Hypoxia affects your thyroid?

Can My Altitude Machine Stimulate My Thyroid and Fix My Indigestion?

Several times per week, I now invest the time in using an “altitude machine”.

In the comfort of my office, this device intermittently simulates high altitude oxygen levels, then sea level altitude oxygen levels, while I sit calmly.

Why do I do this?

Several reasons – that I will share in this post, now and later.

At the forefront of my mind right now is something called “subclinical hypothyroidism”.  For several months I have been guinea-pigging to test the affect of altered metabolic rate (as measured by my morning body temperature) – on my energy levels and a mild digestion challenge at appears at night.

I have altered my diet significantly – and have put on approximately 3kg – mostly of fat.  My digestion has improve markedly, and my body temperature is up 1 degree Celsius (on average).  My energy levels are better – but not at the levels of 10 years ago – ok that would be miraculous.

Why am I messing with this rather than go to a medic and get prescribed an anti-indigestion medication?  Firstly because I espouse finding the causal processes that lead to an effect, rather than treating the effect.  So I literally have to eat my own cooking.

That has led me on an interesting (for me) ride through the systems that make up my body.  Why am I getting indigestion?  After a few different theories and tests – my best theory at this time is that my stomach is producing less acid than it used to.  This variation has led to the downstream theory that not only is my food not being digested as it ought – but that the changed pH now allows bacteria to live my small intestine that previously did not live there.

And they produce gas.  Lots of it.

After lots of testing – involving taking HCL with Pepsin – hydrochloric acid in a tablet you can swallow – you get it pharmacies over the counter.  It is a “digestive aid”.  Taking this product resulted in my digestion and symptoms being improved.  Good.

Now – why was my acid production dropping?  This turned into a rabbit hole of adventure.

After several theories tested and discarded, my current is that a reduced activity in my thyroid, directly alters a great many other systems – including acid production for digestion.

There are a great many other factors that can alter our digestion – including the simplest which is that NOT allowing our bodies to drop out of FLIGHT/FLIGHT/FREEZE mode before eating – is the equivalent of trying to have lunch while being chased by a tiger – in terms of hormones.  You may get the food into you – but you body will not deal with it very well.  Generating stomach acid while you are “in danger” is not a high priority for our bodies.  After a few years of such a habit we begin to see the manifestation of this habit.

Anyway back to the thyroid.  If you do a search on “subclinical hypothyroidism” you will find something like this from WebMD:

“No symptoms or mild symptoms of hypothyroidism. Examples are fatigue, cold intolerance, consistent weight gain, depression, or memory problems. A mildly high thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level. Some people with subclinical hypothyroidism may test positive for antithyroid antibodies.”

Fatigue, weight gain, depression?  That does NOT sound like “sub-clinical” does it?  And doctors do not even agree on whether or not they should  “treat” this effect.

So do YOU have any of the symptoms of this a little bit hypothyroidism?

What if just some that depression that is happening in the world is related to us feeling a bit “crap”, so our thinking changes, our actions change, and hey – we then feel down for several reasons, not just because our thyroid is a bit slow.

If you have been diagnosed with depression – take it very seriously and get help.  And just for interest – be sure you get your thyroid activity measured (esp TSH – google it!)
Just to get your attention on how even slightly hypothyroidism can make you miserable – symptoms can be hair loss, poor memory and concentration, constipation, dyspepsia (what I had), shortness of breath, feeling cold, fatigue, variable menses, poor hearing.
Not only that I further read on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothyroidism that something called “postpartum thyroiditis” happens in up to 5% of women after birth – starting with HYPER thyroidism, then becoming HYPO thyroid – which may last for life.  Is anyone else curious about whether this exists in postpartum depression?  Not only that – but hypothyroidism will also decrease your chance of becoming pregnant.
So – you get the idea.  The thyroid is a significant factor in feeling ok.
Well – better go and do some real work.  I will add more to this already long post about how I am testing my theory on metabolic rate at a later time.
What about the “Hypoxicator” machine?  When I use it – I feel better.  I feel happier, smarter and more focused.  Does it alter my thyroid activity?  More on that soon as well.  But here is a taster from a medical journal:
High-altitude effect in lowlanders
Variables Caucasoid Mongoloid Australoid
Memory (digit-symbol-test)/depression (beck-depression-inventory/hopelessness (beck-hopelessness-scale)/cortisol/TSH/respiratory-rate
Loneliness (UCLA-loneliness-scale)
Free-fatty-acid (mmol/l)
→-no change; ↑-increase; ↓-decrease.

Conclusions: Thyroid hormones and emotionality during high-altitude acclimatization are influenced by ethnicity, and social-isolation/fear-of-death influences freeT4.

This study is not ideal for what I want to know – but – if I read between the lines – as a “Caucasoid” – exposure and adaptation to altitude in this study increased T3, T4, and free T3 and very usefully heart rate.  That is a positive indication of two things.
First – altitude effects altered thryoid activity (increase), and second that “loneliness” was decreased – which is kinda/sorta what I feel after using my hypoxicator regularly.
Any lesson for business?  How about:  Ensure you look at the process that gives you the results if you want to change the results.   If you want to remove a “problem effect” – one method is to alter the environment so that the problem simply cannot come to exist.
More on this theoretical saga soon.
James Hooper
Townsville, Qld








About the Author Business Coach James Hooper

Townsville based James Hooper: The term "rainmaker" is becoming regularly used in business context as someone whose role is to 'make rain' or 'create growth' in your business. In some senses the term 'business coach' is limiting as it is primarily about optimizing the effectiveness of the owner/operator. Sometimes the leverage is in the business systems rather than in the operator - and focus on that produces the preferred outcomes. Business is a game, a puzzle, a tool to get you what you want in life. Call me for a second opinion (other than yours) on how to make your business give you what you want it to.

Leave a Comment: