Association between Endometriosis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Eating Disorders: ENDONUT Pilot Study

J Clin Med. 2022 Sep 29;11(19):5773. doi: 10.3390/jcm11195773.


Background and aim: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), eating disorders (ED) and endometriosis share common pathophysiological mechanisms, involving alterations of the gut-brain axis. The aim of the ENDONUT pilot study was to investigate an association between these three diseases by screening for IBS and ED in patients with endometriosis.

Method: We included patients from the CIRENDO cohort (Inter-Regional North-West Cohort of women with ENDOmetriosis) with a recent documented diagnosis of endometriosis of less than 4 years, regardless of age, date of onset of symptoms, type of endometriosis (digestive or not), with or without endometriosis-related digestive surgery. Validated questionnaires were used to screen for IBS (Rome IV, Francis score), ED (SCOFF-F, EAT-26), and anxiety/depression (HAD). Anthropometric data and lifestyle habits were also collected. The primary composite endpoint was SCOFF-F and ROME-IV scores.

Results: Among 100 patients meeting inclusion criteria, 54 patients completed all the questionnaires. Of these, 19 had a positive SCOFF-F score (35.2%), 26 had a positive ROME-IV score (48.1%), and 14 patients (25.9%) had both a positive SCOFF-F score and a positive ROME-IV score (p = 0.006). Patients with positive SCOFF-F and ROME-IV scores had significantly higher HAD-anxiety and depression scores (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: These results suggest a significant association between IBS, ED and endometriosis. The prevalence of IBS and ED in our population is higher than in the general population. Larger studies are needed to confirm these results, to better understand this triad, and to improve the diagnostic and multidisciplinary therapeutic management of these patients.

Keywords: eating disorders; endometriosis; irritable bowel syndrome.

Grant support

This research received no external funding.