Medically reviewed by Onikepe Adegbola, MD, PhD
Researchers from the Sheikh Russel National Gastroliver Institute and Hospital, the Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, and other medical centers located in Bangladesh collaborated on a case-controlled prospective trial to determine the prevalence and development of gastrointestinal (GI) functional disease after COVID-19 infection.
Previous research suggests that functional GI issues can emerge following an acute infectious gastroenteritis illness. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and chronic bowel dysfunction are examples of functional GI diseases (CBD). COVID-19 may thus contribute to the development of GI functional problems due to its considerable influence on the GI tract.
This prospective study, “Post-infection functional gastrointestinal disorders follow coronavirus disease-19: A case-control study,” was published in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in October 2021.
Researchers compiled the data from 280 COVID-19 patients who have recovered and compared their health information with 264 healthy individuals. The main GI conditions that the researchers analyzed were the development of IBS, chronic bowel dysfunction, and dyspeptic symptoms.
After analyzing follow-up gastrointestinal symptoms and conditions after one month and three months after COVID-19 infection, there was a significant increase in symptoms in up to 9% of patients post-COVID-19. Only two individuals in the healthy group developed a GI functional disorder.
This study concluded that COVID-19 increased the risk of functional GI disorders post-recovery. However, this is the first study of its kind, and more research needs to be conducted to solidify the findings of this study. This development can impact the physical health of individuals post-COVID; it can also impact psychological, economic, and social factors.
Ghoshal, U. C., Ghoshal, U., Rahman, M. M., Mathur, A., Rai, S., Akhter, M., Mostafa, T., Islam, M. S., Haque, S. A., Pandey, A., Kibria, M. G., & Ahmed, F. (2021). Post‐infection functional gastrointestinal disorders following coronavirus disease‐19: A case-control study. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 37(3), 489–498. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgh.15717