4 Medical Conditions Associated With Autism

by | Aug 13, 2021 | Autism

Children with autism are often prone to other medical conditions associated with autism. What are the most common medical conditions to watch out for? What are the signs of these conditions?

What are some medical conditions associated with autism? 

What are some medical conditions associated with autism? Learn about the medical conditions (and symptoms of those conditions) that tend to coincide with ASD. Click To Tweet

Although these four medical conditions commonly go with the autism spectrum disorder, they are not the only conditions that can come with ASD. These are what we consider the most common medical conditions associated with autism.

  1. Epilepsy
  2. Gastrointestinal Problems
  3. Sleep Disorders
  4. ADHD

1) Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a seizure disorder. More specifically epilepsy is a neurological disorder that is triggered when nerve cell activity is disturbed. It is a common disorder among the general population, but according to Spectrum News, “people with epilepsy are at an eightfold risk of autism compared with the general population.” 

Although treatment helps a lot with this medical condition, epilepsy isn’t curable. Signs of epilepsy include temporary confusion, a staring spell, uncontrollable jerking of the arms and legs, loss of consciousness or awareness, and symptoms like anxiety.  

2) Gastrointestinal Problems

Gastrointestinal problems are a more general term than epilepsy. This term refers to conditions like IBD, gastritis, Crohn’s disease, and other intestinal problems. Studies show that children with autism are 67 percent more likely to be diagnosed with IBD. 

Keep an eye out for intestinal issues as they can become quite serious when left unchecked. Signs of these types of disorders include abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, excessive gas, and bloating. Please consult with a doctor if your child starts experiencing these symptoms. 

3) Sleep Disorders

Sleep problems plague a lot of people, but they are especially common among people diagnosed with autism. Studies show that between 50% and 83% of people with ASD suffer from insomnia. 

These statistics include lots of children with autism. There can be many causes of insomnia that hamper sleep like hormone imbalances and neurologic triggers. If these problems persist, it may be necessary to consult with a doctor about solutions. 


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is another common condition that accompanies ASD. Both of these disorders can present similarly, and 30% to 80% of children with ASD meet the criteria for ADHD. As CHADD states in their fact page, “A number of scientific studies have shown that the two conditions often coexist, but researchers have not yet figured out why they do.”

As for treatment, most ADHD cases need some medication in their treatment plan. This can be tricky though, as some ADHD medications (stimulants like methylphenidate and amphetamine) can cause more side effects in children with ASD. Be aware of what your child is experiencing, and work with your doctor to learn what is right for your child.

Be Aware of the Risk Factors for Your Child

At the end of the day, it is important to watch out for the health of your child. Caring for a child with autism can mean more than simply ASD, so be sure to watch out for these other disorders.

Contact us for more information about ASD!

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