Published online Sep 9, 2023. doi: 10.5409/wjcp.v12.i4.171
Peer-review started: July 10, 2023
First decision: August 8, 2023
Revised: August 8, 2023
Accepted: August 17, 2023
Article in press: August 17, 2023
Published online: September 9, 2023
Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or autism are more prone to gastrointestinal (GI) disorders than the general population. These disorders can significantly affect their health, learning, and development due to various factors such as genetics, environment, and behavior. The causes of GI disorders in children with ASD can include gut dysbiosis, immune dysfunction, food sensitivities, digestive enzyme deficiencies, and sensory processing differences. Many studies suggest that numerous children with ASD experience GI problems, and effective management is crucial. Diagnosing autism is typically done through genetic, neurological, functional, and behavioral assessments and observations, while GI tests are not consistently reliable. Some GI tests may increase the risk of developing ASD or exacerbating symptoms. Addressing GI issues in individuals with ASD can improve their overall well-being, leading to better behavior, cognitive function, and educational abilities. Proper management can improve digestion, nutrient absorption, and appetite by relieving physical discomfort and pain. Alleviating GI symptoms can improve sleep patterns, increase energy levels, and contribute to a general sense of well-being, ultimately leading to a better quality of life for the individual and improved family dynamics. The primary goal of GI interventions is to improve nutritional status, reduce symptom severity, promote a balanced mood, and increase patient independence.
Core Tip: Children with autism spectrum disorder often experience gastrointestinal (GI) disorders that can significantly impact their health, learning, and development. Various factors, including genetics, environment, and behavior, can cause these disorders. Common causes include gut dysbiosis, immune dysfunction, food sensitivity, digestive enzyme deficiencies, and sensory processing differences. Proper management can improve well-being, cognitive function, behavior, and educational abilities. GI interventions enhance nutrition, reduce symptoms, promote balanced moods, and increase independence.