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A systematic review of the association between fibromyalgia and functional gastrointestinal disorders


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Erdich, S, Hawrelak, JA ORCID: 0000-0002-7436-9666, Myers, SP and Harnett, JE 2020 , 'A systematic review of the association between fibromyalgia and functional gastrointestinal disorders' , Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology, vol. 13 , pp. 1-17 , doi: 10.1177/1756284820977402.

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Background:Fibromyalgia and functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID) includingirritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are common conditions presenting in clinical settings and aremore prevalent in women. While the relationship between IBS and fibromyalgia has beendemonstrated, a review of the prevalence of the broader group of FGID in adults with fibromyalgiahas not been undertaken. The aim of this review was to systematically review the publishedliterature, identifying the comorbidity of FGID in people with fibromyalgia, and to discuss theclinical implications, limitations of current research and areas of interest for future research.Methods:Medline, Embase, CINAHL and Web of Science were searched during June 2019.Results were screened for original research articles meeting established criteria foridentification of FGID in adults diagnosed with fibromyalgia.Results: A total of 14 studies involving 1340 adults with fibromyalgia, 363 healthy controlsand 441 adults with other pathologies were included in this review. Only 1 of the 14 studiesincluded surveyed the full range of FGID . Functional gut disorders were matched to RomeIIcriteria for reporting and comparison. In addition to increased abdominal pain and functionalbloating or gas, IBS of mixed-pattern and constipation-types appear to be more prevalent thandiarrhoea-predominant IBS in adults with fibromyalgia.Conclusion: This review confirms previous reports that IBS is common in people living withfibromyalgia and suggests that IBS-mixed and constipation types predominate. An associationwith a range of FGID other than IBS is suggested, but data are limited. Research exploring theassociation between fibromyalgia and functional gastrointestinal dysfunction beyond IBS arewarranted.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Erdich, S and Hawrelak, JA and Myers, SP and Harnett, JE
Keywords: systematic review, fibromyalgia, microbiome, microbiota, functional gastrointestinal disorders, IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, women's health, comorbidity, diagnostic criteria, FGID
Journal or Publication Title: Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN: 1756-283X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1177/1756284820977402
Copyright Information:

© The Author(s), 2020. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (

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