Does Autism Spectrum Disorder Start in the Womb?

Greetings from Dr. Thorburn:

Autism is a disorder that involves abnormal development and function of the brain. People with autism show decreased social communication skills and restricted or repetitive patterns of behaviors or interests. One in 68 U.S. children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a 30% increase from 1 in 88 two years ago, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Boys are affected by ASD more often than girls.

While the cause of ASD is unknown, it is plausible that environmental toxins and nutritional deficiencies could lead to the damage of our nervous systems. Heavy metals, for instance, are known to be neurotoxic (damage nerve tissue).

Recent research indicates that ASD may begin in the womb. Prudent health researchers and preventative health practitioners agree that avoidance of toxins will do nothing but good for you and your gestating child.

Here’s a suggested list of items to avoid during pregnancy and keep away from your growing child once they are born:

• Avoid using chemical pesticides and herbicides in your home and backyard.

• Don’t smoke and avoid second-hand smoke.

• Avoid any products containing aluminum, including cookware, cans and yes, most personal deodorants. Look for deodorants that are aluminum free.

• Wash all fruits and vegetables before eating and go organic whenever possible.

• Avoid canned foods, which can absorb BPA from the can linings.

• Use glass containers instead of plastic to store and heat food.

• Use natural skin care products without artificial ingredients and chemical fragrances.

• Use natural cleaning products in your home.

• Avoid antibacterial soap and toothpaste containing triclosan.

• Avoid chemical fumes, especially paint fumes. Let someone else paint the nursery.

Until next time…

Yours in health,

Dr. T

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