The purpose of this literature review was to provide
an overview of the research on gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms
in autism spectrum disorder. Topics explored include the
prevalence of GI symptoms, the importance of studying GI
symptoms, the difficulties in diagnosis, as well as the questionnaire
measures used to assess gastrointestinal symptoms.
Research on the relationships between gastrointestinal symptoms
and developmental regression, language and communication,
autism severity, challenging behavior, comorbid psychopathology,
sleep problems, and sensory issues is also
discussed. The use of special diets is discussed also. Finally,
recommendations for treatment are given as well as areas
where future research is needed.