Background & aims: Patients with functional dyspepsia are believed to have increased sensitivity of the gastrointestinal tract, and some also have functional constipation. We investigated whether in patients with functional dyspepsia, correction of dyssynergic defecation can reduce postprandial fullness.
Methods: We performed a parallel trial at 2 referral centers in Spain, from June 2016 through January 2018 of 50 patients who fulfilled the Rome IV criteria for functional dyspepsia with postprandial distress syndrome and functional constipation and dyssynergic defecation. After a 2-week pretreatment phase, the patients were randomly assigned to groups that learned to correct dyssynergic defecation (2-3 sessions of biofeedback combined with instructions for daily exercise; n = 25) or received dietary fiber supplementation (3.5 g plantago ovata per day; n = 25) for 4 weeks. The primary outcome was change in postprandial abdominal fullness, measured daily on a scale of 0-10, during the last 7 days treatment phase vs the last 7 days of the pretreatment phase. Anal gas evacuations were measured (by an event marker) during the last 2 days of the pretreatment vs treatment phases.
Results: Biofeedback treatment corrected dyssynergic defecation in 19/25 patients; corrected dyssynergic defection reduced postprandial fullness by 22%±1% in these patients (P < .001), and reduced the number of anal evacuations by 21%±8% (P = .009). Fiber supplementation did not reduce postprandial fullness or anal evacuations (P ≤ .023 between groups for both parameters in the intent to treat analysis).
Conclusions: Diagnosis and correction of dyssynergic defecation reduces dyspeptic symptoms by more than 20% in patients with functional dyspepsia and associated constipation. Dietary fiber supplementation does not reduce symptoms in these patients. ClinicalTrials.gov no: NCT02956187.