Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a multisystem autoimmune connective tissue disorder that affects many different organ systems with significantly more women affected than men. This study was carried out to assess the prevalence of Functional gastrointestinal disorders(FGID) in patients diagnosed with SLE.Methods
Data was collected from patients with a confirmed diagnosis of SLE and no organic gastrointestinal disorder using SF36 RAND and Rome IV Diagnostic questionnaire and compared to a control group to assess the burden of GI symptoms in these patients. Data analysis was carried out using Microsoft Excel and SPSS version 25 (IBM Corporation, America).Results
101 SLE patients (all female; age range 31–56 years, mean 41) and 108 female controls (range 21–60 mean age 42.4), were included. 71 (70.29%) SLE patients reported abdominal symptoms which met the criteria for diagnosis of at least 1 FGID according to Rome IV diagnostic criteria compared to 37% of controls (OR 4.97: 95% CI:2.7025 to 9.1401 p<0.0001). Both upper and lower FGIDs were frequently reported with 37 patients (36%) meeting the criteria for more than 1 FGID.Results
All SLE patients with FGID scored lower (statistically significant p<0.01) on the mean scores of the eight parameters (physical functioning, role limitations due to physical health, role limitations due to emotional health, energy/fatigue, emotional wellbeing, social functioning, pain, general health) measured by the RAND SF36 as compared to the control group. (mean scores 59.62 vs 71.23, U-value 0, Z-Score −2.50672, p-value.00604).Conclusions
Functional gastrointestinal disorders are very common in patients with SLE and adversely affect the overall quality of life. Treatment of these disorders with a multi-disciplinary approach may help in improving the quality of life for these patients.