1501 W. Beauregard
San Angelo, Texas 76901
Phone: (325) 658-7750
Fax: (325) 658-8381
Crisis: (800) 375-8965
or (325) 653-5933

Autism
Resources
Basic Information
Local ContentWhat is Autism?Historical & Contemporary Understandings of AutismSymptoms of Autism & Related DisordersDiagnosis of AutismAutism Interventions & Supportive ServicesAutism ResourcesMore InformationLatest News
Young Adults With Autism Need Help Managing Money: StudyFDA Warns Against Bogus Autism 'Cures'1 in 3 Teens With Autism Licensed to Drive, Study Finds'Video Feedback' Program Might Help Treat Autism in BabiesMuppet With Autism Makes Her 'Sesame Street' DebutParents of Kids With Autism May Sacrifice 'Couples Time'Teens With Autism More Likely to Land in ER, Study FindsHigher Risk of Death From Injury Among Individuals With AutismAutism Greatly Boosts Kids' Injury Risk, Especially for DrowningCould a Blood Test Spot Autism in Childhood?MRI Can Identify Early Signs of ASD in High-Risk InfantsExperimental Test Can Spot Autism in InfancyBrain Differences Hint at Why Autism Is More Common in MalesU.S. Legislation Boosted Access to Autism Services, With No Added Cost to FamiliesObstetric Complications Tied to Slightly Upped Risk for AutismMicrobiota Transfer Therapy Could Help Children With AutismFecal Transplant Shows Early Promise Against AutismStress May Explain Digestive Issues in Kids With AutismNo Link for Maternal Flu Infection, Increased ASD RiskParent-Led Autism Therapy Shows Lasting BenefitsObesity More Common Among Teens With Autism: StudyAutism-Linked Genes Often Differ Between SiblingsMetformin May Help Treatment-Associated Weight Gain in ASDBanned PCB Chemicals Still Tied to Autism in U.S. KidsModified Checklist With Follow-Up Valid for Autism in ToddlersTiming of Autism Diagnosis Tied to Choice of TreatmentHearing Impairment May Be an Early Indicator of AutismFido a Friend to Parents of Kids With AutismInduced Labor Won't Raise Autism Risk in Kids, Research SuggestsRates of ASD Diagnosis Up With New Insurance MandatesInsurance Mandates Boost U.S. Autism DiagnosesBaby's Immune System Might Hint at Autism RiskToo Much Folic Acid in Pregnancy Tied to Raised Autism Risk in StudyKids With Autism Do Well Learning New Words: StudyTraining Program for Those With Autism Often Results in Low-Paying Jobs: StudyGuideline Changes Have Asperger's Community on Edge
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Parenting

Stress May Explain Digestive Issues in Kids With Autism

HealthDay News
by -- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
Updated: Jan 20th 2017

new article illustration

FRIDAY, Jan. 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Many children with autism suffer from gastrointestinal problems, such as belly pain and constipation. And new research suggests that these issues may stem from a heightened response to stress.

"When treating a patient with autism who has constipation and other lower gastrointestinal issues, physicians may give them a laxative to address these issues," said study author Dr. David Beversdorf.

"Our findings suggest there may be a subset of patients for which there may be other contributing factors. More research is needed, but anxiety and stress reactivity may be an important factor when treating these patients," he added.

Beversdorf is an associate professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia's Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

The new study included 120 young people with autism and their parents. The parents provided information about their children's gastrointestinal symptoms. Overall, 51 of the children had these issues and 69 didn't.

The children underwent a 30-second stress test. To evaluate their response to the stress, the researchers collected saliva samples from each participant before and after the test to measure the children's cortisol levels.

Cortisol is a hormone the body releases in times of stress. The body releases cortisol to help prevent inflammation caused by substances called cytokines that are linked with autism, stress and gastrointestinal issues, the researchers said.

The study showed that the children with gastrointestinal symptoms had higher cortisol levels in response to the stress test than those who didn't have these symptoms.

"We know that it is common for individuals with autism to have a more intense reaction to stress, and some of these patients seem to experience frequent constipation, abdominal pain or other gastrointestinal issues," Beversdorf said in a university news release.

"To better understand why, we looked for a relationship between gastrointestinal symptoms and the immune markers responsible for stress response," Beversdorf explained. "We found a relationship between increased cortisol response to stress and these symptoms."

The study was published recently in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about autism.