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Waiver for hypothyroidism?

pvalli1

New Member
Ok, I'm sorry to be asking something that most people probably won't know the answer to. But I've gotten so many different responses.

I have hypothyroidism. It is controlled with medication. I can function probably around 90-95% normally with out medication. I'm on armor-thyroid which is a way less potent version of synthroid.

According to the DoD's medical standards in DoDI 6130.03 on page 65:

"(3) Current hypothyroidism (244). Individuals with two normal thyroid stimulating hormone tests within the preceding 6 months DOES meet the standard.

SMPG: Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) tests must be at least 6 weeks apart. Applicants without two TSH tests in last 6 months will obtain one at least 6 weeks prior to medical processing. If only one recent TSH level is known (between 6 weeks and 6 months ago) and was normal, the applicant may process and the MEPS is authorized to order the second TSH test. If the second TSH level is abnormal, the applicant is referred to their PCP for evaluation. The MEPS is not authorized to order any additional TSH tests."


A Marine recruiter told me he's not sure about it, told me he'd get back to me and never did. So did a Navy recruiter. Never got back to me. I have talked to a Navy Doctor who told me it is administered in boot camp for the Navy (one of the few medicines), and it does not need a waiver. Also, some Marines, Army and Navy guys have told me they needed a waiver for it. My answers have been all over the place.

So here are my questions-

1.) If the DoD and this Navy Doctor made it pretty clear that you don't need a waiver, why would guys in three separate branches need waivers for it? Why are there so many inconsistencies?

2.) Would OCS in the USMC use the same standards as the Navy for administering medicine in boot camp?

I know this is a lot to read, but the google search functions and recruiters have been absolutely no help.
 

QuanticoIsCold

New Member
Quick answer -
1.) Every Situation is different.
2.) For the most part- yes but at the same time no, again every situation different.
For where you are at right now the number 1 concern you have is getting contracted. That may or may not entail a waiver which will make that your number one concern. From there you are focused on refining your application for selection, then preparation for OCS. At OCS check in you'll spend like 4-5 hours at medical, best advice is make sure several times over that your paperwork is in order and when you are at medical say as little as humanly possible. Doctors in the military are a zero-sum game, you either continue on as you were or you lose, not much to gain. The best person to answer your question right now is a local OSO, look him up on marines.com , I assume yours will be in Baton Rouge. If it is the same one as a year or two ago, he's a solid guy. Be respectful, upfront, and professional. Meet with him, discuss why you want and why you think you would make a good Marine officer. He will be able to answer questions about application, OCS and limited medical questions, but the best check for that will be MEPS.
Also you mentioned previously you were going to take the ASVAB, for OCS applicants we use ACT/SAT so if your score on that was decent don't worry about ASVAB.
Closest alligator to the boat.
 

Hayley D.

Well-Known Member
Did you mention to the recruiters that your interest is to fly? This could be a reason they did not back to you, as the material you referenced was the standards to commission, not the requirements for aviation. I know that was your goal, so I'm just wondering if you mentioned that to them.

Here is the NAMI requirements for a waiver. I'm not familiar with hypothyroidism, so maybe you'll understand their terminology better:
http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmotc/nami/arwg/Documents/WaiverGuide/05_Endocrinology.pdf
 

pvalli1

New Member
Quick answer -
1.) Every Situation is different.
2.) For the most part- yes but at the same time no, again every situation different.
For where you are at right now the number 1 concern you have is getting contracted. That may or may not entail a waiver which will make that your number one concern. From there you are focused on refining your application for selection, then preparation for OCS. At OCS check in you'll spend like 4-5 hours at medical, best advice is make sure several times over that your paperwork is in order and when you are at medical say as little as humanly possible. Doctors in the military are a zero-sum game, you either continue on as you were or you lose, not much to gain. The best person to answer your question right now is a local OSO, look him up on marines.com , I assume yours will be in Baton Rouge. If it is the same one as a year or two ago, he's a solid guy. Be respectful, upfront, and professional. Meet with him, discuss why you want and why you think you would make a good Marine officer. He will be able to answer questions about application, OCS and limited medical questions, but the best check for that will be MEPS.
Also you mentioned previously you were going to take the ASVAB, for OCS applicants we use ACT/SAT so if your score on that was decent don't worry about ASVAB.
Closest alligator to the boat.
Yeah I need to go talk to an OSO. The recruiters I talked to didn’t help at all. I’m fairly certain they didn’t even send out my info to the OSO because I told them I had hypothyroid and they didn’t believe me that it was waiverable if I need to take meds for it.
 

pvalli1

New Member
Did you mention to the recruiters that your interest is to fly? This could be a reason they did not back to you, as the material you referenced was the standards to commission, not the requirements for aviation. I know that was your goal, so I'm just wondering if you mentioned that to them.

Here is the NAMI requirements for a waiver. I'm not familiar with hypothyroidism, so maybe you'll understand their terminology better:
http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmotc/nami/arwg/Documents/WaiverGuide/05_Endocrinology.pdf
I did mention that. I still want to join even though I can’t fly now, but you’re probably righ as to why they didn’t get back to me, I forgot about that.. I just came back here because it’s the most interactive and knowledgeable place for this kind of stuff.
 

QuanticoIsCold

New Member
Exactly. Enlisted recruiters are awesome Marines with a very difficult job- find high quality young men and women and convince them not to go to college. They don't have much time to focus on stuff outside of that. Give the OSO a call and sit down for a meeting.
 

NavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
Yeah I need to go talk to an OSO. The recruiters I talked to didn’t help at all. I’m fairly certain they didn’t even send out my info to the OSO because I told them I had hypothyroid and they didn’t believe me that it was waiverable if I need to take meds for it.
The medical standards are out of the same book for USN and USMC, the docs making the call are the same for both, there are "some" things that are different (vision I think is the main one), however the general rule is if you are on medication for it, then it is still a problem.

What would happen if you were without your meds for days or weeks?

I have had friends that were in that developed conditions that required daily meds, such that they were declared "not worldwide deployable" and in many cases means medical discharge.
 

pvalli1

New Member
The medical standards are out of the same book for USN and USMC, the docs making the call are the same for both, there are "some" things that are different (vision I think is the main one), however the general rule is if you are on medication for it, then it is still a problem.

What would happen if you were without your meds for days or weeks?

I have had friends that were in that developed conditions that required daily meds, such that they were declared "not worldwide deployable" and in many cases means medical discharge.
I mean not much.
Not taking it for a day? Nothing
A week? Virtually nothing.
A month? My metabolism would slow down. I might be a bit more lathargic than usual but if I focus, there really wouldn’t be a difference as to what I do.

I know Marines and soldiers who were allowed to go through OCS with a waiver and are currently in the Corps with hypo. These are also people who are cleared to deploy. It’s not that serious in the short term and the main concern is long term ( around 1 year without meds). The biggest thing is gaining weight because it controls your metabolism, but I’ve found that with coffee, you can control it virtually does the same as the medicine. According to the Navy Doctor I talked to, it is virtually the only daily medicine that is not serious and can be administered during boot camp/OCS.

And to be honest, I probably don’t have it anymore, because my doctor is asking me to go without the meds for a week to do blood work to see if it’s still there.
 
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KristenQT

Well-Known Member
I personally know pilots that are flying right now with controlled hypothyroid and they joined knowing they had it. Yes, there will be more hoops to jump through for a waiver, but it will not disqualify you. Feel free to DM me if you have further questions about this or need assistance on what to get for your waiver; as I myself have hypothyroid and I'm in the process of joining as an NFO.
 

NavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
I personally know pilots that are flying right now with controlled hypothyroid and they joined knowing they had it. Yes, there will be more hoops to jump through for a waiver, but it will not disqualify you. Feel free to DM me if you have further questions about this or need assistance on what to get for your waiver; as I myself have hypothyroid and I'm in the process of joining as an NFO.
You responding to a thread where the poster hasn't been seen in nearly 2 years.

The big thing is taking meds, if you read my previous post I have known people that developed that condition and then ended up being discharged.
 
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