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Autism Spectrum Disorder

Condition and Nutrient Report: Autism Spectrum Disorder Autism Spectrum Disorder (“ASD”) is a developmental brain disorder that usually begins within the first three years of after conception.  Autism falls under the umbrella of “Pervasive Developmental Disorders” or PDD.  The other four pervasive developmental conditions are: Asperger’s Disorder (“a touch of autism”) Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD) Rett Syndrome PDD-NOS (Not Otherwise Specified) The rate of autism diagnoses has skyrocketed over the past decade. In 2002, 1 in 150 of children were diagnosed with a form of ASD and in 2010 that number jumped to 1 in 68.  The condition is four times more prevalent in boys (1 in 54 boys vs. 1 in 252 girls) (TACA, 2012, 2014). Characteristics of Autism: An abnormal absorption with the self Communication & social interaction impairment; lack of response to people Short attention span Restricted and repetitive behaviors While the cause of autism remains undetermined, current studies show that genetics and environment play a role in the condition.  There is no medical detection or known cure for autism, however, with early detection, there is a significant improvement rate amongst symptoms.  By state analysis, autism prevalence in public schools for 8 year olds in 2009-2010 school year show Minnesota, Maine, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Connecticut as having the highest rates of this condition.  The lowest rates of autism diagnoses occur in Colorado, New Mexico, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Iowa (TACA, 2012, 2014). Autism vs. Asperger’s Disorder Asperger’s Disorder (“AD”) is a type of pervasive developmental disorder that exhibits some of the same characteristics of autism.  There are some important differences in the two conditions.  Children with Asperger’s...

Condition and Nutrient Report: Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Download the report here. Get my free handout. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition in which the thyroid antibodies attack the thyroid gland, limiting the production of the important thyroid hormones. The production of these hormones is incredibly important to the body because the thyroid is responsible for energy production for nearly every cell, tissue, and organ in the body. It is the “Metabolic Powerhouse” for the body. When the damage to the thyroid starts to take place, hormones are released into the bloodstream to compensate, which may show normal range levels. However, as time goes on, the person affected may start to show signs of hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid (Wentz, 2013). Signs of hypothyroidism include: • Very slow pulse rate (40-60 beats/minute) • High blood pressure • Sensitivity to cold • Mild-severe depression • Constipation • Hardening of stools • Bloating • Poor appetite • Weight gain • Enlarged thyroid gland • Sluggishness • Brittle fingernails • Thin, dry hair (Rosenthal, 2009) As more thyroid tissue is destroyed, the body is unable to compensate and the person becomes deficient in thyroid hormone. Ultimately, the thyroid completing stops releasing hormones and medical, lifestyle, and/or nutrition intervention must take place. This is referred to as the end stage of Hashimoto’s (Wentz, 2013). Up to 10% of the population is affected by Hashimoto’s, affecting more women than men. For every seven women, there is usually one man diagnosed. There is a strong genetic component and HT usually runs in families. Hormonal fluctuations and increasing age may contribute to the development of Hashimoto’s. There is a higher incidence of HT in Caucasians...
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