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GI Issues Common in Children With Autism

Complementary and alternative medicine growing more popular as
pediatric autism treatmentPublish date: May 3, 2010

MONDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms occur
in almost half of children with autism spectrum disorders, and
complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches are becoming
more popular for children with autism, including those with GI issues,
according to research presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatric
Academic Societies, held from May 1 to 4 in Vancouver, Canada.

In one study conducted by the Autism Speaks' Autism Treatment Network
(ATN), researchers reviewed data from 1,185 children with autism
spectrum disorders enrolled in the network, and found that 45 percent
of them experienced GI symptoms at the time of enrollment. The most
commonly reported symptoms were diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal
pain. The prevalence of GI symptoms was higher in older children, with
39 percent of children under 5 years of age reporting GI symptoms,
compared to 51 percent of children 7 years of age and older. Behavior
problems and sleep problems were more common in those with GI issues,
and they had overall lower health-related quality of life.

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