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What To Do During Pregnancy To Avoid Autism

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Recent studies outlines that 1 out of 68 children have now been diagnosed with ASD. While this diagnosis is increasing, children aren`t normally diagnosed by a specialist until over the age of 2. Still, there are certain signs which may show your child may experience autism as early as 6 months old.

Should You Reduce Your Exposure To Chemicals

There seems to be an increased risk for ASD associated with maternal exposure to certain chemicals during pregnancy, thought a lot more research needs to be done. For instance,;one recent study;found environmental exposures associated with autism, specifically “traffic-related pollutants, some metals, and several pesticides and phthalates.” It can get confusing to figure out exactly which chemicals, such as those found in flame-retardants, plastics, and even cosmetics, to avoid. Talk to your doctor about what’s right for youyou might want to limit your intake of canned foods, avoid water bottles made of plastic or aluminum, and stay away from personal care products that list “fragrance” as an ingredient.

Changing Lifestyle To Prevent Autism

A healthcare professional will not be able to tell whether your child will be autistic or not. So, is there nothing to prevent Autism? Well, its true that you couldnt stop autism but can try adopting healthy habits to reduce its chances to occur. You can adopt a healthy lifestyle to prevent autism and some of them are,

1) Eat healthily, live healthily

Schedule your diet with well-balanced meals with lots of protein, vitamins, and fiber during pregnancy. Have regular check-ups and exercise along with prescribed supplements. This will help you to keep track of your own body as well as the child body. Each and every healthy habit adopted by the mother during pregnancy will eventually result in the childs brain development.

2) Reduce exposure to Air pollution

Air pollution doubles the risk of Autism in the child within the trimester of pregnancy which is concluded by the Harvard school of public health. So, the less exposure to air pollution or staying at home in the polluted area will help to prevent Autism.

3) Regular intake of Folic acid

Every pregnant woman is recommended to consume 400 to 800 mcg of folic acid per day with the doctors prescription. The researchers believe that women consuming less folic acid can lead their child developing Autism symptoms when born.

4) Follow family planning

5) Avoid Alcohol During Pregnancy

6) Stress and anxiety involve the potential risk of Autism

Read Also: Can Autism Be Passed Down

Endogenous Opiate Precursor Theory

In 1979, Jaak Panksepp proposed a connection between autism and opiates, noting that injections of minute quantities of opiates in young laboratory animals induce symptoms similar to those observed among autistic children. The possibility of a relationship between autism and the consumption of gluten and casein was first articulated by Kalle Reichelt in 1991.

Opiate theory hypothesizes that autism is the result of a metabolic disorder in which opioid peptides gliadorphin and casomorphin, produced through metabolism of gluten and casein , pass through an abnormally permeable intestinal wall and then proceed to exert an effect on neurotransmission through binding with opioid receptors. It has been postulated that the resulting excess of opioids affects brain maturation, and causes autistic symptoms, including behavioural difficulties, attention problems, and alterations in communicative capacity and social and cognitive functioning.

Prenatal Factors That May Contribute To Autism

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Taking antidepressants during pregnancy, especially in the first 3 months.

Nutritional deficiencies early in pregnancy, particularly not getting enough folic acid.

The age of the mother and father

Complications at or shortly after birth, including very low birth weight and neonatal anemia

Maternal infections during pregnancy.

Exposure to chemical pollutants, such as metals and pesticides, while pregnant.

More research on these prenatal risk factors is needed, but if youre pregnant or trying to conceive, it cant hurt to take steps now to reduce your babys risk of autism.

Reducing the risk of autism: Tips for expectant mothers

Take a multivitamin. Taking 400 micrograms of folic acid daily helps prevent birth defects such as spina bifida. Its not clear whether this will also help reduce risk of autism, but taking the vitamins cant hurt.

Ask about SSRIs. Women who are taking an SSRI should talk with a clinician about all the risks and benefits of these drugs. Untreated depression in a mother can also affect her childs well-being later on, so this is not a simple decision to make.

Practice prenatal care. Eating nutritious food, trying to avoid infections, and seeing a clinician for regular check-ups can increase the chances of giving birth to a healthy child.

Source: Harvard Health Publications

Recommended Reading: Why Babies Born With Autism

What To Do If Youre Worried

If your child is developmentally delayed, or if youve observed other red flags for autism, schedule an appointment with your pediatrician right away. In fact, its a good idea to have your child screened by a doctor even if he or she is hitting the developmental milestones on schedule. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children receive routine developmental screenings, as well as specific screenings for autism at 9, 18, and 30 months of age.

Schedule an autism screening. A number of specialized screening tools have been developed to identify children at risk for autism. Most of these screening tools are quick and straightforward, consisting of yes-or-no questions or a checklist of symptoms. Your pediatrician should also get your feedback regarding your childs behavior.

How To Avoid Chemicals Linked To Autism

Are you afraid your child will develop autism? Well, you cant catch autism; it isnt like a cold. A child doesnt get it from others and it certainly doesnt develop based on how you raise your kids. There is definitely some link between certain chemicals and autism and that is how kids get it. But before we delve further into this, lets first understand what autism is.

What is Autism?

Autism is a neurological disorder that affects a persons social behaviour, interaction skills and learning abilities. So, how does it occur? Scientists believe that it has to do with genetics and chemical influences. And, living in a world that feeds pollution, there are all kinds of poisonous chemicals around that could result in this disability. These chemicals affect fetal formation neurologically, causing a child to react differently to what may seem normal to most people, in terms of sights, smells, sounds and touch. Expressing themselves becomes difficult and so also determining how others feel and think.

Alcohol, medication and pesticides that enter the system during pregnancy may also result to autism.

Avoiding Chemicals that May Lead to Autism

The moment you know about your pregnancy, here are a few things you should do to avoid coming in contact with chemicals linked to autism.

1. Swap Beauty Product

2. Fresh Foods

3. Keep Away from Cigarette Smoke and

4. Avoid Nonstick Cookware

5. Limit Exposure to Pesticides

6. Reduce Contact with Lead

7. Prevent Exposure to Mercury

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Use Of Specific Prescription Drugs During Pregnancy

What is the truth about the prescription drugs we take during pregnancy? Could they be helping us but harming the baby? There are three major drugs that have direct links to Autism: they include a drug used in labor, a preventative drug for seizures, and certain Antidepressants. Terbetuline is a drug commonly used to stop premature labor. Babies exposed to it in the third trimester are 4 times as likely to be diagnosed with Autism. Pregnant women who are given Valporic Acid, a medication for preventing seizures, early in pregnancy during the formation of the neural tube, may be associated with Autism. The study has only been done on rats, but just one dose of the drug, resulted in changes to the brain that mimic those of people diagnosed with Autism. Now, for the Antidepressants. It is a widely held belief that antidepressant used during pregnancy is safe, but according to JAMA Pediatrics, women who take them are 87% more like to have a child with Autism as compared with women who did not. Researchers say that taking antidepressants is still not a proven cause of Autism, but it is correlated with it. Experts say that pregnant women should not stop being treated for depression, but if their symptoms are mild, it might prove beneficial to consider alternative non-drug treatments like psycho-therapy and exercise.

Processed Foods In Pregnancy May Be Tied To Autism

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June 26, 2019 — Consuming processed foods during pregnancy may be linked to a higher risk of autism spectrum disorder in children, early research suggests.

Researchers from the University of Central Florida College of Medicine in Orlando found that high levels of propionic acid — used in processed foods to extend shelf life — change nervous system development in the fetal brain.

The study links maternal PPA exposure to “possible precursors for autism,” say the researchers, who were led by Saleh Naser, PhD.

“This is an intriguing finding and a first in the field,” they add, cautioning that much more research is needed.

The study was published online June 19 in Scientific Reports.

Gut-Brain Axis

“There are good reasons to suggest the gut-brain axis is a potential culpritâ in autism disorders, the researchers point out.

Naser told Medscape Medical News he was interested in understanding why children with autism disorders often get gastrointestinal disease. He says he was “intrigued” by reports that linked digestive system problems and higher levels of PPA in stool samples from children with the disorder.

“I wanted to know more about the role of the microbiome and GI disorders, if any, with brain development,” he said.

Although glial cells help develop and protect neurons, if there are too many glial cells, they might affect the connection between neurons and cause inflammation, which was seen in the brains of children with ASD.

Also Check: How Do You Know When You Have Autism

Increase: Running A Fever

No one enjoys being sick, and when pregnant it can be much worse than just feeling extra under the weather. Running a fever when expecting can cause autism in the soon-to-be bundle of joy. A woman is 40% more likely to have a baby that develops autism if she is in her second trimester. After week twelve of pregnancy the risk of having a child with autism increases. Researchers cannot tell exactly what about a fever causes this issue. A theory is that mamas bodys reaction to the infection also influences fetal brain development. Sometimes no matter what we do, we cannot escape catching a sickness. The best bet to avoid this issue is to make sure to steer clear of those you know who are sick and make hand washing a really good habit.

Avoid Any Chemical Exposure During Pregnancy

Chemicals like drugs, serotonin, alcohols and seizure medicines like valproic acid contain the potential cause of Autism. So, try avoiding the use of these chemicals during pregnancy unless your doctor specially prescribes them. The valproic acid is for the treatment of convulsions, seizures, migraine headache, and bipolar disorder so, avoid these drugs during pregnancy if you have any of the above disorder.

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Wireless And Electromagnetic Fields

Prior to conception, the father should avoid keeping a cell phone in a front pocket, since wireless exposure is known to damage sperm, including DNA damage. He should also avoid using a laptop on his lap with the Wi-Fi turned on. Both should be avoided for at least the lifecycle of sperm . This should reduce the risk of de novo mutations , which are associated with ;autism. Pregnant women should also keep cell phones and laptops away from their uterus. The parents and childs bedroom should be free of wireless baby monitors, cordless phone base stations, and Wi-Fi routers. Use to locate cell towers and antennas near your home and work and try not to spend large amounts of time within a quarter mile of a cell tower or antenna. Wireless signal levels drop off significantly the further you are from them, so use distance to protect yourself and your child. Minimize or eliminate your childs contact with devices that emit wireless signals, like tablets, laptops, and cell phones.

Early Diagnosis And Treatment Of Hereditary And Celiac Diseases

Scary Mommy

The hereditary diseases like phenylketonuria is caused by the deficiency of a liver enzyme and are required to digest phenylalanine. The early diagnosis and treatment of phenylketonuria can reduce the chances of having an Autistic child after pregnancy. Similarly, the celiac diseases diagnosis and treatment can also reduce the potential chances of the child having Autism.

Also Check: When Did The Term Autism Come About

Can We Change The Risk Of Autism

Corresponding Author:JAMA

Autism spectrum disorders are a group of neurodevelopmental disorderscharacterized by significant impairments in social interaction and communication and byrepetitive, restrictive and stereotyped patterns of behavior. The most serious of the conditions comprising ASD isautistic disorder , as it is likely to have co-occurring intellectual disability anda range of medical, behavioral and psychiatric conditions. The prevalence of ASD is estimated to be about1% of children. Because oftemporal trends in autism prevalence and the clinical and behavioral challenges of thecondition, understanding risk factors and determining potential causes, prevention, andtreatment options are high priorities for researchers, parents, advocates, clinicians,and educators.

ASD is highly heritable; however, the clinical presentation can vary widely between family members and amongaffected individuals. Genetic factors are the best studied risk factors for ASD that have thus far beenidentified., Additionally some prenatal, obstetric and environmentalexposures have been associated with increased risk for ASD. The evidence to date suggests that ASD is a combination ofmultiple genetic and environmental risk factors leading to variable clinicalpresentations.,,, This heterogeneity is a major obstacle to researchers.Identified risk factors are implicated only in a minority of ASD cases, and the etiologyof ASD remains largely unknown.

Does Vitamin Use In Pregnancy Alter Autism Risk Maybe Maybe Not

by Nicholette Zeliadt;/;4 March 2019

Link in limbo:

Women who take prenatal vitamins during the first month of pregnancy are half as likely as those who do not to have a child with autism, a new study suggests. The results were published Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry and picked up swiftly by the mainstream press1.

But the reality, experts say, is more nuanced: The study did find an association between the supplements and autism, but it is small and was not set up to look for cause-and-effect relationships.

Prenatal vitamins are important for brain development, and some studies have found in children born to women who took them in early pregnancy2. The new study tracked pregnant women who already have a child on the spectrum, so its results suggest that vitamins lower autism recurrence in a family.

But women who take prenatal vitamins early in pregnancy may engage in other behaviors, such as eating healthily, exercising and avoiding certain harmful substances, that might lower their chances of having an autistic child.

Given the small sample size and the many possible confounding factors, I would not conclude that early use of prenatal vitamins is likely to prevent recurrence, says John Constantino, professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at Washington University in St. Louis, who was not involved in the study. Still, he says, the findings should be followed up.

Follow the recommendation, but dont go overboard, she says.

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Increase: The Body Isn’t At A Healthy Number

Most women do not like discussing their weight, and while pregnant most women gain at least twelve pounds. Researchers claim that going into pregnancy at an unhealthy weight as well as gaining too much weight during pregnancy can both be linked to autism. In fact, for every five pounds of extra baby weight a mama gains she increases her kiddos chance of autism by one percent. This is a very easily avoidable issue. Before trying to conceive it is always a promising idea to meet with the doc to see if your body is healthy enough for pregnancy. Starting a good eating and exercise regimen can set yourself up for an excellent lifestyle during pregnancy. Losing as much weight as recommended before pregnancy is a sure-fire way to avoid your baby becoming autistic. While pregnant, gaining weight slowly and at the recommended amount is also a good idea.

How Is Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosed

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Different health care providers evaluate your child to help diagnose ASD. Providers include:

  • Developmental pediatrician. This is a pediatrician who has special training in child development and taking care of children with special needs.
  • Child neurologist. This is a doctor who treats the brain, spine and nerves in children.
  • Child psychiatrist or child psychologist. These are mental health professionals who have special training to take care of children with emotional or mental health problems.;
  • Occupational therapist. This is a specialist who helps people learn to carry out everyday activities.
  • For children, this may be things like brushing teeth, getting dressed, putting on shoes or learning to use a pencil. ;
  • Physical therapist. This is a specialist who creates exercise programs to help build strength and help with movement.
  • Speech therapist. This is a specialist who helps people with speech and language problems. For children this may include helping with saying sounds or words correctly and completely. ;It can also include in helping children be understood and also understand others. ;

To evaluate your child, the providers may:;

Your childs providers may use medical tests to see if your child has a medical condition with signs or symptoms that are similar to ASD. These include:

Recommended Reading: How To Handle Violent Autistic Child

Can Folic Acid Prevent Autism

A new study suggests taking multivitamins with folic acid before and during pregnancy may lower autism risks.

If you needed more reasons to be sure to take your prenatal vitamin, here’s another: Getting enough folic acid may help to prevent autism spectrum disorder in your child. A recent study in The Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry found a link between the use of folic acid and multivitamin supplements by women before and during pregnancy, and a lower likelihood of ASD in their children.

The link between folic acid and the brain

The study followed over 45,000 Israeli children born between 2003 and 2007 from birth to 2015. At the end of the study period, 572 children had received an autism diagnosis. After looking at which moms took folic acid and/or multivitamins during pregnancy, the researchers found those who did had a 73 percent lower chance of their child having ASD. Taking the supplements before pregnancy was also effective in reducing risk.

“The results of this study are quite significant,” Mary Jane Minkin, MD, Clinical Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Yale University, who was not involved in the study, tells “This recent Israeli paper confirms some previous data showing the reduction in risk of developing autism with folic acid supplementation.”

Avoid casting blame on moms

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