Evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders in individuals with ASDs: A consensus report

Timothy Buie, Daniel B. Campbell, George J. Fuchs, Glenn T. Furuta, Joseph Levy, Judy Van De Water, Agnes H. Whitaker, Dan Atkins, Margaret L. Bauman, Arthur L. Beaudet, Edward G. Carr, Michael D. Gershon, Susan L. Hyman, Pipop Jirapinyo, Harumi Jyonouchi, Koorosh Kooros, Rafail Kushak, Pat Levitt, Susan E. Levy, Jeffery D. LewisKatherine F. Murray, Marvin R. Natowicz, Aderbal Sabra, Barry K. Wershil, Sharon C. Weston, Lonnie Zeltzer, Harland Winter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

559 Scopus citations


Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are common and clinically heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorders. Gastrointestinal disorders and associated symptoms are commonly reported in individuals with ASDs, but key issues such as the prevalence and best treatment of these conditions are incompletely understood. A central difficulty in recognizing and characterizing gastrointestinal dysfunction with ASDs is the communication difficulties experienced by many affected individuals. A multidisciplinary panel reviewed the medical literature with the aim of generating evidence-based recommendations for diagnostic evaluation and management of gastrointestinal problems in this patient population. The panel concluded that evidence-based recommendations are not yet available. The consensus expert opinion of the panel was that individuals with ASDs deserve the same thoroughness and standard of care in the diagnostic workup and treatment of gastrointestinal concerns as should occur for patients without ASDs. Care providers should be aware that problem behavior in patients with ASDs may be the primary or sole symptom of the underlying medical condition, including some gastrointestinal disorders. For these patients, integration of behavioral and medical care may be most beneficial. Priorities for future research are identified to advance our understanding and management of gastrointestinal disorders in persons with ASDs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S1-S18
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Gluten-free casein-free diet
  • Problem behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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