Monday, October 11, 2010

On Autism

While I am not an expert on Autism or on Asperger Syndrome, I have been close enough to people with this condition that I am going to venture a few thoughts about it. When I was in Medical School we were told that it was a rare condition; about 1/2000 people seem to be affected. Today it is 1/110 and my home state ranks 3rd in the nation in incidence. Interestingly, each year, Utah is 1st to 3rd in toxicity; coincidence? I am not the only doctor who feels there is some connection.

Genetics? Have our genes mutated in the last few years? Maybe; the advent of epigenetics, nutragenomics, and xenohormesis, has opened the door to the possibility that there is some genetic component involved. These new concepts posit that genes are modulated in function and structure by the foods we eat and the chemicals we are exposed to.

In my opinion, the genetic character of Autism/Asperger and even ADD, involves a lesser ability to DETOXIFY environmental toxins. The recent study in the journal Pediatrics linking Autism with newborn jaundice points in this direction. There are many other studies like this one.

We are all exposed to a lot of chemicals, pesticides, food additives, preservatives, heavy metals, chlorinated compounds and even pharmaceuticals in our water, air and soil. We cannot conclude that they are THE cause of the problem; but it is reasonable to contemplate the possibility that people affected with these health problems are those who cannot eliminate said toxins efficiently. These chemicals would then be more likely to remain in their body interfering with brain function and even its normal development if exposed early enough during the formative stages.

Take vaccines, for example. The CDC sticks to its guns denying any association, while activists rage about this as if it were a foregone conclusion. I am not going to take sides until there is clear cut evidence one way or the other. But, I will say that MONEY has obscured this issue; WWII veterans would say that this issue is FUBAR.

In my opinion, we need to consider the possibility that some children may be exposed too early to vaccinations and other environmental chemicals, even while in utero; if these children have slight deficiencies in detoxification pathways in the liver, intestines and kidneys, they may end up with higher amounts of exposure, which would then result in significant brain damage, and genetic mutations.

What can we do about this? We need to seriously question the conventional wisdom that chemicals are safe for all of us. We need to avoid exposure as much as possible, especially when pregnant. We need to clean our environment and maximize our detoxifying pathways with optimal nutrition and supplementation. Empty, processed foods lack the micronutrients necessary to sustain such functions. Is it a coincidence that most people afflicted with these diseases seem to have intestinal problems? I don’t think so.

I highly recommend the movie TEMPLE GRANDIN. It is the true story of a young woman who achieved much, despite her Autism. Take a box of tissue with you.


At October 20, 2010 at 8:06:00 AM PDT , Blogger Clark Captions said...

Thank you for your post on Autism. I do have a son with this diagnosis, and could not agree more with your thoughts on our exposure to all of the different elements in the enviroment. Detoxifying in my opinion is critical. Thank you!


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