The International Journal of Romanian Society of Endocrinology / Registered in 1938

in ISI Thomson Master Journal List

Acta Endocrinologica(Bucharest) is live in PubMed Central

October - December 2019, Volume 15, Issue 4

Miron I, Dumitrascu DL

Gastrointestinal Motility Disorders in Obesity

Acta Endo (Buc) 2019, 15 (4): 497-504
doi: 10.4183/aeb.2019.497

The gastrointestinal (GI) motility, which is important for the digestion and absorption, may be altered in obesity. The aim of this review is to present the GI motility changes occurring in obesity, as well as their underlying mechanisms. We have conducted a systematic review of the published literature concerning GI motility and obesity and have described recent published data on the changes throughout the entire GI tract. Most recent discoveries include evidence supporting the increase of gastroesophageal reflux disease in obesity and inhibition of gastric motility. Intestinal transit of the distal small bowel generally slows down, ensuring enough time for digestion and absorption. Constipation is more frequent in obese patients than in those with a normal weight. The gut-brain axis plays an important role in the pathophysiology of GI motility disorders in obesity. This bidirectional communication is achieved by way of neurons, hormones, metabolites derived from intestinal microbiota and cytokines. The molecular mechanisms of GI motility changes in obesity are complex. Current data offer a starting point for further research needed to clarify the association of obesity with GI motility disorders.

Keywords: constipation, gastrointestinal motility, gastroparesis, GERD, obesity

Correspondence: Ionela Miron MD, “Iuliu Hatieganu” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 3rd Medical Clinic, Bacau, Romania, E-mail: