Treating Gastrointestinal (GI) Problems

Alter Behavioral Health focuses on the holistic treatment and care of adults and those with mental illnesses. Compared to non-autistic individuals, people with autism are dramatically more susceptible to a variety of GI conditions. In addition to being painful and difficult for all involved, this quirk of autism is something of a mystery. However, Alter Behavioral Health has worked with adults who have autism as to be able to support patients with their gastrointestinal needs.

What Causes GI Issues in Autistic Adults?

Traditionally, many have assumed that the gastrointestinal issues of autistic individuals were essentially self-inflicted. For instance, one common trait of children and adults on the autism spectrum is eating fairly simple diets.

However, a recent study found that even when autistic and non-autistic children ate similar diets, those with autism suffered considerably greater instances of GI pain. Further underpinning just how underresearched this nuance of life with autism is, there are no studies on GI issues in autistic adults as of January 2021.

Ensuring the Comfort of Autistic Patients

Alter Behavioral Health specializes in supporting autistic adults. This means treating comorbid conditions, connecting people with relevant educational and social opportunities, and ensuring their comfort. To this end, the staff works to communicate and identify gastrointestinal issues in patients. In the case of typical problems such as diarrhea and constipation, dietary options and medication are available to eliminate the problem.

Empathetic Communication and Awareness

There are some common points of difficulty in communication between people with and without autism, and this extends to gastrointestinal issues. The topic is innately awkward, and some level of intestinal discomfort is often what an autistic person perceives as normal.

Additionally, a person with and without autism might describe the same form of gastrointestinal trouble in a different way, which can make procuring care difficult. Alter Behavioral Health starts out the process of treating GI problems in individuals with education and awareness about these lesser-appreciated struggles that are part of life. By understanding what patients are going through, it’s possible to offer them helpful solutions.

Dietary Support and Medication

While studies indicate that GI problems among those with autism aren’t always caused by diet, dietary choices may still alleviate them. Offering fiber-rich, palate-friendly options and plentiful opportunities for hydration can help mitigate cases of constipation. Likewise, cases of diarrhea or an upset stomach can often be mitigated with plenty of water, white bread, and other foods. However, these solutions are often only effective in an intermediate amount of time.

In the short term, patients can count on common, over-the-counter medications to treat their intestinal discomfort. In the case of more severe problems such as acid reflux, patients can count on an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.

Holistic Support for Adults with Autism

At Alter Behavioral Health, we go above and beyond when it comes to providing for the comfort and treatment of autistic adults. In addition to treating co-occurring conditions and providing educational and social opportunities, we appreciate and accommodate the subtler difficulties that come with living as an autistic person. If you or someone you love is an adult with autism in need of primary care, get in touch with us to learn more about how we can help.