How Mothers Might Be to Blame for a Rise in Autism

At Health As It Ought To Be, we believe strongly that having your hormone levels checked and adjusted is a pathway to better health.

Why? Simple really. Since your body relies on your hormones to be at their correct levels in order to function properly, it’s best to do what you can to correct them through supplementation with bio-identical hormones.

The truth is, there is never a point in life when your hormone levels won’t matter…

However, your body is probably most susceptible to the slightest change when it’s in utero.

And it’s because hormones matter so much when you’re in the womb that researchers investigated whether or not hormone levels have some affect on the formation of children in utero. Researchers are led to believe one of the factors in childhood autism might have something to do with an imbalance in the mother’s hormone levels while she’s pregnant with her child.  A comprehensive study at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet was just announced Tuesday.

While their initial observations must be tested further, what they discovered was women with a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) were likely to give birth to a child who was on the spectrum for autism.

While the exact cause isn’t clear right now, researchers believe the children in-utero of mothers with PCOS are exposed to elevated levels of androgen (a sex hormone) present because of the mother’s condition. Androgens are a hormone responsible for development of male-typical characteristics and also have an affect on the formation of the central nervous system as well as the brain.

What was interesting to note is another tidbit they discovered during their research. They also noticed that PCOS plus obesity could have a notable influence on the child’s likelihood of registering on the autism spectrum…This makes sense as obesity would distort hormone levels in the mother too.

After studying all children born in Sweden from 1984 to 2007, they concluded with some degree of certainty anywhere from 5-15 % of children born to mothers with PCOS would register on the spectrum of autism. “We found that a maternal diagnosis of PCOS increased the risk of ASD in the offspring by 59 percent,” one of the researchers noted.

But they were also cautious enough to say they weren’t entirely sure PCOS is the reason autism occurs.
Renee Gardner, a senior investigator on the study, said even though the evidence leans to support PCOS’s affect on autism they can’t say with 100% confidence it is directly responsible for autism.

“It is too early to make specific recommendations to clinicians in terms of care for pregnant women with PCOS, though increased awareness of this relationship might facilitate earlier detection of ASD in children whose mothers have been diagnosed with PCOS,” she said.

At the end of the day, what studies like this do is prove why it matters so much to have your hormone levels checked.

Abnormal levels can be harmful to your health and getting them “fixed” will do quite a bit to ensure you feel better more often.

Talk soon,
Dr. Wiggy