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barbara98940 barbara98940

Hypothyroid mother & child with autistism/aspergers

Researchers have recently identified a link between low thyroid hormone levels in pregnancy and the child's inability to do mental maths & reduced height. (See daily mail article by searching 'daily mail pregnancy mental maths'wink.

I think it goes further than this, I think there's a link with low thyroid hormone levels in pregnancy and the child being on the autistic spectrum. My doses were all over the place when I was pregnant, and my levels were too - no account was taken of the time lag between dose increases and it correctly being reflected in blood levels.

I have a child on the autistic spectrum (aspergers) and I'm wondering how many other people have and what you think.

9 Replies

  • satyanand11 satyanand11 barbara98940

    You need a doctor.

    • snotty snotty barbara98940

      I'm not sure if your aware of this but genetics can go back generations it's not necessarily the next generation that cops the disease. And back just before I was born which was just over 40 years ago any one who had a mental health issue was frowned upon and the family's were very closed mouthed about it. So to say no one in your family had it may be wrong you just may not know about it because past ancestors weren't willing to openly talk about it. When people say things are genetic it doesn't always mean that it's the next line back me and my husband and our 5 kids have a genetic skin syndrome that goes all the way back to a genetic line in Africa we don't know of anyone else in our families that have it but there must be someone some where because it's an African gene.

    • barbara98940 barbara98940 snotty

      Very true. However, this doesn't preclude my hypothesis about there being a link to low thyroid hormones in pregnancy from also being valid.  It'll be interesting to see whether more research identifies such a link.

  • alli2ells alli2ells barbara98940

    Hi Barbara I have had an underactive thyroid for 20 years . Started before I had my first son but I was "borderline " according to my gp, my periods were really irregular and I wasn't falling pregnant when I finally did I was 3 months gone ! Then all through my pregnancy they checked my thyroid levels but didn't start me on anything . My son was born 3 weeks early and became jaundiced and had to be readmitted at 1 week old . He's ok but 3 months after having him I was constantly tired wasn't losing my baby weight and my gp kept saying lose weight ... I'm a nurse so I went to my occcupational health dept and they checked my levels and said it was a miracle I was not in a coma , my gp then listenened ! Started me on 50 of levothyroxine , 4 years later I'm on 100 and fall pregnant again after trying all that time , my second son goes full term , at 4 when he started school my sons teacher noticed  he was different so advised I see the gp, at 9 years old he was diagnosed with aspergers , he's nearly 17 now . I was on 150 levothyroxine but gp recently reduced it to 125 and I'm feeling exhausted as a result . I do wonder if the thyroxine affected my son when I was pregnant I saw an obstetrician every month and they checked my levels , he had jaundice too but I stayed in for a few days. I do think his dad has it too Now I know more about it . I divorced him 15 years ago as he was very difficult to live with . My son is in a special school for kids with aspergers and he has had so much help . My eldest lad has had his thyroid checked but he's ok . 

    • barbara98940 barbara98940 alli2ells

      Hi Alli2ells, I'm glad your son is receiving the help he needs and that he doesn't have hypothyroidism.

      My daughter wasn't diagnosed with aspergers until she was 20. Both she and I thought she may have it, so initiated the testing with her GP (a preliminary questionnaire) and then the autism specialist. Girls are very good at mimicking others behaviour and hiding the symptoms and so are often diagnosed later or, historically, not at all. Everyone is a lot more aware of autism nowadays than when she was young.

      Since I started this post I have come across research that shows a link between mother's with low thyroid hormone levels and autism in their children. If I can find it, I'll post the link in this discussion (hopefully it will pass moderation as it's from a reputable journal).

      If anyone is reading this who is pregnant or is trying to be, you might find it useful to know that I have found the best way to monitor my thyroid levels is by using my basal pulse rate - this is your pulse when you have been at rest for an hour at night, or first thing in the morning when you first wake up prior to moving. This is a good quick guide to whether your levels are correct. For me anything below 60 indicates my thyroid hormone levels are too low. Basal pulse rate is a useful extra check to add to the blood tests. I used this when pregnant with my son and it correctly identified when my levels were falling and I needed to increase my meds - several weeks before the blood tests did. My son doesn't have autism. Something else to watch out for, is whether you are converting T4 to T3 properly. If you are still getting hypothyroid symptoms when the blood tests are in range, this could be the reason. In which case you will need to supplement with T3 (liothyronine) or switch to NDT. Plus you need a Ferritin level of 70+ to be able to process thyroxine properly (originally told to my by my endocrinologist, but I've since read this in research papers).

      Just a thought, be aware that your sons may develop hypothyroidism in the future and watch out for symptoms.

      If you're in the UK, have you heard of the autism show? It is on in a couple of weeks time (today's date is 5th June 2017). I'm going to it for the first time. All the best.

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