The Thyroid: Overlooked Key to Autism

Posted: February 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

* LINK to original website

Dear Dr. Rimland:

            Please bear with me but maybe I’ve stumbled on to one of the “keys” to autism that has been greatly over-looked.

            Actually credit should really go to Dr. Raphael Kellman, M.D., at The Center for Progressive Medicine in New York and to Dr. Stephen Smith, M.D. (a DAN doctor) in Richland, WA – although neither of them know it yet.

            A must to read is the article in the Alternative Medicine Magazine – Issue 22 that targets the “thyroid”. On the side bar there are three more articles…one should read all three of them too. Please be aware none of these articles mention “autism”….but concentrate on only the symptoms as you are reading. Vicki Westlund recently made me aware of these articles via the autism listserv.

            According to Dr. Kellman the thyroid is one of the most over-looked organs in the body. The old means of testing were too cumbersome and time consuming so was abandoned by most physicians – they opt to do the T4 or TSH. According to Kellman 90% of the medical problems today result from lack of proper attention and testing of the thyroid and it’s functioning.

            We are mainly talking about “hypothyroidism” – an underfunctioning of the thyroid. There are a variety of causes: hereditary, environmental, chemo/radiation, excess hormones in processed meats, mercury (fillings in teeth – immunizations), excess iodine (table salt), etc.

            Once damage to the thyroid takes place it affects all the other organs….starting with digestion and absorption. Now toxin’s start building in the system. You can have an array of symptoms: weight gain/weight loss depending on the type of metabolism you had to begin with. Creating no appetite or binge eating. Bloating, fluid retention, skin problems (itching, eczema, psoriasis, acne, hives & other skin eruptions, skin pallor or yellowing).

            The immune system also starts to deteriorate since the necessary vitamins, minerals, are not being absorbed, also creating problem’s with amino acids. Two more problems are created: (1) repeated infections and (2)cold’s and upper respiratory infections.

            Now let’s add a bunch of antibiotics…to treat these two problems…there goes the good bacteria, allowing Candida yeast to take over which results IgG (delayed food allergies) and also opening the doors to introduction of viruses and parasites.

            Other symptoms of an underfunction thyroid are: depression, low body temperature, infertility, menstrual disorders, memory disturbances, concentration difficulties, paranoia, migraines, over-sleeping and/or the inability to sleep due to gastrointestinal discomforts or anaemia, “laziness” (no motivation), muscle aches and or weaknesses (low muscle tone), hearing disturbances (burning, prickly sensations or noises in the head), slow reaction time and mental sluggishness, laboured breathing, hoarseness, speech problems, brittle nails and poor vision and/or light sensitivity.

            All of Dr. Kellman’s patient’s have a wide variety of symptoms but all have malabsorption, deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, this creates chemical imbalances resulting in neurotransmitting problems.

            If the above should take place in a non-verbal child, let’s say before they acquire speech – you would get the diagnosis of a “mute” autistic child.

            Let’s say the child had begun to talk…but due to the thyroid problem…lost speech – they would get the diagnosis or label of PDD/Autism.

            A child affected later might be considered high functioning.

            Children with Candida, food allergies, immune system dysfunctions, viruses that go undetected might show degrees of improvement with the various treatments whether it be IV therapy, anti-viral, nutritional intervention, or maybe a change in environment…but all continue to deteriorate if these treatment’s are stopped. WHY????? Because one thing is being over-looked…a “thyroid dysfunction”…and the standard test are so inaccurate.

            Dr. Kellman says that the normal means of testing that most physician’s use T3, T4, and TSH all may result in a normal reading….but it does not reflect the actual functioning level of the thyroid.

            Dr. Kellman says the only reliable test is the TRH, but due to the fast paced assembly line of modern medicine…it was a cumbersome and time consuming test so Dr.’s abandoned it opting to use the TSH in it’s place. The TRH test has since been greatly improved over the old technique.

            First a pre-TSH is taken.

            An injection of Tyrel(Protirelin)TRH is given directly into the vein via a butterfly.

            A post-TSH is taken in exactly 25 minutes.

            There are no adverse or dangerous side effects. Everyone experiences a “30 second” wave of nausea and/or the feeling they have to urinate…they do neither.. it is just a feeling. They may also experience a slight drop or rise in their blood pressure…but that is very temporary.

            If the second (or post-TSH) reading is 10…that indicates a low functioning thyroid, if it’s 15 a moderate low functioning of the thyroid, and if 20 a severe low functioning thyroid.

            Dr. Kellman primarily deals with teenager’s or adults.

            Dr. Smith test the thyroid by NAET (muscle testing) but is finding hypothyroidism in 100% of the autistic children he deal’s with.

            None of the research I’ve seen so far mentions…or target’s the “thyroid”…not one word in the DAN or Goldberg’s reports…or any of the autism research I’ve seen.

            In our case for example…my husband had a benign nodule (½ his thyroid) removed in 1992…which was only detected when the nodule got so enlarged he could actual see and feel it and had discomfort when swallowing…it was not detected by his normal thyroid testing which did not include the TRH…they always came back normal…these test were done yearly due to his work physical requirements. We have no ideal how long the condition existed prior to it’s detection.

            My daughter, Angie, was born December 13, 1988, she had 4 out of 5 reactions to DPT..the lot being pulled 4 times, but nothing ever recorded by Dr. or reported by him. She was a very normal baby until 18 months of age…then almost changed over night. By this time she had had 15 doses of “mercury” in immunizations and multiple upper respiratory infections, ear infections, etc. These were treated with truck loads of antibiotics…constantly for about 6 years.

            She went through as I remember various problems with the intestinal track – spastic colon (little balls), clay colored mushy stuff, then severe constipation. Stool softeners didn’t work, mineral oils made her vomit and for the next 3 years she had to have enemas on a daily basis..and then the bowels barely moved. The paediatrician called it “psychological constipation”….normal for “kid’s like this”…we would just have to live with it. She also lost all speech.

            She totally refused food, lived solely on ProSobee Baby formula for 3 ½ years…would projectile if food came within three feet of her.

            Also, during this period was constantly sick…ear infections, sore throats, viruses, bronchitis, chicken pox twice..the second time so severe she had to have IV’s for 27 hours, she had hives, itched all the time (still does), had eczema on scalp, yeast rash on bottom several times, seasonal allergy symptoms 95% of the time, thin hair, white skin (which is now very yellow), thin hair, thin peeling finger nails. She plugged her ears until they bled, gagged and projectile vomited a lot, and her eyes were very sensitive to light and she rubbed them constantly.

            She lived on antibiotics from 18 months until October of 1996.

            In 1995 she was diagnosed by Carl Pfeiffer as severe zinc deficient with a very high zinc/copper ratio, and had many vitamin/mineral imbalances and chemical imbalances.

            She was on their program 1 year…gained 5 lbs..but not a lot of improvement. She still had lot’s of upper respiratory and ear infections, did start saying a word or two, and did starting a little food. I informed Dr. Glabb about the DAN protocol…she was not a DAN doctor at that time.

            In October of 1996, we had her allergy tested at Immuno Labs…the results were: no immediate allergies, 29 out of 209 IgG delayed food allergies which included casein and Candida at that time but has since acquired it. I put her on a rotation diet…she acquired an appetite for the first time in her life. I also at the same time put her on an array of supplements..vitamins/minerals, extra zinc, herb’s….everything I could possibly find to boost the immune system. She gained 10 lbs…but still had burping, belching, gas and sluggish bowels.

            About the same time we got a computer and internet access and I jointed the autism listserve where I encountered Vicki Westlund. She talked me into another hair analysis in August of 1997. Angie was low in Calcium, Sodium, Potassium, Copper, Zinc and Germanium and showed absolutely NO iron, manganese, Chromium, Cobalt or Silica…she also showed traces of “mercury” and “aluminum”…but within the normal range. Also she was  low in most additional minerals.

            After Vicki’s analysis’s and with the help of Dr. Moreno…we switched her supplemental program, also added Olivir, Piracetam and Soil Based Organisms. Her appetite increased and her immune system improved and her bowel’s started functioning without enemas, although still sluggish. She also has gone from saying just a couple of words to eight word sentences.

            All the supplement’s in the world won’t help though if she is suffering from an underactive thyroid.

            We are now on our 4th doctor and after a two week battle and numerous phone calls to New York and Dr. Kellman’s office he (Dr. Kiel) reluctantly agreed to run a TRH on Angie. (Most doctor’s initial request to a TRH is comparable to asking them to do their first amputation in the office blindfolded.) They are convinced the T3, T4 and TSH means of testing are accurate. Dr. Kellman however, deems them totally inaccurate!

            Friday…I just got Angie’s result’s on the TRH…her pre-TSH was 2.906ulU/ml the normal range (0.35 – 5.50)…..her post-TSH reading was 44.035ulU/ml the normal range (0.35 – 5.50). The excess secretion of thyroid hormone indicate that Angie’s thyroid is barely functioning…if it were functioning she would be converting the thyroid hormone into T3 & T4’s.

            I called Dr. Kellman and he confirmed that this definitely indicates she has severe hypothyroidism……!

            If we can catch and detect their low functioning thyroid problems early…we could possible reverse or prevent a lot of the other problems from even occurring. I believe there is a good chance that AUTISM is just a hypothyroidism problem that is undiagnosed and untreated in most children….thereby creating a multitude of chains of events to occur.

            I believe it would be well worth the DAN doctor’s time and effort’s to start doing the TRH test on their patients

            Please let me know what you think????? 

Very truly yours,

Shirley Adams

Parent of a daughter diagnosed PDD at 18 months and diagnosed severe hypothyroidism at age 9.

625 Northwestern Avenue

Taylorville, Illinois 62568

(217) 824-9425


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