Gastrointestinal motility and absorptive disorders in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases: Prevalence, diagnosis and treatment

World J Gastroenterol. 2019 Aug 21;25(31):4414-4426. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v25.i31.4414.


Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), Crohn`s disease and ulcerative colitis, are chronic conditions associated with high morbidity and healthcare costs. The natural history of IBD is variable and marked by alternating periods of flare and remission. Even though the use of newer therapeutic targets has been associated with higher rates of mucosal healing, a great proportion of IBD patients remain symptomatic despite effective control of inflammation. These symptoms may include but not limited to abdominal pain, dyspepsia, diarrhea, urgency, fecal incontinence, constipation or bloating. In this setting, commonly there is an overlap with gastrointestinal (GI) motility and absorptive disorders. Early recognition of these conditions greatly improves patient care and may decrease the risk of mistreatment. Therefore, in this review we describe the prevalence, diagnosis and treatment of GI motility and absorptive disorders that commonly affect patients with IBD.

Keywords: Chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction; Crohn’s disease; Dyssynergic defecation; Fecal incontinence; Gastrointestinal motility and absorptive disorders; Inflammatory bowel diseases; Irritable bowel syndrome; Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth; Small intestinal fungal overgrowth; Ulcerative colitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / diagnosis
  • Abdominal Pain / epidemiology*
  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Abdominal Pain / therapy
  • Constipation / diagnosis
  • Constipation / epidemiology*
  • Constipation / etiology
  • Constipation / therapy
  • Diarrhea / diagnosis
  • Diarrhea / epidemiology*
  • Diarrhea / etiology
  • Diarrhea / therapy
  • Dyspepsia / diagnosis
  • Dyspepsia / epidemiology*
  • Dyspepsia / etiology
  • Dyspepsia / therapy
  • Fecal Incontinence / diagnosis
  • Fecal Incontinence / epidemiology*
  • Fecal Incontinence / etiology
  • Fecal Incontinence / therapy
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / physiology
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / complications*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / physiopathology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / therapy
  • Prevalence
  • Severity of Illness Index