-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Children with autism are far more likely to have digestive problems than those without the neurodevelopmental disorder, a new study finds.
The gastrointestinal issues (GI) appear linked to autism-related behavioral problems, such as social withdrawal, irritability and repetitive behaviors, according to the research team at the University of California, Davis.
"Parents of children with autism have long said that their kids endure more GI problems, but little has been known about the true prevalence of these complications or their underlying causes," study lead author Virginia Chaidez said in a university news release.
For the study, published online Nov. 6 in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, the researchers looked at nearly 1,000 children in California between 2 and 5 years of age and found that gastrointestinal issues such as constipation, diarrhea and sensitivity to food occurred six to eight times more often in those with autism than in other children.
"The GI problems they experience may be bidirectional," Chaidez noted. "GI problems may create behavior problems, and those behavior problems may create or exacerbate GI problems. One way to try to tease this out would be to begin investigating the effects of various treatments and their effects on both GI symptoms and problem behaviors."
Understanding the impact of gastrointestinal problems in children with autism could provide new insight into appropriate treatments that may have the potential to decrease their tummy-related problem behaviors, the researchers said.
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about autism.
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © EBSCO Information Services. All rights reserved.