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Prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome in chronic fatigue

  [ 49 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
www.ProHealth.com • December 15, 1996


The aetiologies of irritable bowel syndrome and chronic fatigue are
unknown. Psychological as well as physical factors have been
implicated in both. Fatigue is common in irritable bowel
syndrome patients. The purpose of the study was to determine
the prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome in chronic fatigue
sufferers. A bowel symptom questionnaire was sent to all
4,000 members of a self-help group for fatigue sufferers. Of
the 1,797 who responded, 1,129 (63%) fulfilled a diagnosis of
irritable bowel syndrome (recurrent abdominal pain and at
least three Manning criteria). This greatly exceeds estimates
of irritable bowel syndrome prevalence of up to 22% in the
general population. Furthermore, irritable bowel syndrome
sufferers within this chronic fatigue population reported
more Manning criteria (14% had all six Manning criteria) than
irritable bowel syndrome sufferers in the general population.
This study demonstrates an overlap of symptoms in chronic
fatigue and irritable bowel syndrome. In chronic fatigue,
irritable bowel symptoms may be one aspect of a more
generalised disorder.

Gomborone JE, Gorard DA, Dewsnap PA, Libby GW, Farthing MJ




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