Fatigue is a common, but poorly understood symptom in patients with chronic gastrointestinal (GI) diseases.
Dr Simrén and colleagues from Sweden evaluated factors of importance for fatigue in patients with chronic gastrointestinal diseases, and compared it with fatigue in the general population.
|Fatigue was associated with psychological general well-being|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
The team identified 399 patients attending a gastrointestinal out-patient clinic.
The patients completed questionnaires that assessed fatigue, sleep disturbances, psychological general well-being, and gastrointestinal symptom severity.
The patients were divided into 2 diagnostic groups, including 112 with functional gastrointestinal disorders, and 287 with organic gastrointestinal diseases.
The severity of fatigue was also evaluated in an age- and gender-matched group of 399 individuals from the general population.
The researchers found that both patient groups had more severe fatigue than controls.
The team noted that patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders were more fatigued than patients with an organic gastrointestinal disease.
Fatigue was associated with psychological general well-being, gastrointestinal symptom severity, gender, employment status and sleep disturbances.
In a linear regression analysis, psychological general well-being, sleep disturbances and employment status were independently associated with the severity of fatigue.
Dr Simrén's team concluded, " Fatigue is a troublesome symptom in a subgroup of patients with chronic gastrointestinal diseases."
"These patients have a high symptom burden as regards both gastrointestinal and psychological symptoms, as well as sleep disturbances."