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Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Mar;7(3):317-22. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2008.09.007. Epub 2008 Sep 20.

Relationship between symptoms and dietary patterns in patients with functional dyspepsia.

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  • 1University of Adelaide Discipline of Medicine, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, Australia.



Patients with functional dyspepsia (FD) often report that their symptoms are related to food ingestion. However, there is a lack of information about differences in eating patterns and nutrient intake between these patients and healthy individuals or the association with specific symptoms. We performed a prospective trial to evaluate the relationship between FD symptoms and dietary factors.


Twenty patients with FD (17 women) and 21 healthy subjects (18 women) completed detailed diet diaries, recording all foods eaten, drinks consumed, and times of consumption, as well as the occurrence, timing, and severity of dyspeptic symptoms (ie, nausea, discomfort, fullness, bloating, upper-abdominal/epigastric pain) for 7 days. Data from the diet diaries were analyzed for the number of meals, light meals, snacks and drinks, energy intake, and macronutrient distribution.


Patients with FD ate fewer meals (P < .01) and consumed less total energy (P = .1) and fat (P = .1) than healthy subjects. Their symptoms were modest in severity (score out of 10; 5 [range, 3-8]) and occurred within 31 minutes (range, 8-64 min) of eating. Fullness was related directly to the amount of fat ingested (z, 1.91; P < .05) and overall energy intake (z, 2.12; P < .05) and related inversely to the amount of carbohydrate ingested (z, -1.9; P = .05). Similarly, bloating was related to the amount of fat ingested (z, 1.68; P = .09). There was no significant relationship between symptom severity and any of the dietary variables measured.


Management of patients with FD might be improved by instructing them to consume smaller meals with reduced fat content.

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