European guideline on obesity care in patients with gastrointestinal and liver diseases

30/11/2023

Patients with chronic gastrointestinal (GI) disease such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), celiac disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), pancreatitis, and chronic liver disease (CLD) often suffer from obesity because of coincidence (IBD, IBS, celiac disease) or related pathophysiology (GERD, pancreatitis and CLD). It is unclear if such patients need a particular diagnostic and treatment that differs from the needs of lean GI patients. The present guideline addresses this question according to current knowledge and evidence.

Objective

The objective of the guideline is to give advice to all professionals working in the field of gastroenterology care including physicians, surgeons, dietitians and others how to handle patients with GI disease and obesity.

Methods

The present guideline was developed according to the standard operating procedure for ESPEN guidelines, following the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) grading system (A, B, 0, and good practice point (GPP)). The procedure included an online voting (Delphi) and a final consensus conference.

Results

In 100 recommendations (3x A, 33x B, 24x 0, 40x GPP, all with a consensus grade of 90% or more) care of GI patients with obesity e including sarcopenic obesity e is addressed in a multidisciplinary way. A particular emphasis is on CLD, especially fatty liver disease, since such diseases are closely related to obesity, whereas liver cirrhosis is rather associated with sarcopenic obesity. A special chapter is dedicated to obesity care in patients undergoing bariatric surgery. The guideline focuses on adults, not on children, for whom data are scarce. Whether some of the recommendations apply to children must be left to the judgment of the experienced pediatrician.

Conclusion

The present guideline offers for the first time evidence-based advice how to care for patients with chronic GI diseases and concomitant obesity, an increasingly frequent constellation in clinical practice.

Published in the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism.

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