Key contributing factors to Autism
Autism is recognized at as a genetically predisposed condition triggered by environmental factors or a combination of circumstances. There is no research available of the exact cause of Autism. The possible contributing factors that may cause Autism will be discussed below. Key features that are discussed were identified from questionnaires completed by parents who have children diagnosed with Autism. The key factors are breast feeding, introducing your child to solids, vaccinations and antibiotics.
It has been indicated that children with Autism were not necessarily breastfeed and were bottle fed from the start. This may have caused an Allergic which contributes to the health symptoms that children with Autism may be experiencing.
Breast feeding is very important to mother and child. Breast milk contains the correct combinations of vitamins, minerals, protein, fats, carbohydrates and antibodies to provide nourishment and to protect against infection. Breastfeeding a baby from the beginning up to 6 months of age has shown a wide range of specific health benefits.
Advice on breastfeeding:
- Try to make time to breastfeed. It will benefit your baby’s health.
- At the least give your baby colostrum which is available over the initial 3-5 days. It contains important nutrients, antibodies and helps to build their immune system.
- If you are not interested in breastfeeding, try to express milk and give it to your baby in a bottle.
- If you feel that your vitamins and mineral intake is insufficient, take a multivitamin supplement.
- Don’t despair if you cannot breastfeed. There are alternatives to cow’s mild i.e. Nanny Goat, Neocate and Nutramigem.
- Cow’s milk does not contain the adequate vitamins and minerals for a child under the age of 6 months. Try to avoid giving it to your child.
- It is recommended that you breastfeed for at least 6 months to a year.
Introducing your child to solids
It has been noted that children with Autism are introduced to solids before 6 months of age when their digestive system is still developing. Health experts warn against food containing wheat and gluten as these foods cause allergies. Children should not be given food containing eggs, cheese, nuts, shellfish, nuts and seeds before 6 months of age. Cow’s milk does not contain sufficient iron, Vitamin C and D. Therefore is not recommended to children before 12 months of age.
Advice on Introducing Solid foods.
- Start to introduce solid foods from 6 months of age
- Bread shouldn’t be your child’s first solid food. Rather introduce the child to fruit purees and rice cereals. Introduce eggs, nuts, meat barley, oats and rye only after 9 months of age.
An important finding was that a large group of the children received a number of antibiotic courses within their first year. Antibiotics is a drug utilized to treat disease and infection by killing bacteria. There are more than 100 different drugs available. It is a drug most prescribed by doctors. 38 Million Prescriptions were written by GP’s in Britain. Antibiotics are effective against bacterial infection i.e. salmonella and E-coli. Antibiotics cannot differentiate between harmful bacteria that make us ill and beneficial bacteria that are in our gut. The beneficial bacteria help the digestive and immune system. Doctors have a tendency to over prescribe antibiotics for minor infections due to pressure from caring parents or because they are over cautious. Antibiotics can have a negative effect on the body’s natural defenses. The overuse of antibiotics can lead to the bacteria becoming resistant to the antibiotic. The intestine or the gut needs beneficial bacteria in order to function optimally. Antibiotics wipeout large amounts of beneficial bacteria in the process of getting rid of the harmful bacteria. The lining of the gut would lose its immune protection if there are insufficient beneficial bacteria. The most common side effects are diarrhoea and inflammation of the colon. Limited beneficial bacteria may process and digest food differently, using the nutrients instead of passing it on to the rest of the body and starting to produce toxins. The gut wall will be easy to penetrate allowing food to leak directly into the blood stream before it is digested properly.
Food that is not properly digested and go directly into the blood can have an effect like morphine on the brain. This may cause damage to the brain areas that control communication, learning and attention. Limited beneficial bacteria can cause leucopoenia, pancreatitis, hyperkalemia, diarrhoea, eczema and skin rashes.
The goal of an antibiotic is to kill bacteria that may cause infections. It also suppresses the body natural way of dealing with infections. The effects of antibiotics vary from one person to the next. Babies and the elder are more susceptible to the effects of antibiotics. They too have weaker immune systems and are more likely to be prescribed antibiotics.
Children with autism suffer from nose, ear and respiratory infection. Therefore are regularly prescribed antibiotics. This in turn causes gastrointestinal infections, diarrhoea, constipation, chest infections, runny nose and ear infections.
Advice on Antibiotics
- Try to alleviate symptoms when your baby has an infection. Treat infections as if it is a normal part of growing up.
- Your baby is developing natural defenses. Allow the infections to sort itself out.
Visit you doctor if you have any concerns. But try to avoid antibiotics unless it is absolutely necessary.