Research from Vanderbilt University reveals 30 percent of those with autism experience some type of digestive problem, compared with 10 percent of those without the disorder, according to USA Today.
A study from the school suggests that a genetic variation links autism and digestive problems. Study participants had a wide variety of digestive issues, including constipation, diarrhea and ulcers.
Autism is now affecting more children than ever, according to the latest research. An article from USA Today provides these statistics:
- President Obama wants a 16 percent increase in spending for autism research
- A study from Pediatrics found one in 91 children ages 3 to 17 has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found one in 100 8-year-olds has ASD
- A similarly designed study from the CDC found one in 150 children had the condition in 2007
Some alternative health care practitioners believe autism might be connected to gluten intolerance, a condition that exhibits digestive symptoms observed in the Vanderbilt study.
Whether a person is intolerant or sensitive to gluten, the only surefire way to prevent gastrointestinal problems and other symptoms is to avoid the protein. Safe foods include fruits and vegetables, quinoa and rice.
Autistic individuals can support digestive function by taking a digestive enzyme with every meal or snack, as well as a probiotic supplement daily. In a situation where accidental gluten or casein ingestion could occur, it might make sense for intolerant or sensitive individuals to take a digestive enzyme supplement that has DPP IV enzyme activity.