Relation of endometriosis and neuromuscular disease of the gastrointestinal tract: new insights

Fertil Steril. 1998 Jul;70(1):81-8. doi: 10.1016/s0015-0282(98)00096-x.


Objective: To investigate the neuromuscular activity of the gastrointestinal tract by antroduodenal manometry in women with endometriosis documented by laparoscopy, to assess the effects of diet and drug therapy on symptoms, and to assess the bacterial overgrowth that is commonly associated with these nerve diseases.

Design: Prospective, open-label study.

Setting: A clinical center for the care of women's health.

Patient(s): Fifty women with endometriosis documented by laparoscopy and gastrointestinal tract symptoms characterized by chronic abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, early satiety, bloating and distention, and altered bowel habits.

Intervention(s): Motility of the gastrointestinal tract was recorded and bacterial overgrowth was assessed. Treatment consisted of dietary changes, including reduction of glycemic carbohydrates, balancing with omega 9 oils, elimination of foods with caffeine and tyramine, and addition of omega 3 fatty acids, as well as drug therapy with clonazepam (0.25 mg 3 times per day).

Result(s): All 50 women showed a characteristic motility change (ampulla of Vater-duodenal wall spasm, a seizure equivalent of the enteric nervous system). Forty of the women showed bacterial overgrowth. There was a significant reduction in the total symptom score after 8 weeks of treatment.

Conclusion(s): This study suggests that endometriosis and gastrointestinal tract symptoms are a result of the dysfunction of hollow organs. Correction of the biochemical imbalance of the eicosanoid system and the hypersecretion of insulin that results from excessive intake of glycemic carbohydrates and lack of essential fatty acids significantly decreases symptoms in patients with endometriosis and associated neuromuscular disease of the gastrointestinal tract.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clonazepam / therapeutic use
  • Diet
  • Endometriosis / diet therapy
  • Endometriosis / drug therapy
  • Endometriosis / physiopathology*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / metabolism
  • Female
  • GABA Agonists / therapeutic use
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / diet therapy
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / drug therapy
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / drug effects
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen
  • Laparoscopy
  • Manometry
  • Myoelectric Complex, Migrating / physiology
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / diet therapy
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Receptors, GABA-A / drug effects
  • Receptors, GABA-A / physiology


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • GABA Agonists
  • Receptors, GABA-A
  • Clonazepam
  • Hydrogen