Q:I was extremely interested to read the case history concerning Primolut Depot (WDDTY vol 6 no 11). After two early miscarriages, I was injected with it during my third pregnancy after a lot of pressure from my GP, when early bleeding set in once ag

My son was born in March 1975, and I was devastated to learn he had a thyroid deficiency, diagnosed at six months. I had another son in 1976. I did not use Primolut then, but he had a thyroid problem also.

I have had endless problems with both boys, and have never been right myself since, and we still suffer.

I made a point of telling all the specialists we saw about the fact the hormone was used, but they were not interested.

I would be interested if you could tell me where I might get more information, and wonder if there are other parents with similar problems. My two sons, now nearly 21 and 19, needed extra help in school with learning difficulties. The eldest is very highly strung and gets asthma and eczema. Both were extremely hyperactive when young. S A, Drybrook, Glos…….

A:Primolut is a progestogen containing norethisterone. One of the recognized side effects of progestogens, according to the entry on Aygestin, (norethindrone) in the Physician’s Desk Reference, is a decrease in T3 uptake, one of the thyroid hormones, which could have affected you and therefore your children.

Although it’s impossible to say whether the drug affected your children’s learning abilities, it may have set up a chemical imbalance (too high copper levels, and low zinc levels, for instance, a known side effect of hormone supplementation, according to Biolab in London). This could have predisposed your first child to nutritional deficiencies and allergies, and also affected your second pregnancy, even though you did not take the hormone the second time around.

Some studies have shown that zinc deficiency can cause learning impairment, behaviour disorders and immune dysfunctions for several generations (see page 7).

The study referred to concluded that zinc deficiency in either parent before conception can contribute to familial dyslexia.

The best suggestion is for you to see a qualified nutritional therapist, who can test for allergies and nutritional deficiencies in all three of you and possibly correct the problems set in motion by the progestogen taken during pregnancy.

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