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Autism GI Pain: New Research Shows Significance

Stomach_acheBy Teresa Conrick

A newer study caught my eye very recently, Distinct Microbiome-Neuroimmune Signatures Correlate With Functional Abdominal Pain in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder .  It´s a very interesting and important paper as the authors describe - The ability to pinpoint key differences in the mucosal microbiome of these children was in part owing to improvements in technology. Improved sequencing technology and deeper sequencing, particularly in a low-biomass sample such as tissue, enabled the data to be better classified.  That is NEW.

Why that´s important is huge as we are able to see that there are specific TYPES of bacteria causing havoc and PAIN for too many children.  If we know the enemy, the hope is to stop that pain and improve functioning for that person.  Here is their summary (FGID stands for functional gastrointestinal disorders):

In summary, GI phenotypes in ASD are highly variable, and heterogeneity of the autism population can mask significant signals related to GI symptomology. Here, we present distinct microbiome and cytokine measures in the rectal mucosa of children with ASD and confirmed FGIDs compared with neurotypical children both with and without FGIDs. From rectal biopsy specimens obtained during endoscopy, deep molecular analysis of the mucosal microbiome in ASD-FGID showed distinct microbial communities at the predicted species level. Correlations of Clostridiales, including multiple Clostridium species previously associated with ASD, with tryptophan, serotonin, and inflammatory cytokine levels yielded a unique multi-omic profile specific to ASD-FGID and ASD-FGID with abdominal pain. Cytokines indicative of inflammation correlated strongly with several bacteria associated with ASD-FGID, as was the case with tryptophan levels, and these potential associations will be confirmed in future work. These data suggest the presence of a specific microbiome profile in ASD with the identification of organisms previously strongly associated within similar cohorts, albeit in stool-based studies. We advance this concept by showing that these ASD-related organisms interact with the intestinal mucosa and are associated with altered neuroimmune signaling. Although these initial findings are correlative, these data form the framework for future studies targeting tryptophan–serotonin metabolism and inflammatory pathways in FGID in ASD.

Some other highlights:

-  A significant increase in several mucosa-associated Clostridiales was observed in ASD-FGID.

-  Clostridiales are emerging as major microbial regulators of gut-derived T-cell immune and serotonergic signals that may be associated with ASD

-   our identification of clostridial species aligns with those previous autism studies that have identified microbiome alterations. Finegold et al48 originally described increased Clostridium in ASD in 2002

- ... multiple organisms in ASD-FGID that correlated significantly with cytokines (interleukin [IL]6, IL1, IL17A, and interferon-γ

-   FGIDs encompass a broad range of disorders including functional constipation, nonretentive fecal incontinence, functional abdominal pain, abdominal migraines, and irritable bowel syndrome.

-  A common cause of FGIDs is thought to emanate from disturbances to normal communications between the brain and gut...

-  Altered microbiome–gut–brain signals also have been reported in ASD, and may contribute independently toward clinical symptoms by changing microbiome composition, tryptophan–serotonin imbalance, and immunologic pathways.

-  Bacteria associated with pain in ASD-FGID were identified.  

-  Correlation of Organisms With Increased Abundance in the ASD Group With Tryptophan or Serotonin  

-  Cytokine Correlations With Bacteria Significantly Associated With the ASD-FGID Group 

-  Cytokines Significantly Associated With Abdominal Pain Within the ASD-FGID Group Compared With Groups With No Abdominal Pain  

-  increased cytokines have been reported in association with a regressive autism phenotype with significant communication challenges and aberrant behaviors. IL6 was highest in the ASD-FGID group, a trend that was exaggerated further in the subset of the ASD-FGID reporting abdominal pain. IL6 also was correlated significantly with 2 Clostridium species (C disporicum and C tertium) that were associated with ASD and abdominal pain.

-  IL6 and IL17A are both implicated in the maternal immune activation models that result in autism-like and schizophrenia-like phenotypes in rodents

The take away messages here:

There are SIGNIFICANT bad guy organisms in the gut of those who have an AUTISM diagnosis and the ramifications of this are many. That is NOT new information but it is another BIG nail in the ¨GENES CAUSE¨ coffin.  Again, I have said it before and will say it again, that the ¨spectrum of autism¨ may be more of a barometer of the MICROBIOME.   A closing thought also is much of the research trying to correlate a mother´s immune activation of these cytokines, especially IL6, may be far off the real trail.  

Teresa Conrick is Science Editor for Age of Autism.


Jeannette Bishop

Hi Claire,

I'm not Teresa, but I particularly remember this post she made:



Hi interesting article. I started my 4 year old son on coconut oil (only a little)...behaviour changed immediately, stomach more regular. I would like to hear from your view on coconut oil.Thankyou


Off topic, but worthy of note: another reason for people concerned with intestinal dysbiosis to reconsider the role of milk in their diet. Could unabsorbed free floating calcium in D3 deficient
people be contributing to spore-forming germination or reinfection cycles?



"Acetylcholinesterase activity as a biomarker of exposure to antibiotics and pesticides in the black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon)"

Terreulactones A, B, C, and D: Novel Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors Produced by Aspergillus terreus
I. Taxonomy, Fermentation, Isolation and Biological Activities
1) Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology 2) Department of Pharmacy, Chung-Buk National University
Submit Released 2009/01/27

(fungus can secrete a potential cholisterase inhibitor?! we know fungal overgrowth is often part of dysbiosis)


"was isolated from the freshwater cyanobacterium Nostoc 78-12A",


(incontinence as a side effect of a cholinesterase inhibitor)

(how pharma adverse events or disease symptoms get turned into new pharma products)


"Quinolactacins Al and A2, New Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors from Penicillium citrinum
1) Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology
Submit Released 2008/09/19"


potential pharma choinesterase inhibitor derived of a secretion from a penicillin strain garnered from soil in a corn field.
Hmmm, I wonder if that corn field was sprayed with any kind of pesticide and if it was could it have caused a shifting the microbiome in the field and turning previously positive microbes into microbes capable of seriously impeding the human body from developing and acting correctly, including in how it would react to infections or injections.

Could pesticides in our body from modern toxic food/water/air shift a standard course of antibiotics given to a child to help them through an ear infection into an inadvertant cholinesterase inhibitor once the antibiotic is in the body?

Teresa  Conrick

British Autism Mother,

You bet and thanks for your comments.

British Autism Mother

@ John
@ Teresa
Thank you both for taking the trouble to reply to my questions. I hope the information will be helpful to other readers of this website.

Teresa  Conrick

Hi Twyla,

I wrote about IL6 and thimerosal and flu vaccines http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/07/maternal-antibodies-and-autism.html

The research on maternal immune activation that we keep hearing about and seeing in the news will not touch that topic and that´s what I am referring to - thanks.


Not sure why you conclude that "immune activation of these cytokines, especially IL6, may be far off the real trail."

Immune activation (such as by vaccines) as a major factor in autism is not inconsistent with aberrant microbiome being a major factor. The two are interrelated. The immune system being thrown off its normal track could contribute to abnormal strains of bacteria flourishing. There are other factors too of course, such as overuse of antibiotics.

What is off track is for some to conclude that receiving vaccines protects a pregnant woman from immune activation, as vaccines cause immune activation.

Teresa  Conrick

Hi John and thanks..just want to add these too for British Autism Mother--



John Stone

British Autism Mother

If you just type sutterella into the google site search box on the right hand side a remarkable number of posts come up.

British Autism Mother

Somewhere, in the last year or so, I read that ASD children were found to have colonies of Sutterella bacteria in their guts. Non-ASD children did not have these colonies. Could some kind person please find out and post this information in this thread. I'm not good at using pubmed(?).


The veterinarian of our county swears that his daughter has chrons because of the MMR. She does not have autism but that digestive disease.


I have e diarrhea and acid reflux with some inflammation on both ends of the GI tract. I have an idea. Everybody with autism should get a colonoscopy and an upper endoscopy. There is a very small chance of a genetic disorder called Gardner's and Turcot's syndrome that could cause severe GI and developmental issues because of tumors in the brain and the GI tract. I believe a few hundred with so called autism may have this. Also whether vaccine or not a combination of pediatric Chrohn's and multiple sclerosis is a possibility which are not genetic.

Jeannette Bishop

This is a hopeful development.

Are we encouraging the "bad guys" to become more resilient and competitive somehow? Or taking out their competition by destroying some of the better guys? Making the gut more hospitable to the bad over the good? Maybe more than one of these is happening?

Shelley Tzorfas

There are many books that have been written that go into how the gut is related to the brain. My position has been to first take the ASD kid out of pain. An analogy is a 5 story high elementary school that has a fire on the first floor. You wouldn't be trying to get the children on the 5th floor to learn to speak, read, or write in this scenario, you would get the children out of the building and put the Fire out. That is how to approach many children with ASD. Get their fire /Pain to stop, then teach.

Hans Hitten (above) pointed out that the Italian government has reduced the number of vaccines and the penalties for those who refuse to poison the kids. Looking back at how we have allowed 1 in 25 boys to develop Autism, ADHD, 1 in 3 toddlers who now need Speech and other therapies, I would say it is even more dangerous to reduce the number of required vaccines and penalties because within a few years, the number of vaccines will double and the younger parents who already agreed to get 12 vaccines will not notice when it goes to 15, 25, 46, 72 and so on. They will think that it has always been that way. As more children develop ASD, the news will not report the numbers or the seizures and deaths. Sounds familiar, huh? I read that GSK gave the government 1 BILLION dollars in this barter. I can only hope that the parents rally and continue to fight for NONE so that they may have healthy children that grow up and are able to have healthy grandchildren and more. Here in the US, so many young people cannot have kids that there are fertility clinics in every region, city and state.


My twin nephews have inflammation of the esophagus It is horrible. One got so, all he could do was drink, that is all that he could get down was liquids. They would go to the hospital and have a balloon put down in his esophagus and have it stretched. They finally put him on benzos - like xanax and valium to relax his muscles. He is only 29 years old.

All of my family has acid reflux, and if I give them a bunch of vitamins at once it really triggers it. N acetyl cysteine seems to be a bad one for that, as well as that combo vitamin; liopoic acid and L carnitine. N acetyl cysteine is okay if taken by itself and with lots of water.

My cousin's granddaughter just had her tonsils taken out, last week.
When I was teaching highschool, there were several of my students getting their tonsils out. I would ask if I could look at their throats, cause I was curious and they were so big, red, inflamed and swollen; those poor kids looked like they were slowly being choked to death. I doubt if they could swallow easily.


C disporicum and C tertium; well let us just make a vaccine for them.
Then what will become the back ground bacteria that deep sequencing will find?

And on an individual level: Cause that is all I can now trust: Why am I have psoriasis arthritis and itchy skin from yogurt and buttermilk made from yogurt strains?

I bet psoriasis is a IL-6 inflammatory response too.

Hans Hitten

Off subject Teresa but quite brilliant : feb2017


Elizabeth Hart Letter to Dr. Fiona Godlee, Editor-in-Chief, British Medical Journal

Dr Godlee, I suggest globally fast-tracked experimental HPV vaccination is shaping up to be the biggest scandal in medical history.

In my previous correspondence with you, and in my responses to Richard Lehman’s BMJ Blog, I have brought serious matters re HPV vaccination to the attention of The BMJ. I intend to maintain continuity of my correspondence with you and others on this matter to demonstrate that this information is ‘on the record’ with you and The BMJ.

The BMJ is part of the vast propaganda machine promoting questionable information about HPV vaccination. For example, busy healthcare professionals probably rely on Richard Lehman’s journal review to keep them up to date with recent developments, and are likely to have taken his careless endorsement of HPV vaccination at face value in his BMJ Blog last December[1].

I have brought these matters to your personal attention Dr Godlee. You may feel like you have been ‘inundated’ with information, but you have a lot of catching up to do.

In your role as Editor-in-Chief of The BMJ, a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Medical Association, I suggest you have a responsibility to ensure healthcare professionals are warned about healthcare controversies.


@ Jenny

"Unfortunately my grandson has problems swallowing pills..." Do you or anyone know if this is common "difficulty swallowing pills" in ASD or is it more common today than it was in previous decades?


Hans Hitten

In Lies We Trust: The CIA, Hollywood & Bioterrorism, Narrated by: Dr. Leonard G. Horowitz


Got to be worth a look !

bob moffit

Theresa writes:

"Why that´s important is huge as we are able to see that there are specific TYPES of bacteria causing havoc and PAIN for too many children. If we know the enemy, the hope is to stop that pain and improve functioning for that person."

In any "war" .. it is critical to "know the enemy"" .. by ascertaining and identifying who .. or .. what .. in this instance .. the specific types of bacteria causing havoc and pain for too many children. It is all but impossible to "know the enemy" when those most responsible for identifying the enemy .. REFUSE TO DO SO. Consider ...

"There are SIGNIFICANT bad guy organisms in the gut of those who have an AUTISM diagnosis and the ramifications of this are many. That is NOT new information but it is another BIG nail in the ¨GENES CAUSE¨ coffin.

It will be no accident if any NEW information identifying our biggest ENEMY .. remains unknown .. for the benefit of those who are threatened by identifying what our true enemy is.

If I remember something the comic strip POGO said decades ago .. paraphrasing here .. but it went something like this:



Hans Hitten

Citizens of Italy unleash mass protests against mandatory vaccination law


People have been protesting for more than a month, and now it appears that their voices are being heard as the Italian Senate has appeared to soften its stance. A new proposal sees lighter penalties for those who do not get on board if the legislation passes and the original 12 required vaccines being reduced to ten. The amendments would also drop the requirement to report those parents who do not comply to authorities, which could have caused some parents to lose custody of their children. Meanwhile, the maximum penalty for older children who are already in school but haven’t been vaccinated will be decreased from 7,500 Euros to 2,500 Euros.

While this is certainly an improvement, most Italians remain unhappy with the idea of any amount of forced vaccinations, and some people are criticizing the Italian government for its close relationship with vaccine maker Glaxo Smith Kline.

Tom Petrie

Jenny asks a great question: "Why has it taken so long for researchers to acknowledge the role the gut microbiome plays in autism and other neurological disorders? "

Actually, this question was answered 13 years ago by Dr. Andrew Wakefield--not ALL the answers, but certainly some of them. However, for merely asking the question "big-pharma" tried to destroy him. (His study said we need to do further research on the MMR and GI changes in Autistic children.)

So the problem with this line of research isn't just its results, BUT that some researchers even have the audacity to ask these questions in the first place!

This is yet ANOTHER study vindicating the research of Dr. Wakefield and his team. But will the media report on it? Probably not!

Jenny Allan

Yes indeed Teresa.
I got interested in the role played by Clostridia species in the gut, after I contracted Clostridium difficile in hospital. I realised my condition as a survivor was then similar to that of my autistic grandson. I came across this obscure 2001 abstract in Pub Med which is still 'live'. The research found Clostridia species in the ileum deplete vitamin B12, and also thrive on fibre, causing chronic severe constipation and neurological disturbances. The Clostridia also impair fat absorption and digest essential amino acid typtophan. They also 'digest lecithin &produce carcinogenic metabolites'

These researchers discovered most of these unwanted side effects could be eliminated or ameliorated by ingestion of Lactulose, which also relieves the constipation. This paper was published in 2001.
Clostridial constipation's broad pathology.
Johnson S.
Abstract (first line):-
"Clostridia are normally found in the healthy colon, where their numbers are kept in check by other bacteria. However, when they establish themselves in the ileum they become formidable foes."

Another paper confirms the Clostridia depletion of vitamin B12:-
Page 128 ‘Metabolic disturbances Bacterial flora of fecal type
in the small intestine results in metabolic disturbances,
the most frequent of which are fat and B12 vitamin absorption

Why has it taken so long for researchers to acknowledge the role the gut microbiome plays in autism and other neurological disorders? I take a daily multivitamin & probiotic caplet and most of my food intolerances etc have gone. Unfortunately my grandson has problems swallowing pills and cannot take dairy products like yoghurt.

Hans Hitten

Crazy situation we are in .

Science is catching up with parents.

Science is a bought sick joke .

In 2075 science will announce to a celebratory fanfare , that vaccines cause autism .

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