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Monitoring Metabolism With Your Ankle

Discussion in 'Ray Peat Topics' started by Dan Wich, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. Dan Wich

    Dan Wich Member

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    Testing the Achilles tendon relaxation to gauge metabolism is something Peat has mentioned a lot. But I think it's faded as a diagnostic tool in the traditional medical world: this Canadian Medical Association Journal article claims that it's "likely to become obsolete as a diagnostic tool", and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommendations say it "should not be used...to diagnose hypothyroidism."

    Why the difference in opinion? I think it's because the medical world now has easy access to seemingly-objective blood tests. In contrast, Peat's perspective is concerned with how tissue is actually *functioning* metabolically. Also, the ankle reflex is probably the most useful to people who will test it frequently, perceive->think->act style. Contrast that with the traditional medical approach where a fairly-inflexible diagnosis needs to be established in a visit or two, often with a patient that will be passive about the treatment.

    So testing the reflex seems like something that'd be right up my alley, but I rarely bothered to check mine because it was hard to know what to look for. But I finally buckled down and read all the studies I could find, tried it on friends and family, and made a video to help explain it:


    Here's a GIF if you'd just like to compare your reflex without listening to my yammerin':
    [​IMG]

    If you'd like to read more studies on the phenomenon, there's some in my video references, and a big ol' list at Functional Performance Systems. Here's my favorites if you want a little less reading:

    Value of Ankle-jerk Timing in the Assessment of Thyroid Function
    This one describes a timing method that sounds superior to the more common "time-to-half-relaxation" used in a lot of the other studies. I think it's probably the best approach if anyone wants to try to be more accurate than the "intuitive" approach I describe in the video. And you wouldn't need fancy devices like those in the studies, you could just use a smartphone camera (preferably with slow-motion mode), and then count frame-by-frame for the timing. I'd love to hear from anyone that tries that.

    A critical evaluation of the tendon reflex measurement as an index of thyroid function.
    This one is nice because it takes a more objective look than some of the published cased studies that are from enthusiastic practitioners.

    It's cool to see the graphs of people's relaxation rates being restored with thyroid treatment:
    [​IMG]

    They conclude:

    The Diagnostic Importance of the Myxœdema Reflex (Woltman's Sign)
    This one is more of a fun read than anything practical. It's interesting to see the attitude of treating the patients by looking at a constellation of symptoms instead of punting to bloodwork. And I like the before-and-after treatment photo:
    [​IMG]


    I'd be curious to hear how people measure up if you try it on yourself. It'd be especially cool if anyone's tried it alongside testing things to improve their metabolism, or noticed how well it correlates with body temperature and pulse.

    Even without the metabolism-monitoring benefits, I've found it's been useful to have a "feel" for slow-relaxing muscles when dealing with stress and tension.
     
  2. Hairfedup

    Hairfedup Member

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    You know coincidences can mess with you sometimes. Just today I was planning on researching the achilles in terms of thyroid and estrogen [?]...I remember reading somewhere here a while ago about achillies pain and what it really means on a holistic level...I used to long jump and sprint...back then my health was great and I had a full head of hair...now that I've experienced rapid hairloss and visible poor metabolic function, I definitely feel a sort of tendinitis in my left achillies after any sort of jump training...will do this test and see what happens lol
     
  3. lisaferraro

    lisaferraro Member

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    This is fantastic @Dan Wich. Appreciating the work you are doing.
     
  4. Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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    Daniel, you're so thoughtful with the production of your videos that you are willing to wait until the next day just to get a different image from Raj's website.

    Out of curiosity, what editing software do you use? It must take quite some time to add those funny animations. You have a Patreod page, don't you?

    I think changing the title of the thread to something more familiar could help prevent such great content from being lost after a while. Ex.: Assessing metabolic rate with the Achilles tendon reflex.
     
  5. sweetpeat

    sweetpeat Member

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    The visual comparisons are very helpful! Now off to find a butter knife...
     
  6. OP
    Dan Wich

    Dan Wich Member

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    Thanks everyone!

    I've noticed that the momentary "tension" after the reflex is similar to the "trigger point" feeling that I think is behind some chronic pain problems. I would love to see a study on thyroid supplementation for these kinds of things.

    I've (foolishly?) bought into the Adobe ecosystem, so Illustrator + Photoshop for the graphics and Premiere + After Effects for the video. And thank you for mentioning the patreon so I can shamelessly promote it, I'm dreading the Adobe $600 (!) annual subscription renewal next month.

    I will see if I can get it changed to something catchier, and also hire you as my marketing director.
     
  7. Hugh Johnson

    Hugh Johnson Member

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    Possibly hyperthyroid. YEEAAAH!
     
  8. Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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    I know that you're just making the funnies here, but it's beyond marketing. I guess if you're simplifying the content so that it becomes acessible to everyone (which I applaud you for that), in my opinion it's worth applying the idea to titles as well.
    Now speaking of marketing, why don't you put it in your signature? Of course if you created such page you want as many people as possible to join and support you. Otherwise you're this street performer that has a hat next you but it's covered with a jacket. #louvre

    Thank you for your effort, multimedia is unbeatable.
     
  9. Glassy

    Glassy Member

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    Yeah - interesting Dan. My relaxation speed was closest to the lady after yours. It doesn’t tell me much more than I already suspected but I’d love to go around testing people to see how it correlates.

    It was a bugger to get a reflex reaction at all until I found quite a heavy thin piece of steel.
     
  10. yerrag

    yerrag Member

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    Haha. Now, that is the part no home test can find out. And you have to find a good doctor who can give you a good diagnosis. A good one, since a bad one, which I guess most endocrinologists would be, would have you due for a thyroidectomy due to a false positive.

    @Dan Wich I just sent your video to my sister. Kept trying to tell her it's an easy test, and I've sent her some of the earlier videos you've shared, and then some. She wouldn't budge. Hope your video will make her, but I still doubt it. I think there are people who just won't trust their own tinkering skills, and prefer the safety of seeing numbers popping out, whether in a blood test, or from some gadget. But this saves so much money.

    You know what? Just tell people to take their temperature, and they just won't do it. It's so much simpler, and perhaps too good to be true (like how come no one does it? Or the doctor doesn't tell me so, why should I?), that they just won't do it. How would you even expect them to do this?

    By the way, I'm sharing part of an ECG printout I requested, which shows the QTc value. If the value is lower than 440msec, you're likely not hypothyroid. I tell people who can't do the Achilles tendox reflex test, to just go to a lab and have them take an ECG. The ECG should have a printout like this, where the QTc value is computed (so you don't have to compute it yourself, not easy to do at all). It only costs P300 in Manila, or roughly about $6 :
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Fractality

    Fractality Member

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    Unfortunately I do not think private ECG testing is available in the USA.
     
  12. yerrag

    yerrag Member

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    I didn't know that. That's a bummer.
     
  13. OP
    Dan Wich

    Dan Wich Member

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    I should've set up a contest for the fastest ankle :lol:


    I had it in my signature for a while, but it felt weird having a donation link under my posts when most of them are just sharing other people's content (the KMUD shows, the e-mail advice depository, studies, etc.). So I'm just using it to promote the site now. I figure that's probably of more interest to more people anyway.

    But I'll add it to my profile page at least.


    It's pretty fun to try on people, and I've noticed most people are similar to that woman or slightly slower. And they often match up to to what you'd predict (slower in older people, slower in people that I've suspected are hypo).


    I know the feeling. And in spite of trying it on a bunch of people, I don't think I've gotten them to see it as anything more than a novelty, like getting your palm read or something.

    And thanks for the tip on the ECG. I think Fracticality's right about them not being available privately here, but I bet there's a lot of people that have had them done during medical visits, and I'm assuming they're required to be accessible for however long the HIPAA laws require. And it looks like one of the consumer fingertip devices might calculate QTc, though I don't know whether it displays it to the user: AliveCor
     
  14. yerrag

    yerrag Member

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    We're on the same page Dan. I just asked a question at their Kardiamobile Amazon page on whether the unit will display QTc. Will let you know their response.
     
  15. Wagner83

    Wagner83 Member

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    Thanks.
    Could a large iron hammer work fine when performing the test on the stepfamily? Also, could the ankle test be performed on the back of the neck?

    @aguilaroja you may enjoy this thread.
     
  16. yerrag

    yerrag Member

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    Be guided by this principle: WWRD and WWJD.
     
  17. Hugh Johnson

    Hugh Johnson Member

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    Like I would voluntarily see a doctor. Or consider hyperthyroidism bad.
     
  18. yerrag

    yerrag Member

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    On the first point, it makes the two of us. On the second, I'm not with you.

    Why do you consider hyperthyroidism a good thing?
     
  19. Hugh Johnson

    Hugh Johnson Member

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    I can't see any bad things about it.
     
  20. yerrag

    yerrag Member

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    I guess you can try overdosing on thyroid supplements and see what it does to you.

    I've seen it happen on my cat. He gets to have a voracious appetite and got plump. Then all of a sudden, he loses appetite and quickly got thin. I observed loss of energy, as well as bulging thyroid glands on the neck. Not long after, he died. The night before, he was quiet, and his eyes were wide and wasn't blinking.

    The next time I saw these signs on my two other cats, I gave them selenomethionine daily, and the symptoms were gone. I changed their food. I was giving them raw fish, and they were getting too much thyroid.

    I don't know about people though.
     
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