Do kids with Autism tend to have the "rumbly tummy"?

According to a study done by University of California Davis MIND Institute, Children with autism experience gastrointestinal issues such as constipation, diarrhea and sensitivity to foods six-to-eight times more often than do children who are developing typically, and those symptoms are related to behavioral problems, including social withdrawal, irritability and repetitive behaviors.

When we are not regulating our son’s diet, his concentration is off, and he tends to not be himself. I remember a particular incident when he had some friends over for a visit at our house. Usually my son is a people pleaser and always wanting to play nice. On this day though, he was moody, irritable and didn’t want to engage with his friends.

Another interesting sign that you might notice with an autistic child dealing with tummy aches is that you might see them walking around on their toes. My son does this when his tummy is bothering him. Walking this way tends to give temporary relief from the pain that he is feeling in his stomach. Many other autistic children tend to deal with their gut issues in a similar manner.

If your child is dealing with gut issues, I will suggest changing his diet to a low carbohydrate diet and also switching to a Casein-free diet. Foods like chicken, beef, and cold-water fish like salmon. Vegetables and fruits that are low in sugar would also be a good place to start when adjusting a child’s diet. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact me here or call my office.

Dr. Shah, M.D.