Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic pain illness with unknown etiology, and it generally affects women. These patients also have gastrointestinal symptoms and signs.
In this study, we aimed to evaluate the gastric emptying rate in patients with newly diagnosed FM by using the radionuclide method. Investigation of the differences in gastric emptying rate, the number of pain points, and Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) scores between premenopausal and postmenopausal FM patients was planned as secondary goal of this study.
Fifteen female patients (ages 17-68 years) with FM and 15 age-matched healthy women (ages 20-65 years) as a control group participated in the study.
Exponential gastric emptying rate at 30, 60, 90 min, and duration of the lag phase were calculated. [Note: the lag phase involves process of reducing the ingested food to small particles suspended in stomach juices, able to be released or emptied into the duodenum.]
• There was no statistically significant difference in the mean age or in the gastric emptying rates at 30, 60, and 90 min between these two groups (p > 0.05).
• Mean time of the lag phase of the FM group was significantly longer than that of the control group (p < 0.05).
Average age at menopause in the FM group was also significantly lower than that of patients in the control group (p < 0.05).
When FM patients were divided into the two subgroups of menopausal and premenopausal patients, there was no significant difference in gastric emptying rate, duration of the lag phase, the number of pain points, and FIQ scores between these two groups (p > 0.05).
Although gastric emptying rate was not affected in patients with FM, grinding was prolonged. This result can be explained as one of the causes of gastrointestinal complaints of FM patients.
In addition there was no determined influence of menopause on prolonged grinding.
However, further studies are needed to elucidate the relationship between clinical findings and gastrointestinal functions and complaints of FM patients.
Source: Modern Rheumatology (Japanese Rheumatism Association, Sep 28, 2010. PMID: 20878345 , by Erdogan S, Gurer G, Afs?n H, Kucukzeybek Y. Department of Nuclear Medicine, Adnan Menderes University Medical School, Ayd?n, Turkey.