Individuals with diabetes mellitus (DM) are known to frequently experience gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. In contrast, the impact of cystic fibrosis-related diabetes (CFRD) on accentuating GI symptoms in people with cystic fibrosis (pwCF) is unknown. We sought to examine this.
Abdominal symptoms were measured using the validated CF-specific GI symptom questionnaire – CFAbd-Score© – as part of a multicentre cohort study in pancreatic insufficient adults with CF, not on cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) modulators. The CFAbd-Score total score (0-100pts), its 5 domains, alongside nine specific GI symptoms associated with DM, were compared between the CFRD and non-CFRD groups.
27 (31%) and 61 (69%) participants with CF were recruited in the CFRD and non-CFRD groups respectively. Total CFAbd-Score and the two domains: gastroesophageal reflux disease and disorders of appetite were significantly higher in the CFRD group compared to the non-CFRD group (p<0.05), with the mean total CFAbd-Score being 25.4 ± 2.5 and 18.4 ± 1.5 in the CFRD and non-CFRD groups respectively. Among the nine GI symptoms commonly reported as elevated in DM, bloating and nausea were significantly more common in individuals with CFRD compared to those without (p<0.05).
Individuals with CFRD overall, have a higher GI symptom burden, according to CFAbd-Scores. Specifically, they experience significantly more bloating and nausea. Close monitoring and further research is needed to better understand and manage GI symptoms in this group.

Copyright © 2023. Published by Elsevier B.V.