Another study conducted over 10 years has linked autism syndrome to gastrointestinal symptoms consisting of constipation, diarrhea and food allergy or intolerance. Mothers often report more frequent and persistent gastrointestinal symptoms in babies and small children with autism spectrum disorder.
The research study, published in the JAMA psychiatry, followed infants aged 6 months to 3 years and compared gut symptoms in children with autism versus normal normal development. The study enrolled 95 278 mothers, 75 248 fathers, and 114 516 children. Our analyses are based on MoBa data released through October 1, 2013, and NPR diagnoses registered through December 31, 2012, and include children born from January 1, 2002, through December 31, 2008, with completed age 18- and 36-month questionnaires. In total, 195 children in the research study had autism spectrum disorder, 4,636 had developmental delay and delayed language and/or motor development, and 40,295 had typical development.
The research findings revealed that children with ASD were more likely to have constipation and food/allergy intolerance reported by their mothers in the 6-18 months age group; were more likely to have diarrhea, constipation and food allergy/intolerance in the 18-36 month range; compared with children with Typical development. GI symptoms were more frequent and persistent in ASD children.
Association of maternal report of infant and toddler gastrointestinal symptoms with autism: evidence from a prospective birth cohort, Michaeline Bresnahan, et al., JAMA Psychiatry, published online 25 March 2015, doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.3034, abstract.