iron overload

Avatar for littleroses
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Registered: 03-28-2003
iron overload
7
Sun, 08-31-2003 - 11:56pm
I have recently been hearing about iron overload as a cause of autism. (I know, one of many theories). Basically speaking, the idea is that since the 1940s we have increased the iron in our diets such as iron fortified foods, as well as having required immunizations and the use of chemicals/pesticides in our environment. Our bodies do not excrete iron except through bloodletting or hair, etc. Anyway, the iron overload can actually make the child appear to be anemic. I always wondered why the dark circles under my daughters eyes although they have been referred to as "allergy shiners." Okay, she is AS, but why the dark circles? Now, I'm really wondering if my dd could actually be suffering from this iron overload thing. She has very low energy for a 5 year old. Here is a website that explains the theory in depth. http://www.childscreen.org/Iron%20Overload%20and%20Autism.htm but I have read on up on some others.

I know us AS parents are always looking for the magic bullet, but I get so little help from the doctors. They don't really seem to know what to do. I don't mean to harp on them, but I kept trying to tell them for a long time that my dd didn't seem right, so now it's hard to trust them. I'm afraid to tell them I want this test and that test because I can see they think it's foolish. When I even mentioned gfcf diet, I was discouraged. "Okay, eliminate the milk if you really want to, but I don't think the diet works." The ped. neurologist said, "She must be high functioning, she doesn't look autistic to me." sigh.

Yet, she has dark circles, doesn't like eye contact, speaks like a 2 year old, is a toe walker, etc, etc.

I didn't mean to digress from the iron subject quite so much. haha. I might get the Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) and the Serum Iron (SI) tests to find out if she has iron overload anyway. She is used to getting blood drawn because she has to get a liver panel done every few months so one more won't make a big difference to her. Has anyone else encountered this or considered this iron overload theory?

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Registered: 07-11-2003
In reply to: littleroses
Mon, 09-01-2003 - 2:35am
Hhhmmmmm.......

I look at, read, investigate, and consider all the theories I can when it comes to autism. Why? To be honest I don't know anymore. I suppose it's because treating autism is my obsession and I follow the disciplines of Aristotle, who said "In order to understand something thoroughly we should know its origins."

Just about every theory I have looked at holds some ounce of merit. There is always going to be some manner of scientific data to back them up. If there weren't they wouldn't be theories they would be hypothesis. But one thing keeps bothering me. I keep coming back to this one simple thing..... above my desk I have a long glassed-in frame. In that frame there are nine bar graphs nicely matted and centered. At first glance they look like they are the same graph done in different colors and programs. But upon closer inspection, one sees that they are not the same at all, and yet, they are exactly the same thing. They are the mandatory graphs that were included in the Global Autism Tracking Study that was compiled during the 90s (all ten years of them). These graphs represent the autistic population overtake rate for 9 of the 17 different regions of the world. ^ More regions are currently running tracks and so far they seem to pick up where the group now known as the Alpha9 left off.

What does that mean? Ask any paleontologist. It means that the 'Autism Epidemic' is not cultural, it is not sociological, and unless someone wants to blame autism on global warming, it isn't environmental. The exact same rate of growth has been seen around the world. This thing is global, and it isn't slowing down. The current overtake rate in the U.S. is 5.3%. In scientific terms that means evolutionary effect. So there are those who will scream Superevolution. One problem, Superevolution is caused by the collision of genetic mutation and environmental cataclysm. It's the leading theory on the final hominid evolution into Cro-Magnon. God had to hit us with an ice age sized hammer to strike that polishing touch to humans and even then it only happened in one part of the world.

So, what theory do I support? All of them and none of them. I have yet to see even one thing that can cause these graphs to look like this. Why none of them? Because it isn't scientifically possible, but I'd be really interested to find out something that would make it so. Why all of them? Because I think somewhere God is watching us and he has this sneaky "I know something you don't know" grin plastered all over his face.

Sorry if I offended anyone with my thoughts. You caught me while taking a break from reviewing the paleontology course I'm teaching this year. That seems to have left me a little philosophical. Don't worry, I'll snap out of it.... eventually.

Peace,

Candes

Avatar for littleroses
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Registered: 03-28-2003
In reply to: littleroses
Mon, 09-01-2003 - 12:19pm
I am nearly consumed by autism. I just want to learn what it's like, how she perceives the world, what's the cure, what's the trends, latest theories, etc. I've read of people who would have rather that their child had cancer. I can understand why they'd feel that way. I feel I'm bumping around in a dark room trying to lead my child to a door that may or may not exist.



I wonder if this is what it feels like to have AS in a small way. Seeing all these pieces, but not being able to pull it together as a whole. I think the numbers are telling us that these kids are the canaries in the coal mine...but we don't know what it all means. I think it's strange that it's not getting the attention it deserves or the help and research needed.

I have to control myself around others because I know once I start talking about AS, I have trouble stopping. I am fascinated as much as I am appalled by AS. The Today show segment alluded to the idea that there is not an increase in autism, but an increase in the understanding that autism is a spectrum, leading to a broader umbrella of diagnosis. Globally speaking, peoples lifestyles, genetics and environment are so varied that I tend to believe there is a true increase and not just in the recognition of mild autism. Someone born in another country may not have an overload of iron in their diet, have all their vaccines, eat gluten/dairy, etc. There seems to be too many variables for autism to be a casual increase.

The NEWSWEEK article also mentions that AS possibly should not be seen as a problem to be fixed, but as accepting the people with their quirkiness. As a mother, I love my daughter's beautiful quirks. She is like a gift to me. On the other hand, as a mother, I also think about her future. How despite her intelligence, she could be manipulated, used, abused, live in poverty and alone without anyone to look after her best interests. As wonderful as quirky can be, it has its drawbacks. Of course, I accept her as she is...but the world doesn't love her like I do!


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Registered: 07-11-2003
In reply to: littleroses
Tue, 09-02-2003 - 6:28am
I agree with NEWSWEEK that it is something that should be accepted...to a certain degree. I say that b/c I also agree with you on the drawbacks of autism, not matter how mild. BUT the same can be said of the NT condition. It has it's strengths and it weaknesses too.

From the Aspie point of view NTs look more like nuerotics than nuerotypicals. My DH says we seem to run around doing mindless, needless, tasks just to try and please people we usually don't like. We sacrafice our own needs, wants, and comforts in order to accomodate people we wouldn't bother to associate with if 'good manners' didn't dictate it. My relationship with my sister is a good example. I can't stand her (sad but true). we disagree on pretty much everything, from how to raise children to how to use a fork. Last year she came to visit and we ended up arguing over an issue that she had no right butting into. She got so angry with me that she tried to punch me...I was 6 mo pregnant. No, don't worry, she didn't hurt the baby, she didn't even make contact (16yrs of Kindo comes in handy sometimes). Now, DH is of the oppinion that we should never, ever, EVER communicate with her again, for any reason. "We don't associate with insain people"...direct quote from him. And he's right, we shouldn't associate with her after something like that, especially since this is how she has always been. BUT it does my 80yo dgm's heart good to have her granddaughters together at the same time. So, out of respect for the matriarch of our little clan, she still comes to visit and I don't avoid family gatherings just because she's going to be there. DH doesn't understand and probably never will. I see his point of view, she does need help (he suggests in-patient care). But it would put an unusually large strain on our extended family if I suddenly severed all ties with her. Being an Aspie he really doesn't care about the exptended family. He only cares about himself, his wife, and his children. All others are chopped liver.

Plus, think about all the times we've sacraficed much needed sleep or rest so we could spend a little extra time making sure the house was 'just right' b/c we were going to have guests over the next day. Or how about spending extra money on 'nicer' clothes so we will look good for people we've never met? Aspies understand these concepts on an intellectual basis, but they don't really 'get' them. Making a good impression is beside the point to most Aspies. But it's nearly everything to the NT. It's why we buy fancy houses, flashy cars, wear make-up.......

To those of you who are you are married to an Aspie I pose this question... When you got past the honeymoon period of your relationship and you started relaxing...didn't wear make-up ALL the time, didn't 'fix your hair and just threw it up in a hat or ponytail, started wearing sweats on yours days off, etc... did they really care? Did they loose interest in you? I'm willing to bet they didn't. Infact, I'm willing to bet the honeymoon came to sudden, screeching halt when he woke up one day and just reclaimed his Aspieness; which had been, until that point, masked by emphatuation.

To the NT Aspies seem 'strange' and the same can be said about Aspies looking at NTs. My DH worries himself sick that I spend too much energy on other people. He gets upset with me if I cook when I'm tired, even though he isn't going to do the cooking if I don't. He doesn't consider nutrition, he thinks the kids will get along just fine if they eat McDonalds 5 days a week. Nor does he consider the finacial aspect. All that matters to him is that I am happy and rested. Now, most people, especially those who don't know him, think that he sees me as the center of his universe........ ROFL. I am his favorite person in the whole world....right after himself. He says "I married you because your favorite subject is the same as mine...me." LOL. To an outsider that sounds pretty self-centered, but to those of us 'in the know', it just seems par-for-the-course.

Okay, that was probably way to much information. But do you see what I'm getting at? Yes, there are reasons for us to worry about our Aspies. But there are also reasons for our Aspies to worry about us.

On the note of understanding what it's like to be autistic... you're welcome to come spend time at my house for a while. Here, I am the one who isn't 'normal'. And being an NT I don't like being seen that way (the NT ego). So I actually force myself to think like them so that I won't act too different. And after being out numbered by them for so many years it isn't that hard to understand how they think.

LOL, I guess you could say I already have been consumed by autism, it devoured me years ago (and I didn't even know it, LOL). Okay, now I'm really starting to ramble.

I just wanted to say, I love the stuff you post, Littleroses. Keep it up. :)

Peace,

Candes (who is too tired to run a spell check..please forgive the dyslexic spellings)

Avatar for rissc
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Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: littleroses
Tue, 09-02-2003 - 3:44pm
I never realised there was supposed to be a honeymoon period:) Dh didn't romance me. He was so busy being brutally honest that I was constantly shocked at his ability to say things that other people only think LOL.

I took the AQ test, too. I must be having a good day....I scored 25 LOL.

Larissa

Larissa
Avatar for rissc
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Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: littleroses
Tue, 09-02-2003 - 7:47pm
Dh describes having AS as a bonus. He sees things that others can't see. He can delve into the depths of whatever grips him and come to the surface with so much more knowledge. Socialising is not his priority. He sees learning as being his goal in life. He wants to know all there is to know and people be damned:) I always knew dh to be quirky but I never knew that he isn't getting the social cues that I was getting. I didn't know it distresses him when he says something and the other person doesn't understand. He tries to get the message across and instead the other person is thinking that dh just can't drop the subject. Drawing upon the files dh has stored in his memory banks is all that he does to survive. For all the grief that dh goes through to be understood, he doesn't ever want a cure. I understand his point of view as who would he be without AS? This *is* who he is.

Having a child with AS does bring a lot of pain. There isn't a way to help carry the load. It's that feeling of being useless that grips me when the chips are down. I can't get inside his head to help. I can only give him words to use and behaviours that are acceptable. I don't know if I am doing him any good. Am I helping him or hindering him? It's so difficult to know when he can't give me the clues I need. For all the negatives, I love Tim with a depth of feeling that is hard to describe. He is the most complicated and beautiful gift I have ever been given. I treasure each moment of awareness and each joy he receives. I try to banish the negative from his life. Visiting our specialist isn't done as frequetntly as the doctor would like. As soon as the specialist treats Tim with the dignity he deserves, I will take him every 3 months as requested. Until then, I remind the specialist that Tim might have AS but he isn't deaf or unfeeling. Do not talk about him in front of him as if he isn't there. I remind the specialist that *his* behaviour is considered rude.

Are people afflicted with AS? Using the word afflicted makes me angry. I don't think aspies are afflicted with anything. They have an incredible intelligence. I think it is a way of looking at life that should be embraced by others. Are aspies using more of their brain than the 10% researchers say we are. Is that why they are so highly intelligent? I have so many unanswered questions. I would love to visit in Tim's brain. What would I find? I am always so upset by the narrowmindedness of the NT world. I don't think an aspie should be shunned or made to feel that there is something wrong with them.They should be revered for their minds. I want acceptance and understanding. That is what I ask. It is so simple. Stop the cynicism that is considered to be so vital to our society. I see a lack of caring for others hindering aspies in their growth. I want a change in our way of seeing things. Ugh, I am rambling about the injustices of this world and it doesn't do me any good. I can't change the world because I say so. I wish it were that simple.

Larissa(who thinks if you got to the end of this, you were doing great:)

Larissa
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Registered: 03-28-2003
In reply to: littleroses
Tue, 09-02-2003 - 9:25pm
Larissa,

I got to the end, and I thought the road there was truly beautiful!

Sio

Avatar for littleroses
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Registered: 03-28-2003
In reply to: littleroses
Wed, 09-03-2003 - 7:56pm

delete




Edited 2/19/2008 9:08 pm ET by littleroses