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Old 04-14-2006, 11:59 AM   #1
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Building muscle after age 60?

My husband, who is a youthful 70, tells me that he understands a person can't build muscle after age 60. have a lot of books but none of them address this issue. Can anyone help with this? If one can't build muscle, I KNOW there are lots of other benefits, but I'd like to substantiate this claim. I am 65 and I am working out and gradually lowering body fat. So that means I'm building muscle, right? Thanks for any help. Lynn in NM
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:38 PM   #2
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You can build muscle at any age. It just takes a little longer as we age.
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Old 04-14-2006, 01:08 PM   #3
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You can ALWAYS strengthen your muscles! It may be a slower process but reassure your husband that he can still do it!
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Old 04-14-2006, 06:57 PM   #4
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You can't build more BONE after about age 35, but you can definitely build muscle. Besides, even if you just maintain what muscle you have it will help you to stay independent as you get older, which is very important. I've heard that many people end up in nursing homes simply because they can no longer carry their groceries into the house by themselves or get up and down out of chairs, etc.
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Old 04-15-2006, 07:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelnm
My husband, who is a youthful 70, tells me that he understands a person can't build muscle after age 60. have a lot of books but none of them address this issue. Can anyone help with this? If one can't build muscle, I KNOW there are lots of other benefits, but I'd like to substantiate this claim. I am 65 and I am working out and gradually lowering body fat. So that means I'm building muscle, right? Thanks for any help. Lynn in NM
, Lynn. That is positively not true about not being able to build muscle/strength after a certain age. I know of a guy who the doctors said it couldn't be done and well, guess what? He did it to his doctors amazement!

And there is this man at my gym who works out regularly and is 79 years old. His objective isn't bulk but just to maintain what he has. It has kept him from being a couch potato and wasting away to nothing. I am SO proud of him!

You can also build bone density with a good weight workout. They even tell people who are in the beginning stages of osteoporosis to start a weight lifting program to help with this. It's great how that works out, huh?

I would like to ask you if you took measurements (specifically hip and abs) during your drop in body fat. If you have, could you please PM me your beginning and current measurement? I might be able to answer another one of your questions with this information.

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Old 04-15-2006, 05:28 PM   #6
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You'd LOVE the ebook 'Fit Over 40'. It has life stories of people all the way into their 80's who didn't start bodybuilding until they were well past 70 years old. I have to say though that many doctors will tell MEN that they won't be able to build muscle because their testosterone declines after a certain age.

I agree with Kajun..it DOES take a bit longer and you have to be super clean with diet and place your carbs around your workouts and all. I'm 'only' 51 but have been told for the past few years that I would "NEVER" be able to build ANY muscle being that I'm disabled. It's poppycock...don't let anyone tell you stuff like that...without going ahead and doing it first. Best of luck to you AND your NEW muscles!

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Old 04-17-2006, 08:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliaL
You can't build more BONE after about age 35.
You are constantly breaking down and rebuilding your bones all the time so this statement is not entirely accurate.
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Old 04-18-2006, 01:53 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info

Thanks to all of you who replied. I will look for Fit Over 40. I don't have my before measurements, but I was at 165 (5'9"), two months ago, and in a size 16. I am now 149 and in a size 12. Still struggling with belly fat and know I need more cardio. I work out usually 3 times a week in the gym, with a half hour of treadmill, half hour of weight training, and on Saturday, add a Pilates class. Wish they had Pilates every day. I also hike and walk dogs during the week. Lynn in NM
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Old 04-19-2006, 01:01 PM   #9
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what diet plan are you following. One doesnt necessarily need more cardio. you might need to tweak your nutrition.
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Old 04-20-2006, 02:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelnm
Thanks to all of you who replied. I will look for Fit Over 40. I don't have my before measurements, but I was at 165 (5'9"), two months ago, and in a size 16. I am now 149 and in a size 12. Still struggling with belly fat and know I need more cardio. I work out usually 3 times a week in the gym, with a half hour of treadmill, half hour of weight training, and on Saturday, add a Pilates class. Wish they had Pilates every day. I also hike and walk dogs during the week. Lynn in NM
Too bad about the measurements. Here are some online body fat calculators if you're interested:

Healthcentral
Fitness Trainers
BioFitness
Body Tracker
Navy Circumference Method

The belly fat is really stubborn, isn't it. I read somewhere that the older us women get, the more belly fat we get. But I've seen pictures of older women who body sculpt and I don't see any belly fat on them. Granted, their body fat levels are lower than the average women in their age bracket, but they also have a bit more muscle as well. So I'd say it's more a matter of nutrition and body fat percentage that will keep the poochie at bay.
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Old 04-20-2006, 02:55 PM   #11
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I like this one, it is a 7 pt site which is more accurate.

http://www.linear-software.com/online.html
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Old 04-20-2006, 07:43 PM   #12
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For all you doubters out there, my father
is a great example. He is 85 yrs old and
only started in the gym after his first triple
bypass. He does 1/2 hour of cardio and 1/2
hour of weight training 3 times a week and
is in amazing shape for 85.

I am the fittest I have ever been in my life
and I only do cardio. My legs are strong and
I have lean muscle mass throughout, but I
am not into weight lifting right now. Maybe
someday, but I would rather ride my bike
for an hour or two, OR all day than to spend
time hanging with gym rats. No offense
intended INATIC! (You are an amazing gal.)

Even my mother who is 85 and has had a
couple of mild strokes and several surgeries
does CURVES for 45 minutes 3 x a week.

Exercise is a crucial part of my recovery
from FLABITIS!
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Old 04-21-2006, 10:46 PM   #13
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Bull hockey.

I've heard that excuse used by people in their late twenties! "Working out after you're 25 won't accomplish anything." It's a lame excuse that some people use because they don't want to exercise, and unfortunately, some other people (your husband, perhaps?) hear them say it and believe it's true!
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Old 04-22-2006, 01:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LC Lynn
Bull hockey.

I've heard that excuse used by people in their late twenties! "Working out after you're 25 won't accomplish anything." It's a lame excuse that some people use because they don't want to exercise, and unfortunately, some other people (your husband, perhaps?) hear them say it and believe it's true!
I couldn't have put it better myself! My husband is 63 and he's leaner, fitter, stronger and more muscular than he's ever been in his life. We've just returned from a hiking holiday in the Snowy Mountains and he kept complaining that it wasn't challenging enough.
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Old 04-23-2006, 06:53 AM   #15
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Old 04-23-2006, 08:15 AM   #16
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Nedgoudy: you and your family is proof positive that you CAN get and stay in great shape!

My DH who is rapidly approaching his 60th b'day, started tweaking his nutrition and began working out. He's dumped 42 lbs. since Oct 1 of 2005 and his physique looks amazing! I can tell you that since I've known him, "he ain't never looked that good!"

So Lynn, I guess the concensus here is that ANYONE can build the body they want regardless of their age. Perhaps the REAL question has always been "how hard do you want to work to get it?"
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Old 04-23-2006, 10:59 AM   #17
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So Lynn, I guess the concensus here is that ANYONE can build the body they want regardless of their age. Perhaps the REAL question has always been "how hard do you want to work to get it?"
Yep, that's the whole point. What are people willing to sacrifice in order to get what they want? Most people today aren't willing to sacrifice much, so they work hard for a little while and then stop. They aren't willing to work hard on a consistent basis; it's too much of a sacrifice.
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Old 04-23-2006, 06:49 PM   #18
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You are constantly breaking down and rebuilding your bones all the time so this statement is not entirely accurate.
Kajun - this is from the Mayo Clinic website, and it matches what my doctor told me when I was diagnosed with osteopenia:

Quote:
A full cycle of bone remodeling takes about two to three months. When you're young, your body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone, and your bone mass increases. A full cycle of bone remodeling takes about two to three months. You reach your peak bone mass in your mid-30s. After that, bone remodeling continues, but you lose slightly more than you gain.
So I guess as you get older you replace bone in the bone remodeling process but you don't build mass.

Last edited by JuliaL; 04-23-2006 at 06:50 PM..
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Old 05-20-2006, 05:46 PM   #19
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I feel that muscle is far more difficult to come by after 60. For me I think it is STILL possible to gain a few ounces of muscle with murderously hard resistance excercise. The more likely situation is maintenance of the muscle mass that I had.
There is a definite hormonal and DNA clock driven set of mechanism that make gaining of muscle mass impossible after a certain point. I have worked out all my life and know that things get vastly different decade by decade.

A LOGICAL approach would be to structure some sort of regimen of steroidal anabolics to replace what nature is taking away year by year but that flies in the face of a blue-nosed society who feels that, while face-lifts, boob-jobs, eyelifts and surgical intervention is fine, but hormonal intervention for "looks" is verboten. There is one exception: HRT for women, but nothing like testosterone for men or human growth hormone for either...unless you happen to be the governor of California , or are dying of wasting cachexia or AIDS!
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Old 05-21-2006, 05:40 AM   #20
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Well Roger, I don't know if it's living where ya do, (New Jersey is one of the 'barren of good replacment and thyroid doctors), but I do believe it's not JUST anabolic steroids OR 'only HRT for women'...but my doctor replaces hormones in both men and women and was one of the first to do so with 60+ aged men who lift (and build muscle). I do believe your T3 has much to do with it also (yep, he replaces that when needed, too). Um, no, I'm not married to the governor of California, and if you want to see great muscle to reward your efforts, you may want to hunt down a doctor who replaces T4, T3, testosterone and throw away that notion of anabolic steroids.

I do believe it's much easier to build and sustain muscle in males over 60 when their thyroid function is replaced along with testosterone. I see patients coming in to see MY doctor from all over.

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Old 05-21-2006, 09:02 AM   #21
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Thanks pam.

I've considered looking for some doctor who will work with me in keeping and even GAINING muscle mass throughout my 60's. I VERY much consider testosterone an anabolic hormone, perhaps THE anabolic hormone with a rival in human growth hormone.

Alas, when compared to the "averages," my levels of TSH, T3, T4 and testosteone are smack dab in the middle so most doctors would attribute my desire to enhance any of them medically as VANITY and roll there eyes... I say so what, who wants to be "average." The average person my age looks like Hell and I don't want to, average saggy boobs and glutes, overhanging belly and spindly thighs don't strike me as desireable at ANY age. I don't want to look into a mirror and see a lollipop, next year, or at 70 or even 80 if there is any way to avoid it.



The government doesn't help when it makes the most effective of these anabolics "controlled" substances and threatens both doctors and patients with jail time if they use them for anything other than treatment for the most dire illnesses...or for hitting 90 home runs a season.

Last edited by zip2play; 05-21-2006 at 09:03 AM..
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Old 05-21-2006, 10:03 AM   #22
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If you'd like the names of a couple of different docs, and are wiling to travel, let me know. There's no 'jail time' for giving bio identical testosterone NOR is there for 'optimizing' a person's thyroid levels (mine must be brought up to HIGH in range with FT3, and about midway for FT4, and my TSH runs about .034..I'm 'normal for me', lol).

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Old 05-21-2006, 07:37 PM   #23
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Roger, my husband is only 45 but his testosterone levels were almost off the low end of the chart. I hadly think of him using T cream as taking advantage and juicing when his body wasnt producing the natural amt a man his age should have. At 45, prior to treatment, he felt like he was an old man. It's given him back much energy and stamina, that he'd thought was gone forever.

Some docs should be locked up for denying patients the very use of the hormones that freely run through everyone else body and theirs! Why do they get to play god?
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Old 05-21-2006, 09:16 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstickpam107
If you'd like the names of a couple of different docs, and are wiling to travel, let me know. There's no 'jail time' for giving bio identical testosterone NOR is there for 'optimizing' a person's thyroid levels (mine must be brought up to HIGH in range with FT3, and about midway for FT4, and my TSH runs about .034..I'm 'normal for me', lol).

Pam
Pam,

While I am trim and fit and
have found a healthy diet;

I always had hoped that I
could find a Doctor that would
give me about a quarter grain
of Thryoid a day.

By what you said above, are
you saying that Drs. are FREE
by law to give Thryoid pills to
anyone that wants em.

I have begged my doctor for
3 years but he wouldn't do it
because my tests didn't show
I needed it. Hmmmmm...

Last edited by nedgoudy; 05-21-2006 at 09:17 PM..
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Old 05-22-2006, 05:19 AM   #25
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No, Ned, that's not what I'm saying, and that's quite the 'twist' on words. I am saying that doctors who do thyroid replacment KNOW that the testing can be interpreted several different ways. MOST docs ONLY do a TSH (which tests your pituitary, BTW), most docs do a Total T4 (should be Free T4 for accuracy), and most NEVER do a T3 test (so, if you're looking at a copy of your thyroid tests and see a T3 Uptake..you been 'had'...cuz that's a test of binding T4). The TSH test was 'devised' by a MAN and tested on young MEN (12 of them, congrats, your thyroid is being rated against 12 healthy men).

If you HAVE Free T4 and Free T3 results, along with a higher estradiol for males, and low FREE testosterone for males, you may have sub par thyroid output and may need treated. I'm saying there's MORE doctors that aren't treating thyroid because they don't know WHICH tests are appropriate or how to interpret them then there's ones that do. You happen to have one like that if your FT's were in bottom of range.

There is also symptomology that goes along WITH the tests of course for every medical condition. If you have a low temperature, aches, pains, joint problems, fatigue throughout the day and aren't making ANY muscle after eating well and lifting/strength exercises and don't see any improvement, have a higher bodyfat% than most your age, etc. etc. then the thyroid should be investigated.

But, if you keep begging the same doctor, who isn't taking the proper testing, than that certainly doesn't 'morph' into 'doctors allowed to give thyroid pills to anyone'. Low thyroid will keep you from gaining muscle in people above the age of 55 and (this from the 'horses mouth' an bio identical hormone specialist) "If you're going to call proper amounts of testosterone 'anabolic steroids' than you need to do your research".

We've all met the doctor who is a one trick pony. My husband was replaced with thyroid (it was very low and his adrenals were suffering, he'd lost a LOT of muscle in a very short time, and had two MD's telling him that it was 'dangerous' to replace..um...no, not anymore dangerous than his heart arrythmias from the heightened estradiol and lowered testosterone in his body).

So, Ned, look at your Free T4 and Free T3...where is it in range? Cuz almost all 'normal' men test about midway to 3/4 of range in FT4, and midway at LEAST in FT3. My thyroid replacement is keeping me alive (especially with all the other autoimmune disease I have...). Only...a 1/4 GRAIN of Armour wouldn't do ANYTHING for anyone who weighs much over 100 pounds. You're talking about 9mcg. T4 and 1.25mg. T3...um, your own thyroid makes like 12 times that on any given day if working properly.

Pam

Last edited by nonstickpam107; 05-22-2006 at 05:33 AM..
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Old 05-22-2006, 06:48 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zip2play
I feel that muscle is far more difficult to come by after 60. For me I think it is STILL possible to gain a few ounces of muscle with murderously hard resistance excercise. The more likely situation is maintenance of the muscle mass that I had.
There is a definite hormonal and DNA clock driven set of mechanism that make gaining of muscle mass impossible after a certain point. I have worked out all my life and know that things get vastly different decade by decade.

A LOGICAL approach would be to structure some sort of regimen of steroidal anabolics to replace what nature is taking away year by year but that flies in the face of a blue-nosed society who feels that, while face-lifts, boob-jobs, eyelifts and surgical intervention is fine, but hormonal intervention for "looks" is verboten. There is one exception: HRT for women, but nothing like testosterone for men or human growth hormone for either...unless you happen to be the governor of California , or are dying of wasting cachexia or AIDS!
perhaps you should do a bit of research on growth hormone (gH)
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Old 05-22-2006, 06:49 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstickpam107
So, Ned, look at your Free T4 and Free T3...where is it in range? Cuz almost all 'normal' men test about midway to 3/4 of range in FT4, and midway at LEAST in FT3. My thyroid replacement is keeping me alive (especially with all the other autoimmune disease I have...). Only...a 1/4 GRAIN of Armour wouldn't do ANYTHING for anyone who weighs much over 100 pounds. You're talking about 9mcg. T4 and 1.25mg. T3...um, your own thyroid makes like 12 times that on any given day if working properly.

Pam
Thanks Pam for this...

The only thing I know about Thyroid
is that a woman I knew about 25 yrs.
ago was lean and fit and she took it
when you had to go to a Dr.
that believed in using it to get it.

I don't think she was necessarily
deficient in Thyroid but it worked
to keep her thin and she ate what
she wanted, responsibly. She also
had her two young daughters on
it - under 11 yrs the both of them.

That, and I was always having problems
staying thin until I was 50 when I
started living on Whey Protein powder.

I am lean and fit today (strong legs
for bike riding) but upper body I am
undeveloped and not into the idea of
pushing iron.

My sex drive is low since I stopped
taking DHEA a few years ago, and I
get aches and pains once in a while
but I figured that was old age.


My temperature usually DOES run about
1.5 degrees lower than it should be and
the details of my Thyroid tests are a
mystery to me. I guess I could read up
more and take the Dr. to task about it
but he made me feel I would risk a
heart attack if I took Thyroid and didn't
really need it.

I'd like to try a nice dose of the stuff
for a couple of weeks though to see
how it affected my Testosterone level
and my bike riding performance.


I am with an HMO and it would cost
too much money to see a Dr. Feelgood
on the side to get the stuff. But I'd sure
like to try it...

Last edited by nedgoudy; 05-22-2006 at 06:51 PM..
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Old 05-23-2006, 05:35 AM   #28
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Well, giving anyone thyroid to lose weight is against the law, and those docs that did it a long time ago gave all docs a bad name and is what kept me from getting NECESSARY treatment for 14 years. Two out of every 10 women suffer from Hashimoto's autoimmune hypothyroidism and it can lead to other autoimmune diseases (untreated or undertreated).

Yeah, the ol' 'it'll give ya a heart attack' is an old one, actually medical statistics point to low thyroid as the heart attack culprit (cuz it can raise ones cholesterol all on it's own, with the stupid docs handing out statins before they will give any thyroid).

That's too bad that you won't help your heart with resistance exercise, most cardiologists (mine included) are real sticklers on doing both resistance AND cardio nowadays. You'd definitely have to break out of HMO to get thyroid treatment whether you actually NEED it or not (cuz I know women with Hashimoto's and TSH's way above range whose docs in HMO's will not treat! and several who only give synthetic T4 and no T3).

I did not have a good time losing weight, and no one I know with thyroid disease loses weight on it...the bad doc's from long ago using massive dosages as diet pills gave people that impression. I must do not only cardio, but resistance exercise daily to maintain and also watch my macros and diet like a hawk. Thyroid hormone doesn't make us lose weight...it just evens the playing field to a normal human being. (And DHEA doesn't pull up testosterone levels very well...usually the 'real deal' is given...and not for libido either...for muscle and heart).

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Old 05-24-2006, 11:07 AM   #29
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Alas, I have no problem with thyroid and I appreciate it would be more of concern to women, who seem more concerned with weight and size gain and metabolism. I understand this concern.

I am over 60 and I have to watch the years go by with more and more muscle loss because of the timeclock built into my DNA. My family has the pattern of looking young and strong until 70, which I share, but the the Hit Schittes the Fan eventually ...and looking age 70 plays catch-up in the blink of an eye at age 70.

I work extraordinarily hard at keeping muscular but time is my enemy. Alas, thyroid enhancement won't help because I really metabolize foods well. But I need hormonal battling with the number on my birth certificate.

If I had a prescription pad, I'd be able to devise a program that would keep me muscular for years to come...but I don't. The inevitability of old age and muscle sag and loss causes me great mental torment...I don't want to become ugly!

Last edited by zip2play; 05-24-2006 at 11:08 AM..
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Old 05-24-2006, 12:50 PM   #30
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Well, the fact that more women have hypothyroidism has NOTHING to do with weight gain and metabolism. Surprise!! It's because of all the women who HAVE hypothyroidism, 98% of them have autoimmune Hashimoto's. And of the men who have hypothyroidism, 97% don't have it until after age 58, AND (surprise) it has little to do with weight gain and metabolism! It has to do with thyroid pulling DOWN testosterone and pulling UP estradiol in a man past the age of 60! Ah, so many of us are taught that thyroid just plays a metabolic role with weight...but that's not true.

My DH had clinical hypothyroidism diagnosed at age 51. We didn't really 'notice' it until his muscle started dwindling (surprise!). Then when the doc took his testosterone and free testosterone...it started to look like Syndrome X (Metabolic Syndrome, which involves ALL the hormones and thyroid in males over 55 yrs. old). His TSH was within normal parameters (although rather 'high' for a male at 3.45) and his FT4 wasn't too bad (almost midway of range) but his FT3 was miserable...sitting not even midway of range, his free testosterone was miserable also (he had muscle up till then...it started to really go away!). Then his Dad wsa dx'd with metabolic syndrome at age 68 (Now here's a man who worked out 6 days a week for YEARS) and was replaced with bio identical compounded testosterone and compounded, time released Armour Thyroid (when it's compounded like this, it doesn't bother the heart function).

So...men who have clinical hypothyroidism don't usually have a weight problem...they have a muscle weakness/fatigue and low testosterone problem. And low testosterone in a male affects the brain (like menopause and low hormones in women). It causes the slowing down of cognitive function, anxiety, depression and mood problems.

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