Gastrointestinal and eating problems in women with Ehlers-Danlos syndromes.

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS) are a group of heritable conditions in which abnormal collagen synthesis leads to features such as joint hypermobility, skin abnormalities, and tissue fragility. Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are common among those affected. These may negatively impact eating behaviors, leading to weight/nutritional problems. We aimed to compare GI symptoms, disordered eating, and body mass index (BMI) between EDS patients and healthy controls, and to explore the link between these variables in EDS patients. Method In this cross-sectional study, women with EDS and healthy controls responded to an online survey assessing GI symptoms (heartburn/regurgitations, early satiety, nausea/vomiting, bloating, abdominal pain, dysphagia), food allergies/intolerances, disordered eating, history of eating disorders (ED), and BMI. We performed intergroup comparisons as well as multivariate analyses to explore the associations between disordered eating, GI symptoms, and BMI in the EDS group. Results Sixty-six women with EDS and 39 healthy controls were included in the study. The EDS patients showed significantly more GI symptoms and food allergies/intolerances, increased prevalence of ED history, higher risk of current ED, and lower BMI than the controls. In the EDS group, the risk for ED was associated with GI symptoms; restricted eating was associated with GI symptoms, food allergies/intolerances, and dysphagia; uncontrolled eating was associated with GI symptoms; and BMI was associated with GI symptoms and food allergies/intolerances. Discussion Our results are concordant with that of previous reports highlighting the high level of GI problems and disordered eating in women with EDS. In addition, and for the first-time, the association between both is evidenced in this specific population.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalEating and weight disorders : EWD
Early online date13 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2021


  • BMI
  • Disordered eating
  • Ehlers–Danlos syndrome
  • Food allergies
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Joint hypermobility
  • Ehlers&#8211
  • Danlos syndrome


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