Is my stuttering related to hypothyroidism?  I am 15. I was diagnosed with a mild form of hypothyroidism 2 or 3 years ago. My father has a more serious case of hypothyroidism. When I was younger,...

Is my stuttering related to hypothyroidism?


I am 15. I was diagnosed with a mild form of hypothyroidism 2 or 3 years ago. My father has a more serious case of hypothyroidism. When I was younger, I don't remember stuttering at all. The doctor prescribed me levothyroxine. Recently, I don't take my medicine regularly when I should. And, I have recently started stuttering like crazy. It's not even when I am nervous. I start stuttering really bad when I am merely talking to my family or when I am angry and try to say something, words don't come out at all. Just yesterday in school I tried to ask my teacher if I could go to the bathroom, and I couldn't properly even begin the sentence, and kept on repeating the "c" sound in "can" but I was not able to pronounce the "an" part. I couldn't form my sentence and nothing came out. When I tried to force my words harder, my face, mouth, and eyes started twitching. After a while, it went away. My stutter comes randomly. So, my question is, does my thyroid condition have anything to do with this, and if I start resuming the prescribed medicine, is it possible that my stutter will lessen? Another thing which worries me is that I feel my stutter is genetic and not related to my thyroid condition at all. I

Expert Answers
hart379 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First thing you should do is take the medication that your physician has prescribed for you.  If you do not want to take it for whatever reason, you need to discuss that with your physician and he/she can come up with an alternative to treat your hypothyroidism.  Although I have not read anywhere about stuttering specifically being linked to hypothyroidism, thyroid dysfunction can result in mental changes which may be linked to your inability to speak as you like.  You seem to think that your stuttering is genetic and not related to your hypothyroidism, but you state that your father has also been diagnosed with hypothyroidism (which can be genetic).

Regardless of the cause, the best option for you is to speak to your physician so that you can get proper treatment for your thyroid and he/she can also address your stuttering.  You need to inquire with someone who has access to your medical record so that you recieve appropriate treatment.  If you do not feel comfortable with your physician, seek a second professional medical opinion.

loraaa | Student

Support groups and the self-help movement

With existing behavioral, prosthetic, and pharmaceutical treatments providing limited relief from the overt symptoms of stuttering, support groups and the self-help movement continues to gain popularity and support by professionals and people who stutter. One of the basic tenets behind the self-help movement is that since a cure does not exist, quality of living can be improved by improved acceptance of self and stuttering. Psychoanalysis has claimed success in the treament of stuttering, such as the therapy used on King George in "The King's Speech."  Diaphragmatic breathing

Several treatment initiatives advocate diaphragmatic breathing (or costal breathing) as a means by which stuttering can be controlled. Performing vocal artists, who have strengthened their diaphragm, tend to stutter when speaking but not when singing because singing involves voluntary diaphragm usage while speaking involves involuntary diaphragm usage primarily

loraaa | Student

Several neuroimaging studies have emerged in order to identify areas associated with stuttering. Brain imaging studies have primarily been focused on adults. In general, during stuttering, cerebral activities change dramatically in comparison to silent rest or fluent speech between stutterers and non-stutterers.

Studies utilizing positron-emission tomography (PET) have found during tasks that invoke disfluent speech, stutterers show hypoactivity in cortical areas associated with language processing, such as Broca’s area, but hyperactivity in areas associated with motor function.[14] One such study that evaluated the stutter period found that there was over activation in the cerebrum and cerebellum, and relative deactivation of the left hemisphere auditory areas and frontal temporal regions.[39]

In non-stuttering, normal speech, PET scans show that both hemispheres are active but that the left hemisphere may be more active. By contrast, stutterers yield more activity on the right hemisphere, suggesting that it might be interfering with left-hemisphere speech production. Another comparison of scans anterior forebrain regions are disproportionately active in stuttering subjects, while post-rolandic regions are relatively inactive

loraaa | Student

Stuttering (alalia syllabaris), also known as stammering (alalia literalis or anarthria literalis), is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases, and involuntary silent pauses or blocks in which the stutterer is unable to produce sounds.[1] The term stuttering is most commonly associated with involuntary sound repetition, but it also encompasses the abnormal hesitation or pausing before speech, referred to by stutterers as blocks, and the prolongation of certain sounds, usually vowels and semivowels. For many stutters repetition is the primary problem and blocks and prolongations are learned mechanisms to mask repetition, as the fear of repetitive speaking in public is often the main cause of psychological unease...