Senin, 17 Mei 2010

The Thyroid-Autism Connection

Raphael Kellman, M.D. Practicing the medicine of tomorrow.

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The Thyroid-Autism Connection
The Thyroid-Autism Connection

The center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that 1 in 100 children in the US have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD, up from 1 in 150 in 2007. A study in the Journal of Pediatrics in October 2009 revealed similar numbers. Parents of 1 in 90 children reported that their child has ASD is now 1 in 58. Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability affecting more children than cancer, diabetes, and AIDs combined.

Another disease reaching epidemic proportions is thyroid disease. According to a study published in the Journal, ôCancerö July 13, 2009, thyroid cancer doubled in the last 10 years. Some researchers feel that the significant increase in thyroid cancer is related to the significant increase in auto immune thyroid disease that goes untreated. Subclinical hypothyroidism associated with an elevated TSH can stimulate the thyroid gland, leading to the increased risk of cancer. Additionally, according to research

One doesnÆt have to look very deeply to appreciate that these two disorders are interconnected. Firstly, both are associated with the increasing burden of environmental toxicity. Both the brain and the thyroid are very susceptible to toxins. Additionally, neurotoxins such as PCBs and Dioxin, likely to be associated with neurological disorders such as autism, exert some of their effects on the brain through their effects on the thyroid. Hypothyroidism can have a profoundly deleterious effect on the developi

There are yet other reasons to believe that there is a thyroid-autism connection. Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, known to be a factor contributing to autism, is also associated with other autoimmune disorders such as autoimmune thyroiditis, a cause of hypothyroidism. One of the most effective therapies for autism, ASD, and PDD is a gluten free diet. Studies show removing gluten can also heal secondary autoimmune disorders such as hypothyroidism. Perhaps one of the reasons why the gluten free diet i

Thyroid hormone is essential for normal brain development during a critical period beginning in utero and extending through the first 2 years post partum. It regulates neuronal proliferation, migration, and differentiation in discrete regions of the brain during definitive time periods. Thyroid hormone also regulates development of cholinergic and dopaminergic neurons in the brain. Deficiencies in thyroid hormone during this critical time can have significant behavioral and cognitive effects.

Thyroid disease in children and autism therefore have many overlapping signs and symptoms. These include but not limited to:

• Feeding problems

• Prolonged jaundice

• Poor muscle tone

• Gastrointestinal abnormalities

• Constipation

• Sleep disturbances

• Developmental delays

• Trouble holding up head

• Protrusion of belly

• Hyperactivity

• Lethargy

• Lack of play and interaction with others

• Dry skin

• Poor Hair Growth/Bald spots

• Pale complexion

• Frequent infections

• Cold intolerance

• Cold extremities

• Weight gain

• Difficulty gaining weight

• Allergies

• Bed wetting

• Poor bone development

• Fear

• Anxiety

• Depression

• Decreased ability to concentrate

• Speech delay

• Fading of the personality’s color and vivacity

• Progressive loss of interest and initiative

• Slowing of mental processes

Other researchers are beginning to appreciate the thyroid- autism connection as well. A study done in the Royal Berkshire Hospital showed that out of 62 autistic children, 45 were found to be hypothyroid. In a study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 5 children with autism were evaluated. Three were shown to have hypothyroidism and two had mothers who had probably been hypothyroid in pregnancy. The researchers concluded that ôthyroid hormone deficiency in early development might ca

If thyroid disease is a major contributor to the web of causes of autism, why is it not widely known? The answer is that the routine thyroid blood tests frequently fail to detect the problem. The routine thyroid blood tests TSH, T4, and T3 are notoriously unreliable. Even the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) have realized that the TSH reference range (the most relied upon thyroid test) has been too wide and has missed detecting low thyroid in a large percentage of patients. What exp

Even the new range of .4 to 2.5 for TSH is very narrow and it is likely that even this could miss a large percentage of patients. We know that TSH tests on any given patient can vary on any given day. Additionally many patients with TSH in one range of .4 to 2.5 have symptoms of low thyroid. This has led many doctors to abandon the routine test altogether and instead many use body temperature to diagnose hypothyroidism. This is called the Broda Barnes method. Unfortunately, it also misses the mark for many

There is another more sensitive thyroid test called the TRH stimulation test which in the past was the standard thyroid test. This test uses a hormone called TRH which stimulates the pituitary gland. The pituitary makes a hormone called TSH which stimulates the thyroid to produce thyroid hormone. If the thyroid is low one would expect that the pituitary would be producing a lot of TSH which would be reflected in the blood as high TSH. However, frequently, due to various mechanisms, even if one has hypothyr

I have used the TRH test in over 15,000 patients with symptoms of hypothyroidism and have diagnosed hypothyroidism in a large percentage. With treatment they saw significant improvement. Without this test the diagnosis would have been missed. Additionally, based on the TRH stimulation test in hundreds of children with autism, ASD, PDD, and other developmental disorders I have found that 75% have hypothyroidism that was missed by the routine test. With treatment using thyroid hormone the children experience

In a study published in Gynecological Endocrinology titled ôSubclinical Hypothyroidism in Infertile Women, the Importance of Continuous Monitoring and the Role of the Thyrotropin Releasing Hormone Stimulation (TRH) Test,ö Israeli researchers proved that women who have fertility issues who have normal TSH need the TRH stimulation test. They came to this conclusion based on the fact that a significant percentage of women with infertility had a normal TSH and an abnormal TRH stimulation test. The researchers

According to a study published in Clinical Medicine and Research in 2007 titled “TRH Stimulation when Basal TSH is within the Normal Range; Is there “Sub-Biochemical Hypothyroidism?” researchers concluded “we document that an exaggerated TRH response indeed occurs in many patients with a normal biochemistry… Even though the TRH test is seldom used in clinical practice at present, a larger prospective study is in order. Until then, physicians may once again need access to TRH for diagnostic use.”

John was diagnosed with ASD at the age of 3, fortunately he benefited from this frontier findings and research. He exhibited delayed speech, poor eye contact, poor cognition and hyperactivity, and he showed less interest in play than his peers. He had low muscle tone from birth. He also had chronic constipation and bloating. The TRH test I performed showed unequivocal hypothyroidism. I started him on thyroid hormone, compounded T4 and T3. Within only a few days, his hyperactivity diminished significantly.

Kevin is a 7 year old boy who was diagnosed with autism at age 3. He did biomedical treatments and only saw mild results. When I saw him I did the TRH test and discovered his thyroid was low. I started him on a compounded thyroid hormone. Within a few months KevinÆs life began to improve dramatically. His social interaction with others improved, his cognition, understanding, verbal skills, hyperactivity, and overall behavior improved. Above all, he was noticeably happier and exhibited less stress. Commenti

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