Mothers with chemical intolerance more likely to have a child with autism spectrum disorders or ADHD

asdThe University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio has determined that mothers with chemical intolerances are 2-3 more likely to have a child with autism spectrum disorder () or disorder (ADHD).

The research participants included 282 mothers of children who had and 258 mothers of children diagnosed with ADHD. The control group consisted of 154 mothers whose children had no developmental disorders.

The were based on maternal responses to a 50 question survey called the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory.

“We are most concerned about how vulnerable the children with ADHD and autism were to environmental exposures,” said primary author, Lynne P. Heilbrun, M.P.H., autism research coordinator for the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio. “Mothers reported that their children were significantly more sensitive to everyday exposures such as engine exhaust, gasoline, smoke, fragrances and cleaners than their neurotypical peers.” The children reportedly also were more sensitive to adverse effects from infections, medications, chemicals, foods and , the authors said.

The statistics revealed the following:

Chemically intolerant mothers were three times more likely to report having a child with and 2.3 times more likely to have a child with ADHD.

Mothers in the study who had a child with or ADHD reported that their children had more illnesses or symptoms associated with chemical intolerance than control mothers.

The children with ADHD were 1.7 times more likely than control children ( were 4.9 times more likely) to have had multiple infections requiring prolonged use of antibiotics.

Children with ADHD were twice as likely as control children ( were 1.6 times more likely) to have allergies.

Children with ADHD were twice as likely ( were 3.5 times more likely) to have had nausea, headaches, dizziness or trouble breathing when exposed to smoke, nail polish remover, engine exhaust, gasoline, air fresheners or cleaning agents than control children.

Children with ADHD were twice as likely as controls ( were 4.8 times more likely) to have strong food preferences or cravings for cheese, chips, bread, pasta, rice, sugar, salt and chocolate.


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