metabolic processes slow down. So that’s why you see like people with hypothyroidism, they start getting a little bit colder.
They get a little bit of constipation. Their hair gets a little bit, cos their skin gets a little bit drier, their cholesterol starts going up and those types of things, their heart rate goes lower and they feel a little bit tired. Whereas like hyperthyroid, they have too much thyroid. And then you see the opposite.
Their heart rate’s up a little bit. You can see higher bone turnover, you might even see slightly lower cholesterol. Your body weight goes down and that type of thing. That’s the gist of it. It’s the, it controls our metabolic processes in our body and there’s a lot of them. And that makes up, when you talk about the basal metabolic rate that we have.
Mike: How many calories were burning at baseline, The thyroid can affect that. And can you talk a little bit more about the hormones themselves? Cause I’m sure people have heard t3, t4, tsh.
Spencer: What are these things? Yeah, so we have this kind of homeostatic regulation of our thyroid. First signal comes from our brains.
We have a hypothalamus up in her brain, and then we have the pituitary gland. The hypothalamus talks to pituitary gland. And then the pituitary gland looks like a little drop droplet of some sort. In the middle of your brain. A little p yeah, A little P sends a signal to your thyroid. So the signal from the pituitary gland is something called tsh, Thyroid stimulating Hormone.
And that basically tells your thyroid gland to then make thyroid hormone. And there’s a few different thyroid hormones. The main ones are thyroxine or t4. And then Leo Thyronine or t3, but mostly t4. And then in the body, when it goes around circulates round, that it usually gets more converted into the t3.
Your thyroid only makes a small little bit of that t3. The T3 is the active thyroid hormone. So the T four s is like a. Some people call it a pro hormone. I don’t think I would call it that exactly cuz it does have some effect. But you get a more stable T4 that doesn’t have as much of a function.
Mike: It gets converted into T3 in the cells and then that has the most pronounced effect on our metabolic functions. And how much of an effect are we talking about here in terms of hypo and hyperthyroidism? How big of an impact can it have? If you are on, and I’ve looked at some research, it was, it’s been some time, so there’s probably even more research and you’ll do a better job explaining it.
But in terms of maybe even calories per day or percentage increase or decrease of basal metabolic rate based on thyroid function. Yeah.
Spencer: So it depends on how, just how hypothyroid you are. So if you get your. Thyroid removed, that’ll have a much bigger effect than when you’re in the beginning stages of what’s called like Hashimotos thyroiditis, where you’re, your thyroids just starting to slowly be destroyed.
So it depends on how, just exactly how hypothyroid you are. But in general, for most people have Hashimotos thyroiditis, autoimmune thyroiditis. That’s the most common cause in United States for hypothyroidism. You generally see, like I said, it can vary cuz some people can get their thyroid destroyed very quickly versus, Slow.
In fact, I have hypothyroidism. I have a Hashimotos, which makes this a little bit more interesting. I found it out in medical school. So your basal metabolic rate can change by what? Like it’s gonna be around like that 10% or so, and then can go back to normal once you’re treated. And what’s interesting is that the weight that you gain, a lot of it’s actually fluid and people think it’s all fat.
So you gain a lot of fluid and so you’re, you feel puffy, but it’s not necessarily fat tissue. Obviously if you, if it goes untreated for a long time, you slowly gain fat cuz you’re basal metabolic rate has decreased over time. But in general, you know the five to 10 pounds you gained in the beginning, a lot of it’s just, Water or fluid.
Mike: That’s an important point too, because that is also gonna be probably impossible to lose. Unless you treat the condition. Yeah. Cause I’ve heard from people who they experienced just that, or they had experienced just that and it was extra baffling to them because they understood energy balance and they were keeping track of their calories.
They knew what they were doing, but they’re like you just said, there was just this layer of what they thought was fat that they just couldn’t seem to lose since they started having thyroid problems.
Spencer: Yeah, exactly. I think that’s really important to understand. Cause everybody’s Oh my God, I gained 60 pounds.
Mike: Yeah. But that can’t be explained by just a 10%. Even if for were 15% reduction. When you look at, again the calories of it, that would take a very long time. I don’t even, you have to run the numbers. It may never even be able to happen.
Spencer: Yeah. That’s why again, it’s mostly fluid and I have, every time I make a post on.
Instagram. I get people that are very angry with me cuz they’re just like, No, I know I was in a deficit and I didn’t lose any weight cuz of my hypothyroidism. And I’m like technically you weren’t in a deficit then. Yeah, you’re ba on. Metabolic rate did go down. You’re probably tired.
The most important thing though is if you’re feeling tired, Like, when are you gonna wanna move your total daily energy expenditure?
Mike: And also, you’re probably gonna eat a bit more than you quote unquote should, Of course. Because when you’re tired, you naturally just want to eat more food. It sucks.
Spencer: Yeah, I understand. Yeah. Exactly. All those little things go out the door. So it’s important to understand this. Now there are a lot of people that get treated for their hypothyroidism. They’ll, in general, most doctors give Synthroid and there’s a lot of discussion on the internet. Basically the internet’s a is a big selection bias.
Because the people that aren’t feeling well go to the internet for answers, right? So the people that aren’t feeling well despite being on thyroid medicine or t4, the synthroids t4, synthetic t4, they go on the internet and like, Why do I still feel bad? My labs look normal now, but I still feel bad. And so then you go onto these forms and that people are on combination therapy, which I actually prescribe for my patients, that you can give a combination of T4 and t3 synthetically, or you can give natural desiccated thyroid.
And there’s multiple brands out there, but it comes with a more fixed ratio of T3 and the T3 is actually a little bit higher in, in these to start off with. So I generally don’t start with those. But yeah, so once you get treated, your basal metabo rate, Should be normal. And in general it’s normal even if you’re taking T4 only.
But there may be a select few of people that at a cellular level they’re not converting that T4 to T3 and maybe they’re still having some struggles.
Mike: So then on the hyper side of things, just for people wondering, I haven’t heard from too many of those people personally, how I usually hear about them is people who say they know this person.
Spencer: Why can this person seem to eat so much food? And you can never know if this is a case of hyperthyroidism or not. But are the effects, do they mirror the hypo situation where what you commonly see is in a legitimate case of hyperthyroidism, you have a 10% faster metabolism or BMR than just measured in that sense than average or, Yeah, I mean it can depend on, again, the amount of hyper, some people are just have Sure.
Mike: But the average case, yeah.
Spencer: I’d have to look at the exact. Research on that, but yeah, you can expect, 10, maybe 20% increase. I’d have to look it up specifically, but yeah, you see that increase. And so what’s interesting, what’s really interesting when they get treated and they didn’t know they had it for maybe a year or so, once they get treated, they end up gaining a lot of weight and they’re like, You screwed up my thyroid.
Mike: And it’s no you were just eating so much more and your thyroid was keeping your weight at bay. Now you have a normal metabolic rate and you’re gaining the weight, now you’re just eating too much. And so it’s like the college athlete who is used to eating, cuz they’re on average exercising three to five hours a day or whatever it is, eating so much food.
And then it’s that typical case, right? And then they graduate now they have a desk job. They didn’t realize it and they’re like, How the hell did I gain 30 pounds when I have,
Spencer: So they’re some, I wrestled in college, right? So my friends cut weight. They were ripped, they were jet going into the, to a match.
I’ve seen pictures of them, I haven’t seen ’em in person. I see pictures of some of them and I’m like, Oh my God, you gained like 50 pounds. You’re somewhat little of a guy. And they just, you’re used to eating so much and you’re training so much, and then if you stop it and you continue eating that much Yeah.
Mike: Same kind of thing. And unfortunately when you stop the training, your appetite doesn’t just naturally shrink proportionately. It’s still, it probably, I haven’t experienced this personally. I started playing sports when I was, I don’t know, maybe 10 and then was always doing something that got into weightlifting.
So I always been active in, my calories have been in the same range for a long time, but from what I’ve seen in people and also in the literature, your activity level can go down quite a bit. And unfortunately your appetite doesn’t necessarily mirror it. It just, it can stay quite high. Yeah.
Spencer: I mean I, I’ve seen it so I, The other thing is some of these people have been, Restricting themselves for so long to where that may also play a role there. It’s really interesting for athletes that just stop.
Mike: If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my v i p one on one coaching service because my team and I have helped people of all ages and circumstances lose fat, build muscle, and get into the best shape of their life faster than they ever thought possible. And we can do the same for you.
So now let’s talk about how can people, what are some of the signs that you may have a legitimate thyroid issue? You’ve already mentioned holding on to extra water weight. I’m assuming that’s one, but what else for people who are wondering if they may have a condition, whether it’s hypo or hyper.
Spencer: Yeah, so yeah, the most common things when you know, a medical school exam test, someone comes in with 10 pounds or 15 pounds of weight gain and they’re struggling, they’re tired, they’re constipated, and their skin’s dry.
Their hair is a little bit coarse. That’s like classic Oh, you better check their thyroid. It doesn’t actually always happen like that. And there’s, the other thing is there’s a lot of overlap. With hypothyroid symptoms, with other things. And so everybody comes in, It must be my thyroid. It must be my thyroid.
Something’s wrong with my thyroid. And you can screen them. And sometimes it is of course, but a lot of things mimic the thyroid. So that’s what makes it tough too, especially when somebody actually does get diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Like me, I think I blame everything on my thyroid like crap.
I’m like, it’s gotta be my thyroid. But after a while I, I just kept checking levels and it was like, this is normal. I would change a few lifestyle things and that was it. So it could be difficult. A lot of overlap with depression and actually those people, for some reason, those with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have higher incidences of depression.
So you don’t wanna just say it, you’re just depressed. It’s not your thyroid. You definitely wanna take them seriously and adjust medicines if possible and whatever. Unfortunately there’s such an overlap that. You’ve really gotta hone in on what the heck is going on with these people.
With someone with hyperthyroidism symptoms are, you can get tremors if there’s a lot of thyroid there. You get a little bit of extra sweating, maybe increased body heat, maybe some diarrhea, and obviously they can start losing some weight if it’s really bad. Like I said, you hold your hands out and they can be tremors.
And obviously you can see this, the proptosis, you see those with Graves disease, their eyes can stick out, but that’s not from the actual thyroid. It’s part of the Graves disease process.
Mike: And are there natural things you can do to, there’s a point where there’s nothing you’re gonna be able to do naturally to correct.
Again, we can just focus on probably hypothyroidism here and probably for the next few questions I have. Cause that’s the more common concern, obviously. But what are your thoughts in terms of natural interventions and then if that’s just a no-go across the board. Like even if you don’t have a bad case of it, there’s really nothing you’re gonna be able to do naturally to prevent your body from, or your thyroid from continuing to decline.
And then if that’s the answer to that. Okay. And then my question is, are there natural things that can be done to at least support thyroid health and try to prevent any sort of condition from developing?
Spencer: Yeah. So the most common cause of hypothyroidism, like I said before, is just Hashimotos thyroiditis.
That’s an autoimmune disease where your body starts attacking your thyroid. The question is, if you develop these antibodies before your thyroids destroyed, like mine’s destroyed, I take a whopping dose of it. Now. I didn’t have to at the beginning, 10 years ago or whatever it was. The thought is maybe if there’s something you’ve
Mike: lost your thyroid privilege.
Spencer: Yeah, If there’s something in your diet that’s, it’s thought that maybe there’s some dietary components that can increase your risk of autoimmune diseases. This hasn’t really been teased out to the point where we have definitive answer for this. It’s a little bit nebulous right now. A lot of people try all sorts of kinda these anecdotal autoimmune protocols, if you will.
Mike: Do you wanna comment on some of those? Cause I think it’d be relevant to people listening who are at that point, yeah.
Spencer: So these autoimmune protocols, I think. They’re worth a shot of looking at that. Like maybe there is something in your diet that you’re just not tolerating and you start going through.
It’s just so hard to determine whether there is something that’s increasing your antibody production. And it’s simply cuz your body, It’s not that if you get some sort of other molecule in your body says, Oh, this is an invader and makes some sort of antibody, whatever, cause your body to make antibodies towards your thyroid and it starts attacking it.
Because of something you ate or some other environmental exposure.
Mike: It’s like rheumatoid. It’s like arthritis. But you were talking about the thyroid here. Yeah.
Spencer: Like anything, Yeah, anything. There’s all sorts of autoimmune diseases. It’s just, I don’t know. I’ve tried it myself. I’ve tried everything in the beginning.
I’ve tried it with, I’ve had a few hundred patients that have had how shemos, they come to me cuz I have it and then I understand the symptoms and you know why you should get your dosing and everything right? So you feel good. So I get a lot of patient within, I tell you, I, I’ve tried everything and there hasn’t really been anything that’s been successful.
Again, we’d have to do a randomized trial to tease out all the different little aspects of it, but haven’t seen anything. There’s a lot of gurus out there. You’ll see ’em, The thyroid pharmacist or some other seen a few of these books that have been written. I always get ’em. I’m like, what kind of secrets do they say?
It’s. We know what your doctor doesn’t know. I’m gonna fix your thyroid without medicine. And I always read it and I’m always like, Gosh, this is so disappointing. Cuz they just make up stuff. There’s no randomized trials or trials that show this works. I’ve tried everything, even anecdotal stuff with patients hydroxychloroquine.
Mike: Did you try that?
Spencer: No, not hydroxy, but even low dose logos naltrexone and some of these other immune modulators that have been purported to have an effect. And the thing is you can lower your antibody levels too. But it doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll change the path of destruction, the time course destruction of your thyroid.
So that’s another thing. It’s like really, if you have antibodies, you’re gonna be at risk. It doesn’t mean you’re gonna have hypothyroidism, but if you have antibodies and you have hypothyroidism, it’s basically impossible to reverse it. Again.
Mike: There’s on Instagram that say they do it. Do you wanna talk quickly about, this is one s right, That’s something that gets I think I’m pronouncing that right. G O I t. That’s one of the guru things, right?
Spencer: Oh, it’s anyways so yeah, that’s why it’s so like it’s raw, cruciferous vegetables and some of these other things. So you see a case studies of people that eat like a few pounds of robock choy, and you can get hypothyroid acutely because these things block your thyroid from producing thyroid hormones.
So some of those things, even if you don’t have high sheet moss, if you eat large enough doses of them, they can have an effect. But if you have hypothyroidism, it doesn’t mean you should avoid those nitrogen foods. It just means you should make sure you’re on a dose of thyroid that is stable and you eat the same consistency all the time.
You don’t want to go, All right, I’m gonna go on a rock cruciferous vegetable diet now. And cuz if you do, you are really gonna wanna monitor your thyroid levels. So that does have, in fact, it’s more of these other foods that.
Mike: Sorry, just to interject before we move away from that, just for anybody wondering, maybe they don’t have any thyroid issues, or maybe they do, but they’re now wondering, okay, what are some of these other foods, if it is at least a semi legitimate thing.
Now, you mentioned eating a shitload, and is that the case or can you have negative effects? Can you negatively impact your thyroid function following a reasonable diet that somebody would actually want to follow?
Spencer: So you’re saying, can you impact your thyroid function just with these gorgen foods?
Mike: Is there any real life applicable to somebody listening way to do that?
Just for people wondering Okay, so they’ve probably heard some like cruciferous vegetables, like you said, I think strawberries are on the list, right? Red wine, peanuts. And so is it possible in a real world setting to eat enough of these foods too negatively to make an actual significant impact?
Spencer: It’s possible. It’s just not likely. Okay. Unless, again, unless you’re just. You’re eating pounds of it. Okay.
Mike: So for someone listening who, let’s say they just eat a good balanced omnivorous diet. They’re eating a few servings of couple servings of fruit, a few servings of vegetables per day, and maybe those vegetables are gorgen, maybe they are cruciferous vegetables and maybe there is, there’re on their fruits they have some strawberries and whatever.
Those people should be fine. Yeah.
Spencer: Yeah. It’s really, if anybody wants to Google B Choy case study hypothyroidism, it’s interesting. They ate a lot of it, so I just wouldn’t go.
Mike: Okay. And really what I want to address is just, there’s a claim that if you want to, and this is not even for people who have a condition, but if you want to have a healthy thyroid, avoid these foods.
Spencer: That’s BS such bunk. I can’t stand that. Actually. Very frustrating.
Mike: Yeah. Okay, good. Just wanna make sure that, that was clear. You were gonna move on though to, you were gonna say something else about foods in particular.
Spencer: Yeah, so the other thought is, are there foods that irritate your gut that, cause, what they call leaky gut, Basically increasing the permeability of your gut, which then, like I said, you start absorbing into your bloodstream things that aren’t supposed to be there.
Mike: That’s one of the hypotheses that I haven’t seen any data to really conclude that’s actually happening. Like it’s a real condition, right?
Spencer: Some people do, they do have this issue, but the question is, it’s not a true diagnosis, but it does happen, if that makes sense. Like we don’t, there is increased gut permeability with certain foods.
What we don’t know is like, All is this pathological in some people and not others. There’s probably something there and it probably depends on, It’s also interesting cuz based on our body fat levels and all sorts of things, our gut permeability and exercise can change. Everything can have an effect on it.
Mike: So I think, the Gus will glam on to one little aspect and make some sort of ebook that’s a hundred dollars and then they’ll cherry pick studies to basically fit.
Spencer: Or a best selling New York Times top diet book or something, whatever. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. You’ll see that and if there’s a few of those gurus out there, but again, they’re cherry picking stuff and it’s really not good science.
So again, I’ve tried all this stuff myself, tried it with my patients. Studies don’t really suggest that there’s probably anything there. But yeah, maybe more data needs to be done. That’s what I’ll say.
Mike: Okay. And how does iodine play into this? Cuz if anybody’s been poking around about thyroid function online, they’re gonna hear about iodine.
And if you have an iodine deficiency, you know that can be bad for your thyroid.
Spencer: Yeah. Iodine efficiency, another common. It used to be the most common cause of hypothyroidism. Then we got eye to eye salt. So we should be getting enough iodine. Diet iodine is used in the production of our thyroid hormones in our thyroid.
So if you don’t have enough iodine in your diet, you can develop a, a goer and hypothyroidism. Most people take it enough, but if you don’t eat, seaweed who eat seaweed, but if you don’t need a lot of eggs and you use sea salt instead of regular salt. I have seen this and there are some case studies out there.
I’ve seen it in some of my uber quote, clean unquote eaters. Again, the whole idea of clean eating, whatever, I’m sure you’ve done episodes on that, but they get so fatted with eating a certain way that they. They start things with sea salt instead of regular salt, which, and I don’t think is a bad thing, but if you’re not getting any iodine, and then you can develop a slight hypothyroidism, which does happen, and then we’ll do all the tests.
It’s Oh my God, you don’t have any thyroid antibodies. That’s interesting. We can do a thyroid ultrasound, which is not commonly done with hypothyroidism. It’s usually only done for like hyperthyroidism and looking for nodules and things like that. But if there’s no antibodies, there are a.
Portion of people that have Hashimotos with negative antibodies. And then there’s this presentation on the ultrasound that your thyroid looks like. So I sometimes do that when I think that they have Hashimotos and their antibodies aren’t positive. And sometimes it’s that’s negative.
Mike: Tell me more about your diet. You sh do you not get any eyed salt or any of this stuff? And just for, just to interject quick, people wondering, the amount of iodine that, that you need to be getting to maintain healthy function is, what Is it, like 150 micrograms a day or something around there?
Spencer: Yeah, I believe it’s two 50. But let me, I, we can kinda confirm that.
Mike: Require me, I can just I thought it was, And then while you’re checking that, and you can correct me if I’m wrong about this too, but I believe a teaspoon of I die Salt is about that. Like an entire, like a full teaspoon is about that amount.
Spencer: Yeah. You were right. One 50, but it was, Sorry, it was in I was just doing a book on pregnancy and breastfeeding in the two hundreds for that. But yeah.
Mike: And yeah, and one teaspoon of. Then you’d only need about a, I think about a half of a teaspoon of salt to hit that. And that of course not much. Yeah, it’s not much.
And there’s also iodine and other stuff that people like. Yeah, seaweed. We’re not eating much seaweed unless we like to patronize our local sushi joint every night. But yogurt is a source. Milk has some, we have some fortified foods that have it as well. I think bread sometimes, right?
Spencer: Yeah. Most, a lot of things have it. So it’s hard to, It’s hard to do it. Yeah. It’s about a half of a teaspoon.
Mike: So you have to have a pretty extreme, almost probably orthorexic type of diet to not get enough iodine, I’m assuming.
Spencer: Yeah. And again, I see it from time to time and it’s Ooh, that’s interesting. Cuz they’re avoiding a pretty long list of foods when you don’t need that much, I’m guessing.
Mike: Then these are people who aren’t eating very many calories and I guess only eating a few foods, so that’s another good thing.
Spencer: It’s a lot of times in my bikini prepp. Patients, not guys it’s women.
Mike: So they’re already on like poverty calories.
Spencer: Yeah. So they’re not eating much. They’re not eating I salt.
And so yeah, that’s where you can potentially see that. And then you gotta mix in the fact that they’re in an energy deficit, which can also have an effect on your thyroid levels as well. So yeah,
Mike: I mean if you cut for long enough, you’ve basically described like hypothyroidism. You’ve described what it feels like after you’ve been in a deficit.
That would probably take quite a bit that’d be, if you’re like a natural bodybuilder, you’ve definitely experienced that. Yep.
Spencer: You see it in, in natural body builders, you see it. I see it in a few patients who’ve lost like over a hundred hundred 50 pounds and their levels are low. That’s from the metabolic adaptations that can occur.
But it’s certainly not common. But yeah, you’d have to, you certainly have to avoid a lot of food or just not eat much of it to not get it.
Mike: And as far as supporting. Natural. Function and supporting your thyroid health naturally. Anything else to add there? There’s the iodine. Is there anything else in the way of certain foods or supplements if you’re not, if you’re not getting enough of certain micronutrients in your diet, probably also should throw out to you.
Spencer: Sorry to keep on going, but the, I get asked about carbs as well. Some people say, Oh, a low carb diet is the way to go cuz carbs interfere with your thyroid function. Yeah, so carbohydrates in general, So generally actually higher carbohydrate diet may actually help with conversion of the T4 to t3.
You see this kind of lower T3 levels in those on lower carb diets, which is interesting whether they truly. Whether it’s truly pathologic is hard to say cuz a lot of these people feel great on lower carbs. But I tend to not put my hypothyroid patients or questionable hypothyroid patients on low carb diets.
Of course if they’re taking whopping doses of T3 in their natural desiccated thyroid, it probably doesn’t matter cuz then you’re just getting it anyway. You don’t worry about your own production of it, but these other natural supporting, you gotta be careful about supplementing with too much iodine.
Like I would just eat normal stuff, just have a little bit of iodine salt. Don’t supplement with iodine as your iodine deficient and don’t do it unless you’re under the care of a doctor, because then you can see there may be some risks with it. Having excess iodine and autoimmune issues with your thyroid as well, don’t even mess with it.
There are other supplements that you can take that says thyroid support, and a lot of these have like unregulated desiccated thyroid glands
Mike: in them. That reminds me of quote unquote natural testosterone boosters. A lot of ’em out there spiked with low doses of pro hormones. That’s fairly common, for example.
Spencer: That sounds about right. That’s actually hilarious. And that would be a good podcast to do. I’m sure you’ve done some, but yeah, so don’t mess around with these thyroid supplements. There are some case studies showing like, Oh wow, in this sub, this one batch, you. Whopping doses of it. And this other one, there wasn’t much.
Mike: So like you don’t know what you’re getting when these people put these together, just stay away from it. Which by the way, as far as testosterone boosters go, what I was just talking about, people listening, the strategy, what I’ve seen is to do a number of runs with the pro hormone to get word of mouth, because people, Yeah, you put enough of the right drug in these products and people are going to notice a difference.
And so what you do is you generate hype and word of mouth where people, people, guys are in the gym working out together, Hey, I started taking this supplement and I definitely notice a difference. And then you continue producing the product, but you leave the drug out and ride the wave that you’ve created.
And you’re hoping that people just due to the placebo effect alone will be like, Oh yeah, it’s working. But then if the FDA ever comes around, you can’t be busted because the bottles that were spiked are long gone and. The world
Spencer: of supplementary. That’s why they need to stick with a respectable brand such as Legion, right?
Mike: I was gonna say, your checks in the mail, man. Come on, ?
Spencer: No. I am an advisor so that is a conflict of interest, but I am an advisor cuz I do know you guys do a good job with your stuff. So Yeah. And don’t mess around with thyroid supplements. Get tested. Done. And if you want to, we can talk about testing right now.
You generally start with a thyroid stimulating hormone. There are a lot of people on the internet that go look, that’s not enough. Your thyroid stimulating hormone can be in the normal range, but you can have hypothyroidism and that’s, that, that’s true, that can happen. But it’s generally what’s called a subclinical hypothyroidism, where your actual thyroid hormone levels are normal.
Maybe in the low normal range, but your tsh, the thyroid stimulating hormone starts increasing. So the way you read your labs or thyroid stimulating hormone starts going up basically cuz it’s trying to yell at your thyroid to work. So it starts going up a little bit and you’re maintaining a normal thyroid level.
There becomes a point where thyroid stimulating is going up and up, and then your thyroid just can’t keep up with it. And then your free T4 levels become abnormally low and that’s where you start when the doctor puts you on thyroid medicine. Whether you should check everybody’s antibodies. It’s hard to say I tend to do it.
It’s not, this isn’t standard of practice. I tend to, because I get a lot of patients that are dieting hard, I wanna make sure that they have Hashimotos. Cause I just see this so often. They’re just dieting so much and they’re just not eating much. And there’s thyroid looks like it’s teetering on that hypothyroid level.
And I wanna confirm that they actually have Hashimotos. In fact, most of the patients that come to me for hypothyroidism, it’s just because they’re dieting so much. It’s really interesting. That wasn’t the way when I was in a regular clinic. Now that I’m on the internet and kind of the social media guru guy, it’s a selection ologist.
Yeah. But I’m a neologist. People come to me for the memes and the hormones so I get more of these dieters. But in the regular clinic, when a few years back most people it was Hashimoto. Clear cut. Yeah. So you check the thyroid and stimulating hormone starts going up. You check the free T4 levels.
People wonder what about the free T3 levels? That’s the active hormone. So that’s the most important. While they’re not as stable as the TSH and the free T4 levels, and so it also doesn’t tell you at a cellular level what’s going on. Who cares what’s in your serum it. What we really care is at a cellular level, so free T three levels probably not as indicative of thyroid status as TSH and free t4.
You’ll get a lot of pushback. I get pushback on that. It’s whatever. Here’s a free t3. Level two. What it’s most important is looking at your symptoms along with the levels too. You don’t just go, Oh, your levels look like this. Your normal, you’re not normal. You really just take everything to account.
Mike: So it’s similar to testosterone in men, right?
Spencer: Same thing as testosterone, so the one thing is their patients with, clearly their TSH is one or one and a half or even two, and their free T4 levels are, it’s. Stark normal. And the free T3 levels may be a little bit low and the doctor goes, You need to go on thyroid hormone.
So why are they putting ’em on thyroid hormone? This is malpractice. What I would say, and I see it all the time cause they charge cash. And you keep going back and you feel like you did something for someone. And I don’t really know why. It’s either they don’t know what they’re doing or they’re just, some people just don’t care.
I, it’s hard to know. I’m not sure. I’m not sure what it is. It’s really weird. I’d like to sit some people down, but these people don’t have hypothyroidism. If that’s the case, so this is what, my brother’s an endocrinologist. I almost did endocrinology, but I’m really into thyroid. Thyroid cuz of my own thyroid levels.
If this is the case, if your TSH is one and a half and your free T4 levels are, even if they’re low normal and someone says you have hypothyroidism, what they’re telling you then is that your pituitary gland isn’t working. Cuz your TSH should be increasing as your thyroid levels go down. If it’s not, then there’s something wrong at the level of your brain.
So I see this a lot oh your TSH is stark normal. It’s not even at the high level, like high normal, like fourth You. Three and a half, four range and higher. It’s one or two. These people will diagnose ’em with hypothyroidism, which they never had is probably cuz they were dieting and their thyroid levels were a little bit off and really they just needed to stop dieting or it was something else was causing their symptoms.
Mike: Of course you could always check the antibodies, look at their diet if you really need to make sure they’re eating io. But that’s another common thing I see, which I think is important for other people who are listening to know how long. Just for anybody wondering, are we talking about with dieting to where you can start seeing these kinds of effects?
Spencer: Just for people wondering I’ve been in a deficit for two months. Am I gonna mess my thyroid up?
Mike: And tends to be these chronic dieters, so physi competitors, these people that do multiple contests per year. And it’s long cuts.
Spencer: Long. And they don’t even take much of a diet break and they just keep going.
Mike: And it’s and often they try to stay really lean, just generally, right?
Spencer: Yeah. They don’t ever stick to their maintenance level for three to six months at a time. It’s like, all right, contest prep time. And they’re just always dieting and they’re always trying to stay lean and we all wanna stay as lean as possible, but we have different thresholds.
Some people can stay leaner, unfortunately, or fortunately for them, Unfortunately, for other people who can’t, Some people try to get leaner and try to stick there. Their body fights them. And again, one of the ways that fights you is their, you maybe have. Decrease thyroid production.
Mike: And just to put numbers on it, this is what I’ve seen if we’re talking about the symptoms of it, but I’d be curious how it squares up with everything we’re talking about here.
Most guys can’t maintain much under 10%, maybe nine, maybe eight, but we’re talking about in that range. They can’t be much leaner than that for a long period without starting to really notice negative side effects. And for most women, it’s probably the range of, I don’t know, 17, 18 to 20% or so.
Spencer: Yeah, I see that. And then you do it for. Whether it’s months out of the year, they’re Sure.
Mike: Yeah. Sure you could do it for a month. I’ve done it myself and I generally don’t have, and it’s always been this way for whatever reason I generally didn’t have many and don’t have many body problems, quote unquote, but I noticed it the last time that I was, it was years ago and I had gotten really lean for a photo shoot, probably a legitimate, I don’t know, 7% and stayed there for a bit and the side effects weren’t too severe.
But I did notice some of the things that you were talking about and the only solution was gaining some body fat back. It wasn’t that I could play around with all my energy flux and it’d just be more active so I can eat more food and then I can overcome it. Nope. I just had to be a little bit fatter, period.
Spencer: Yeah, I know. It’s frustrating. And the other thing I wanna make sure people know, if you have like obesity, a lot of weight to lose this isn’t necessarily what happens to you unless you have tons of weight to lose and you. But it’s more of these people that are relatively lean, just like you said, that 10% or so for men who wanna just stay leaner all year long and are continually dieting and the women, the 15 to 18% and just want to continue to stay there and just continually diet it’s more for them.
It’s not for those who have 20, 30, 40, or more pounds to lose. You can go for six months at a time. I tend to go for three months at a time, take a diet break, three months at a time. If you go six months at a time, even for a slower cut for if you have a lot of weight to lose, it’s not gonna be an issue for you.
Mike: It’s more of these other people. Yeah, that’s a good point. And as for any other ways to naturally support our thyroid function, I’m guessing beyond that it’s just healthy living. It’s what? Exercising and getting enough sleep and is stress much of a factor. If you have very high stress levels, can that negatively impact thyroid?
Spencer: Yeah, there can be some slight changes, but that, yeah, it’s hard to then go, All right, is it the thyroid or is it the stress that’s causing your symptoms? So if there are thyroid changes in levels really it’s. Underlying issue.
Mike: You start, you’re probably not gonna be sleeping very well if you’re very stressed.
Spencer: Yeah, so exactly. So it’s it’s the same thing when you see, when people talk about they have like adrenal fatigue and that’s a whole nother podcast.
Mike: That’d be a good one. That should be our next one actually.
Spencer: We get my brother on here. We could riff off and talk about adrenal function and everything.
But, adrenal fatigues is a made up condition and really you do see adrenal function change when you have all sorts of lifestyle issues. Stress, not sleeping certain diets, but is it the cortisol differences in your body that are causing the symptoms? Or is it because of all your stress and issues?
So same thing with the thyroid being off like that, but definitely, if you have antibodies, your TSH is going up a little bit, your three T4 levels are going down, time to discuss taking medicine. Obviously you can try those autoimmune protocols if you want. I don’t think it’s harmful necessarily, other than the harm would be restricting yourself when you didn’t have to.
So that’s always the harm getting into a mode of Restriction in a certain dietary pattern that’s not sustainable.
Mike: That’s really it. Makes sense. And final question is, how do you create your memes, man, for people who wanna learn the ways of the meme doctor, what tips do you have?
Spencer: There’s lots of memes out there. So usually there’s meme templates. Someone does it first based on a certain picture, and then what happens? You see these kind of templates circulate. And what I try to do is go, Okay, this would work extremely well for this situation. And, I’m all fitness and health, so I tend to go, if it’s like detox or whatever, versus.
Science based diet. So usually people listen to the, they wanna do the detox, they jump at the detox, whatever, and they don’t really want listen to the science based person. So anything like that. If I have a, like a list of like 10 topics that I talk about, core deficit, multilevel marketing product that I just, I love giving them crap.
And some, I just posted one today about that and it’s just something I, I post about every few weeks cause it’s just, what was today’s? It was like, be careful when you go out this summer, recognize the signs of different snakes. It shows three different types of snakes and then the last box or one of the boxes is, hey, it’s a text message.
Hey, do you wanna learn how to make 2000 extra dollars a. Owning your own supplement business, . And then I basically I like that wording. Owning, huh? Yeah, so it’s because they say all the same things, so they’re Ana, I’m basically calling a snake and then I talk about MLM anyway, so you find these memes and then sometimes if, once you get really good and this is where I started getting into, is there are times where I find instances where some news event and you take a screenshot of that and go, when such and such or whatever, right?
So that’s the, whether it’s politics, although people get really mad when I do, even if I’m not talking about politics. It’s if I include Donald Trump,
Mike: Oh yeah. No you can’t say, you can’t say, you shall not be named, You can’t say that.
Spencer: I can’t like, and I’ll say this isn’t about politics. It’s literally just showing a funny. Picture of something.
Mike: I don’t get much in the way of hate mail or dms or anything, but if I do, it is always about some sort of jab I made about something related to the culture or to the political situation.
Spencer: Yeah. That’s what people get really upset when I allude to.
Mike: Anything political, because honestly, if you, Which is strange, I don’t, I actually wonder, I would be interested to educate myself a little bit on why that is. I’m assuming it’s, I guess for some people they’ve wrapped up their identity heavily, I guess in, in a political party or a movement or something.
Yeah. Yeah. So they, what they say like they feel personally attacked,
Spencer: which is odd for nutrition and health advice. I don’t want to learn, I don’t wanna hear anything about your political, I’m like, look, I didn’t even say anything political. It was just a funny picture or something. Talked about Donald Trump’s weight cuz that was a topic.
Mike: Everything related to him is a topic.
Spencer: But Pelo made a comment that he’s morbidly obese. And I said oh, I remember seeing this. Yeah. I said, Look, I wanna use this as a educational time. I go based on. His physical. The only data we have, I’m pretty good at guesstimating how much people weigh based.
If I know how tall they are, I can look at them. Or if I see ’em in person, I’m really good at guessing. I wrestled. I’m very good at just cause I’ve everybody from different weight classes all the way up. I know how much each of these people weigh, so I’m pretty good at guessing. And based on Donald Trump’s physical, he had what’s called a class one obesity.
And so the old term for. The old term for class, what’s now known as class three, obesity is morbid obesity. And we don’t use that term as much anymore medically, if you’re in the obesity world and everything’s gonna change. And so I just try to use it as a teaching time to go look, hey, we don’t use this term morbid obesity anymore.
It would be class three obesity. And you know what? Based on the past physical, he wouldn’t even have met the criteria anyway. So here’s the different classes of obesity. Just try to understand this terminology. Man. People got so upset. They’re like, You can’t be a doctor because he’s clearly morbidly obese.
And I said it turns out I’m an obesity specialist. I also wrestled, I deal with guessing. I see people’s weights all the time, not even just as a doctor, but through wrestling and based on his. He would have to be, he would have to have been 320 pounds to have class three obesity, which is the old term for, or the new term for morbid obesity.
Mike: And so I was like, Look, I don’t think that is, but that’s not really the point here. The point was, I’m just, which you look at a one look at him, you’re like, Yeah no, he is not 300 plus pounds.
Spencer: He’s just not, Oh, anyway, so people got upset. I was like, That’s not what The point was to teach the terminology, but also I don’t think, whatever.
This was my opinion. I don’t think Nancy Pelosi should have said that because in a way it’s, it was a zinger. And I know people liked it cuz if they don’t like Donald Trump they like it when people zing him. And I’m just like, Look, I’m not gonna get into the. Politics of this, but honestly from an obesity specialist standpoint, we try to take away the stigma of obesity going, Oh, you’re morbidly obese.
Mike: Yeah. It’s the connotation of the word morbid, right?
Spencer: Yes. As if it’s, So we’re trying to get away from that cuz morbid just means as if it’s like grotesque. Yes. Exactly. So that’s one of the reasons we’re getting away from that. It used to be, it technically was a term, so it was, But then when she said it was I don’t, unless she has information that we don’t have, and she knows that the physical was li, it was a lie.
Which, what are we gonna do? We had the data, we have, here’s what it said. And here’s technically where he would be based on the data. And people just lost their minds. They’re like, You’re an idiot. You’re not a good doctor. Because clearly he’s morely obese. And I said I don’t use that term anymore.
It’s class three. And if you were class three, he would have to be based on his height. If you look at a BMI chart, you can do the calculations yourself. You’d have to be 300 plus pounds. I go, I don’t think he is, but whatever. That wasn’t the point I’m trying to give, whatever. Racist. Yeah. Basically it was, people were mad.
I was like, look, I’m just trying to educate here. It’s, It was just because there are political figures in, it wasn’t meant to be like a, It wasn’t meant to be like political. Yeah.
Mike: And some people, they get to a state as far as politics go, and usually extends to other aspects of the culture and obviously religion, where facts don’t matter.
They just. Matter, No amount of facts will ever change their mind. And I don’t know, Have you ever seen that video? It’s been on the internet for a while, although now it, it’s making the rounds again, just given the current situation of the, I forget his name cuz it’s a hard to pronounce Russian name, but he was a defector from the kgb and it was an interview with him talking about what the Soviets were trying to do in America.
And he breaks down a. A process whereby you basically demoralize and indoctrinate people to accept whatever you want them to accept and bring them to this point where they’ve lost all capability of critical thinking. No amount of facts will ever change their mind. They are just died in the wool. And he was talking about this in the context of communism.
But if you haven’t seen that video, anybody listening, it’s an interesting, if you just Google, I’m sure KGB Defector video, you’ll find it. It’s an interesting interview. Whether that’s what is still happening now, that was some time ago. Who knows? But we definitely see something that mirrors the condition that he was talking about that the Soviet propaganda machine was intending to create in people.
Yeah. Amazing. Yeah. Yeah, it’s interesting. But that last question was just for fun, but , I figured I’d throw it in there because that’s your Instagram count, right? Which people can go find you at. What’s your handle again?
Spencer: Is it, I wanted to be at Dr. Spencer, but someone took that, I don’t know who they are, but at Dr. Naski, D r n a D o l s K y, so the other things, we have these hypothyroidism diet templates that we made with my website, RP Health, my sister business with renaissance periodization. And so that, there were a bunch of people actually like doctors that were like, You can’t have a diet for hypothyroidism.
Look. All I did was changed some of the macronutrients and calories down a little bit to make up for some of the metabolic rate differences that you see in some of these individuals who struggle with diet. So if you wanna check those out, obviously go to rp. Dot com.
Mike: Cool. And then is there anything else you want people to know about in terms of upcoming projects or you also, you’re doing telemedicine, right?
Spencer: But I think you’re fully booked, but might as well just let yeah, fully booked. Sorry. But I am starting a YouTube channel. I’ll probably have a hypothyroidism video. I might do it next week, but the, basically summing up what we’ve talked about today. But yeah, if you wanna check out my YouTube, just Dr. Spencer Alki I don’t have much there. It’s, I just hired a videographer, so maybe it’ll grow quickly.
Mike: It’ll be easy cuz you’re talking about stuff you know about and you just sit in front of the camera and do exactly what we did here And help spread the good words. Spread good information.
Cool man. Thanks as always for taking the time. I appreciate it and I think we should do adrenal fatigue as the next one. I think that would be, it’s something that, oh, I might have written a little bit about it some time ago, but it was basic and I haven’t spoken about it or written about it, I think since.
Spencer: So yeah, we could totally do that. Awesome.
Mike: I look forward to it. Sounds good, buddy. All right. That’s it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed it and found it interesting and helpful. And if you did, and you don’t mind doing me a favor, please do leave a quick review on iTunes or. Wherever you’re listening to me from, in whichever app you’re listening to me in, because that not only convinces people that they should check out the show, it also increases search visibility.
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