Autism and GI distress – GI problems in those with autism

Autism and GI distress – GI problems in those with autism

Is leaky gut a concern?


Kids with Autism often can't tell us if they are having any pain anywhere. At the same time, 

  • Their parents are often concerned or wondering if they are having a stomach complaints, with pain, diarrhea or constipation
  • There's also concern that kids with autism may have "leaky gut," where food proteins and substances (particularly gluten and milk)  enter the body through the intestine  then create a change in their behavior by affecting the brain and nervous system.

A study (RI Kushak and others, J Pediatric Gastroenterology Nutrition 2016 pages 687-91) compared 61 children with autism and 50 without, for intestinal inflammation, lactose intolerance, and leaky gut. The kids with autism didn't have more GI issues than other children. But like the others, they do have GI problems including inflammation and lactose intolerance. As a result, they need to be evaluated like everyone else. And it makes sense that when they have GI issues they are uncomfortable and that may affect their behavior. The problem, of course, is that they may not be able to communicate how they are feeling as well as other children. And that may explain their behavior more so than "a leaky gut" which seems to be less of an issue, at least according to this well-thought out study.

autism and GI problems