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« New Papers on Autism and GI Disorders | Main | Pediatrics Consensus Articles Acknowledge Need to Improve Evaluation and Treatment of GI Disorders in Autism »

National Autism Association on Pediatrics GI Autism Consensus Paper

NAA logo NIXA, Mo., January 4 -- An article published today in the journal Pediatrics confirms what parents and advocacy organizations have been saying for years: many individuals with autism suffer from gastrointestinal disease that can contribute to behaviors and symptoms associated with autism.

Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Disorders in Individuals With ASDs:  A Consensus Report is the result of expert panel study and discussion led by Dr. Timothy Buie of the Harvard Medical School Department of Pediatrics.  The panel's findings point out not only the existence of underlying GI disturbances that can manifest as behavioral problems, but also notes that such medical issues have often gone undiagnosed or been ignored in the past by physicians treating patients diagnosed with autism.

"We are finally getting mainstream acknowledgement that our kids are physically sick, and not the victims of some mysterious genetic behavioral disorder," commented Lori McIlwain, National Autism Association (NAA) board chair. "With one in 110 children now diagnosed with autism, we are in the midst of a national health emergency. Physicians must address the underlying medical conditions involved in this epidemic if they are to help us find answers and relief for our children."

The panel arrived at several conclusions regarding current clinical practice guidelines and made recommendations for future medical and research priorities.  These include:

  • Current treatment guidelines do not routinely consider potential medical problems
  • Problem behaviors including self-injury, aggression, irritability, and sleep disturbance may be manifestations of abdominal pain
  • Behavioral treatment should not substitute for medical treatment
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms should be considered an urgent indication for medical investigation
  • Immunologic dysfunction, inflammation, metabolic dysfunction, and allergies are all potentially associated with autism
  • Research is needed to determine the role of abnormal GI permeability in neuropsychiatric manifestations of autism
  • Greater awareness is needed among health care providers of the atypical manifestations of GI disorders
  • Awareness of unrecognized medical conditions in autism must become a priority of professional societies including the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Diagnostics should be performed to accurately identify co-morbid allergic disease
  • Research is needed to determine the role of immune dysfunction in autism

    "This is definitely a step in the right direction," said Ms. McIlwain.  "Our kids need and deserve clinical investigation and treatment for the underlying medical conditions from which they suffer."

    For more information on autism, visit www.nationalautism.org.

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    # Behavioral treatment should not substitute for medical treatment
    # Gastrointestinal symptoms should be considered an urgent indication for medical investigation

    Re Post by Mary Podlesak: "Allow the parents to object to the use of artifically compounded drugs and vaccines, while working with them to explore alternatives. If government mandates harmful drugs or vaccines, you as a physician have a duty to God and your professional oath, to first do no harm."

    AMEN SISTER to this and every single word that you wrote!!! Medical "Science" has committed all kinds of atrocities with toxic drugs that kill at least 100,000 people a year (under-reported statistic). However, the vaccines fiasco is the worst atrocity committed against innocent children in the history of this country.

    There is another paper coming out later this month (abstract posted below) in a very well respected peer reviewed journal, with the focus being undiagnosed celiac disease in children with autism and treatment ameliorated the symptoms of autism - what parents have been saying for years.

    J Child Neurol. 2010 Jan;25(1):114-9. Epub 2009 Jun 29.
    Celiac disease presenting as autism.

    Genuis SJ, Bouchard TP.

    University of Alberta, Alberta, Canada. sgenuis@ualberta.ca

    Gluten-restricted diets have become increasingly popular among parents seeking treatment for children diagnosed with autism. Some of the reported response to celiac diets in children with autism may be related to amelioration of nutritional deficiency resulting from undiagnosed gluten sensitivity and consequent malabsorption. A case is presented of a 5-year-old boy diagnosed with severe autism at a specialty clinic for autistic spectrum disorders. After initial investigation suggested underlying celiac disease and varied nutrient deficiencies, a gluten-free diet was instituted along with dietary and supplemental measures to secure nutritional sufficiency. The patient's gastrointestinal symptoms rapidly resolved, and signs and symptoms suggestive of autism progressively abated. This case is an example of a common malabsorption syndrome associated with central nervous system dysfunction and suggests that in some contexts, nutritional deficiency may be a determinant of developmental delay. It is recommended that all children with neurodevelopmental problems be assessed for nutritional deficiency and malabsorption syndromes.

    PMID: 19564647 [PubMed - in process]

    Excellent suggestions for a profession which should have been dissolved years ago. This is an attempt to maintain some semblence of credibility with mothers and parents. In addition to this list there should be another:
    * Explore alternative methods of autism remediation including, foods, herbs, physical manipulation etc. for the individual child. If the method is food or herbs, it is not likely to have detrimental adverse effects and can be safely used for experiment.
    * Honestly track the adverse events and side effects of all artificially compounded drugs and vaccines, post administration. The rule should be: if the child has a physiological effect which did not exist pre-administration, it must be recorded as a potential side effect or adverse event.
    * Stop taking any kickback money for prescribing drugs or vaccines and question the safety and efficacy data of these drugs with FDA, NIH, CDC and the pharmacuetical companies, not to mention the "professional" peer-reviewed journals.
    * Allow the parents to object to the use of artifically compounded drugs and vaccines, while working with them to explore alternatives. If government mandates harmful drugs or vaccines, you as a physician have a duty to God and your professional oath, to first do no harm. In the case of mandates, say nothing, but if asked, the mandates should be questioned.

    I was trained in statistics and Industrial Engineering. My masters' thesis was a simulation of ambulatory care. My Johns Hopkins trained thesis advisor suggested there was no future for IE's in health care. Pediatrics is a profession living on borrowed time. It has no integrity if it will not admit the truth and speak truth to power.

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