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Heavy metals in Autism

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

Remember the old saying; like a canary in a coal-mine? It was based on miners in centuries past who would bring canaries into the mines with them. If toxic gasses leached into the mine shaft, the canary would become sick long before the miners, and as such warn them of pending danger.

Not a canary - but a child holding a bird
What are we exposing our children to?

I often use hair tissue mineral analysis tests (HTMAs) in my clinic to determine the base-line biochemical profile of my more highly-sensory or dysregulated clients. The test shows our most important minerals, including magnesium, calcium and zinc, but also detect toxic elements present in the body. These elements are becoming more and more problematic in our children, and us adults.


Sadly, in the world we’ve created today there are many sources of heavy metals. Mercury is used for tooth fillings, still today in Australia. Aluminium is often present in cheap cookware, Cadmium and Lead are in cigarette smoke and car fumes. This constant exposure is relatively new to us humans and our bodies are not made to handle it. Instead, our bodies try to store these heavy metals in places where they do the least harm. But unfortunately, the harm is inevitable, as they replace the vital minerals in our organs, and we see reduced function of normal bodily processes.


This is incredibly damaging, especially for our young growing neurodivergent children, with their sensitive brains and sensitive bodies. Some people blame the apparent recent "increase" of autism on our toxic environment; however, I believe that the growing number of diagnosis are not due to the toxic elements, rather, our children are the yellow canaries.


My theory of increased autism diagnosis, worldwide, is twofold:

  1. I believe autism has been around forever. My grandpa was certainly autistic, my father, my older brother, and I'm also very sure my fathers partner and her youngest son are. None of those people are diagnosed autistic. My uncle is diagnosed autistic, but was only recently diagnosed after he retired at age 67. The main difference for diagnosis today, is that we understand better what autism is these days and are more likely to diagnose (and provide support). In centuries past, the autistic kids were mostly just palmed off as odd or eccentric. Maybe they succeeded to mask for a lifetime, were beaten until behaving well, or just ended up screaming in an asylum.

  2. So how are the heavy metals relevant? Well, the heavy metal exposure hits our delicate neurodivergent brains harder. The impact is greater, as we naturally struggle to keep our nervous systems under control. I suspect that the effect of heavy metals on our neurodivergent children is what leads to non-verbal presentations, severe anxiety, food intolerances or extreme sensory aversions where children can't even wear clothes. The toxic elements literally block vital functions in their bodies, by blocking the spaces for important minerals to do their work. The nervous system is completely overwhelmed.

So, I believe the heavy metal exposure is more pronounced in us. We’re like the canary in the coal mine. The children in our community is heavily affected and the rest of the world need to take head, and consider what will happen to our collective health and brain function if the pollution around us keeps growing at the rate that it currently is.


If you are worried about your own or your child's exposure to any heavy metals, toxic elements, or just want to make sure their biochemical profile is ultimate; book in for a Free 15min discovery call and chat about what is involved and how this test can help your family be healthier!


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