Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Heavy Metals & Autism Part 1 - Signs & Symptoms

Heavy metals are getting more press these days, but it doesn't seem to be enough. They can cause a host of mysterious symptoms and confounding illnesses that will stump most doctors. 

Examples of heavy metals include: lead, mercury, cadmium, aluminum, arsenic, silver, nickel, tin, etc. Some are more toxic than others, a few even in the smallest amounts are poisonous.

Signs & Symptoms of Heavy Metal Toxicity (not nearly exhaustive, just the ones that sound hauntingly familiar):

·   Psychiatric disturbances
o   Social deficits, shyness, social withdrawal
o   Repetitive, perseverative behaviors, obsessive-compulsive tendencies
o   Depression, mood swings, flat affect; impaired face recognition
o   Anxiety; irrational fears
o   Lack of eye contact
·   Speech & language deficits
o   Loss of speech, delayed language, failure to develop speech
o   Articulation problems
o   Speech comprehension deficits
o   Verbalizing and word retrieval problems; echolalia
·   Sensory abnormalities (sensory integration sound familiar     anyone???)
o   Abnormal sensation in mouth and extremities
o   Sound sensitivity; mild to profound hearing loss
o   Abnormal touch sensations; touch aversion
o   Over-sensitivity to light; blurred vision
·    Motor disorders
o   Flapping, circling, rocking, toe walking, unusual postures
o   Deficits in eye-hand coordination
o   Abnormal gait and posture, clumsiness
·    Cognitive impairments
o   Borderline intelligence, mental retardation
o   Poor concentration
o   Poor short term, verbal, and auditory memory
o   Poor visual and perceptual motor skills; impairment in simple reaction time
o   Deficits in understanding abstract ideas and symbolism
o   Difficulty carrying out complex commands
·     Unusual behaviors
o   Self-injurious behavior, e.g. head banging
o   ADHD traits
o   Agitation, unprovoked crying, grimacing, staring spells
o   Sleep difficulties
·      Physical disturbances
o   Hyper or hypotonia; abnormal reflexes; decreased muscle strength; incontinence; problems chewing or swallowing
o   Rashes, dermatitis, eczema, itching

o   Diarrhea; abdominal pain, constipation
o   Anorexia; nausea, vomiting, restricted diet, poor appetite
o   Lesions of ileum and colon; increased gut permeability 
Source: Changing the Course of Autism – Jepson, Bryan M.D.

  Does any of that sound familiar?

EPA report, “For fetuses, infants, and children, the primary health effect of methylmercury is impaired neurological development…Impacts on cognitive thinking, memory, attention, language, and fine motor and visual spatial skills have been seen in children exposed to methylmercury in the womb.”
“…the EPA’s analysis reflects a new understanding among scientists in the US and Japan that umbilical cord blood has higher mercury concentrations than a mother’s blood…”
Source: Changing the Course of Autism – Jepson, Bryan M.D.

Common Sources of Heavy Metal Exposure

Water supply, pesticides, fish, vaccines, dyes, paint, canned fruit juices, artificial food colors, antacids, dental amalgam, cookware, cosmetics, deodorant, bleaching agents, treated wood (like decks, playgrounds), etc. 

Heavy metals can be consumed with food or beverages, inhaled or absorbed through the skin
For more on heavy metals, see 
Heavy Metals Part 2 - Testing
Heavy Metals Part 3: 4 Critical Consideration BEFORE You Detox!

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