Large study ties gut issues in autism to inflammation
Children with autism are at an increased risk for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according to a large survey of electronic medical records1.
IBD includes the painful conditions Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and is associated with an overactive immune system.
The analysis, based on almost 300,000 children in the United States, reveals that children with autism are 67 percent more likely than typical children to have a diagnosis of IBD. They also are more likely than other children to be prescribed certain medications for their bowel problems.
Numerous studies indicate gastrointestinal (GI) problems are unusually common among people with autism. For example, a 2014 study suggests that children with autism are about four times as likely as other children to have symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea or abdominal discomfort.
The findings suggest that clinicians should consider IBD in children with autism who have these symptoms or show poor growth.