A legendary soccer player with hypothyroid who was forced to quit, plus one creative YouTube video.

A guy posted about this one of the STTM Facebook groups, and I found it hauntingly familiar. When I was in my early 30’s, I was forced to quit my beloved career as a well-trained and talented fitness instructor due to hypothyroid complications causing debilitating dysautomia reactions thanks to T4-only medications. It was very grievous and hard.

But famous Brazilian soccer football player Ronaldo, who was the all-time leading scorer at the 2006 World Cup, has had to retire because the game rules FORBID him from taking the hypothyroid meds he needed, even if they have been the lousy T4-only levothyroxine meds. i.e. the rules see taking thyroid hormones as against the anti-doping rules.

What a shame. He’s young, 34 years old, and could have continued with a great career. But you also have to wonder how long he would have lasted at that, because Brazil doctors are still putting people on T4-only medications like so many other clueless doctors around the world.

You can read about it on CNN here. Did you identify with losing a career or hobby thanks to hypothyroidism? What’s your story?


I get really interesting emails from folks, and one arrived last week from Brian, the creator of a YouTube video called Our Holy Miracle of the Infallible TSH Test that he wanted me to view.

I confess that when I first saw it, I thought it was quite bizarre! Wasn’t sure what I thought of the humor with the female as she was dressed. But the more I thought about it, I also see it as extremely creative, a good sense of humor, and a pertinent message. In fact, it may strongly appeal to younger folks because of it’s intentional hip irreverence. So, go there with an open mind and sense of humor, and you just might like the message as I do and others are! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOb2POQGE6g

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15 Responses to “A legendary soccer player with hypothyroid who was forced to quit, plus one creative YouTube video.”

  1. Kellie H

    That video has me cracking up. The last few seconds seem to be ripped from the headlines of my life. Thanks for sharing a laugh!

  2. Steffen Beyer

    Ronaldo should urgently watch the following testimony as to the detrimental effects of Synthroid-only treatment:


    TheRawFoodWorld.com: Today we talked with our friend Enrique who had his thyroid removed. He has personally been taking Synthroid for 18 years and he made the big jump and has stopped taking it for many months. See how Enrique got off Synthroid. He also goes into a deep discussion and talks about what t3, t4 and reverse t3 are.

  3. Tamrakat

    Love the video!!! I posted it to facebook. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and CFS 3 years ago, after suffering with all the symptoms for more than a decade. I suspected it was my thyroid but every endo I went to told me my thyroid was fine based on my TSH and FT3 (which was very low at 2.3). When I finally found a good doctor who understood the relationship between the numbers and would listen to my symptoms he gave me T3 and I got better in two weeks. When I think of what could have happened to me, it makes me so angry with these arrogant doctors who rolled their eyes at me when I tried to tell them it was my thyroid causing the pain, fatigue, and other symptoms. I wish they would get “fibromyalgia”, then maybe they would be more open-minded.

  4. Monica

    I remember football commentators abusing Ronaldo on the radio because of him being so fat…
    How unfair we humans are.

  5. Cindy B

    LOVE the video! It says it all, and VERY funny. Thank you Brian for creating it & thank you Janie for posting it. <3. Cindy B

  6. Yvonne

    It is just bizarre that anti-doping regulations don’t allow players to treat an illness that can kill.

    One would ask, why don’t they allow treatment of this illness and then use their Holy Miracle of the Infallible TSH to detect whether athletes are abusing T3 hormones? The answer is obvious — it’s because TSH by itself is a useless test, and the anti-doping agencies actually have NO LAB TEST which would conclusively prove either high or low cellular levels of T3. A survey of the patient’s symptoms and a clinical examination would be necessary to establish that.

    The forced and yet unnecessary retirement of the world’s best soccer player because of anti-doping regulations has revealed the uselessness of the TSH test better than anything else could.

    Shout this throughout cyberspace, please: Ronaldo’s forced retirement proves the uselessness of lab tests alone to track thyroid hormone status! The Holy Miracle of the Infallible TSH is a FAKE! FAKE! FAKE!

  7. Judy

    Janine thanks for the link to the video and for STTM. Brian thanks for making it. All so true. How many of us have had this conversation with doctors and been made to feel like we had two heads. I think that’s why the patients look works, we feel vulnerable trying to get our point across.

    And yes, If you are cold you are still Hypo thyroid, I was for all the 21 years I was hypo, first 6 years without diagnosis, next 13 years on thyroxine; Last two years finally finding answers, first Armour and then T3 only. At last I’m warm, my feet in bed are warm all year round even in the coldest winter in UK.

  8. Elizabeth

    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in 1989, was stuck with synthroid for many years, then got Armour and felt a lot better, but horrendously ignorant (or evil, or both) doctors refuse to increase my dosage – in fact, they decreased it because of the TSH test! Even though my free T3 was low! Figure that one out! I’m only getting 60 milligrams, and I probably need at least 180, so I’m only getting one third or less of what I should get to feel my best! I can’t find a good endo that will at least listen and read the information from the National Academy of Hypothyroidism website and consider increasing my Armour since we moved to the San Diego area; Well, I found one clinic, but they don’t accept my insurance, so, back to the drawing board!

  9. wendy hildmann

    Not everyone with hypo needs T3 and T4 meds. I found my own hypo to be caused mainly by two things. Lack of iodine (now corrected with lugols solution) and excess goitrogens in my diet. (Gobs of peanut butter, flax seed, broccoli, DIM for estrogen metabolism which is more broccoli, cabbage, soy isolflavones, and yams!) Who knew? my hands and feet were like ice. Also, manual stimulation of the thyroid gland is beneficial. Be well.

    (From Janie: Glad you corrected your cause!)

    • ger her

      what do you do for manual stimulation? my hypoT condition is somewhat like yours too i think.

  10. RiaTheDeer

    The sad facts are that many of the T3 supplements out there are being used in the athletic and body building arena. They are sold as body building enhancers. No wonder Ronaldo was banned from even having life saving T4 medication….Talk about lack of education!!!! Sheeesh! I know that the sporting field is trying to keep the ‘doping’ out of sport but if he needed a T4/T3 combination and got to perform better,to his natural abilities, would he then be banned or hailed a sporting legend? Peeves me no end, I can tell you!

  11. Charity Simpson

    First, let me say that I am quite hypo and I have extremely LOW cholesterol. So low that my doctor is worried about my heart health. I’m also thin, which seems to confuse people. However, I was so hypo that I had to leave a lucrative career due to my inability to concentrate or put in the long hours. Even with a doctor that lets me increase my NDT and HC doses by symptoms (not just lab results), I’ve been struggling to get optimized for over two years now. I wonder if I will ever be able to work a full-time job again. I’m 39 and a long way from retirement.

  12. Johann Mitchell

    Most doctors are so ignorant of the truth that they don’t know that in one of the trials to establish the accuracy of the TSH, 50% of the people tested got results that had NO correlation to thyroid function or that the best results obtained in these trials were that 25% got no correlation to actual thyroid function.

    And that’s just compared to T4, and T3 tests, not to actual biological activity.

    But if they treated hypothyroidism so that the patient was actually healthy, they wouldn’t be able to sell those patients cholesterol and heart medicine and antidepressants plus a lot of other drugs! Which would mean that the drug companies would make much less money.

    By the way, a cholesterol test used to be a test for hypothyroidism, and it’s MUCH more accurate than our holy miracle of the infallible TSH test! If you have high cholesterol, you have hypothyroidism.

  13. Carri

    I think alot of the time, doctors only keep you “so well”. A healthy patient means no patient at all. In my case, the doctor seems to ration out the thyroid med like it was precious gold. I have more energy since she upped it, but I’m still not okay. And she doesn’t put refills on the med, so I am forced to keep going back to the doc on a regular basis.

    I had an interesting battle with the antibodies test for Hashimoto’s. The hospital “forgot” to run it in November, even though the doc clearly had it down on the form. When I went again this Monday, it was on the form again, and this time I made a big deal out of it to the technicians until they actually showed me the vial marked AB for antibodies and actually ran it. If you don’t stick up for yourself with thyroid tests, they simply won’t run it, even if the doc has it marked.

  14. Brian

    Hi Janie–it’s Brian, creator of that video. Yes, it’s a bit bizarre. But, sometimes the best way to tear something down is to laugh at it! So it seemed only natural to tear down the endocrinology profession’s dogmatic devotion to the TSH test by making it religious—calling it “Our Holy Miracle”, and “Infallible,” and generally showing it for what it is—an assumption-riddled test that has no relationship to making people FEEL better. (The 10-year-old adolescent-male humor is just a bonus…) My sister, who is also hypothyroid, laughed at it (particularly the little skulls on her garters), so I decided to put it out there and just see what happens. Once again, thanks for mentioning it on your blog. I hope more people get a laugh out of it and perhaps remember a point or two to take to their endo, such as the fact that the only thing that matters is how much gets into the cells, and that NONE of these tests actually measure that, only how you FEEL does! (For that matter, I hope more ENDO’s watch it…one did, and left a nice comment, which I’m very happy for.) In any case, thanks again, keep up the wonderful work you’re doing, and I’ve joined the good fight! –Brian


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