Is there a link?

My mother described me as a baby who slept 20 hours out of every 24 and I had a baby who was just the same.  We have both needed a lot of sleep throughout our lives and my daughter was diagnosed with hypothyroidism at the age of 23.

Is there a link that as babies we slept most of the time and it has turned into this terrible illness?  I really do wonder as my other daughter hardly slept at all and she is always full of life!

Any information you have would be gratefully accepted.

Wishing you all good health.

35 Replies

  • Cretinism is what happens when babies are hypothyroid.  Low IQ, short, etc.   

  • It is very possible and mums often do have that gut feeling when you know something is wrong. I think there is a link to autism too. Hypothyroidism during pregnancy is linked to developmental delays in babies. The fact that it's hardly ever diagnosed until you are very poorly means a lot of ladies could have it before pregnancy and pregnancy can also cause an already weak thyroid to deteriorate quicker.

    My middle child is Aspergers and he never slept as a baby. After him I started to swell and get hypo symptoms but the GP test came back 'normal'. He would power nap for 10 mins. My youngest slept all the time, he slept through the night at 2 weeks old and he would nap in the afternoons up to about 18 months. I ballooned after him and started losing hair, generally feeling rubbish but my GP refused to test my thyroid and said she though it was glandular fever. My youngest has severe autism and he regressed literally within 5 days of his MMR, he also now hardly ever sleeps. I believe the mmr increased his anitibodies so they went sky high. I really do want to get all my kids thyroids checked but I'd be laughed out of a GP's office. Also a lot of autistic symptoms are similar to low thyroid symptoms, bowel problems, sleep problems, vitamin deficiencies, problems concentrating, blackouts and blank episodes, co ordination problems, fine motor skill problems. I may just be paranoid but I do not trust the NHS completely because of experience.

  • You're not paranoid katiekatie there are good & bad in every profession & unfortunately that includes healthcare. I also believe that even the good Doctors & health professional have their hands tied due to NHS guidelines & funding. 

  • I know you are correct, they can't speak out in fear of losing their jobs either. It's a bad situation.

  • Hi, yes, me too, Aspergers son, sounds a similar story.  The assumption is that everything is down to the aspergers .. I sometimes wonder if he went in with a broken leg, they'd say, "the psychologist can see you now".

  • Yes all's I get from doctors is 'That's common with autism'. I don't find it acceptable to brush off things like bowel problems with 'it's just autism' Health is about getting everything balanced in the body and something must be causing the physical problems within the body. 

  • Thanks Katie for your very, very intersting post.

    IPhoenix, your theory sounds good, I wonder if there have ever been any peer-reviewed controlled research trials.

  • Big babies are also linked to the Mum being Hypo.  Dr Barry Durrant-Peatfield mentions this in his book - The Thyroid - and How to Keep it Healthy.  When the foetus detects low thyroid hormones it produces its own growth hormone to compensate.  I had big babies :-(

  • This is very interesting too thanks Marz, I also had big babies, had to be x-rayed before giving birth to my first to check that his skull would fit through my pelvis - it did - but I don't think either of us enjoyed the experience!!

  • This is very interesting to me. My daughter was 10lb 7 0z when she was born. They said it was due to a diabetes which can occur just during pregnancy ( I am not diabetic, normally ) I was only 8 stone before I got pregnant and then as soon as I had her I weighed the same, static weight gain, where just the baby gains weight but you don't. I am now wondering if they were mistaken. The birth was not easy! I didn't have any more children :(  

  • .... well as we know the pancreas is part of the endocrine system - as is the thyroid - so when one is off kilter - then so are the other glands.  It takes us all years to find all the bits of the jig-saw puzzle :-)  You may be able to read more in Peatfields book ....

  • Yes, thanks Marz , I am going to order it. I tried to google for an excerpt yesterday but couldn't find one.

  • there a Kindle version ?  You can also borrow books from Thyroid UK for a small fee - am sure it must be there :-)

  • There is a kindle version, but I do like to own the actual book :) It's £8.00 on Amazon and the kindle is £5.00 so may as well have the real thing. I didn't know you could borrow books from Thyroid UK ! Isn't that great?! Thanks

  • Hi there yes I was exactly the same - born in November 1948 - my Mother said that I never woke for feeds during the night and was petrified something had happened to me...............I could also be heard downstairs breathing - tonsils and adenoids out when I was about 3/4 as I was told the ENT Dr said if I got an infection I would not be able to breath at all.  This tonsils phenomenon is a result of low cortisol/low thyroid hormone - as the tonsils and adenoids should reduce in size shortly before birth but if not enough cortisol then they will stay enlarged.  Look out also for the gap in front teeth (low thyroid person) one eye slightly dropped and swan like neck and for autoimmune issues a red mark at the nape of the neck under the hair.  All signs that Drs could use to identify thyroid hormone issues but don't even know about these days.  Also often a thyroid family will have one tall child and one shorter the reasons for this I wont go into just yet.  I was always tired as a child - and as an adult I really suffered particularly if under stress - I got sleepier as my adrenals were involved heavily.  Hope this helps let me know if you need anything else.   

    By the way I read the other day and it really upset me that if you are low in adrenals and thyroid hormone - when you are pregnant you actually 'live' off the babies adrenals which absolutely devastated me as I have always said 'I have never felt so well as when I was pregnant so energised etc etc' to think that was at the expense of my darling baby who is now nearly 50 and who has suffered all his life with what I can now see is an adrenal issue - this is such an awful disease.....................

  • Hi Postthinking, is that gap between the front teeth real?  My daughter has such a gap and I've worried for years that she is hypo because she tires so easily but tests come back 'normal'

  • I have a gap & missing teeth inc wisdom! - I've heard this before, but connected with Vitamin D - thanks for the link from Mark Starr

  • Your last paragraph is really interesting but also like you I feel very upset. When I was pregnant also felt really well, better that I normally did. I put on 3 stone in weight when pregnant.

    My daughter is now 34 and has been ill on and off all her life. She has very low am. cortisol levels and border line hypo. She has felt more unwell in the last eight years and interestingly has a gap in between her front teeth, and a swan like neck as I also do. I was diagnose hypo. six years ago.

    Could you possible post the link you read about adrenal/thyroid and pregnancy.

    Is your son getting any treatment ?

    Any advice you can offer would be really appreciated.

    Best wishes browny.

  • Katie my heart goes out to you.  Have you read Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride's book Gut and Psychology.  It is a fantastic read.  She states her own son was cured of autism by following a Gaps diet.  This as we know is a massive statement to make but it makes sense as Dr. Wakefield, who was hounded out of Britain by the Medical Association here, has given a strong argument about vaccines and the gut.   Healing the gut makes good sense and Dr. Campbell-McBride also gives a compelling argument.  I hope this helps.

    Kind regards x

  • Hi no I haven't but I will thank you, I will try and hunt down a copy. I am aware of Dr Wakefield studies. I do find it laughable that he is called all sorts of names and a fraudster but was only discredited by the very people attempting to keep these connections secret. Both my boys have gut problems and I do too, also my mother has IBS and is also hypo. I do make sure all my kids have vitamins and try to make sure they eat as healthy as possible but it's so difficult with my youngest as he is super fussy. As a baby being weaned he ate everything. Now all's he wants is carbs he has never put particular fruits or veg into his mouth, he drops them due to texture. He won't drink smoothies either. I will read the book though and give it a try. When he was a baby vegetables and fruits were obviously blended and he ate them then. I know a lot of people look for answers about autism but I do think there is a connection to thyroid dysfunction. My eldest girl is 11 and she sweats excessively and is very thin she has bad mood swings and it isn't her age she has always had them, up and down. I was similar to her as a child and also could never concentrate and went into trances, I was up and down mood wise and was only ever diagnosed with depression and anxiety, I believe I has symptoms of hashimotos, which went on for years, now my thyroid has packed in. I have asked doctors for thyroid function tests for her but they refuse. I am going to look into getting all three of my kids tested privately I think. I do see an improvement in my youngest when he is taking vitamins and I am convinced it's something physical.

    Thank you!

  • Katie you will find a lot of answers in the book Gut and Psychology and am sure you will have a lot of light bulb moments. Dr. McBride speaks about bacteria being passed on at birth which could be a reason that it passes down the generations.  You can purchase from Amazon.  Also google her name or GAPS diet.  I also have a copy of the GAPS diet dvd which is helpful too as they show you how and what to cook. 

    Best wishes to you and your family x

  • I agree. My son eats mainly dairy and wheat, some salad, some orange juice. Oh, sugar, of course. Crisps. He has had a very restricted diet since six. When I get the energy I make cakes with almond flour, for the protein, things like carrot and apple cake. I have an almond and apple cake which takes eight eggs! He has no idea he is eating them. There is a chocolate cake you make with blitzed kidney beans, you would never guess. Do you think they might go for that?

    We solved the constipation, but only after years. i used to put vitamins into milk shakes till he spotted them.. vit d of course you can do in drops. Watch out for iron depletion. Even though I gave vits with iron in, my son got that and it was v v damaging.

  • I mean I agree that it feels as though there is a physical cause underlying autism. I'm not a McBride fan though myself.

  • Yes that sounds like a good  plan. He will go in and out of phases of loving something, for example raisens, then suddenly refusing to eat them again.He loves biscuits,  maybe I could make some of those with hidden fruit and almond flour. He loves cereal and flapjacks, biscuits, bread, crisps, rice, noodles, pasta and one particular sauce. He is a carb monster! Drinks a lot of milk and water, doesn't like juice. He used to eat more dairy, fish, bananas, raisens but he's gone off them. We have a multi vit syrup we give all the kids twice a day it doesn't contain iron as it makes my older boy who already has bowel problems more constipated and he takes lactulose solution twice a day. Anything is worth a try. I cook healthy meals from scratch but he never eats them. 

  • Surely it is more than a coincidence that we are both hypo and have such similar children. I Didn't know I was prob hypo when I was pregnant, did you? I will try to find the stuff which cured the constipation, we went up to consultant level to deal with that - it sound so minor but ruins a child's life.  

     There are cakes and a shortbread in River Cottage light and easy, which u can prob get 2nd hand. Ferrous sulphate causes constipation on some, but other iron supplements don't. Next time u see a dr explain both are at risk of low iron - maybe not anaemia, but very iron stores - and please could both have a ferritin test, get a print out, don't accept normal ie just over the bottom of the range. I tried v hard on this but even so my son has restless legs syndrome now prob due to early iron depletion. Both milk and cereal inhibit the absorbtion of iron but his main supply of iron currently will be iron added to cereal and fortified flour. It won't be enough as he grows.

    He sound as though he will be low in folate. My son is the same, only one sauce, no other brands, has to be exact. Definitely you will be able to use nut flours in biscuits to get extra protein in. 

    We should maybe msg each other, I don't know whether this is terminally boring for everyone else, or if there are so many asd children among us it is useful.

  • Just spent half an hour trying to msg you and it wouldn't send. The consultant prescribed Movicol, if pm me I can tell u more.

  • Hi sorry I saw this earlier went to reply and then my phone ran out! Then I was too busy. My middle son was precribed that and he hated taking it. He now takes lactulose solution on precription and that works ok. We have to constantly remind him to drink fluids also as he just doesn't drink a lot at all. My youngest is starting to show similar symptoms. Probably because he only ever eats carbs.

    No I didn't know I was hypo until after my third child. I asked for a test after my second but was clueless back then and trusted the doctor when the results came back 'normal'. I just thought it must be something else. Then after my third I got the full blown symptoms and the GP refused to test me again but offerd me a glandular fever test! I only found out I was hypo via private testing. During my teens I would go high and low in mood and energy and just had anti depressants thrown at me which never worked. Now looking back I think that was my thyroid and it's now just given up. You just trust doctors and don't question anything when you are young.

  • Yes, and watching them utterly unable to help autism makes the lack of faith in drs complete.

    Thyroid has been researched in autism, to some degree. mainstream findings were no differences in tsh and t4 from controls. Gilling tried giving levo to a group anyway, they just went hyper. I think there is a lack of big studies on antibodies and t3. Probably they would have to look at our specific group, children of mothers later diag with hypo, to see any pattern. I tested my son, no antibodies, low in range t4' slightly above range T3. His symptoms suggest hyper, esp the anxiety, palps. Anxiety is chief symptom, but rls and tinnitus began at 15 after a viral infection.

    I think my daughter may be hypo, thin vv cold, starts to shiver when eats ice cream in a warm cafe, tired to an unusual degree, prone to cold after cold. Will test her soon.

    Keep in touch if u can.

  • I'm not sure there is a link...

    I've had three babies. In 1968, I gave birth to a child that never slept for more than five minutes - except out in the car - until he was three months old.

    In 1972, a perfect text-book baby, that selpt when she was supposed to sleep, and woke on time for her feeds.

    In 1974, a baby that would sleep all day if I'd let him! He didn't crawl until his first birthday.

    So, now they're 48, 44 and 42, and none of them have been diagnosed as hypo. I do suspect my perfect text-book baby is hypo, but she won't get tested. The other two are skinny, energetic and seeminly very healthy.

    Also, if we come down a generation, my eldest granddaughter never slept, either. She drove all of us crazy! Now, at twelve, she has put on a lot of weight, and sometimes I think I see a lump in her throat, but she hasn't been tested. So... I really Don't think that how much they slept as babies has much to do with anything, really.

  • Oh my goodness, my mum said the same about me....she said I would have got a gold at the olympics if there was a medal for sleeping.......still the same even on medication...sometimes think of the amount of life wasted sleeping

  • My mother used to say that she never had to tell me to go to bed. unlike my brother, I would go upstairs alone, because I felt so tired. This would have been after the major nuclear pollution from the Windscale fire at a plutonium producing plant, to which I was relatively close, in 1957. This may or may not be coincidental, but it fits with recent research.

     Throughout my life  I have been more tired than my peers. From the age of 17 people have commented that I walk slowly, speak slowly. It got a great deal worse after my last pregnancy, which must have been a massive strain on my body, if I am right. I believe that I may have had thyroid antibodies since that accident, which by the way blew over most of the west of England, half of western Scotland and the Isle of Man. I think that it is possible that as a result of the exposure to radioaction I developed antibodies in infancy, and my body reacted by slowing everything. The TSH was no clue to the problem, therefore.

    Whether I am right will only be known after I am dead, when science has followed the teenagers, now young men and women, who now have antibodies as a result of Chernobyl. They are said to have no symptoms, but I think if I went out and interviewed and tested them against peers it might appear that they do have symptoms, subtle ones.

  • I and all of my three siblings slept a lot since we were children. I've always slept 10-11 hours per night, and would feel wretched if it dropped down to 9hours. I don't believe I ever had Hashimotos, but I did develop thyroid cancer and have had very little benefit from Liiothyronine or Levothyroxine. 

    I feel sure there's an underlying connection between all these things that would explain why my cancer developed, but I doubt I'll ever find out what it is :( 

  • Thanks, Sandy12. I will check out your book. Is it possible to definitively prove there is thyroid hormone resistance?

  • I thank each and every one of you for adding your own stories.  I thought there might be a connection and I am even more convinced now.  I feel very glad that I found this site as it has made me very determined to get the treatment I need to improve my health. 

    Onwards and upwards tomorrow I shall be phoning the hospital only this time it will be to the Pals section and insist that I am actually given a date and time for my endo appointment which I was supposed to be given in late January/early February!

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