The prevalence of symptoms suggestive of a motility disturbance similar to the irritable bowel syndrome was investigated in 98 patients with ulcerative colitis in remission, and a similar number of age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Thirty-three per cent of patients compared with 7% of controls fulfilled the criteria for such a syndrome (p<0·01). Contrary to expectations these symptoms were not confined to patients with distal disease. Other symptoms such as constipation were also very common in the colitic group (31%).
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