Thyroid problems in childhood - vision and problems with maths

I got involved in a series of posts on here about possible thyroid symptoms we'd had in childhood - long/short-sightedness, astigmatism, changes in hair, weight gain, growth issues etc.

Then, when I was looking at a newspaper clipping, I'd kept about something else, I noticed there was an article about a link between mother's low thyroid levels during pregnancy and poor maths ability in the child. Language abilities are not affected.

I was fascinated by this. I've started another post in case no one is looking back at that conversation now. A lot of people in that conversation related to the excerpt about the bright child with a tendency towards obesity being typical of a child with hypothyroidism. So I wonder if anyone also relates to the bad at maths part?

I was bright at school, especially at language. But my maths was very bad and the teachers never understood the disparity between my abilities in other subjects and my maths.

Here is a link on the subject. Love to know if anyone relates to this childhood picture.

nursingtimes.net/nursing-pr...

7 Replies

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  • I was actually the opposite to you. My maths ability was good, but trying to learn new languages was something I struggled with terribly. I dropped foreign language learning as soon as I could.

  • No, my maths was ok, which is interesting cos I'm sure my mother was hypothyroid - never officially diagnosed though. But hey, maybe I was supposed to be a mathematical genius... :D

  • I don't think that my mother was hypo. but she did become crippled with arthritis at the age of 35, when I was born. I was premature (6 weeks) and weighed 4.5lbs; not a small weight compared with survival rates now but then it was unusual. I grew a lot and am now 5'10" tall. My hypothyroidism started when I was about 19, after a bout of glandular fever. It was not noticed until almost 30 years later. In the intervening decades I lost cognitive function and started to put on weight, although I was still slim but had been slimmer. What troubled me most were the boils that I got on my face, for which I was given antibiotics (which did nothing to stop them). They rather over-shadowed my early adult years.

    I was, and am, still pretty good at maths, although not brilliant. I am still able to take a secondary school maths class when being a supply teacher. I was, and am, good at English language, although my memory fails me when it comes to foreign languages; my O Level in French is a distant memory.

    I'm not sure about the common acceptance that one is either good at 'arty' subjects or mathematical/science ones. I was a computer programmer and a building surveyor at one time (not at the same time) but now teach art and am a therapist as well. I play the piano - which is linked to mathematics.

    I think that we are complex beings, capable of much.

  • I agree. But you are fortunate to be an all-rounder. I think some of us are stronger on the arts or the maths. With a lot of hard work and application I can do ok in maths, but it does not come naturally at all and my brain does not like it. My mum found maths easy and has no interest in the arty side and does not find it easy. We are indeed complex beings.

    I am sorry to hear about the boils. That is a very tough experience to have had.

  • In the previous diatribe I forgot to mention that I lost my colour vision on a couple of occasions in my early twenties; most bizarre.

  • Pretty certain my mum was hypo - my dad too! I wasn't too bad at maths up to 'A' level, but rapidly found myself out of my depth after that. Language is my thing, really, bi-linugal English/French, spatterings of a number of other languages - I read grammar books for fun. BUT I am dislexic, and I can't spell, no matter how hard I try. Neither could my dad.

    I believe both my grandmothers were hypo, too. My dad couldn't spell, like me, and wasn't very good at maths, he was better at making things with his hands, with wood. My mum, on the other hand, was brilliant at everything! Homework was a breeze with her around. Brilliant at maths and English, spoke French, played the piano and the clarinet at school. She could also cook sew, embroider... good job I'm not easily made to feel inferior! lol

    So, all that to say, I just think we're all different. And it's probably our own hormones that make the difference, rather than our mother's.

  • Yes, that makes sense. I must not blame everything on the thyroid!

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