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Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy

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Autism Spectrum Disorder and Gastrointestinal Symptoms

Autism Spectrum Disorder and Gastrointestinal Symptoms by Joe Conlon

{2:00 minutes to read} There is an extensive array of symptoms in the digestive tract in patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A study of 500 ASD medical patients showed that chronic inflammation of the digestive tract was prevalent, including esophagitis, gastritis and enteritis inflammation. Additionally, other gastrointestinal symptoms were observed such as abdominal pain, gas, bloating, chronic diarrhea, loose stools, allergies and food intolerance.

Adequate nutrition can lead to symptom relief, both digestive and metabolic as well as psychological. Parents and caregivers should, therefore, be aware of the benefits of nutrition for people with ASD.[1]

Many studies demonstrate the need to supplement the nutritional deficiencies of autistic patients with omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, vitamins and minerals in combination with medical and psychological interventions. A properly designed elimination diet [2] tailored to the patient’s individual needs, such as removing gluten or lactose, may also lead to relief of both the autism symptoms and the occurrence of gastrointestinal disorders.

What Kind of Effects are Observed?

Experimental studies on the use of a tailored diet for children on the autism spectrum have suggested symptom relief and improved developmental outcome for at least a proportion of people. There is no universal medical consensus on the type of effects observed following dietary therapy for ASD, however, taking the various studies of diet into account, reported positive effects can be broadly categorized into several areas:

  • Communication and use of language;
  • Attention and concentration;
  • Social integration and interaction;
  • Self-injurious behavior/altered pain perception;
  • Repetitive or stereotyped patterns of behavior;
  • Motor coordination; and
  • Hyperactivity.

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[1] A dietary therapy alone is insufficient for effectively treating autism.

[2]  Because of the potential hazard of malnutrition, elimination diets should be supervised by a physician and/or nutritionist.

Kawicka, A., & Regulska-Ilow, B. (2013). How nutritional status, diet and dietary supplements can affect autism. A review. Roczniki Państwowego Zakładu Higieny, 64(1).

Whiteley, P., Shattock, P., Knivsberg, A. M., Seim, A., Reichelt, K. L., Todd, L., … & Hooper, M. (2013). Gluten-and casein-free dietary intervention for autism spectrum conditions. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6, 344.

Joe Conlon, LMSW
CBT Psychological Associates
2171 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 345
Commack, NY. 11725
(631) 486-5140
Office@cbta-ny.com

2018-01-04T12:59:13+00:00 By |0 Comments

About the Author:

Joe Conlon, LMSW
CBT Psychological Associates
2171 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 345
Commack, NY. 11725
(631) 486-5140
Office@cbta-ny.com

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