Meal related symptoms in youth with chronic abdominal pain: Relationship to anxiety, depression, and sleep dysfunction.

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DOI: 10.1002/jpn3.12185


OBJECTIVE: The objective of the current study was to describe meal-related symptoms in youth with chronic abdominal pain fulfilling criteria for a disorder of gut-brain interaction (DGBI) and their associations with anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances.

METHODS: This was a retrospective evaluation of 226 consecutive patients diagnosed with an abdominal pain-associated DGBI. As part of routine care, all had completed a standardized symptom history, the Sleep Disturbances Scale for Children (utilized to assess for disorders of initiation and maintenance of sleep and excessive daytime somnolence) and the Behavior Assessment System for Children-Third Edition (utilized to assess for anxiety and depression). Four meal related symptoms were assessed: early satiety, postprandial bloating, postprandial abdominal pain, and postprandial nausea.

RESULTS: Overall, 87.6% of patients reported at least one meal related symptom and the majority reported at least three symptoms. All meal related symptoms were significantly related to each other. Postprandial pain and nausea were more often reported by females. Early satiety, postprandial bloating, and postprandial nausea, but not postprandial pain demonstrated significant though variable associations with anxiety, depression, disorders of initiation and maintenance of sleep, and disorders of excessive somnolence, but only in adolescents.

CONCLUSIONS: Meal related symptoms are very common in youth with abdominal pain-associated DGBIs. Early satiety, bloating, and postprandial nausea demonstrate variable associations with anxiety, depression, and disordered sleep while increased postprandial pain was not associated with psychologic or sleep dysfunction, suggesting a different pathway for symptom generation.

Journal Title

Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition





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MeSH Keywords

Humans; Abdominal Pain; Female; Male; Adolescent; Retrospective Studies; Anxiety; Child; Depression; Sleep Wake Disorders; Postprandial Period; Meals; Chronic Pain; Nausea; Satiation


disorders of gut‐brain interaction; functional dyspepsia; irritable bowel syndrome

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