Research done on children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) found that they had gastrointestinal discomforts compared with a typical child of the similar age.
The data used data from 195 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD); 4,636 children who had other types of developmental delays; and more than 40,000 children with typical development (who did not have autism).
At ages 6 to 18 months the parents reported symptoms such as constipation, food intolerance and food allergies and at ages 18 months to 3 years, diarrhea, food allergies and food intolerance were the common complaints.
Children with autism were more than twice as likely to have at least one gastrointestinal symptom during both of these age ranges.
Genetics may play a role in both autism and gastrointestinal symptoms, or the two conditions may share another underlying mechanism, suggest researchers.
"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 children with typical development or other developmental delays", concluded the researchers, from Columbia University.