Celiac Disease and Autism
What is Autism?
Autism is a neurological disorder that impacts the functioning and development of the brain. A 2014 study found that one in every 68 children in the US are diagnosed with the disorder, and is more common in boys than girls. Autism usually appears within a child’s first three years of life and is considered a spectrum disorder because it can appear in a number of different forms. The range and severity of symptoms varies greatly, but can include trouble with communication and social interactions, obsessive interests and repetitive behaviors. During times of frustration, people with autism may experience aggression, self-harm, hyperactivity, excitability and more. Researchers have suggested that both genetics and environmental factors play a role in the development of this disorder.
- Children who have autism may also have gastrointestinal issues. Children who have these issues should be seen by a pediatric gastroenterologist before starting any treatments like the gluten-free diet. Children with autism and gastrointestinal issues may benefit from being screened for celiac disease
- Currently, there is not enough evidence to show that the gluten-free, casein free diet has an impact on symptoms of autism
- Studies have not determined a direct link between celiac disease and autism
Have you or a family member been diagnosed with autism? You may have celiac disease. Find out now. Take our Celiac Disease Symptoms Checklist.