Home > Science, Uncategorized > Tummy Troubles: Studying the Relationship Between Autism and Gastrointestinal Disorders

Tummy Troubles: Studying the Relationship Between Autism and Gastrointestinal Disorders

Guest post by neurobiologist Pat Levitt, Ph.D., of the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, in Los Angeles

Many children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have co-occurring medical conditions that affect their quality of life and response to therapy. One of the most common of these medical conditions is gastrointestinal (GI) disorder. Our research directly examines the relationship between the two and creates a foundation for understanding the biology and behaviors unique to children affected by both disorders. It is described, in detail, in our recent report in the journal Autism Research.

Our multi-disciplinary research group included neuroscientists, a clinical psychologist, a pediatrician and a pediatric gastroenterologist. We enrolled 121 children through Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, primarily through Vanderbilt’s autism clinic, which is part of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN). These children fell into one of three groups: those with ASD and GI disorder, those with ASD only and those with GI disorder only. Their parents completed a dietary journal and questionnaires about the children’s behavior and GI symptoms. In addition, a pediatric gastroenterologist evaluated the children with GI disorders.

We found very high agreement – more than 90 percent – between parent reports of GI symptoms and the gastroenterologist’s evaluations. While the specific description of the GI condition sometimes varied between parent and physician, these findings suggest that contrary to what some people think, parents do not over-report GI conditions in their children. Also contrary to some popular thought, the children’s diet and medications did not significantly contribute to their GI distress.

Overall constipation was the most common GI diagnosis. It occurred in 85 percent of children with both autism and GI disorder and was most likely to occur in children who were younger, nonverbal and/or had significant social difficulties. In fact, we found a six-fold increase in communication disturbances in the group of children who had both ASD and GI disorder, compared to children with ASD only.

This strong association between constipation and language impairment has the support of a previous study showing a unique genetic association between children with ASD and GI disorder. As such, our findings further highlight the need for healthcare providers to be vigilant in detecting and treating GI symptoms in children on the spectrum. This is particularly important in the care of nonverbal children who can’t describe their distress. Our research also provides a strong foundation for further research on the causes and treatment of autism associated with GI disorder. We need to know more about how these co-occurring conditions affect the mental and physical health of so many children and adults.

Read more autism research news and perspective on the science page.

  1. ML
    February 6, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Food allergy has been cited and reported many times as related to constipation in ASD; and especially associated with cow milk and correlated with innate immunity abnormalities

    Pediatrics. 2003 Oct;112(4):939-42.
    Constipation with acquired megarectum in children with autism.
    Afzal N, Murch S, Thirrupathy K, Berger L, Fagbemi A, Heuschkel R.
    “Multivariate regression analysis showed consumption of milk to be the strongest predictor of constipation in the autistic group, whereas stool frequency, gluten consumption, soiling, and abdominal pain were not predictive of constipation.”

    Peptides. 2009 Oct;30(10):1854-60. Epub 2009 Jul 1.
    Beta-casomorphins-7 in infants on different type of feeding and different levels of psychomotor development.
    Kost NV, Sokolov OY, Kurasova OB, Dmitriev AD, Tarakanova JN, Gabaeva MV, Zolotarev YA, Dadayan AK, Grachev SA, Korneeva EV, Mikheeva IG, Zozulya AA.

    “The data indicate that breast feeding has an advantage over artificial feeding for infants’ development during the first year of life and support the hypothesis for deterioration of bovine casomorphin elimination as a risk factor for delay in psychomotor development and other diseases such as autism”

    Neuropsychobiology. 2005;51(2):77-85.
    Dysregulated innate immune responses in young children with autism spectrum disorders: their relationship to gastrointestinal symptoms and dietary intervention.
    Jyonouchi H, Geng L, Ruby A, Zimmerman-Bier B.
    “However, only in PBMCs from ASD children with positive gastrointestinal (GI(+)) symptoms, did we find a positive association between TNF-alpha levels produced with LPS and those with cow’s milk protein (CMP) and its major components regardless of dietary interventions”

    Neuropsychobiology. 2002;46(2):76-84.
    Innate immunity associated with inflammatory responses and cytokine production against common dietary proteins in patients with autism spectrum disorder.
    Jyonouchi H, Sun S, Itokazu N.

    J Neuroimmunol. 2002 Aug;129(1-2):168-77.
    Antibodies to neuron-specific antigens in children with autism: possible cross-reaction with encephalitogenic proteins from milk, Chlamydia pneumoniae and Streptococcus group A.
    Vojdani A, Campbell AW, Anyanwu E, Kashanian A, Bock K, Vojdani E.
    These results suggest a mechanism by which bacterial infections and milk antigens may modulate autoimmune responses in autism

  2. February 7, 2012 at 4:33 am

    Nice to see functional bowel problems are being looked at.

    A few additional references might also be pertinent:
    (a) Afzal and colleagues nearly 10 years ago reported milk consumption to be one of the primary ‘correlates’ with constipation in their group: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/112/4/939.long (full-text)
    (b) Tim Buie and colleagues reported that lactase deficiency (lactose intolerance) was present in quite a few children with autism they looked at and potentially could account for some of the ‘discomfort’ associated with bowel issues: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21415091

    That and the possibility that at least a small proportion of children/adults with autism might also have an underlying coeliac (UK spelling) condition: http://www.springerlink.com/content/c6535100501773wu/ perhaps implies that there are a few avenues to examine when functional bowel issues are present.

  3. Diarrhea/ Head Overgrowth/ Regression?
    February 7, 2012 at 6:33 am

    What about correlation to regression/head overgrowth subtype?

    My child’s stools never formed. He had frothy, yellow, rice-pudding stools that would go right up the back of his diaper every day of diapers (3.5 years). History of thrush for the entire breast feeding experience (1 year). Bloating. Perfect diet – followed the food guide to a T (in fact, 1/4 juice to water – almost zero processed sugar – and plain, non-flavored yogurt was a staple). It was impossible that it was “toddler’s diarrhea”, if it never changed and persisted long past toddler-hood.

    Then PERFECT ASD diets (you name it, we tried it). Clearly, carbohydrate and fat digestion issues.

    What percentage fits this profile?

    And, thank you for studying GI/Autism.

  4. Zed
    February 7, 2012 at 7:09 am

    You mean the same kinds of gastrointestinal conditions that Dr. Andrew Wakefield described in his paper involving 12 autistic children? Hmm. Why was that so controversial and this not? Wouldn’t this mean he was Correct? The duplicity of Austism Speaks is phenomenal. Again.

    • February 7, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      That may have been, but the vaccines-cause-Autism wasn’t correct. Explain then how a decrease in children being vaccinated equals more kids being diagnosed with Autism. Funny how people seem to believe Dr. Quackfield’s “study,” but yet they denounce the piles of evidence given to disprove it.

  5. Katie Wright
    February 7, 2012 at 10:39 am

    I am glad that this issue os being studied, however, this sort of research needs to be more precise and ATN needs to be collaborating w/ GI experts and the parent community.

    This description is very generic and there is little not already known here. ATN’s dietary intervention research has been of such poor quality. It saddens me that so much kids are suffering and time is wasted doing poor research. Please try to start getting this right.

    Go to ARI. com, NAA.com, TACA.com, The johnson center for children, Autism One for detailed information on the causes and treatment of GI disease. Also see nourishinghope.com fro comprehensive dietary intervention information.

    We have got to move faster than this. I have been figuring this out on my own, with about a handful of ARI doctors, since 2003. No one from the mainstream medical community is keeping up w/ the parents. Please make a concerted effort to look at these sites and invite parents from NA, ARI or TACA to collaborate w/ you.

    • Richard Fauth
      February 7, 2012 at 7:30 pm

      Thanks again katie for your pushing back on this issue. As science is finally getting better data on the GI stuff parents can indeed say “I told you so”. Now part of the dillemma in getting to the bottom of this is come to roost with my son. How in the world is the Medical Science world going to ever get clean data on childrens GI tract issues when the main tool- a colonoscopy cannot be tolerated by so many children? My son only eats 12 foods. The gastro wanted a colonscopy-how does he expect to administer the prep? His answer was ok lets do an MRI or CT scan all he’ll have to do is drink this chalky stuff…… So what is it he didnt get the first time? My son is going to spit that in whoevers face-end of story. I have had 7 operations on my GI in 9 years-been there, done that, for every kinda test there is. I cant imagine the average ASD child swallowing any of that stuff. So i guess he’ll stay in the group without verifiable GI problems……. But we see whats in the toilet etc. but he cant speak to tell you what hurts.

      • Katie Wright
        February 8, 2012 at 4:26 pm

        Richard I hear you! It is hard. But in the meantime there is a lot u can do. Email me at andreas2@nyc.rr.com and I would love to get into more detail.

  6. Wendy Diamond
    February 7, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    I agree. My oldest son with Autism had bad reflux and milk allergy when he was infant and toddler. My second son also showed signs of milk allergies and we started him on a formula for this. We also didn’t vaccinate him and to this day he is fine. I just had third child who is now showing signs of milk allergies and I am doing the same thing. I think the vaccinations aggravate this condition and have alot to do with Autism. We detoxed my oldest son after vaccinations, changed his diet and stopped vaccination. And now at 9 years old you can’t even tell there is anything wrong with him.

    • Peg S.
      February 7, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      Wendy – what did you use to detox your oldest son?

  7. Tom
    February 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Has any study ever been done related to people with autism taking probiotic supplements to correct the GI (and other) disorders? I’ve (not on the spectrum, but intereested) had some gut issues for years and recently started doing research and taking probiotic tablets with life-changing results.

    • February 7, 2012 at 8:09 pm

      Literature indicates altered intestinal bacterial pattern in autism. There is a small study that showed that orally administered antibiotic vancomycin (does not get absorbed into body) produces a short term clinical response presumably by affecting the gut bacteria. http://goo.gl/omTSd

      While I am not aware of studies on use of probiotics, intuitively it would make sense that probiotics would help if indeed intestinal bacteria are involved in autism. However, the effect of probiotics in any particular disease is strain and dose specific. All probiotics are not created the same and it is not prudent to draw sweeping conclusions about efficacy of probiotics based on response or lack of response to any particular probiotic strain. .http://goo.gl/qHMIR

    • Marjory
      February 8, 2012 at 12:42 pm

      I fully agree with using probiotics ! works for us. I think discovering the silver bullet for everyone may be difficult, there is so many pro-biotics to choose from,it does leave the person or famlies grabbing at straws. I hope the medical field will research the many bennifits of Pro- biotics.. My father had over 35 hospitilizations due to infections, and hi use of antibiotics, what saved him over and over what the consistant use of pro-biotics.

  8. February 7, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Thank you for this article. I hadn’t heard of a correlation between GI disorders and autism. My recently-diagnosed autistic 2-year-old had GERD for approximately six months as an infant. I can see I have much to learn.

  9. Another ASD Dad
    February 7, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Poop problems and autism go together. Go to any meeting with parents talking about ASD and it takes about 2 minutes for poop to come up in the conversation.

    It is nice that Autism Speaks is looking at this important issue.

    My only question to AS: is this condition genetic or is this condition acquired?

  10. February 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Thought you might find this interesting

  11. tiamariapa
    February 7, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    We have just joined ATN in the fall (I won’t mention where) and with my daughter, I feel that they were more concerned about paper testing and the therapy she is receiving. They sent us to GI and he wasn’t going to run any tests on her at all. I had to ask for bloodwork, beg for the celiac test and when I asked about urine and stool testing, he said not unless symptoms continue. She had NEVER had a formed stool until August 2011 at 4 years, 8 months old! And that was because we started her on GF/CF diet and probiotics in June–all on our own. I totally agree that they are not looking into diet intervention, which obviously is helping my daughter go to the bathroom like a normal kid! I also feel that she shows many symptoms of Phenol sulphyltransferase (PST) deficiency, which testing for also does not seem to be considered by ATN. I talked my pediatrician into testing her OA’s and Amino’s through urine analysis. Still waiting for results. In the meantime, we started supplementing 1000mg of Taurine at bedtime and she is finally sleeping, whereas she used to awaken at between 12 and 2 am and stay awake for hours. The ATN study is only going to work if they seek out all methods of treatments and treat the individual kid, not just autism.

  12. Davina
    February 7, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    my son is severely autistic and complete nonverbal (4 1/2yrs). We decided to take him off of all processed sugars and foods and he can’t have any dairy. Since switching to goatmilk he has much more regular bowel movements. He follows pretty much organic diet and still has that yellowish frothy stool mentioned above that flows right out of his pull-up too.

  13. jessica
    February 7, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    GOOD INFO: Our daughter is autistic, smart cookie… but nonverbal, she is 6 and two years ago we finally found relief for her at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital. Before this however for two years we seeked out help, Doctor after Doctor told us the all day, everyday crying is her autism. In Cincinnati she was tested for many things, they did surgically decompact her, gave her botox in her sphincter muscle and told us to give her miralax and exlax everyday..forever. They said she may need to have the botox done again in the future and even maybe a permanent sphincter muscle cut. She stopped crying the day of her decompaction and and has not since. I kept telling Doctors I knew she was living in pain but we were continued to be told this was an autistic behavior. She still struggles with constipation but it is not debilitating her. I still wonder if there is a better solution then miralax, exlax and botox …… Any suggestions?

    • misty
      February 7, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      wow i was reading ur post and my daughter not yet tested for autism but her half brother is autistic anyway we give my daughter 1-2 teaspoons of benefiber everyday and it works awsome. the GI doc says her wiggles dont work(ur body natural wiggling in the intestines) and she was on meralax, some type of powder cant remember name and we switched to benefiber and it worked so you might want to think about this and you can mix it with anything ur child drinks.

    • MerryMom
      February 7, 2012 at 6:56 pm

      My daughter is 13 and has had constipation since starting table food at 14 months. We are using miralax now, but she can go off of it if she eats several servings of fruit each day. It is hard to get enough fiber with the standard American diet, and even harder with the kinds of food my daughter will eat. If your child will eat fruit, see if increasing those servings will help.

    • Kim HAhn
      February 8, 2012 at 8:43 am

      Google GAPS diet and read about it. Lots of answers in there for your issues.

      • February 17, 2012 at 11:40 pm

        I second the GAPS diet …

  14. Tj
    February 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    We are having good success with The Gaps Diet with my 10 yr old asd son. All of our family members are on the food plan with him as well, to help us all and make it easier to shop/cook. We are seeing good results in everyone. Go to gapsdiet.com. This is a way better diet for these kids then the gluten, casein, soy free diet. Very balancing and healthy.

    Candida/yeast, constipation is a huge issue. A lot of different forms of coconuts are helping there too. Take it slow with the probiotics and coconut due to the die off of yeasts, fungi etc.
    We can tell if things are working for him based off of the little candida skin bumps that are a little harder to see but you can feel them and the white tongue..
    In his 10 years he was never as sick as he was when he was vaccinated as a baby.
    Then he fought constipation ever since..

    Why is the greed of companies more important then the lives of our countrymen?
    Why is there a coverup in the vaccine world and why is our food/water supply corrupted/posioned??

    First class doctors should take is nutrition and yes, candida is real…
    Do the right thing-

  15. February 7, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    so what do we give the children to make them feel better. What is the best thing to give for constipation? What is surgical decompact?

    • jessica
      February 7, 2012 at 2:22 pm

      she was so full of stool that would not pass on it’s own that they had to surgically remove the stool on an operating table.

      • Melanie
        February 7, 2012 at 7:05 pm

        Do you mind telling us how much they removed? I think it is illustrative of how much pain these kids are in…

    • AFH
      February 7, 2012 at 9:19 pm

      Glad to see this very real problem is getting attention. Our son with HFA, also suffered from severe constipation from age 4 through 8. At that time he was hospitalized, “cleaned out” via an NG tube, and an interventional radiologist inserted a “trapdoor” device into his colon. Using the trapdoor, we had to pour enema solution into him every other day. It was horrendous and left us exhausted and often caused him to vomit afterward. And he still didn’t have the ability to move his bowels normally. We used the trapdoor for a year. Neurofeedback (biofeedback for the brain) finally saved him (and us). It sounds strange (I can sense people rolling their eyes!), but we started NF for behavioral issues, not for bathroom problems. It actually didn’t work for behavior at all, but to our surprise and our psychologist’s who was administering the NF, it did cure the constipation. He’s now almost 18 and hasn’t had problems with constipation for 10 years. I know this is anecdotal and I’ve never seen research to prove that NF is effective, nor have I even heard other anecdotal reports. I’d like to see a lot more research in this area to help alleviate the pain and suffering our ASD kids (and their parents!) have to deal with. Autism is hard enough without having to also cope with severe GI problems.

  16. February 7, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    My son is a nonverbal adult diagnosis in 1962 autistic by a clinic in new Jersey we move to california in 1965 and he was for fews years in camarillo state hospital , and now he is in a groupe home, in the home he is they try to toilet train him every years in the report they said he has not improve much ,I even think tht somme of the staff try to deprave him of fluid and food ….. he now has lost tremendously in weigth , in 1997 he was transfer in a group home his weigth was 176 pound he is 5″11″ and now he is only 136 pounds we are very worry about his health , the social worker are helping us to find the rigth placement for him…. but for all those year nobody had given enough attention to his digestif system in the rigth way it shoul be. and it is difficult to find a proper placement to care for him because of his incident with disfunctional digestif system , I think that you have find an answer for the suffering of the autistic person non verbal like my son.

    • Dmanmom
      February 8, 2012 at 11:02 am

      I do not know how to reply to just you, Daniele! Your post has touched my heart, and I hope you persist in your efforts to help your son. First, the GI issues – please attend to the whole of information presented here, the best of which begins the list of GI rehaul – add probiotics, especially in their food-based form, like kefir and yogurt. Next – a systemic yeast infection can be brutal and driving everything! Note the posts about perforations to the gi tract. The yeast can be hard to kill, so an anti-yeast diet (foods high in fiber and low in glycemic index) is important. Plus – no fermented products (vinegar, malted barley) for quite a while, maybe several months. So very important is your son’s communication skill; you are going to have to work hard and get help. Please read up on Verbal Behavior!!!!! See thefate.org. The more he is able to make choices and control his world and what happens to him, the less stress his body is dealt. Our kids who are nonverbal bear the brunt of not being able to communicate ‘no’ or ‘stop’….. or ‘I’m constipated and feel bad.’ I am pulling for you and him, and yes, I have a 17-year-old with multiple disabilities. One of the best tips I picked up was from a Canadian group home, and they made high-fiber pulpy fruits a part of the daily diets by cooking prunes and figs and making a paste. Two tablespoons of this paste was added to hot cereal to help keep residents regular. Much better than Miralax forever, right? Miralax comes through, though, when I need it for my son. Good luck and God bless!

  17. February 7, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    notify me if any answer to my post.

  18. Monica
    February 7, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    My grandson is autistic. He takes Miralax everyday in order to have a bowel movement. He is 3 years old. It is incredible how you find new information everyday. Good article! Please keep us inform.

  19. Daniel Lowell
    February 7, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    I have two children on the autism spectrum, while neither of the currently suffer with stomach ailments, their mother died of esophageal cancer at age 40. Connection, who knows.

  20. February 7, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    There appears to be increasing evidence, albeit circumstantial, that changes in the gut especially the intestinal bacteria may be the key to understanding disorders like autism. No wonder, many (not all) investigators have come to conclusion that there is increase in gastrointinal problems in autism. The concept that gut changes affecting brain is not new. After all, gut has a mind of its own (enteric nervous system) that communicates with our central brain via variety of chemical signals.
    Increased intestinal permeability or leaky gut has been noted in autism http://goo.gl/dRoFR

    Gut bacteria and the genes related to digestive enzymes are at the interphase linking gut to autism. http://wp.me/p1WoF9-1r

    Much more research is need to confirm or refute whether the circumstantial evidence is merely an association or represents cause-effect relationship.

  21. Janice Miller
    February 8, 2012 at 9:37 am

    According to Dr. Levitt, “…contrary to what some people think, parents do not over-report GI conditions in their children. Also contrary to some popular thought, the children’s diet and medications did not significantly contribute to their GI distress.”

    Health providers simply thought parents were over reporting? This report explains the odd behavior of neuropsychologists and developmental pediatricians when parents complain of GI issues, immune issues, metabolic issues, etc. I hope this report helps the awareness of doctors regarding the health issues that are challenging children.

    What are the findings of the gastroenterologist in the report? Which diet and which medications do not contribute to GI distress and what is the remedy if they do cause distress?

    The DSM diagnosis excludes any atypical behaviors that are caused by physical pain such as GI, immune, metabolic distress. Will this report direct children in need of help to a gastroenterologist for relief before a referral to a psychologist for ABA? It is very likely that GI issues cause atypical behaviors.

    Would a neuropsychiatrist-biologist know how to treat digestive distress?

  22. SMD
    February 8, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Thank you so much for looking into this.

    My autistic son’s constipation onset at three and 1/2 years of age. It was horrific. Hospitalizations. Enemas not working. Seizure meds not working because of the constipation. Then a GI doc did an MRI and found that my son had a tethered spinal cord (at around seven intermittent limping began, and severe pain with urination and urinary accidents – all signs of TC in addition to constipation). Surgery in Oct. at nine years of age and now his GI function is normal! His constant aggression is finally gone and he functions well in school. How different things could have been if this were found earlier!

    Around the time my son was diagnosed with tethered cord Facebook started lighting up like a switchboard with moms talking about how their autistic child had been diagnosed with tethered cord. I thought it was too many to be coincidence so I asked son’s neurosurgeon if he does these surgeries more on children with autism than typical children and he said yes, he does see it in autistics more, but he doesn’t know why. Perhaps AS could fund a case study?

  23. Marjory
    February 8, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I have tracked my son’s eating patterns, bowel patterns and behavior patterns since age 2, I have his complete IEP’s.up to date and the amazing progress he has had. Early on He resisted many fruits and veggies, Just did not want to try them, I was not consitant in pushing the issue we had those things always out on the table, any kid given a choice will refuse, up to age 6. It was a challenge to do so but, We had to change those behavior patterns and succesfully did so. He had constipation badly that progressed to hemmoroids, This discomfort, will cause behavior problems. Most adults can not sit down with those.and a case of constipation drasticly changes there day. my son was labled aspbergers 2 years ago.primairly due to constipation issues.

    Today his system is on a good track !.His behavior is remarkable. This is what worked for us, and I wished I would have used this early on. Mirilax works wonders or a fiber you can add to any drinks the child likes, in severe cases like my son Polyethylene, Glycol worked it is a glorified Mirilax. ( track your kids diet= for a few months and give that to your Doctor. try taking out certian foods. give warm baths to help comfort levels, back rubs are necessary too and leg rubs toxins build in the mucles and it helps to get them released. I noticed behavior worsened when we went on day 5 or 6 with our a BM, We give him now Acidophilus and BIfidum, It is not a drug but like a high dose of Yougert, comes in a chew able or can be a powder hidden in things like pudding or what the child drinks,Our theroy is this may have help restore the gut floor, Early on we did not take away dairy or any of those things ( I wish we would have>) but I susspect if we do try now , we will see even a more marked success. In my oppinion many labled with these spectrums are having allergy issues, ( all my kids also have seasonal allergies.) When you are 2 years of age, Children can not say “Hey my stomach hurts” In stead they roll on the floor or head bang, rock or throw tantrums, I have worked with elderly, I notice even in the elderly that when constipation hits it dramaticly changes there world It would for any person. Long term retention of stool makes the system toxic. Not a good feeling. After my son’s GI constipation was stablized we noticed a DRAMATIC change in his concentration. and ability to focus. and to articulate what was going on.

    I have documented the pollution levels of our surrounding area, the history of clean up and where we live in proxcimity to 3 chemical sites. We live in a area with Pollution contamination problems, Cross the board, may of our family members have passed with cancer, our chemical foot prints are effecting our over all genetics, Mercury concentrations in the Plecenta have been documented to reach high levels in the fetus, resulting in immuno-suppression and allergies and Di Dysbiosis, We are trying to put out mutiple fire’s with out addressing the arsonist, says Dr Gary Coller.at the Center of Integrative Health Care, Zeeland Mich, He documeted his findings and put out this information in 2004, HIs work is clinical validated. After vactionations and my son transitioned from to breast milk to milk and cerial is when the constipation realy started, During pregnancy I did Un fortunatley consume a generous ammount of fish from a near by lake and that out of Lake Michigan.My husband fished and I thought that was a good source of food. ( I did not eat that much with my other 2 children, almost no fish when finding this out. ) when we come to discover that those lakes had high contaminations of Lead and Mercury at the time. I believe we may want to eliminate the spark of diseases that in my oppinion is contamination of our food and water sources, I think exposure to such things effect the human system, and of course if you live in differnt areas you will get diffrent variations of issues.

  24. February 10, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    We have for a long time realized that there are ‘gut’ problems associated with autism…..
    In addition to testing for dairy and gluten sensitivity I suggest looking into GMO foods that are a part of our diets. The time line for the increase in autism parallels the introduction of GMO’s into the food line(www.Responsibletechnology.org; http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com).

  25. Diane
    February 13, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Hello, I read about many parents responds about GI problems (severe constipation) with their autism child. To my dismay there was nothing printed about middle aged in the 50’s who is nonverbal dignosed with autismat age 3 and all his life been dealing with severe constipation. He is 235 pounds. Yes my parents give him berry burst drinks twice a day and applesause with every meal. He has a routine, goes to the bathroom every night at 7pm. But still has this constipation problem. Is there any help for my brother??
    Thanks Diane

    • Marjory
      February 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      Hello Diane, I can share what I have experienced with my child, increese the fiber in his diet, if you can not with food then use Fiber choice the Prebiotic fiber caps chewable and pleasent to the taste , get some fish oil or Flax seed oil, you can add those in with your berry burst drink, We also use Acocidophilus, that is a powder and can be added to his apple sauce this will help restor the gut floor, this allows for the system to get some needed minerals into his system that can increase brain function,

  26. February 13, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    We saw significant behavior improvement as well as increased pretend play and speech, after changing my daughters diet. The doctor had us try a mild laxative to take care of some issues. It was the best period of behavior I’ve seen out of her in a long time.

    From the time she was a newborn, she struggled with constipation. Count me as a believer.

  27. Jamie
    February 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    wendy what did you use to detoxify your son

  28. Jamie
    February 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    i have recieved a Custom Y elixir from the GEtHEalthyAgain store that helps with the build up of Canida yeast found but not digested properly in children with Autism. What also helps with Leaky gut is a product called Floraster it comes in packets you can add to any beverage for the child. i have watched my sons vocabulary grow from about 50 to 150 words in a month time of using it. Im really interested in a good metal detoxifier if anyone is familiar with a good product.

  29. FMK
    February 17, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    My daughter has been complaining about alot of stomach problems and I thought she was getting it confused with her cycly (cramps), but she told me the other day that she does know the difference between a cramp and stomach ache, so now after reading this I am more inclined to take her to her pediatrician and try and get to the bottom of this. I have been so stressed about my daughters pains, and I am so happy I seen this.

  30. Ruthie
    February 20, 2012 at 5:13 am

    My daughter 18 has suffered gi problems always and it affects her whole life. Magnesium citrate works better than miralax and doesn’t have harmful ingredients. Another suggestion is get a poop test. She has had a bacteria growth once that was killed she didn’t hold her little butt pain was gone. The specific type of yeast will be detected with what will kill it. Prayers to all it’s a life long battle I truly believe the immunizations she did get messed her gut. Thanks for sharing I’m going to look into a few suggestions.

    • Diane
      February 20, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      Yes I known about Magnesium Citrate and that it works very quickly. I had asked the pharmacy would that soften the stools as it passes. And they told me no.
      Well if their inpacted what good is that, it would hurt them and even possibly tear the bowels.
      If you could find anything esle out I would appreicate it.

      • Ruthie
        February 21, 2012 at 9:51 am

        Diane does he poop everynight at 7:00? If he does I don’t think he is impacted. Then, daily intake of water with magnesium and some of the other suggestions might help.

  31. Donald R Savitz
    February 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    If you keep the childern from drinking the water that has fluoride in it for it may have arsemic in it. Sence this water may have Arsenic and Lead in it.
    We all know what happens if you should get Arsemic poisoning. It hits. the upper GI very hard.

  32. Tj
    February 24, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Natural Calm-mag/citrate twice a day, Buffered Vitamin C 500 mg cap twice a day, Tru Fiber scoop twice a day w/flax seeds, Aloe Vera juice etc have been helpful with constipation for my 10 yr old son. Keep in mind though till you work on healing the gut through diet as well, these will just be ongoing band-aid helpers. Leaky gut, overgrowth of yeast/fungi, body of burden and poor nutrition etc NEEDS attention.
    In all the things we’ve researched, testing and tries- The Gaps diet, Probiotic foods/supplement and using Organic Coconut Oil (huge help too) spooned from jar and or caps daily has made the biggest and best gains Plus the items above.
    Why is it taking soooo much to just make this kids be able to go number 2 normally and naturally detox themselves? Maybe they wouldn’t be autistic if they could go to the bathroom!
    The Gaps diet is Grain Free, Refined Sugar Free, Lactose and Casein Free, Soy Free etc. with a great GI/mind/body healing plan to follow as well as natural detoxing.
    I recommend The Gaps book and the gaps Internal Bliss Cookbook. Gaps Guide is helpful if you can afford it too. http://www.gapsdiet.com.
    This is a slow nuturing approx 2 year healing process based on how bad the person is.
    This is Organic Homemade Cooking=eat how we used to a long time ago. It may seem hard or overwhelming but to Autism Warriors-what’s worse cooking or seeing these kids/persons hurt and suffering! It will help with a variety of other issues as well including food allergies and intolerances and it’s taking kids off the spectrum!
    It’s kind of like going back to zero, healing the gut and reestablishing good gut flora and then slowly adding back in and testing old foods. If your gut is healed then you shouldn’t have any allergies, food intolerances etc.
    Keep in mind Home made raw, simple organic foods. Organic Bone broth/meat broth is a daily healing food plus homemade organic sauerkraut/cultured veggies and or you own homemade organic yogurt/kefir items.
    The sauerkraut/fermented veggies is what the kids have to start with because dairy yogurt is only lactose free not casein free. We melt the coconut oil into the broth daily-tastes good.
    Coconut and nut flours are great-lots of fiber. Cocokefir items are very helpful too.
    Juicing is a big key for the diet and detoxing too. Remember to go slow or everyone will be cranky from die offs. Body Ecology diet is also another place to get good ideas as well. We like to use natural forms of healing.
    We also have a food plan reward system for my son to help him eat some of the items. Find what is a good motivator and a realistic time frame for the individual child-per day, week or month based on rewards etc. It helped him a lot and it makes it more fun. Again, I would recommend anyone to try this diet and it will help you understand and feel better too.

    How many people do you know that have some type of GI distress in some form thru their life and why is the IBS, Celiac, Ulcers etc getting worse in our country? If you check out Food Inc, King Corn, Fork over Knives etc you’ll get a good idea why eveyone is overweight and the assult on the foods and environment. We weren’t even thinking about losing weight starting Gaps but Gaps is very balancing and will bring you down to your healthy weight or in the case of my son coming off the Gluten/Casein/Soy free diet started gaining weight and is finally looking healthy!
    Get the kids outside exercising too: to work it out!
    Yes, GMO free is another great idea. If it’s Organic -no gmo’s and farm icide poisions there.
    Filtered house water. Eco Smarte is who we use for whole house water filtering and pool.
    Keep the body of burden down on the kids with the detox issues problems already.
    http://www.ewg.org is another great web site. Put good things in..

    Question is what was put into the vaccines to create such hard core chronic constipation or diarrhea? Again a mom/dad knows their child.
    My son was above average in his milestone and was doing even better then his older normal sisters. In ten years between him and his sister, the vaccine schedule doubled (which I didn’t know at the time or about autism)!
    My son DID NOT have constipation before vaccines or Autism!

    Why aren’t they “Greening” the vaccines, reevalutating the vaccine schedule, taking the heavy metals out of vaccines/fillings and putting a ton of money into these kids/GI/constipation/diarrhea/detox issues and then maybe there wouldn’t be Autism, ADD etc!!
    These kids should be compensated from the drug companies and medical field for being the guinea pigs of current research and the vaccine cover up! The Truth will prevail..

    Why aren’t the doctors speaking out against some of this and able to help more? I was told from main stream doctors there was nothing they could do only besides giving him Miralax-sad! Do you know how many families and suffering people the main stream docs have told this too and then the family goes home and does nothing for the child!
    If they wouldn’t have over vaccinated my son with the current vaccine schedule and dirty vaccines, I truly belive he would not have hard core constipation and Autism.
    Yes, I am so sorry to my son and myself that I trusted my family doctor years ago and followed along with the vaccine recommendations. Also, medical field quit trying to scare the families into vaccines! “If they don’t get vaccinated then they can’t go to school!” Do the right thing and people wouldn’t be scared to vaccinate!!
    YES, there are things families can do and should never be told there is NO HOPE when the doctors and medical field don’t even realize what is going on and unfolding!

    Help these children/adults and stop creating more autistic kids. Put the research money in the appropriate place-You can’t have an epidemic of autism around the world and blame it on the family genes!
    Heal the gut to heal the mind or heal the second brain in the gut!

    Start with the childs diet-it’s one of the most natural ways to heal the body. It can either be poision or medicine.
    There is HOPE and Healing-

    • Diane
      February 25, 2012 at 8:37 pm

      Ruthie :Diane does he poop everynight at 7:00? If he does I don’t think he is impacted. Then, daily intake of water with magnesium and some of the other suggestions might help.

      Yes my brother trys to go every day, my mom checks on him but many times he flushes the toliet before she can check on the amount, what she does-she trained him to place the wipes in the trash can{he uses them instead of toliet paper] this is how she checks if he goes, looks in the waste paper basket that she emptys daily. When she is able to see what he produces she records to keep track. My brother is 235+ pounds with a huge stomach, 6’2″ appox. We believe he isn’t empting completely, with tendency of holding back. My mom notices when his mood changes its because he is backed up,has to move his bowels. He use to get an enema once a month but that has stopped and he twice had to go to the hospital for removal. He gets constipated very easily even though he poops everyday due to not really expelling completely.

    • Diane
      February 25, 2012 at 10:08 pm

      This is alot of great information you wrote about the detoxing of the gut. Where did you get this research study from? It is very interesting. I would like to share this with my family. Thanks

  1. February 7, 2012 at 9:10 am
  2. February 7, 2012 at 12:20 pm
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