The prevalence of disorders of the gut-brain axis in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients with metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease: an observational study

T. Van Nieuwenhove, G. Rasschaert, A. Kharagjitsingh, B. Keymeulen, H. Reynaert, S. Kindt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and study aim: Disorders of the gut-brain axis (DGBI) and metabolic dysfunction-associated liver disease (MAFLD) are frequently diagnosed and exhibit pathophysiological similarities. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of DGBI in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients with MAFLD. Patients and methods: In this single center, observational study, in adults with T2DM demographics, diabetes-related parameters and liver tests were recorded. MAFLD was defined by the presence of hepatic steatosis on imaging. Functional dyspepsia (FD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) were diagnosed based on Rome IV criteria. Quality of life (QOL), anxiety levels and depression levels were documented by validated questionnaires. Results: We included 77 patients, 44 with and 33 without steatosis. There were no significant differences in age, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, HbA1c levels or metformin use between groups. IBS was significantly more prevalent in the liver steatosis group (9/44 vs. 2/33, p = .037), while a similar trend was observed for FD (9/35 vs. 2/31, p = .103). No differences were found in anxiety, depression and overall QOL. However, QOL subscales for health worry, food avoidance and social reaction were significantly higher in the liver steatosis group. Conclusions: In otherwise comparable T2DM patients, DGBI, and especially IBS, are more prevalent in the presence of MAFLD. This difference could not be attributed to increased levels of anxiety or depression. Future research should target the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. (Acta gastroenterol. belg., 2021, 84, 541-547).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-547
Number of pages7
JournalActa Gastro-Enterol Belg
Volume84
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Keywords

  • metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • type 2 diabetes
  • disorders of the gut-brain axis

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