Retrograde Cricopharyngeus Dysfunction Often Not Discussed With PCPs

Embarrassment, anxiety/depression, negative impact on relationships, work disruption seen in association with R-CPD
Retrograde Cricopharyngeus Dysfunction Often Not Discussed With PCPs
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 20, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with retrograde cricopharyngeus dysfunction (R-CPD), which refers to the cricopharyngeal muscle's inability to relax to allow the retrograde passage of gas, often do not discuss their symptoms with their primary care provider (PCP), despite the negative impact on personal and professional relationships, according to a study published online Dec. 20 in Neurogastroenterology & Motility.

Jason N. Chen, from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, and colleagues characterized R-CPD and how the inability to burp affects the social lives of people who suffer from it. Adults experiencing R-CPD symptoms were invited to report their experiences with R-CPD and its impact on social life on a 4-point Likert scale.

One-hundred ninety-nine respondents were included, with a mean age of 30.9 years (74 percent female; 25 percent male). The researchers found that 99, 98, 93, and 89 percent reported the inability to burp, abdominal bloating, socially awkward gurgling noises, and excessive flatulence, respectively; 55 percent reported difficulty vomiting. Half of the participants reported discussing symptoms with their PCP; about 90 percent disagreed that their PCP understood how to help them feel better. Embarrassment, anxiety/depression, negative impact on relationships, and work disruption due to R-CPD were indicated by the average Likert scores (3.4, 3.1, 2.6, and 2.7, respectively).

"Acquiring deeper insights into the reasons why patients have not broached the topic of their inability to belch with their primary care providers could help elucidate and extrapolate patients' perceptions regarding their relationships with PCP," the authors write.

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