Autism and GI Issues

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Story Updated: Apr 29, 2014

Children with autism spectrum disorder face a higher than average risk for experiencing gastrointestinal problems a new analysis of past research reveals.

The review published in Pediatrics took a look at 15 studies, involving more than 2200 children. All had been completed since 2000.

Taken together the studies now provide firm evidence for what many have long believed: that children with autism are, in fact, highly prone to develop digestive issues. Specifically the review suggests that, when compared with kids without autism, children with autism are more than 3 times as likely to suffer from constipation or diarrhea. Children with autism also appear to face more than double the risk for experiencing abdominal pain. The review team cautioned that, so far, investigators have not yet determined exactly why such problems are more common among children with autism.

But they meanwhile suggested more effort be made to ensure that parents and physicians are aware of the related risks while researchers continue to explore both the root causes and long-term implications.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with news from today that can lead to healthy tomorrows.

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