Minimizing Autism Risk Starts in the Womb
By Sarah Axtell, ND • September 10, 2016
The incidence of Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is on the rise. It is estimated at this ASD may affect as many as 1 in 45 children in the US. Recent research indicates that ASD may begin in the womb, and chemical exposures during pregnancy may increase the likelihood of a fetus developing ASD.
To reduce your risk, follow these tips on limiting chemical exposure if you’re pregnant:
1.Avoid pesticides in your home and yard and avoid genetically modified foods (ie. Choose organic!). This all comes down to glyphoshate, the herbicide in Round-Up. Glyphosate causes significant disruption of the microbiome and promotes an overgrowth of clostridia bacteria. Clostridia produce proprionic acid, which disrupts mitochondirial and gastrointestinal health.
2.Avoid antibiotics if possible during pregnancy and take a quality probiotic. Many children with ASD have an imbalance of bacteria in their digestive tract, such as an overgrowth of clostridia bacteria. Evidence shows the health of your child’s microbiome starts in the womb.
3.Avoid antibacterial soap and toothpaste that contain triclosan.
4.Avoid BPA in canned goods and plastics. Use glass containers for food storage and water bottles.
5.Reduce your lead exposure by ensuring there is no lead pain in the house and drinking filtered water. If you have an old house, your pipes may be lined with lead. A good water filter can filter out toxic metals such as lead.
6.Avoid food dyes, which are neurotoxins and contribute to hyperactivity and impulsivity.
7.Choose a fluoride-free toothpaste.
8.Reduce inflammation in your diet by eating minimal gluten and dairy and incorporating anti-inflammatory foods, such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, wild-caught salmon, walnuts, hemp seeds, and lots of green leafy vegetables.
9.Use natural beauty products without artificial ingredients and chemical fragrances. See Skin Deep website.
10.Avoid acetaminophen (Tylenol). When women reported having used acetaminophen for 20 or more weeks during pregnancy, the risk for ADHD, a hallmark in ASD, increased by 50%.
Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.