Mother’s Thyroid Function During Pregnancy Impacts Child’s Behavioral Development

thyroidMother’s thyroid function during pregnancy impacts whether their sons (not daughters) will exhibit aggressive or, anxious/depressed behavior by age 4 years old.

The study found mothers who had high TSH (>3.0 indicates hypothyroid) had sons who were more likely to be withdrawn and to externalize problems. Boys whose mothers had a high Free T4 during pregnancy were more likely to be anxious or depressed. And boys whose mothers had moderate TSH or low Free T4 were more likely to show aggressive behavior. This is in comparison to mothers who had normal TSH and normal Free T4.

The Safety Theory

The Safety Theory was coined by Pharmacist Isabella Wentz, who has worked with thousands of people with Hashimoto’s Disease. Wentz found that these people’s bodies were receiving messages that the world is not safe and they do not feel safe. I can attest to this in my own experience with clients that I work with who have thyroid disorders (not just Hashimotos). When I am doing NAET treatments, and muscle test clients, I have consistently found thyroid dysfunction has to do with an incident where they started to not feel safe. For example, safety could be felt in a loving relationship. Once the relationship ends, a deep subconscious wound of not feeling significant, good enough, or not being loved may arise. Whether the person realizes this or not, this leads to the nervous system not feeling “safe” anymore.

The Thyroid Gland Can Sense Danger

The thyroid gland works with our immune system to sense our environment and to help us survive. A 2013 study found that the thyroid gland can sense danger and initiate an inflammatory autoimmune response against itself through molecules known as “Danger Associated Molecular Patterns” (DAMPS). Think about what is making your body feel unsafe?

What is making your body feel as though it is going through a time of famine, war, crisis, or illness? Is it emotional unsafety? Breaking up with a loved one? Death of a loved one? Loss of purpose or sense of identity? Feeling unsafe or lonely when you’re alone?

pregnant woman on the beachThis study made me wonder if these mothers were experiencing something during pregnancy that made them feel unsafe, which caused their thyroid function to be abnormal. Which then affects the behavior of their son. Was it coping with an expanding body because they had a subconscious belief that if they grew bigger they would be less attractive? Was it wondering whether they are going to be a good mother? Fear of the unknown of their new path? Was the father a solid foundation for the mother during that time of pregnancy? A great addition to this study would be to see what the perceived fears or stressors were during pregnancy.

Let Your Body Feel Safe With Nourishing Foods, Thoughts and Self-Talk

You must eliminate the things that make your immune system believe that you need to conserve your body’s resources and add things that make it believe that it is safe.

One of the fastest ways to let your body know that it is safe and that it can thrive is through nourishing foods! Although famines are rare in this society, we may send the same signals to our body by eating processed foods, things that are less nutrient-dense, being on a calorie-restrictive diet, eating foods that cause inflammation or digestive issues, and a big one…..eating while stressed to distract yourself from what you’re feeling.

green juicesAll of these signal the body that food is scarce, and that you are in famine.
The food you eat or don’t eat can send signals to your body that your environment is not safe and that it needs to go into survival mode.

Choose nourishing foods, loving thoughts, and be kind to yourself~



Hashimoto’s Food Pharmacology

Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism

Author: Melissa Mullin

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