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Autism and Risk for Gut Troubles in Children

By Robert Preidt (HealthDay Reporter)

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Children with autism tend to have more gastrointestinal problems early in life compared to other children, a new study finds.

Researchers compared these GI symptoms -- such as diarrhea, constipation and food allergy/intolerance -- during the first three years of life among three groups of Norwegian children. One group included 195 children with autism, another included more than 4,600 children with developmental delays, and the third group included more than 40,000 children who developed typically.

Compared to those with typical development, children with autism were more likely to have constipation and diarrhea when they were ages 6 months to 18 months, and more likely to have diarrhea, constipation and food allergy/intolerance when they were ages 18 months to 36 months, the researchers said.

Children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were more likely to have one or more GI symptoms in both age ranges, and more than twice as likely to have at least one GI symptom in both age ranges, compared to those with developmental delay or with typical development, the researchers said.

The study was published online March 25 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

"Even though GI symptoms are common in early childhood, physicians should be mindful that children with ASD may be experiencing more GI difficulties in the first three years of life than [typically developing] children," wrote a team led by researcher Michaeline Bresnahan of Columbia University in New York City.

"Furthermore, the GI symptoms may be more persistent in children with ASD," the researchers wrote.

However, "under-recognition and undertreatment" of these gastrointestinal issues is possible, they add, and treatment "may significantly contribute to the well-being of children with ASD and may be useful in reducing difficult behaviors."

Dr. Andrew Adesman is chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, in New Hyde Park. He said the new study backs up findings from prior research that has also shown links between autism and increased risk for GI issues in kids.

However, Adesman added that "it is hard to know what to do with this information.

"Although the findings from this study suggest researchers need to further explore the relationship between autism and children's gastrointestinal system, I am not sure there are practical lessons for parents or doctors other than to be attentive to the suggestion that GI complaints may be twice as common in young children on the autism spectrum," Adesman said.

This article is from: WebMD News from HealthDay

SOURCES: Andrew Adesman, M.D., chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics, Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; JAMA Psychiatry, news release, March 25, 2015

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Dr. Amber Brooks- Autism & Special Needs

Dr. Amber Brooks FNP, CACCP, BCIP, DC is a pediatric expert bridging alternative and traditional

medicine by providing individualized and comprehensive approaches to pediatric wellness. Her experience is unique, as she is Board Certified in Integrative Pediatrics, Board Certified as a Pediatric Chiropractor, a Family Nurse Practitioner and Craniosacral Therapist.

Dr. Amber Brooks FNP, CACCP, BCIP,

Dr. Brooks FNP, CACCP, BCIP, DC has been extremely successful in assisting her patients in achieving optimal health and wellness by using the best integrative methods to help support their growing bodies. She provides traditional and alternative medicine for maximal health. Dr. Brooks has developed specialized methods to answer today's biggest pediatric health problems including allergies, constipation, chronic ear infections, birth trauma, developmental delays, digestive problems, Autism, ADD/ADHD, MTHFR, nutritional, and behavioral problems.

Dr. Amber Brooks FNP, CACCP, BCIP, DC has extensive experience solving complex pediatric and unique perspective of diagnosing the problem rather than treating the symptoms has led to 

remarkable results worldwide. Parents praise her current, yet practical, guidance to what a child is struggling with and tools to help the family improve their child's future health.

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