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Careers: Military--Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines, Coast Guard/Military enlistment Hypothyroidism DoDI 6130.03


Hello Mr. Howell

I'm sure you have been asked this before. However I'm at my wits end. I have been discussing this subject about enlisting with Hypothyroidism for some time now with many different experts, each giving a yes, no, or maybe. I recently came in contact with a Doctor who is a retired medical physician who promised to help me find out if the phrase in the DoDI 6190.03
page 41 "Currect HyPOthyroidism (244). Individuals with two normal thyroid stimulating hormone tests within the preceding 6 months DOES meet the standards."
means with or without medication. He called and talked to another physician who said the standard for Marine Corps enlistment stand as followed, anyone with a persistent medical condition that needs medication is disqualified. However, the BuMeD physician said he needs to interpet what the quote above really means, and he would email my doctor again at a later date.

So, my question is. What is your interpretation of hyPOthyroidism in the DoDI 6130.03, and whether it applies to someone on or off medication?

Take note. The DoDI 6130.03 was made on April 28, 2010, and changes to it were as late at  09/12/2011.

I can understand why you've been getting different answers because it's a difficult condition to diagnose.  How severe is it?  Do you have panhypothyroidism, meaning the thyroid doesn't work at all or is removed?  What type of drugs you take?

I consulted the military regulation on enlistment for new recruits .  Department of Defense (DOD) Directive 6130.3, Physical Standards for Appointment,Enlistment, and Induction, and DOD Instruction 6130.4,Criteria and Procedure Requirements for Physical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, or Induction in the Armed Forces and it says hypo (underactive) is OK but not hyper (overactive).  Only current hypothyroidism uncontrolled by medication is disqualifying.  The International Classification of Disease (ICD) code is 244.

You probably take an artificial thyroid hormone replacement such as Synthroid for your hypothyroidism to control it, right?  The USMC will only allow you to take steroids only if prescribed by a doctor.  In addition to affecting the thyroid gland, corticosteroids also can affect the health of the adrenal glands.  The reason for this is because the adrenal glands secrete cortisol, which of course is a natural steroid hormone of the body.  When someone takes corticosteroids, which are artificial steroid hormones, they compete with the natural steroid hormone cortisol, and therefore this suppresses the adrenal glands.  The problem is that the artificial steroid hormones donít function the same way as natural cortisol, and in fact have some potentially harmful side effects.  This is why some doctors disagree on the treatment.

Other consequences of taking steroids in addition to causing problems with the endocrine system, taking synthetic steroid hormones such as Prednisone can cause many other side effects, and lead to other conditions in the future.  It can cause loss of calcium of the bone, leading to the development of osteoporosis, cataracts, can worsen diabetes, and can cause many other problems.  Prednisone is used to treat many different conditions such as allergic disorders.  Prednisone can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection or worsening an infection you already have or have recently had.

My personal intrepation is that it's not a problem.  I';ve known many people with it and it seems to make no fifference at all in them.
Colonel H  

Careers: Military--Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines, Coast Guard

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All military questions, any Service. 30 years experience & two Ph.D.'s. 4 times Base Commander. Worked with Army, Navy, USMC, USCG and several foreign military units. Veteran of Kosovo, Bosnia, Macedonia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, and 10 civil wars in Africa.


Air Force Colonel with 30 years experience. Air Force Base Commander 4 times. Highly decorated.

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Ph.D. in military history, Columbus University (Summa Cum Laude) Ph.D. in history, London, England (Summa Cum Laude) Master of Arts degree in history, Marshall University, WV Bachelors degree, double-major in history and mathematics, Salem College, WV Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL

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Legion of Merit, Defense MSM, 5 Meritous Service Medals,Joint Commendation Medal AF Commendation Medal Army Commendation Joint Achievement Medal AF Achievement Medal Outstanding Volunteer Medal Total of 33 Medals and 43 Ribbons

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