Background: Esophago-gastrointestinal symptoms are frequently reported by patients with eating disorders. Scanty data exist on the relationship between psychopathological traits and digestive complaints.
Aims: To prospectively analyze (i) prevalence of digestive symptoms; (ii) psychopathological traits; (iii) relationship between symptom scores and psychopathological profiles.
Methods: Psychopathological and digestive symptom questionnaires were completed at baseline, at discharge, at 1 and 6 months' follow-up in 48 consecutive patients (85.4% female, median age, 15 years) hospitalized for eating disorders.
Results: The most frequently reported symptoms were postprandial fullness (96%) and abdominal distention (90%). Pooled esophageal (4; IQR 0-14) and gastrointestinal (34; IQR 19-53) symptoms significantly decreased at 6 months' follow-up (1; IQR 0-3 and 10; IQR 4-34; p<0.0001 and p<0.005, respectively). Pooled gastrointestinal symptoms significantly correlated with hypochondriasis (r=0.42, p<0.01). Both esophageal and gastrointestinal symptoms improved in patients with normal values of hypochondriasis and hysteria scales (p<0.05 and p<0.005, respectively) compared to those with pathological traits.
Conclusions: Digestive symptoms are frequently reported by patients with eating disorders with their expression and outcome being influenced by psychopathological profiles. Hypochondriasis and hysteria traits are predictive factors for symptomatic improvement.
Keywords: Eating disorders; Esophago-gastrointestinal symptoms; MMPI; Psychopathological traits.
Copyright © 2013 Editrice Gastroenterologica Italiana S.r.l. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.