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Thyroid Disease and Children with Autism

Introduction

The thyroid is a tiny gland that secretes hormones located in the throat area.  Thyroid is crucial for energy in every cell in the body and for normal brain development in utero and especially during the first few years of life.  Irregularities in either of the thyroid hormones, T3 and T4, can affect behaviors, the functioning of the nervous system and cognitive development.  Raffael Kellman, MD has found that 75% of ASD children had undetected thyroid problems.  As many as 7 out of 10 had an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).  He found a decrease in the conversion from T4 to T3 and an increase of the inflammation markers in the immune system due to the production of immune autoantibodies which suppressed TSH production.  He also found high cortisol levels due to the extreme stress of ASD children which also decreased TSH production.  Routine measuring of the thyroid by taking the body temperature or measuring the blood TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone), T3, and T4 have been found not to consistently detect problems and abnormal levels in the thyroid.  Instead, the TRH (Thyrotropin Releasing Hormone) Stimulation test stimulates the pituitary gland to produce TSH which stimulates the thyroid and produces thyroid hormones.  The TRH test has a much more accurate assessment of what is going on with the thyroid.  Dr. Kellman has found that by treating the thyroid hormones ASD children can improve language, cognition, hyperactivity, motor function, socialization and gastrointestinal issues.

Related Sites

Autism Four Times Likelier When Mother's Thyroid is Weakened
Description:  Pregnant women who don't make nearly enough thyroid hormone are nearly 4 times likelier to produce autistic children than healthy women.

The Kellerman Center for Integrative and Functional Medicine
Description:  Raffael Kellerman MD has tested hundreds of ASD children on the TRH Stimulation and found 75% to have undiagnosed hypothyroidism.

Possible Association of Hypothyroidism and Autism
Description:  Severe hypothyroidism in mothers is associated with possible autism in babies.

Books

Stop the Thyroid Madness: A Patient Revolution Against Decades of Inferior Treatment by Janie A. Bowthorpe
Description:  Stop the Thyroid Madness is really a patient revolution against all the old beliefs and myths about thyroid illnesses. Learn about the causes, the treatment protocols, the exhausted adrenals and treating the thyroid without medication but instead with dietary changes and nutritional supplementation.

Iodine - Bringing Back Universal Medicine by Dr. Mark Sircus Ac, OMD, DM (P)
Description:  Read about all the positive benefits of iodine and the connection between a woman’s thyroid and autism.

Living Well with Hypothyroidism: What your Doctor Doesn’t Tell You…That You Need to Know by Mary J. Shomon
Description:  This book is a comprehensive resource for women on what you need to know about hypothyroidism and how it goes undiagnosed and untreated for many women.

Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness
Description:  Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness truly describes how this poorly misunderstood diagnosis has gone on undetected for years in many people – especially women. Learn about the symptoms and complaints and how this may be affecting not only your health but also your quality of life.

Tools

The Kellerman Center Thyroid Disease Facts
Description:  Thyroid disease symptoms, testing, and treatment.

The Thyroid Autism Connection
Description:  This is a video presentation by Dr. Raffael Kellman at AutismOne Conference in 2011.

300+ Hypothyroidism Symptoms … Yes REALLY
Description:  The Unbelievably Long List of Hypothyroidism Symptoms - Some of the top thyroid health experts in the world contributed to this list of 300+ symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Parent Forums/Blogs

Some forums require you to sign in to Yahoo or Facebook to locate forum names.

Forum/Blog Name:  Autism-Thyroid 2
Description:  Welcome to Autism-Thyroid2, where we discuss the relationship between thyroid dysfunction and autism spectrum disorders (including PDD).

Forum/Blog Name:  Autism and Thyroid Blog
Description:  Parents ask Dr. Jim Sears questions and he responds.

Forum/Blog Name:  Maternal Thyroid Dysfunction and Autism or ADHD
Description:  This blog talks about the findings of maternal thyroid dysfunction and the correlation between maternal hypothyroidism (reduced thyroid function) and an increased risk of autism diagnosis of the offspring.

Forum/Blog Name:  Sharing Mom
Description:  This Facebook group is focused on healing the gut, boosting brain power and living well with autism and other disorders. Members are encouraged to share information, including that regarding the connection between autism and the thyroid.