Gastrointestinal (GI) problems include constipation, diarrhea, reflux, vomiting, belly pain, and feeding problems. Some children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have GI problems. These symptoms can add stress to the child and family and may cause behaviors such as aggression or self-injury.

As of now, there is no scientific proof that GI problems directly cause ASD. It is possible that some people have genes that cause ASD and also cause GI problems. There is no evidence that children with ASD have abnormalities in their intestines, or overgrowth of yeast, or other organisms that make behaviors worse.

A child with ASD who has GI problems should be examined just as any other child would be. Constipation and diarrhea may be caused by diet, so children who are picky eaters may be at higher risk depending on what they eat and drink. Children with ASD may not be able to tell people...

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