Last month's WDDTY carried a feature with the headline: 'Autism: It's all in the gut'. This week, researchers have confirmed it. Children with gastrointestinal (GI) problems are four times more likely to suffer from autism.
Researchers from Emory University School of Medicine say that GI tests should be one of the assessments for determining autism, especially among children with poor verbal skills.
They reckon their research is the first to scientifically establish a connection between GI problems and autism.
Aside from being four times more likely to have general GI problems, children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are also three times more likely to experience constipation and diarrhea than a healthy child, and twice as likely to suffer from abdominal pains.
Doctors and parents need to be much more aware of the GI problems, and should be paying more attention to diet and food selection, the researchers say.
(Source: Pediatrics, 2014; 133(5): 872)