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Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Apr;7(4):438-45. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2008.12.005. Epub 2008 Dec 13.

Prevalence of functional gastrointestinal disorders in patients with fibromyalgia and the role of psychologic distress.

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  • 1Digestive Diseases Department, Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Madrid, Spain. almenchero@yahoo.es



Fibromyalgia is a rheumatologic disorder associated with somatic and psychologic conditions. Although fibromyalgia is associated with irritable bowel syndrome, its relationship with other functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID) is unclear. We evaluated the prevalence of FGID in patients with fibromyalgia and the role of psychologic factors in this relationship.


From a Spanish population, 100 patients with fibromyalgia and 100 matched controls completed the Rome II Integrative Questionnaire to assess the prevalence of FGID and the Symptom Checklist-90 Revised (SCL-90R) to evaluate psychologic distress. Patients completed the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire to evaluate the overall impact of fibromyalgia and controls filled out the Chronic Widespread Pain Questionnaire to detect potential cases of fibromyalgia.


Ninety-three percent of the total study population was female, with a mean age of 50 years. We identified 6 cases of widespread pain among controls. The average Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire score for patients was 67.28 +/- 14.25. All gastrointestinal symptoms except for vomiting were more frequent in patients. Ninety-eight percent of patients with fibromyalgia had at least one FGID, compared with only 39% of controls. Fibromyalgia was correlated most highly with irritable bowel syndrome. Patients presented with significantly higher scores of psychologic distress than controls, especially those with fecal incontinence.


There is a prevalence of FGID in patients with fibromyalgia and a wider distribution of such symptoms along the gastrointestinal tract compared with controls. We propose that an increased degree of psychologic distress in these patients predisposes them to FGID, especially significant for anorectal syndromes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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