Harvard Mental Health Letter

Autism spectrum disorders and the gut

Researchers have long disagreed about whether gastrointestinal problems may underlie some symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). This has not stopped some researchers and celebrities from promoting theories and special "autism diets" with no scientific support. Yet these unfounded recommendations might appeal to grieving and vulnerable parents who are heartbroken about a child's sudden developmental regression. In an effort to provide guidance for clinicians, parents, and patients, a multidisciplinary panel has published the first consensus report about gastrointestinal problems in individuals with ASDs. A companion report provides detailed advice about diagnosing and treating the most common problems.
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