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Could a cause of autism be cutting the umbilical cord too soon?

Today we have a guest post from publisher Jeff Gerke of Marcher Lord Press:

There is growing scientific and theoretical support in the medical community for the idea that autism is caused during delivery/birth.

Now, no one knows for sure yet what causes autism. For years, I have been told that a cause, if ever determined, will end up being no single factor, no magic bullet, but actually a large and confusing mess of factors, causes, and genetic predispositions. Okay, fine. However, I urge you to keep reading.

My son is autistic. He turns 12 next month and is high-functioning, but he is definitely autistic. He also had oxygen issues when he was delivered. Actually, he was okay right away, but then quickly he got blue, and they whisked him away. Everyone in the birthing suite got ominously quiet. Then it seemed he was okay…until the autism emerged years later.

I keep going back to that moment in my mind. Over the years I’ve done a little digging about the effects of oxygen deprivation, like with someone who has been revived from drowning or asphyxiation. I was struck by how similar those effects are to the symptoms of autism. Without oxygen- and iron-rich blood, parts of the brain develop lesions on them and begin to die.

I’d read a doctor’s article saying that certain populations have almost no autism. The two groups he talked about were the Amish and Somalis. Some of you can tell me if it’s true that Amish have very few cases of autism, because I don’t know. The doctor also noted that the midwives in these communities do not rush to clamp or cut the umbilical cord during delivery. But Somali women who give birth in American hospitals have the same rate of autism as the rest of the American population. He theorized that there might be a connection between cord clamping/cutting and autism, and he called for a study.

Then this week I decided to dig a little more deeply. I found over a hundred scientific and medical articles drawing a still-as-yet-theoretical connection between what they call ICC, immediate cord clamping, and autism.

The practice in the West since the 1980s has been to clamp the cord immediately after the baby has taken its first breath. I’ve heard two explanations for this: one, that it’s to prevent medications from the mother from traveling to the newborn, and two, that it has something to do with safety of the mother. But apparently for time immemorial before that, the practice was to not clamp or cut the cord so quickly.

Would it surprise you to learn that the sudden spike in autism coincides with this change?

Of course that’s anecdotal and isn’t enough. There are many other things that began in the 1980s—like the use of fax machines and VCRs, for instance—that probably have nothing to do with the rise in autism. So we can’t conclude anything on that alone, but neither should we discount it.

As I understand it, the placenta is essentially an organ that “belongs” to the baby. The idea that the connection between the two should be severed as soon as possible so as to prevent medicine from the mother getting to the infant seems odd, since I thought it was the baby’s blood (not the mother’s) that was running through the placenta, especially in a full term baby.

At birth, the placenta still has a large portion of the baby’s blood running through it. Indeed, the placenta is still “pulsating” at birth. It’s delivering the baby’s blood and other nutrients (including the oxygen and iron the baby’s blood carries) back into the baby.

ICC effectively cuts the connection between the baby and one of its organs.

It takes all of five minutes after delivery for the placenta to stop pulsating (signaling that it has delivered all its goodness to the baby). And yet the practice in Western hospitals is to clamp that cord immediately after a breath.

Is autism caused by the sudden deprivation of blood, oxygen, and iron that happens when the umbilical cord is clamped before the placenta has finished its job?

Did I stand there and watch my son get autism? Did the doctor—and me, since I cut his cord—give him autism right there in the room? Is that why he looked fine at delivery and then suddenly got blue? Did we give him brain damage?

The symptoms of autism are often hard to see in an infant. How can you tell if a newborn is delayed in language or has odd emotional displays or doesn’t play well with peers? These things develop—or don’t develop—at around age 3 or so, when autism is often detected. If those areas of the brain were damaged at birth, very little oddness would appear until what those areas were supposed to do doesn’t happen when or as it should. (Again I’m struck with the similarity to the effects of oxygen deprivation in adults.)

Here’s my plea: Please tell your OB that you do not want the cord clamped immediately. No ICC. Tell him or her that you do not want the cord clamped until at least 90 seconds after the placenta has stopped pulsating.

Five minutes. It’s all I’m asking.

Would I have waited 5 minutes to prevent my son from having autism?

A letter from Jim Witte, a reader

I just ran across your CuringAutismBlog while looking for information about yeast
treatment and handwriting.  It’s amazing how you can wander around in the ‘autism biomed web’ seemingly forever and still find something new.  Maria Janik, who co-runs the Indiana biomed list and is the Northwest Indiana chapter co-ordinator for NAA, said that one of the big sites actually has samples of kids handwriting before and after GI yeast treatment which show improvement handwriting quality improvement of years after only a few days on yeast treatment.  I can’t find anything – do you know where to look?  🙂

You mentioned your kids have Asperger’s.  Did you read the Age of Autism story on the “experimental” work being done at the Harvard Center for Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation that apparently (at least in the few people tested) will “cure” Asperger’s (to some degree at least – I’m not sure we know how much) at least for a while using transcranial magnetic therapy (TMS)?  I put “experimental” in quotes because I don’t really consider it to be experimental except in terms of whether it works in large numbers of patients.
It’s been shown to work – it’s already known to be safe as Canada approved it for
depression and it seems to be “quasi-approved” here for “treatment-resistant
depression”..  (Meanwhile, the FDA has either “quasi-approved” or “completely approved”) deep brain stimulation for treatment-resistant depression as well..  So.. They’d rather you get your head cut open and an electrode stuck in the bottom of your brain rather than have a coil innocuously waves around your head?  (And if you say, “Oh that hurts!” they can immediately turn it off?)  But they’d much rather you just take the “convenient once a day” (and expensive) antidepressant pills instead..  Don’t you just love our FDA? <sigh?>

Anyway, have you tried nasal oxytocin supplementation?  Oxytocin is a natural
9-amino-acid peptide that seems to have social bonding effects in humans as well as other species studies, as well as being involved in the milk let-down reflex and childbirth.  There is not a very big literature base on it’s use, but there is some evidence that it improves the ability of autistic people to correctly detect emotion in otherwise neutral spoken sentences, as well as improving encoding of “positive social memories” (haven’t read the paper yet).  I’ve used it (I have some kind of “mild Asperger’s” with strange endocrine/adrenal/stress-response problems), and have NOT seen the kinds of social effects I expected, but then – I’m 30 and my parents are not exactly social butterflies either (my Dad probably has Asperger’s of some degree as well). Strangely, it does appear to have increased my binocular fusion ability.  I think it also had very subtle social effects – mainly feeling a bit more at ease in crowds of people – and decreased the amount of antidepressant I take to zero, and reducing my anti-anxiety usage by half.

I know of it’s effect in one neurotypical woman – Susan Owen’s daughter who takes it because there’s a study showing it is low in patients with fibromyalgia (which her daughter appears to have).  In her, it seems to have had really positive and noticeable social effects – but the difference might be to and interaction with her social environment (high school).  So it appears to be a mixed bag, so to speak.

I have a protocol to test combining oxytocin supplementation and the TMS treatment, on the hypothesis that whatever change the TMS induces in the brain (the CNBS people are hypothesizing that it “rebalances” the brain activity of people with Asperger’s) and the oxytocin production/usage system in the brain are dependent on each other.  Combining the two may create what might essentially a long-term conditional “cure” of sorts.

Do your children have problems with oxalic acid, and have you looked into the “Vitamin K Protocol”?  It’s started as a way to use supplemental vitamin K (K2 actually – which is normally created by a gut bacterium from the K1 form in eaten plants) to regulate calcium in the body (vitamin K is needed to “activate” a number of proteins, including several of the blood-clotting proteins, and two important calcium-handling proteins).  This reduces the amount of ionized calcium in the blood, which can apparently cause all sort of havoc in the brain.

There are a number of other parts to the protocol, mainly bicarbonate, which helps to counter acidosis which appears to be occurring, and iodine to treat a form of
hypothyroidism.  The hypothyroidism and the acidosis both cause the liver to overproduce oxalic acid, which leads to oxalate problems (the enzyme lactate dehydrogenase produces oxalate instead of pyruvate in an acidic environment, if I recall right).  There also appear to be problems with all sorts of ‘anion exchangers’ in the boy (including the gut oxalate exchangers, which inappropriately let oxalate out of the gut), and with phosphorus handling.  For this reason, liquid phosphorus is the newest addition to the protocol.  The archives of the group (Vitamin K) have a number of testimonials from parents who’s children essentially turned around on vitamin K (some who didn’t really respond to anything else).  The K protocol also supplements vitamins D and A, which are extraordinarily intertwined, and actually need each other to signal their respective receptors in the body.
Jim Witte
“Warrior Aspie”

Report Card

Mike’s quarterly report card was all A’s except for a B- in English. 🙂

This is the kid who was flunking everything a year ago. Last spring he was given some aides to shadow him, having finally convinced the school he was special ed. So he did better, but nowhere near this well. I am truly amazed.

I wouldn’t call Mike “cured” of autism at all. But all that negative energy is gone. I credit the supplement program he is on. From our Yasko genetic testing, it was apparent that he has some genetic hurdles that are really enormous, that tend to cause his body to generate a lot of ammonia, which causes the bad behavior. So I think his ammonia overload is now under control. I am VERY happy about that.

Yasko recommended last summer that I give him more methyl B-12, to get his methylation cycle going. This is really a major key to recovery for many kids. So when I increased his dosage, his behavior went south really fast. I think his body was making ammonia out of the B12. I backed off as soon as I could. But we had a rough month or so. After a while he got better.

It could be that he isn’t going to improve any more. But I am going to pray for improvement, and I am going to take him to the DAN! doctor Amy Davis as soon as my husband or I get a job. We’re short on funds right now!

Fairly smooth sailing

Mike has been Mild Mike for several months now. There just isn’t too much to report. He still has Asperger’s–can’t tell what others are thinking, tends to want to monopolize any conversation, etc. But all that negative energy he used to have is gone. He isn’t aggressive, isn’t picking fights with his brothers and others, and isn’t complaining all the time.

I am very happy about this!! I think the mercury chelation with ALA must have made a difference. I guess we should do more of it.

My next plan is to take him to the DAN! doctor Amy Davis, who has a practice near here, in Chesterfield MO. I took his sister Shannon there in August, and I think Dr. Davis has made a difference for Shannon.

This plan is on hold though while both my husband and I are looking for jobs. We’re getting by on savings at the moment, not a good situation.

Jenny McCarthy on Oprah

Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey, parents of a recovered autistic son, took their message to the public yesterday with an interview on Oprah.

I missed the broadcast–I didn’t open my email about it in time. (If you want to join the Generation Rescue email alert list, see the first link in my links section at bottom left.)

But I am VERY encouraged that this whole situation, where doctors seem to be causing the problem (through multiple vaccines in tiny children with immature immune systems) rather than addressing it, is getting some air time! Jenny is promoting a book she wrote about it, and this should help bring the whole issue forward in the public consciousness too. More parents need to realize that they need to take action, and that a cure for their child may be possible.

Let’s Look at the Facts

I ran across a Twitter posting (very short) from a parent of an autistic child. She said she doesn’t believe there is a cure for autism, and she isn’t seeking it. She is just doing what the doctor says, accepting her son as he is, working with him, and so on.

In my opinion this isn’t a matter of belief. It’s just rational fact. There ARE kids out there who were autistic and now are not. They play normally and have friends. Maybe some have some residual effects (depending on how old they were when recovered), but they are no longer locked in their own world.

Here’s a parent of one of them:
Jenny McCarthy, actress, married to Jim Carrey. Their son has been recovered with a similar regimen we are trying on Mike and Shannon: Supplements, chelation, control of intestinal yeast, and diet. Ms. McCarthy is curious as to why the medical establishment isn’t interested in evaluating her child, who she has placed in the public eye. She believes it was vaccines that damaged her child.

“Many people aren’t aware,” she writes, “that in the 1980s our children received only 10 vaccines by age 5, whereas today they are given 36 immunizations, most of them by age 2. With billions of pharmaceutical dollars, could it be possible that the vaccine program is becoming more of a profit engine then a means of prevention?”

Whatever the cause is, logically speaking, it is pervasive and not genetic. A genetic cause would not create an empidemic (one in 150 kids these days is autistic, one in 99 boys).

I think families of autistics are dividing into two camps: one following the possibility of recovery, and the other following the doctors, who deny that vaccines could be culprits. How could they admit vaccines are to blame, after all? They have been personally requiring them for their patients. It’s pretty hard to admit you’re wrong and do an about-face.

So we should be able to look at facts, again. Here are two relevant facts: of 30,000 kids born in a Chicago birth-at-home medical practice, there are NO cases of autism for the majority who were unvaccinated. And again, in the Amish community, largely unvaccinated, NO cases of autism in the unvaccinated.

That’s why I started this blog and my search for a cure for my two children. Because it is possible. It’s not a matter of belief. It’s fact. It is possible.

Hope ??? !!!

I met with some of Mike’s teachers last night at a school open house. They were very positive about him and said he has been on task and participating in class. One of them even wondered whether he needed his aide.

A year ago he was angry all the time and spending a lot of time in the principal’s office. Now he is Mild Mike.

He is still hard to teach, though. He doesn’t want to hear advice from me on topics like how to have conversations. So, at home, the dinner table is still pretty forgettable. (Everyone is talking at once, especially Mike.) I am starting to wonder whether his noncompliance is because he is a 16 year old. After all, his brothers aren’t too compliant either. (They are triplets, you remember.)

I am daring to hope for a real future for him, not just hanging out in a group home and not working, which is what I have been resigned to for some time. Maybe he WILL be able to pass pre-algebra. Maybe he can go to the vocational high school and learn a trade. Or maybe … ??? he could go to college?? Dare I hope that??

School has started

I haven’t posted in a little while because I am waiting for the dust to settle. Mike started school Aug. 25, which is a huge stressor for him. By now things are getting smoother. I am changing his meds–actually, taking him off his antidepressant. So he is a bit hard to get along with. I hope this will pass. If not, I guess I’ll put him back on another antidepressant, which is what his pediatrician ordered–exchanging cymbalta for celexa. Cymbalta was keeping him awake at night.

I think he is doing much better this school year, but I haven’t heard from the teachers yet, so I don’t know. He talks about having some friends to eat lunch with. I am thrilled about that.

I wish he had a teachable spirit. He really thinks he knows it all already, and it’s pretty tiresome. But at least he isn’t running around being angry all the time like a year ago.

Still doing very well

Mike is still doing very well. He is able to remember a lot of details that previously he would just forget, in an ADD sort of way. He is pretty easy to get along with too. This is despite the fact that I am weaning him off of his antidepressant.

Cool, huh?