Polly: There is a higher incidence of precocious puberty among the autistic than the norm. Perhaps it is because many have a phenol-sulfotransferase problem, which would make it more difficult for them to eliminate environmental estrogens and pesticides. Or it might have something to do with excess serotonin influence. (Tryptophan restriction or inhibiting the synthesis of serotonin in the brain increases the age of puberty. ) Thyroid will support the liver’s ability to get rid of estrogens, and it helps the body lower the serotonin influence. It is known that sometimes thyroid will get rid of precocious puberty.
My daughter is not autistic, but she did have learning problems at school, depression (almost bipolar), and precocious puberty. At the time that I was carrying her, my thyroid level had not been corrected, and I had a poor amino acid profile due to the many previous years of yeast overgrowth in myself. I suspect that both of these factors contributed to the damage. In particular, I wish I had known about my low taurine levels and had corrected them before my pregnancy since taurine is so important to the proper formation of the fetus brain.
Eventually, it dawned on me that my daughter’s precocious puberty might be due to her being hypothyroid. Yet, when I took her to the local university pediatric endocrinologist, he got very angry with me when I mentioned thyroid. He told me that yes, I was right about her having precocious puberty, but I was way off base with the thyroid. I showed him a paper from NORD, the National Organization for Rare Diseases, that said sometimes thyroid would correct the problem. But he replied that NORD didn’t know what they were talking about, and besides, my daughter couldn’t possibly be low thyroid because she was tall. I almost believed him, but fortunately, not enough to eschew a second opinion. When I consulted the Broda Barnes Foundation, they said that a child could be tall and still have low thyroid. A child can have enough thyroid hormone to grow, but not enough to control the growth. Usually, precocious puberty is characterized by a deficiency of some hormone. Usually, it is not going to show up in a blood test.
Thanks to the Broda Barnes Foundation and one of their referral doctors, we obtained some Armour thyroid for my daughter. The first thing that the thyroid did was to clear up my daughter’s depression. She used to cry for an hour everyday after school. That cleared up within a month. One of her teachers really noticed the difference in her personality; the teacher cornered me, and spent an hour telling me about it. (The teacher hadn’t known about the thyroid supplement.) My daughter had been tested at school for learning disabilities and found to be bright but unable to focus. Her focusing problems cleared more gradually. Within a year she went from the bottom of her class to an honor roll student. The thyroid seemed to slow the precocious puberty, but I can’t say for sure what the normal progression would have been otherwise. Thyroid is known to clear up bedwetting, but in my daughter’s case, it was several years after getting the thyroid supplement before the constant bedwetting finally ceased. So I don’t think the thyroid helped much with that.
There were a few things that helped me realize that the thyroid wasn’t just a placebo. One was that her hair started to grow faster. It used to grow 1 inch per year. It started to grow almost an inch per month. Another thing that convinced me was that her basal temperature stopped jumping all around, although it still remained low. The keratosis on her stomach disappeared soon after getting the thyroid, but she still has it on her upper arms and thighs. (The keratosis is small numerous bumps on her skin. People on the autism lists refer to it as chicken skin.) My daughter also has flushed cheeks and red ears. This characteristic is also mentioned often on the autism lists, usually as a symptom of a PST deficit. Some suggest that the red cheeks and ears could also be an accumulation of IgG due to food allergies, especially allergies to wheat and milk. Yet, my daughter doesn’t seem to have food allergies or yeast overgrowth. Maybe?
The thyroid supplement helped some things, but my daughter was still having problems going to sleep, and she still had low energy. More needed to be addressed. Coenzyme B6 solved the problem with falling asleep at night, but not the energy. Her aminos were tested and she was found to be very low on taurine, cysteine, and all the aminos normally associated with yeast overgrowth. (She had had tons of antibiotics for earaches as a toddler, but was always given Nystatin with it. And, yes, she had all of her vaccinations on schedule.) So we started her on small amounts of taurine. The supplements of taurine definitely increased her energy and improved the quality of her sleep. Now she wakes up when the alarm clock goes off instead of taking an hour of coaxing to get her out of bed. However, more needs to be done. Her glutathione levels are low, her basal temperature is still too low, and her energy level is not what I’d like it to be. Recently, I took her to a doctor of Chinese medicine. He looked at the missing moons on her fingernails and the red tip of her tongue when she extended it, found some very slight “teeth” marks on the side of her tongue, and declared her to be hypothyroid. (He had not known about her previous diagnosis of hypothyroidism and treatment with thyroid.) We then tried adding a little T3 thyroid to her regimen, and this helped her energy more than just increasing the Armour.
Connie: By the way, the hormonal problems mention above reminded me of sleep problems being corrected for us by Symplex F (girl child) from Standard Process—adjusts the pineal. Added bonus—also solved the bed wetting problems for our child. (Connie’s child has ADD, and symptoms of mercury poisoning.)