Gastrointestinal motility disorders in patients with anorexia nervosa – a review of the literature
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Klinika Psychiatrii Wieku Rozwojowego WUM
Klinika Gastroenterologii i Żywienia Dzieci i Młodzieży WUM
Zakład Radiologii Pediatrycznej WUM
Submission date: 2014-11-25
Final revision date: 2014-12-15
Acceptance date: 2014-12-16
Publication date: 2015-08-31
Corresponding author
Katarzyna Agnieszka Weterle- Smolińska   

Klinika Psychiatrii Wieku Rozwojowego WUM, ul. Marszałkowska24, 00-184 Warszawa, Polska
Psychiatr Pol 2015;49(4):721-729
Anorexia nervosa is a disease carrying havoc on many levels of the body functioning. The presence of numerous somatic complications as a consequence of starvation is an important part of the clinical picture of this disease. Symptoms of the gastrointestinal tract are one of the most common complaints reported by patients, especially in the initial period of realimentation. Most common symptoms are associated with gastrointestinal motility disorders. The available data show that as many as half of patients suffering from anorexia nervosa manifest significant gastrointestinal motility disorders (incomplete relaxation of the upper and lower oesophageal sphincter, impaired compliance of the stomach, delayed gastric emptying, intestinal transit extension, decreased motility of the rectum and anus). These disorders along with gastrointestinal tract ailments may impede the restoration of proper diet, if not detected early and treated. There are relatively few studies on gastrointestinal motility disorders in patients suffering from anorexia nervosa, which do not clearly answer the question whether these disorders are genetic, or result from cachexia and whether they disappear along with the restoration of the normal body weight. No reference of research results to the clinical practice, and the lack of standard procedures for diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders in patients with anorexia nervosa are significant problems for specialists in the field of psychiatry and gastroenterology.
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