The Truth About Autism and Thyroid from Dr. Amy Myers

By Julie Obradovic

Back in September, I had the privilege of interviewing Amy Myers, M.D. for an episode of Generation Rescue’s #ChatAutism podcast. Like last month’s guest, Dr. Will Cole, Dr. Myers is a renowned leader in functional medicine. She has truly helped tens of thousands of people recover from chronic illness through her dietary based program, The Myers Way, which she taught us all about at the 2015 Autism Education Summit.

Dr. Myers is passionate about autoimmune and thyroid dysfunction because of her own journey with Graves’ Disease. Her first book, The Autoimmune Solution, is a New York Times bestseller. She took the time to talk with us about her new book, The Thyroid Connection, and also discussed how we can begin to heal our thyroid issues, the potential of infrared sauna therapy to help do so, and how they both relate to autism. 

Are We Being Under Diagnosed? 

During the interview, Dr. Myers shared that a significant percentage of people with a thyroid condition are under diagnosed or misdiagnosed. In large part, she believes, this is due to the fact that the “normal” range of what a healthy thyroid “should be” is not accurate for every individual. In other words, standard test reference ranges are usually too general to be applied to everyone.

For instance, many people who suspect they have a thyroid issue will get tested; unfortunately, however, their results are not interpreted properly for them. Another possibility is that the standard test isn’t enough by itself to diagnose a problem. Other tests may be needed, but are not ordered. Both can result in a person with a thyroid problem being told they don’t have one.

Underactive vs. Overactive

Dr. Myers stated that the majority of people with a thyroid issue have an underactive thyroid. Common signs of this condition include unexplained hair loss, always being cold, being constipated, having a very low heart rate, and suffering from dry skin. An overactive thyroid, which manifests as Grave’s disease, commonly results in the opposite symptoms, such as a very rapid heart rate and unexplained weight loss.

Shockingly, about three-quarters of people with autism have an underactive thyroid, she claimed. Likewise, it is very common for the mothers of children with autism to suffer from some form of autoimmunity. The combination of both problems in our community, she says, makes identifying and treating them prudent.

The Heavy Metal Connection 

In her book, Dr. Myers includes a chapter on some of the toxins that can threaten our thyroids. Common culprits include plastics and EMFs. Heavy metals like mercury and lead are also problematic, as are bromide, chloride, and fluoride.  Any of these exposures can lead to a lack of iodine, which can lead to a thyroid condition.

She offered us some solutions for protecting and healing our thyroid problems today. Suggestions included eating organic; purchasing a HEPPA air filter and reverse osmosis water filter for our homes; eliminating gluten, dairy, and grains from our diet; and purchasing and applying skin and beauty products that do not contain dangerous chemicals.

She also went into some detail about the use of infrared sauna therapy to help. Dr. Myers works closely with Sunlighten, a company who has a very strong line of non-toxic saunas that many of our families have seen benefit from. She believes saunas can be a powerful tool to help alleviate our toxic burden when used properly. She emphasized the importance of taking a shower immediately after use, as well as taking a multivitamin.

More information about sauna therapy and Dr. Myers thyroid protocol can be found in her book, The Thyroid Connection, which is available now everywhere books are sold. It is also available for download on Audible. You can sign up for a FREE trial and download The Thyroid Connection or The Autoimmune Solution for FREE today! 

And to learn more about infrared sauna therapy and autism, reach out to our friends at Sunlighten and stay tuned for more posts, as we explore healthy ways to detox. (PS: If you mention Generation Rescue, they’re happy to offer you an exclusive discount on your very own sauna!) 

We’re grateful to doctors like Amy Myers for taking the time to share her experience and expertise with us, and we look forward to hearing more from her in the future.

Yours in hope, healing, and health,

Julie Obradovic, Host of #ChatAutism 

About the Author: 

Julie Obradovic is an educator, author, advocate, and mother of three beautiful children, one of whom is affected by autism. For over a decade, she’s focused on improving the lives of families with autism through her philanthropy, writing, and political activism. Her many hats include Contributing Editor for the Age of Autism blog, savvy host of Generation Rescue’s #ChatAutism podcast, assistant to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and consultant on the groundbreaking documentary, Trace Amounts. She and her husband co-host the annual Rescue Our Angels event in Chicago to help raise money to provide medical grants to families in need. Her new book, An Unfortunate Coincidence by Skyhorse Publishing, share’s her journey as a Mommy Warrior, from her daughter’s regression into to autism to her recovery and the lessons learned along the way. Prior to her advocacy, Julie was a full time educator and administrator and holds a Master’s Degree in each. She currently holds down the fort for GR in Chicago, where she lives with her husband and children. 

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