Incidence of Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Children With Autism: A Population-Based

Published August 1, 2009 in Pediatrics, Ibrahim, Voigt, Katusic, Weaver, and Barbaresi

The Mayo Clinic study finds that autistic kids in the study were more likely than their nonautistic counterparts to be picky eaters or constipated. But the researchers did not find a significant difference between the two groups when it came to diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, bloating, reflux or vomiting.

According to Pediatrics, "as constipation and feeding issues/food selectivity often have a behavioral etiology, data suggest that a neurobehavioral rather than a primary organic gastrointestinal etiology may account for the higher incidence of these gastrointestinal symptoms in children with autism."

For years, parents, physicians and researchers have wondered whether people with autism suffered from more digestive problems than the rest of the population. Many autistic children are following aggressive medical regimens aimed at treating suspected gut trouble, including multiple nutritional supplements, and anti-fungal, anti viral and antibiotics medications. Some also are on a restrictive diet.

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