Gastrointestinal symptoms are common in patients with myotonic dystrophy. About a quarter of the patients consider gastrointestinal symptoms to be the most disabling of all myotonic dystrophy-related problems. The whole digestive tract may be involved.

Symptoms of the digestive tract may include:

• Dysphagia which can be associated with coughing (especially during eating/drinking), regurgitation, and heartburn. Dysphagia may lead to aspiration and pneumonia
• Nausea, early satiety
• Abdominal pain
• Constipation, diarrhea
• Fecal incontinence

Different additional investigations may be needed to examine your complaints. Based on the results, your doctor may give you advices, refer you to a dietician, speech and swallow therapist, or prescribe medication.

If you experience gastrointestinal complaints, discuss these with your treating physician.

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