The gastrointestinal system is such an integral part of the human body. It is a complex system, and when some part of the gut is not working, your child will not feel well. They may have a gut condition like constipation, loose stools, reflux, coeliac disease, bloating or pain. This is especially important if your child is unable to tell you how they feel. Many children with autism are non-verbal and unable to let their parents know of their pain or discomfort.

It is an extremely complex organ, responsible for:

  • digestion – acidity, alkalinity, enzymes, bile
  • an ecosystem of bacteria, viruses and yeasts living in harmony with us
  • keeping these gut microorganisms from entering the body
  • keeping pathogenic microorganisms under control
  • detoxification and elimination
  • immunity – 70% of your immune system is in your gut
  • neurotransmitters – more neurotransmitters are produced in the gut than in the brain

Any imbalance in the above can lead to:

  • abdominal discomfort, nausea or pain
  • severe gastrointestinal disease (Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease)
  • autoimmune conditions – coeliac disease
  • mood disorders – anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • pathogenic bacteria, parasites or yeast overgrowth, that can cause you to feel unwell

A very important component of this is to also have a comprehensive dietary assessment, as what we eat can have a profound effect on the ecosystem in your gut or contain substances that may be affecting your physical and mental wellbeing.

Gastrointestinal Health