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Drugs Today (Barc). 2006 Jul;42 Suppl B:3-8.

Overlapping abdominal symptoms: why do GERD and IBS often coexist?

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  • 1Center for Enteric Neurosciences and Translational Epidemiological Research (C.E.N.T.E.R.), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), functional dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) often coexist and may share a common pathophysiological mechanism. An association between GERD and asthma has been reported, and IBS patients have been shown to have an excess prevalence of bronchial hyperresponsiveness. Patients with overlapping IBS and dyspepsia have delayed gastric emptying rates as well as increased visceral hypersensitivity in both the colon and the stomach. Postinfectious occurrence of concomitant dyspepsia and IBS has also been reported, as has a familial association in functional gastrointestinal disorders. Although GERD, dyspepsia and IBS are highly prevalent conditions, overlapping symptoms should be not be attributed to their high prevalence but to a possible common disease process in a subset of patients.

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