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The overlap of gastroesophageal reflux disease and functional constipation in children: the efficacy of constipation treatment

Baran, Masallaha; Cagan Appak, Yelizd; Karakoyun, Mirayd; Yalcinkaya, Sevdab; Eliacik, Kayie; Dundar, Bumin N.c

European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology: November 2017 - Volume 29 - Issue 11 - p 1264–1268
doi: 10.1097/MEG.0000000000000979
Original Articles: Gastro-esophageal Disorders

Objectives This study was designed to investigate the frequency of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in children with functional constipation (FC). It was structured to assess the improvement level in reflux symptoms by measuring the acid reflux in these patients after they had received FC treatment.

Methods Ninety-four children who suffered from constipation were evaluated prospectively. Data forms were completed to assess the GERD symptoms in all the cases. Twenty-four-hour pH meter monitoring was performed in 55 of the patients with GERD symptoms. The cases with abnormal acid reflux were treated by conventional therapy for FC. These cases were re-evaluated for GERD symptoms and weekly defecation frequency, and 24-h pH meter monitoring was performed at the end of a 3-month period.

Results An abnormal level of acid reflux was determined in 23 of the 55 cases. After the constipation treatment, a significant improvement was achieved in the acid reflux index and GERD symptoms, whereas the weekly defecation frequency increased.

Conclusion GERD is a frequent problem in children with FC. Treatment of the constipation can improve the reflux symptoms and abnormal acid reflux in these cases. Physicians should bear in mind the co-occurrence of these two prevalent problems for better disease management.

aDepartment of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

bDepartment of Motility Laboratory

cDepartment of Pediatria, School of Medicine, Izmir Katip Celebi University

dDepartment of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

eDepartment of Pediatria, Tepecik Training and Research Hospital, Izmir, Turkey

Correspondence to Masallah Baran, Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, School of Medicine, Izmir Katip Celebi University, 35620 Izmir, Turkey Tel: +90 232 325 0535; fax: +90 232 325 4042; e-mail:

Received June 18, 2017

Accepted August 11, 2017

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