Environmental Factors and Autism – Part 3

coal-power-plant-and-autism

We know based on research that growth and development can be severely impaired by chemicals, pesticides, metals and other toxic substances. Is there anything that we can do now?

  • We can support green efforts to decrease environmental pollutants.
  • We can prepare for pregnancy by detoxifying 3-6 months before trying to conceive.
  • We can address nutrient deficiencies and correct them.
  • We can eat a diet rich in good quality protein, green leafy vegetables and complex carbohydrates.
  • We can choose supplements like omega-3 and antioxidants to protect our cells.
  • We can breastfeed our babies as it has been shown to decrease rates of ASD and ADHD.

Children with autism can benefit from increasing nutrient and antioxidant status.  Correcting nutrient deficiencies, taking essential fatty acids and increasing antioxidant levels show positive improvements in language, social and cognitive development.

Environmental Factors and Autism – Part 1

coal-power-plant-and-autism

As a health care practitioner who specializes in autism, the relationship between autism spectrum disorder, genetics and environmental toxicity is first in my mind always and this has also been the subject of research for many years.  What we do know now is that one of the key reasons for the dramatic rise in autism rates in the last 15-20 years can be attributed to environmental toxicity.

Children with autism are more susceptible to oxidative damage and environmental toxins than other children. Autism research has shown that oxidative stress levels are high and antioxidant levels are low.  Antioxidants protect our bodies from harmful chemicals and substances circulating in food, air, water and soil.  They are essential for normal development.  Environmental toxins such as heavy metals, chemicals, pesticides and other harmful substances lower a person’s antioxidant status.

In each of our bodies there are 7 detoxification pathways that are supported by antioxidants.  There is a relationship between normal development and detoxification that is necessary to be in balance for children to grow, thrive, and learn new skills.

Research has shown that children with autism have depleted stores of glutathione, one of the body’s most important antioxidants that support detoxification of toxic substances. Researchers have identified that children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) had up to 80% of this important compound depleted.  The brain relies 100% on glutathione to support development, therefore as glutathione levels decrease, so does the “fuel” needed for development.

Promising New Environmental Links Surface as Science Continues to Search for Autism’s Roots

200114153-001Many disorders of the mind and the majority of bodily illnesses are now considered to be “caused” by some combination of a genetic predisposition or marker and some type of environmental “trigger”. A more specific version of the classic “Nature vs. Nurture” argument. Even diseases and disorders that go beyond manageable to the realm of being progressively treatable or even in some cases curable often have pathologies or beginnings that are not completely understood or not verifiable in the strict scientific sense.

One previously hotly debated environmental factor thought by some to be related to autism and specifically the rise in its prevalency is immunizations. The decade from 1993-2003 saw an 800% increase in the Autism rate. In the 1980′s children by the age of 6 were given a maximum of 10 vaccines and the incidence of Autism was roughly 1 in every 10,000 children. Based on data from 2006, the current official rate of children with Autism is 1 in 110 and the CDC’s official recommendation totals 36 vaccines by age 6.However during this same period of time two indisputable factors contributed to the apparent dramatic increase. Both parents and doctors are now much more likely to notice and diagnose Autism and the diagnostic criteria have also been expanded to a more inclusive spectrum.

Regardless of whether Autism is on the rise, the most recent study released by esteemed Harvard University points to the environmental factor of the mother’s nutrition (specifically Iron)just before and early on in pregnancy as a link to lowering risk of the disease occurring. Another new report finds specific types of air pollution to cause an increased risk of having an Autistic child. These latest study findings are very exciting because of course if environmental factors are found to be a direct cause for Autism, then there are ways intervene or change the environment and prevent this disease from developing and save countless future children form a difficult or unfullfilled life.

The Autism Epidemic – a macroepigenetic approach to identify responsible factors

The demand for special education has risen unceasingly in the category of pervasive age-linked disorders. Autism, a developmental disorder, has been defined as a universal age-related ailment known to appear within the first three years of childhood. The number of children – ranging between the ages of 6 and 21 – in the United States alone receiving special education services under the autism disability category has increased by 91 percent in the last eight years.

Symptoms of Autism include:
• Failure to cultivate and preserve relationships with peers
• Declinations in verbal and nonverbal communication
• Inability to social interchange

Recent studies show that our constant exposure to pestilential substances plays an essential role in determining the probable causes of the autism epidemic in the United States to date. The utilization of dietetic elements and constant exposure to toxic substances being released into the environment on a day to day basis can in fact increase the chances of gene modification.

The alteration of gene expression can negatively impact neurodevelopment significantly simply because the resulting mineral disparities caused by OP pesticides (Pb) and heavy metals (Hg) have the ability to generate and open corridors for oxidative stress within the brain. By reducing levels in PON1 activity and exposing inorganic fructose and mercury to HFCS, the likely hood of accumulating levels of homocysteine – a substance often affiliated with DNA hypomethylation – carrying on into future generations could become greater. Even still, research has shown that patterns in gene expression vary geologically from one population to the next.

What is Defeat Autism Now (DAN!)?

Defeat Autism Now (DAN!) is a project that was founded in the 1960s by Dr. Bernard Rimland. Doctors trained in the “DAN! Protocol,” are taught an approach to autism which begins with the idea that autism is a biomedical disorder. This approach was developed by the Autism Research Institute (ARI) which has more than 1,000 documented cases of autistic children who have recovered.

The belief among DAN! doctors is that autism is a disorder caused by a lowered immune response, issues caused by some foods, and external toxins from vaccines and other sources.

What Type of Treatments do DAN! Doctors Prescribe?


  • Supplements such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and essential fatty acids.
  • Gluten- and dairy-free diets.
  • Food allergy testing.
  • Treating dysbiosis in the gut using non-pharmacological medications (i.e. intestinal bacterial/yeast overgrowth).
  • Heavy metal detoxification.

What can I expect at my DAN! Doctor Appointment?

You can expect that your child will go through some testing mostly revolving around the state of their internal body. A test for hidden food allergies will be conducted to be sure that any dietary changes that are made as part of your child’s treatment plan are beneficial and not more damaging to them.

You should leave with your questions answered and a customized treatment plan for your child’s needs. If you have questions, ask, ask, ask. Remember, these doctors chose to be DAN! doctors. They believe in this treatment method, and want to see your child healthy!

Is There a Link Between Uranium and Autism?

image via: BBC News

Recently a reader wrote us to ask about the link between autism and depleted uranium.   The reader comes from Belgrade, Serbia; a city that was bombed by NATO in 1999 with depleted uranium bombs.  Thirteen years later the reader is the father of a four years old daughter with autism.  Is there a link between the bombing in 1999 and autism in a child born nine years later?  Our answer is probably.

While, we can’t say for sure if this particular case of autism is caused by the depleted uranium but we do know that uranium is a highly toxic substance.  Once someone is exposed to uranium it can stay and reek havoc on their system for many years.  Some children with autism have a build up of one or more toxic metals because of their inability to excrete them.  When toxic metals become lodged in the brain the brain does not function normally, causing autistic symptoms and learning disorders.

Uranium poisoning is characterized by generalized health impairment[1]. The element and its compounds produce changes in the kidneys, liver, lungs, cardiovascular, and nervous systems.  Most importantly, uranium exposure affects uterine and extra-uterine development in experimental animals. Uranium exposure in a mother results in uranium exposure in her children.

It is entirely possible for a four-year old child to have uranium poisoning because of her parent’s exposure to depleted uranium from the 1999 bombing of Belgrade.

Research Scientist Leuren Moret, calls depleted uranium “The Trojan Horse of nuclear war – it keeps giving and keeps killing. There’s no way to clean it up, and no way to turn it off because it continues to decay into other radioactive isotopes…” As it decays, it continues to release more radiation.

The biggest concern in regards to depleted uranium is the radiation residue after the initial use.  The residue is microscopic and permanent.  Depleted Uranium contamination causes virtually every known illness and disease from severe headaches, muscle pain and general fatigue, to major birth defects, infection, depression, cardiovascular disease, many types of cancer and brain tumors. Uranium contamination is now being linked to asthma, diabetes, and autism.

 


[1] Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety Volume II. 1974.

 

How To: Detox Environmental Toxicities

Body detoxification is the new big thing in healthy living. It’s very common in weight loss and healthy living scenarios to detoxify the body of harmful toxins that affect the immune and other important systems from functioning properly.

In order to keep the body free and clear from toxins, there are some dietary things that we can do, as well as avoiding smog, nicotine and other harmful substances. However, the environment itself carries it’s own amount of toxins and these are hard to avoid unless you live in a bubble. Yet, these toxins are bad for the body and the longer they are allowed to exist, they are given the chance to do damage.

Before we can correct the damage that may have already been done, we have to rid the body of the current toxins as not to produce more issues.

So, how do you detoxify the body from environmentally originated toxins?

1) Avoidance of Exposure

It’s important that you be sure that your child (and yourself!) are consistently exposed to clean air, food and water. Avoid smoking areas and being in a city with a lot of vehicle smog for long periods of time. Be sure you’re allowing your child to consume clean food that isn’t at risk for toxins or pesticides. Additionally, a diet free of gluten and casein has become popular and effective in avoiding allergic reactions. Avoid tap water when possible – or have a water filter in place. You’ll taste the difference most immediately when switching from tap to filtered water.

2) Supplementation

It is common in Autistic Children to find that their body is lacking the adequate vitamins and minerals to have an effective immune system. When the immune system isn’t working, it can’t fight off infection (which explains why you may notice your child might be very sick very often).

Once you find out what your child’s body is lacking, you can supplement it by modifying his/her diet and administering supplements in the form of multivitamins.

Dr. Walter Crinnion, a Naturopathic Doctor, has done increased studies on vitamins and minerals and wrote an article in response to a claim that vitamins were more dangerous than drugs. As Dr. Crinnion explains, it’s true that too much of some minerals is bad, as copper in excess can cause toxic damage, there is no backup that says multi-vitamins are useless.

3) Cleansing

Dr. Crinnion has also done a great deal of work in detoxification by ridding the body of toxic load. He studies the foods that could be making you sick. He interestingly points out that the foods that your child craves the most could be the ones that are causing the most damage. We’ve talked here before about the body being “addicted” to gluten as it attaches to the brain similar to morphine.

Cleansing the body of these things is essential to get on the right path to wellness.

There are a few methods that can be utilized to cleanse the body of toxins: Of the most popular and effective are:

Chelation –  Chelation is the process utilized to remove damaging heavy metals from the body. Mercury, iron, and other metals are often found in the Autistic body and can have negative effects on the brain making Autism symptoms even worse. Another source of damaging metals is Thiomersal, which is found in many childhood vaccines. Chelation Therapy includes the administering of chelating agents to remove heavy metals.

Juicing – By utilizing fruits and vegetables that are highly concentrated, the body flushes out unnecessary toxins. The body digests juices very quickly (in about 25 minutes), so it’s nutrients get in and get to work very quickly. Organic fruits and vegetables are best for juice detoxification and can easily be done at home. Enzymes, vitamins and minerals will be given to your body while toxins will be evicted!

The first step is realizing what is affecting the body negatively. The 2nd, avoiding the things that are making the body sick. And the 3rd, ridding the body of existing toxins. Getting the body in good working order is the key to treating Autism instead of fueling it.

Ready to find out what the state of your child’s body is? We can help! How about a Blood Chemistry Analysis. Dr. Wong will analyze over 70 biomarkers in order to give you a recommendation of what dietary changes your child might need to take part in, what vitamins and minerals are lacking, and what underlying diseases or disorders he/she may have.

Click here to order this test.

It includes the test, courier, shipping and handling, a full analysis, follow up correspondence, full report of findings, and a recommended diet plan if applicable…all of that is included in the purchase price!

 

*Photo Credit: Via

Body Detox Part III: Body Repair Methods

autismnutrients

Over the last few weeks, we’ve discussed the toxic body of Autistic children. We’ve talked about the sources of these toxins, as well as ways to detoxify or rid the body of these toxins. Once it is found that the body is indeed toxin infected, and the body is cleaned of these toxins, the next step is to “rebuild” or “repair” the body from the damage that was done to it.

This is something that is particularly studied in Biomedical treatments.

Biomedical Treatments is based upon the belief that the neurological symptoms experienced are the direct result of the physical ailments that children are having, and if the physical is treated, a great deal of symptoms can be alleviated. The main steps in a Biomedical Treatment are:

1. Decrease the level of toxins

2.Help the stomach to heal

3. Increase nutrients

4. Get rid of metals and other toxins.

It is believed that once these things are achieved, the neurological impairments will greatly improve. The most important and in depth step is the first step — Decrease the level of toxins.There are numerous things that are toxic to the body, and as many, if not all must be removed in order to achieve the greatest results. The things that can and should be removed are both dietary and environmental.

  • From a diet aspect:  gluten, dairy, allergens, and bad sugars should all be removed from the diet.
  • Household cleaners should be removed and replaced with natural forms.
  • If your child needs dental work, be sure not to have silver fillings put in their mouths, as they contain mercury.
  • Add a Hepa Air Filter to your child’s room.
  • Ensure that any vaccinations that need to be given are Thimerosal free.
  • Use a fluoride-free toothpaste

From here, it’s necessary to allow and assist the damages already infringed on the body to heal. This is often helpful if a combination of  vitamins are used. Cod Liver Oil, for example has a necessary level of Vitamin A and also aids in the repairing of intestinal walls. It’s also essential to use digestive enzymes and Colostrum (a stomach healing natural supplement) to better help in the body’s repair.

Also important is to keep the level of nutrients up by giving a sufficient level of Vitamins (A, D, B, Zinc, etc.) in order for the body to not only heal, but become stronger. To restore your child to good health, getting the toxins out via detoxification is helpful. There are natural detoxifiers as well as medicinal technique (Chelation therapy).

Bottom line, Biomedical Treatment is still being tested among Autism and Neurological Disorder patients. There  are many success stories. There are also doctors who believe that this method does not work, as they had no success with it. It’s important to keep in mind that the diets of children are traditionally very poor due to the Americanized diet. With that in mind, the removal of the poor diet and repairing of the body may take a little longer than expected due to the damages in the body.

Body Detox Part II: Detoxification Methods

chelation2

82% of All Chronic Degenerative Diseases are Caused by Environmental Exposure to TOXIC METALS.” -World

Health Organization 1974

Sure, 1974 was nearly 40 years ago (can you believe it?), but the World Health Organization knew was was happening way back when. This was well before the huge Environmental or “Green” movement that is so common now. The environment

is still a very toxic place, which we clearly laid out last week. You might remember that we shared a lot of places where environmental toxins exist, some of which you might not even have been aware of.

When a child is diagnosed with Autism, it is typically considered to be a behavioral disorder, which in a sense, it absolutely is. Further testing on Autistic bodies have found that many have toxic levels of metals in them. Others have a lack of minerals and vitamins that are essential for proper immune system function. A lot of these deficiencies can be caused be the pollutants that are consumed.

The first step of clearing up a toxic body is knowing that the problem exists. (Remember, Dr. Chun Wong is offering an

amazing deal on his Hair Analysis Test which comes complete with a full written report as well as a Skype or Phone Consultation with Dr. Wong. Check out the special we’re having for our readers here).

After the problem is detected, and before the body is repaired and restored, the toxins must be removed from the body. Detoxifying is an essential part of the healing process. You can’t just simply put healthy vitamins and minerals into the body when it is still toxic. Imagine having a bathtub filled with water, dirt, bacteria, bugs, etc. Simply pouring bleach or cleaning agents into the water will not do the job. You first must clean out the bacteria, and then improve the way in which it is taken care of.

But how do you detoxify the body?

Chelation

Chelation was introduced into practice during World War I when so many people had ingested poison gas called lewsite. BAL or British Anti Lewsite (formally known as dimercaprol) was used to chelate the lewsite. BAL had very severe side effects, however.

After World War II, a number of people suffered from lead poisoning. The chelating agent EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic) was introduced in order to chelate the lead. Because EDTA is a synthetic amino acid and has no mercaptans (mercury capturers), the side effects were not nearly as severe as BAL.

Since then, there have been a number of modifications and researchers are always looking for better treatment methods that have minimal side effects. There is a low occurrence of side effects when chelation is used at the dose and infusion rates approved by the U.S. FDA as a treatment for heavy metal poisoning.

(We’ve spoken more in depth about Chelation on this blog before. Please do check that out!)

Juicing

As the name suggests, juicing refers to detoxing the body by consuming raw fruits and vegetable

s that are highly concentrated. Juices are digested by the body very quickly – in about 25 minutes. Because of this, the digestive system has very little to do with processing the juice. We aren’t talking about juices that are found in stores. These are treated with sugars and other ingredients that do not benefit the detoxification process.

Juicing is most effective and beneficial when it is made from the right fruits and vegetables at home, specifically organic fruits and veggies. Organic fruits and vegetables are loaded with nutrients and will saturate your body with the healthy enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.

Think about it: doesn’t a nice, long shower with soap and water feel much better than running a wet tissue over your skin for the purpose of cleaning?  It’s a similar situation with consuming organic fruits and vegetables.

detox3

DAN! Protocol

The Defeat Autism Now! Protocol is a series of alternative medicine solutions for Autism. There are several avenues that a DAN! Doctor may explore, but traditionally, the following plan may be enforced.

-Dietary intervention: Omission of Gluten (Wheat) and Casein (Dairy) products from your child’s diet. Additionally omitting junk foods that have refined sugar.
-Vitamin and Mineral Supplements - To balance out the dietary changes, replacement minerals and vitamins that the body may lack will be supplemented. Some of the vitamins and minerals commonly supplemented:  Magnesium, Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B5.
-Chelation - the removal of heavy metals which have proven to be very destructive to the Autistic body (as we mentioned).
-Treatment of intestinal bacteria

The most important thing to remember here is the order in which detoxification should be done. First, determine that the body really is toxic. Then, detoxify the body.  Thirdly, repair the body. Then, replace nutrients. It’s important that this order be taken as any other way would not be as effective. You must rid the body of toxins, start with a clean slate, and then proceed with repairing procedures or practices.

Body Detox Part I: Sources Of Environmental Toxicity

Don’t Forget: We have a very special offer for you, our readers. Because we know there are so many parents out there who want to help their child, and are often searching for the right doctor and the right testing methods, we’re offering a Hair Analysis Test Package that includes the test, instructions, shipping and handling, a personalized written analysis and report from Dr. Wong, and a Skype Consultation with the doctor. All of this is being offered for less than the cost of a one hour phone consultation! We want to help you get on the right path to repairing your child’s body. The first step is finding the problem. Seriously, this is a can’t miss deal. Check it out here!

ToxinsWe’ve said it before, and we’re going to say it again, the Autistic body is filled with toxicities. Whether its heavy metals, acidic overload, or other toxic waste-like matter, there is often an unhealthy level of these things in the body reaking havok. The first step to all of this is detecting and diagnosing what toxic substances are in the body. We’ve discussed Hair Analysis before (and we also have this special offer for you right now), and the benefits of utilizing this test to detect metals and other materials that may be harming the body.

Once you find out what it is that’s ailing the body, the next step even before repairing the body is to detoxify the body of whatever is causing harm. It’s often heard that the Autistic body has an abundance of metal, or a lack of minerals. But where do these things come from? How does the body get toxic material in it?

The easy answer: The environment. You can keep your child safe from toxic chemicals or vaccines,  but you can’t keep them away from oxygen, and this is where a lot of toxins originate.

Unfortunately, to live in this day in age means that you live in a toxic world. Not only do toxic substances and pollutants find their way into the air we breathe, but they are also in the soil that is used to grow the food that we eat. From cigarette smoke and car fumes, to chemically treated water and soil pumped with hormones and other preservatives, our bodies can ingest hundreds of pollutants and toxicities each day. Can you imagine the damage that this can do over time without treatment or avoidance of these substances?

Because we cannot keep ourselves or our children in a permanent bubble, some toxicities are unavoidable. There are even certain conditions such as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) that exist. On a basic level, MCS is an extreme and severe sensitivity to multiple environmental toxins and chemicals. Some symptoms of this are allergy like symptoms on a constant and consistent basis, and reactions from several different triggers.

The below list was published by abbys-good-stuff.com, and is a great source of information regarding where environmental toxins and pollutants are found:

Sources of Environmental Toxins

●     A sample of average city tap water contains more than 500 chemicals.

●     Today’s fertilizers often contain excessive amounts of toxic heavy metals,

which are then absorbed into what ever grows in that fertilized soil.

●     Preservatives and hormones added to our food

● Packaging and plastic wrapping of food for storage

● Household cleaning products, such as some dish washing liquids, and

surface cleaners

●     Personal care products such as antiperspirants, hair sprays, lotions and

nail polish removers (which can be absorbed through the nails)

●     Some household products release unhealthy chemicals into the

air, such as styrene from plastics, benzene from solvents, and formaldehyde

from manufactured wood products such as kitchen cabinets and pressed

furniture.

●     Permanent-press clothes, dry-cleaned clothes, carpeting, and synthetic

materials emit traces of toxic vapors.

●     Smoke from cigarettes, cigars, or pipes affect the toxic levels of both the

smoker as well as those exposed to the secondhand smoke.

●     Pesticides and insect sprays

How many of the above sources is your child subjected to each day? Which are avoidable?

If the body is ingesting unavoidable toxins, what can we do? It’s these toxins that are affecting the function of the Autistic body and preventing the already sensitive immune system to not work correctly. How can we remove these toxins?

Detoxification.

But how?

We’ll take a look at detox methods next week.

Want to know how damaged your child’s body may be? Check out the special Dr. Wong is having on the Hair Analysis Test. It’s a sure-fire way to discover what toxins may be in your child’s body before a blood test could detect them. Click here for more info!