Environmental Factors and Autism – Part 2

coal-power-plant-and-autism

From the time of conception, babies are de-methylated and as they grow and develop, they go through a process called methylation.  Both methylation and detoxification form an important balance that supports growth and development.  They work hand-in-hand so that as one slows down, so does that other.  Children with autism have shown to have impairments in these cycles, which may begin to explain why children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) are quite susceptible to environmental toxicity.

A 2009 study completed by researchers at the University of Texas, found startling evidence that the environment plays a large role in autism.  The study was designed to determine if living close to sources of mercury pollution in 1998 were related to autism prevalence in 2002. They found that for every 1000 pounds of industrial release, there were a 2.6% increase in autism rates and a 3.7% increase associated with power plant emissions. Overall, for every 10 miles away you got from industrial or power plant sources, there was a decrease in autism rates.

The same researchers revealed an association between environmentally-released mercury and autism rates also in Texas.  For each 1,000 lb of environmentally released mercury, there was a 61% increase in ASD.

Toxins play a large role in the health of our bodies. Lead levels have been linked to ASD, ADHD and learning disabilities.  The Environmental Working Group (EWG) released a study that found an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in umbilical cord blood from 10 babies born in U.S. hospitals in 2004.  Further tests revealed a total of 287 chemicals in this group of children. The umbilical cord blood identified pesticides, consumer product ingredients, and wastes from burning coal, gasoline, and garbage. It is clear that environmental toxicity is impacting all children and adults.

 

Is There a Connection Between Autism Electromagnetic Radiation?

Research has established a potential link between autism and fetal/neonatal exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation. Based on epidemiological data, there has been a dramatic increase in the incidence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Recent evidence indicates the incidence of ASD to be roughly 1 per 110 children.

Some data suggest a possible correlation between autism incidence an environmental toxin known as radiofrequency (RF) radiation. This is a biologically active substance. It is known that human exposure to RF radiation has increased during the past 20 years. It is suggested that fetal or neo-natal exposures to RF radiation may be associated with an increased incidence of autism.

Dr. George Louis Carlo PhD studied risks associated with cell phones funded by a government grant. The results he obtained initially indicated no correlations, however, by 1999, Dr. Carlo had obtained significantly more evidence pointing to a risk to DNA, eye cancers, and brain tumors.

At this time he developed a theory that low frequency cell phone signals are harmful to the functioning of cells. What can result of this impaired functioning is that cells which normally move wastes and toxins out of the body started to protect themselves and this cellular movement stopped. Without the ability to move wastes outside cells results in a buildup of toxins. Dr. Carlo’s hypothesis suggests that autistic children are less able to process heavy metals, so these remain in their bodies and cause neurological damage, including autism.

Further research conducted by Dr. Carlo along with Tamara Mariea and published in the Journal of the Australian College of Nutrition and Environmental Medicine in November 2007, demonstrated the positive effects that autistic children could experience in an Electromagnetic-free (EM-free) clinic. This was a trial with 20 autistic children, involving spending at least four hours, 2-3 times a week, in the EM-free clinic. In three months, analyses showed that heavy metals were beginning to be excreted by the children.

Food for Thought:

  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sets standards for the amount of radio frequency that can be emitted by a cell phone based on the size and structure of a man’s head.
  • Radio-frequency signals can reach deeper into children’s head because their skulls are thinner and their brains contain more fluid.
  • In 2004, standards relaxed and roughly doubled the amount of radio frequency that could reach an adult brain and quadrupled that reaching a child’s.
  • A child’s brain doubles in size during the first two years of life and keeps on developing until their early 20s.

Although it is impossible to pinpoint one single cause of autism or one single barrier to an autistic child’s successful recovery, we are continuing to take steps forwards in identifying contributing factors. It is definitely reasonable to agree with researchers who believe that the increase in exposure to EMR from all of the wireless devices in our lives in combination with environmental and genetic factors is creating the perfect storm to increase the incidence of autism.

 

What is Chelation and How Can it Help My Child with Autism? Part 1

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 Thimerosal, which is found in many childhood vaccines. Chelation Therapy includes the administering of chelating agents to remove heavy metals. Chelation has been proven to remove excess or toxic metals before they can damage the body and was first used in the 1940s by the Navy to treat lead poisoning.

Our bodies have natural methods of eliminating these toxins from our bodies. In the very young and the very old, it can be more difficult to rid the body of heavy metals, which can therefore accumulate faster than they can be removed.

Heavy metals are tested in various regions of the body depending on which heavy metal it is. One of the most sensitive tests available at most labs is called a Porphyrin Profile.

Can Autism be Prevented? What are some Preventative Measures Parents Can Take?

These are not 100% definitive and guaranteed measures that will ensure your child do0es not develop autism, but they certainly are some well-respected options and choices that you can make.

During Pregnancy

  • Avoid consuming alcohol.
  • Avoid eating known food allergens.
  • Get prompt treatment for any infection.
  • Avoid exposure to heavy metals.

During Infancy

  • Parents need to become well-informed on the pros and cons of infant vaccinations in order to make educated decisions as to which vaccinations their child receives.
  • In autism that is caused by allergies, symptoms may become visible during early infancy. Should a child show excessive thirst, excessive sweating (at night), low blood glucose, diarrhea, bloating, rhinitis, inability to control body temperature, red face and/or ears, and dark circles under the eyes, it is important to act quickly and aggressively to identify and remove potential allergens.
  • Some children may have autism triggered by food and/or chemical intolerances with the main offenders being wheat, dairy, corn, sugar, and citrus fruits. However, allergies may be a reaction to virtually any substance.

 

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.

 

Body Detox Part I: Sources Of Environmental Toxicity

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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!

Breastfeeding and Autism

Mother breastfeedingWe’ve all heard the saying “breast is best” and it is fantastic that women are being encouraged to breastfeed their babies because it has so many benefits for both mother and baby.

This month has been chosen by the US Department of Health and Human Services as National Breastfeeding Awareness Month and the department has launched a campaign to highlight the benefits of breastfeeding .

Breast fed babies are at a lower risk of:-

  • Allergies
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Childhood leukemia
  • Respiratory infections
  • Ear infections
  • Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Obesity
  • Infections

Women who have breastfed/are breastfeeding their babies:-

  • Have a lower risk of contracting breast cancer, ovarian cancer and Type 2 Diabetes
  • Are at a lower risk of Postpartum Depression
  • Burn 500 calories a day by breastfeeding alone and so can return to their pre-pregnancy weight quicker
  • Can save a significant amount of money when compared to those who buy formula – It is estimated that a breastfeeding mom can save between $1,160 and $3,915 depending on the brand of formula the comparison is made against.

Moms are advised to give their babies breastmilk alone for the first 6 months of life (i.e. no weaning) and to try and breastfeed for the baby’s first year.

Breastfeeding and Autism

But hasn’t breastfeeding been linked to an increased risk of autism?

[Read more...]

The Dangers of Toxic Cleaning Products

cleaning productsI’ve blogged before about reducing your child’s toxic load to help alleviate symptoms of autism, to cut the risk of autism in subsequent children and to have a healthier home, and today I’m going to talk about one particular chemical and toxin, phenol.

What is phenol?

Phenol, or carbolic acid, is a chemical that both occurs naturally and that can be manufactured. It ranges from being a colorless liquid to being a white crystalline solid and has a distinct sickly sweet or “tarry” smell which is often associated with the smell of hospitals.

Phenol is used in many different products. It is used to make phenolic resins which are used in industries like the automotive, plywood, appliance, nylon and construction industries, and it is also an ingredient in disinfectants like Lysol, antiseptics, cleaning products, medicines, mouthwashes, lozenges and ear and nose drops.

Phenol can also be found in food, as gallic acid and malvin.

Dangers associated with Phenol exposure

There are many dangers associated with dermal (skin) or oral (ingesting it) exposure to phenol, and also breathing it in. These dangers and health risks include skin irritation, poisoning resulting in muscle weakness, tremors, paralysis and even respiratory arrest, liver and kidney damage, cardiac toxicity (damage to the heart) and lung damage.

But what has all this got to do with autism?

[Read more...]

Heavy Metal Toxicity

Many studies suggest that the epidemic rise of autism spectrum disorders is due to the fact that we are living in an evermore hostile environment, a world filled with pollution and toxins. We know that our toxic environment is to blame for many diseases and conditions, and now it seems that we can add autism to this list.

toxic

Environmental toxins include pesticides, emissions, dioxins and PCBs, Nicotine, Solvents and heavy metals. In this blog post, we will examine the link between heavy metal exposure and autism, and how this can be combated.

Heavy Metals

Some research has linked autism with heavy metal exposure, but what are heavy metals and how are our children exposed to them?

  • Mercury – Mercury is used as a preservative (thimerosal) in certain medicines and some vaccines, and is also a by-product emitted by various industrial processes. Mercury is poisonous in high doses and the symptoms of mercury poisoning are incredibly similar to autism symptoms.

[Read more...]