Autism is a developmental disorder that causes difficulties with social interaction and communication, as well as repetitive behaviors. The cause of the condition is unknown while scientists have been working on prevention options for decades now.
Some people believe that autism can be prevented during pregnancy. This is because a pregnant woman’s body changes and the baby will take on some of those changes. However, there are no studies to support this theory. Read more in detail here: prevention of autism during pregnancy.
Can autism be stopped? You may be interested in learning how to prevent autism while pregnant. Despite the fact that there is currently no treatment for autism spectrum disorder and no certain method to avoid it, research has shown that certain behaviors may assist pregnant women reduce the chance of giving birth to a child who has ASD. A neurological impairment known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) results in considerable developmental delays, particularly in social functioning. One in every 45 kids in the US has been diagnosed with autism, according to Autism Speaks
To improve their odds of giving birth to a healthy child, expectant mothers should create autism preventive methods. According to studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine, autistic children’s brain development differences start as early as the second trimester. The following advice may assist pregnant moms in preventing autism throughout pregnancy, starting at conception.
See also: What are the 10 autism spectrum disorder (ASD) Signs that are Most Common?
How to Reduce Toxin Exposure to Help Prevent Autism Spectrum Disorder
Can autism be prevented? The scientific community has found data that suggests environmental variables may increase the likelihood of ASD and autistic symptoms.
According to a Harvard research, the risk of autistic spectrum condition was doubled for infants born to moms who were exposed to high pollution levels. As far as possible, women should limit their exposure to vehicle and truck pollution.
Autism risk factors don’t only come from road pollution. According to a Danish research, there may be a link between autism and sulfur dioxide levels that are greater than usual in the shipping sector.
Pregnant women can limit Aerosolized Toxins by:
- putting on masks
- after hours topping up their petrol tank
- inside when the air quality is poor
- avoiding busy locations, particularly while exercising
Clean water is available.
According to studies, some towns may have greater incidences of autism because of toxins in the water that we consume. Lead and aluminum are examples of heavy metals that are known to have negative effects on health and brain development. Pesticides and manganese may also be present in our drinking water.
Medicinal substances may potentially find their way into our water supply. Autism risk has been related to antidepressants found in drinking water. Pharmaceuticals that are eliminated by human feces or flushed down the toilet might end up in the water supply if it is situated downstream from a water treatment facility.
These harmful compounds may be kept out of the body by using a water filter or consuming water that is known to be clean. Drinking tap water while pregnant should be done with extreme caution.
Using green personal care products instead
To decrease exposure to risk factors including hazardous chemicals, women may switch to green personal care products. According to a research published in the journal mental health Perspectives, exposure to phthalates in utero is associated with autistic features in males. Phthalates are endocrine disruptors that are included in many goods, including cosmetics. The right dosage of Vitamin B6 may help prevent autism by thwarting the effects of phthalates during pregnancy.
Can eating a nutritious diet help prevent autism?
There are steps you may do to reduce your chance of giving birth to a child with an ASD, even if you may not be able to prevent autism. By eating a colorful, organic diet that is high in green vegetables and fruits with antioxidants, women may reduce their chance of developing autism. Physicians advise consuming at least 80 grams of lean protein day from sources like:
Many medical professionals advise cutting down on “white foods,” including sugar and bread. Compared to their complete equivalents, these white foods might be highly processed and have less nutrients. Many vitamins and minerals are lost when meals are processed.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggest soon-to-be mothers take 400 to 800 mcg of Vitamin B6 to assist with their child’s development. Vitamin B6 is needed by the body to help form the neural tube. There is research to show that taking this B vitamin before and early in pregnancy is associated with a lower risk of ASD.
Better brain development in fetuses has been related to increasing vitamin D consumption. According to one research, women who were vitamin D deficient midway through their pregnancies had a 2.42 times higher risk of giving birth to a kid who had Autism Spectrum Disorder than women who had normal vitamin D levels. More study is required to determine the causes of a potential link between vitamin D and ASD.
The fatty acids omega-3
Doctors recommend pregnant women should get enough The fatty acids omega-3. A study from Harvard School of Public Health found a link between an unbalanced consumption of omega fatty acids during pregnancy and a risk of autism spectrum disorder. They found that children born to mothers who did not consume adequate amounts of The fatty acids omega-3 are 53% more likely to be born with ASD.
Gaining Weight While Pregnant
Gaining Weight While Pregnant is another risk factor for autism spectrum disorder. A modest weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy is optimal. A study published by Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, found a possible link between maternal prenatal weight gain and ASD. They found that the risk of a child developing autism increased significantly with pregnancy weight gain but not pre-pregnancy BMI. This research suggests that autism has an underlying gestational etiology.
How to Keep Healthy During Pregnancy to Prevent Autism
It’s crucial to have regular checkups with your family doctor and obstetrician. The health of the mother during pregnancy has a big effect on the unborn child. Mothers should have a flu vaccine and a rubella (German measles) vaccination. Viral infections may interfere with the baby’s brain cells and change neural connections, according to research from the MIND Institute.
Weight and gestational diabetes
The risk of autism may be decreased by taking all necessary efforts to prevent gestational diabetes. Autism has been related to maternal obesity and diabetes. Both of these issues have a history of bringing on inflammation or compromising immunological signaling. Women who are overweight or obese before becoming pregnant are more likely than women who are of a healthy weight to have a child who is diagnosed with autism, according to a meta-analysis of 32 publications published in 2018.
Medications on Prescription
Make sure that pregnant women are taking their medicines under a doctor’s supervision. Women were given thalidomide prescriptions for morning sickness in the 1950s and 1960s. Birth malformations were subsequently discovered to be caused by it. Valproate is a medication used to treat bipolar disorder and epilepsy. When consumed during pregnancy, it is also connected to autism. Numerous additional drugs, including antidepressants, are still up for debate. It is difficult to determine whether antidepressants are linked to autism or whether it is entirely hereditary since they treat an underlying mental health disorder.
Mercury fillings in teeth
Prior to conception, it could be advantageous to have mercury-based amalgam fillings removed by a dentist. Human teeth were formerly filled with mercury fillings by dentists. Mercury is toxic and shouldn’t be utilized, as we now know. If a woman has mercury fillings and is attempting to become pregnant or is already pregnant, she should see her dentist to determine if it is safe to remove the fillings.
Babies’ neurological function is naturally enhanced by passing through the birth canal, so avoiding unnecessary C-section births can help. A case study was conducted in Saudi Arabie in 2016. Their data supported an association between cesarean section and autism spectrum disorder. These results support the findings of other such studies. Obviously, c-sections are needed in the event of birth complications. Based on this information, unnecessary c-sections should be avoided to lower the risk for autism spectrum disorder.
A study in the Molecular Psychiatry journal found that autism rates are 15 percent higher in children born to mothers in their 40s and 66 percent higher for fathers over 50. This study echos the findings of other studies that suspect a link between Family Age and autism.
Because their sperm has acquired several spontaneous mutations that are handed down to their progeny, fathers in their 40s and 50s may have an increased risk of producing children with autism spectrum disorder. The DNA of sperm cells is duplicated during cell division, which allows for mutations to take place.
The relationship between maternal age and the likelihood of autism has received little research. Egg cells may pass on mutations and can replicate, but less often than sperm cells. In California, birth data from 1990 to 1999 were examined. There were almost 12,000 incidences of autism among the 5 million newborns. They discovered that women over the age of 40 had a 77% higher chance of having an autistic child than women under the age of 25. With aging, that proportion falls.
Pregnant women may successfully help avoid autism by making good pregnancy plans and taking the aforementioned healthy precautions.
Large Genetic Contributions to Autism
There is no one known cause or “trigger” for the complicated condition known as autism. Actually, it’s probable that a mix of hereditary and environmental factors contribute to autism. According to scientists, heredity may account for up to 90% of the chance of developing autism. A child’s development of ASD is often beyond the control of the parents.
Autism spectrum disorder is more likely to develop in those who have certain genetic diseases. A genetic disorder called fragile X syndrome may lead to behavioral problems. Along with a number of physical issues, fragile X may also result in learning difficulties. It is thought to be the primary genetic contributor to autism. One in three Fragile X patients will also be diagnosed with autism.
An further genetic disorder connected to autism is Cornelia de Lange Syndrome. Between 50% and 75% of people with CdLS exhibit autism-like traits. In this group, social anxiety and excessive shyness are common symptoms. Additionally typical is selective mutism.
Other autism spectrum disorder risk factors are independent of a parent’s actions. These consist of:
- the gender of your kid
- familial background
- other illnesses
Boys are up to four times more likely than girls to get an autistic spectrum condition diagnosis, according to study. Males have historically been researched and diagnosed more often than females. This may be due to the fact that men are really more likely to get autism. It could also be that screening tests don’t always detect ASD in females, particularly in those who are regarded as high functioning. In this area, further investigation is required.
familial background can also play a role in autism risk. Parents who have one child with ASD are at an increased risk of having another child with the same diagnosis. Relatives and parents may have communication deficits or problems communicating that can be mild symptoms of autism.
Autism cannot be avoided, which is unfortunate since there is no clear-cut strategy that can assist. Although there are steps you may do to lessen the risk, there are no assurances. Early intervention is crucial if you think your kid has autism. Consult a medical expert who can perform the necessary exams for guidance. Make early contact with therapists who can improve the future results for kids with autism. Most importantly, realize that you are not alone and that assistance is available for kids with ASD.
The “what causes autism” is a question that has been asked for decades. The answer to this question is not simple and there are many factors that contribute to the development of autism.
- signs of autism during pregnancy
- prevention of autism pdf
- how to prevent autism in 2 year old
- how to prevent autism in toddlers
- can ivf prevent autism
Janice is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Special Education. She also holds a Master of Science in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from Queen’s University, Belfast. She has worked with and case managed children and youth with autism and other intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in home and residential setting since 2013.