Autism and Mercury - Discussing the Link
What is the link between autism and mercury?
One widely popular and controversial belief is that mercury and autism are directly related. The reason that the belief is so controversial stems from the fact that for a long time, some vaccines used thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative.
Many people believe that it was the use of these vaccines, and the subsequent mercury released into the children's systems, that caused the autism cases to rise. So what are the specifics behind this theory?
There is no doubt that mercury poisoning is hazardous. It has been linked to seizures, cardiovascular disease, dyslexia, hyperactivity, and even mental retardation. The Hepatitis B vaccination is just one vaccination that contained thimerosal. Another popular vaccination that carried it is the MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) vaccine.
During the years that thimerosal was used in the vaccines, some states (in the US) reported an increase as high as 500% when it came to autism cases. There are some researchers that claim that autism cases have increased significantly since the number of childhood vaccinations doubled; many of them point to the autism and mercury connection.
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A note about Autism and Mercury - Discussing the Link
In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.
In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. No matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem, these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of specific natural health remedies.
During the 1950's, when there were basically only 4 vaccinations routinely given to children, only 1 in 10,000 children were diagnosed with autism. However, as more vaccinations were added to the schedule, the number of children that were diagnosed with autism rose.
Children that were born in 1981, for instance, were given 135 micrograms of mercury in their vaccines. At that time, 1 in 2500 children were diagnosed with autism. However, once the hepatitis B vaccine was added, as well as the vaccination for Haemophilus influenzae Type b, that number of micrograms rose to 246 in 1996. Along with the increased number of micrograms of mercury, the number of children diagnosed with autism also increased to 1 in every 350. Today, autism is now diagnosed in 1 out of every 100 boys and 1 out of every 400 girls.
Could these statistics indeed be proof of the autism and mercury connection?
Parents are getting into the autism and mercury debate as well. Many parents claim that they have proof that their children exhibited no signs and symptoms of autism until after they received a vaccine that contained thimerosal. As a result, more and more studies are being conducted to look into this link between autism and mercury.
Researchers have suggested that children with autism have difficulty in ridding their bodies of toxins and heavy metals, such as mercury. A complementary theory holds that children with autism are unable to use the heavy metals to their advantage.
Research has suggested that children with autism have lower amounts of mercury in their system than those that do not have autism. So how can this be if there is an autism and mercury link?
One explanation could be that the mercury is not getting into the blood, like it should be, but instead is being kept in the child's cells, where it can cause harm. Tests which examine the children's blood then find low levels of mercury, when in reality the mercury is present in other bodily tissues.
As a result of these findings on autism and mercury, thimerosal has been removed from vaccines by most manufacturers. Some states have noticed a decrease in the number of autism cases since this has been occurring. Some states, such as Iowa and California, have even passed laws banning thimerosal.
However, some companies continue to use thimerosal in their flu vaccines. There is also a concern that some doctors continue to inject children with older vaccines that contain thimerosal, since the FDA did not recall them.
Partly due to this, and partly due to the fact that some parents do not like the vast amount of injections that a child has to receive before the age of 2, some parents are delaying vaccinations and spacing them out. While this is sometimes a problem when it comes to enrolling the child in school or daycare, more and more parents are starting to do so, in the hope of protecting their children from the harmful chemicals that might exist in the vaccines.
Having learnt a little about the autism and mercury connection, you can learn more about this condition by reading the other related autism articles and pages on this website.
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