Kids With Autism May Benefit From Soluble Fiber: Dr. William Sears Explains How Guar Fiber May Improve Chronic Digestive Issues & Irritability by Dr. William Sears

Kids With Autism May Benefit From Soluble Fiber: Dr. William Sears Explains How Guar Fiber May Improve Chronic Digestive Issues & Irritability

For the one in 59 children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, chronic digestive issues and irritability can be an ongoing problem because their good gut bacteria (probiotics) are out of balance. We don’t know what causes autism, but research indicates that a simple diet change may help manage some of the digestive issues.

A recent pilot study showed that a modest daily dose of soluble guar fiber helped autistic children go more often. The study also showed that supplementation with this fiber decreased the children’s irritability. That’s a simple way to help these children live happier more comfortable lives. I firmly believe that your poop is a window into your health. That’s true for everyone, not just children on the spectrum.

In the study, researchers supplemented the diets of 13 children diagnosed with ASD with 6 grams of guar fiber each day. By the end of the first week, every child in the study experienced some constipation relief. They went from defecating once or twice a week to being able to go two to four times a week.

Soluble fiber helps with constipation because it absorbs water into the stool, helping it move through the body. Soluble fiber is also a prebiotic, meaning it feeds the good bacteria in our gut. Scientists are learning more every day about the benefits of a healthy gut microbiome.

Using a standardized scale, the researchers in this study also found that the children’s irritability also improved significantly. Our brain and our gut have a strong connection. I write a lot about this in my book, Dr. Poo: The Scoop on Comfortable Poop. I explain that your gut acts as your body’s second brain. Your vagus nerve is the superhighway that send signals between these brains. Your gut also produces most of the "feel-good" chemicals your body needs to support a good, stable mood. If your gut-brain is struggling, your head-brain may be struggling, too.

I suggest choosing foods with your gut microbiome in mind. Good sources of soluble fiber are apples, pears, oats, barley and beans. Unfortunately, with the modern diet it can be a challenge to get our daily requirement of soluble fiber, especially for children. You may need to supplement to get the necessary amount.

For additional comments about autism and soluble guar fiber visit AskDrSears

Does fiber help your autistic child? Please share your experiences below. 

The information on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information provided through this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider.

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Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds
What an amazing bit of news, Dr. William Sears ! Sounds like parents of autistic kids have much to be hopeful about. I am so glad you shared this with us on 30Seconds. I am a huge fan of your work and look forward to sharing your insights with our community!
Mindy Hudon, M.S., CCC-SLP
Thanks for sharing this great information. It is helpful to so many parents and their chopildren.
Gwen Johnson
Great information. Going to pass this on to my friend whose son is autistic. Excited to learn more from Dr. William Sears . Been a fan for a long time.
Tribe
Great to see tips from you here, Dr. William Sears ! 👍

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