3. Gastrointestinal Physiology in Obesity

  1. Ali A. El Solh MD, MPH2,3,4
  1. Alexander D. Miras MRCP, BSc and
  2. Carel W. le Roux MBChB, MSc, MRCP, MRCPath, PhD

Published Online: 19 APR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781119962083.ch3

Critical Care Management of the Obese Patient

Critical Care Management of the Obese Patient

How to Cite

Miras, A. D. and le Roux, C. W. (2012) Gastrointestinal Physiology in Obesity, in Critical Care Management of the Obese Patient (ed A. A. El Solh), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119962083.ch3

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, USA

  2. 3

    Critical Care Western New York Healthcare System, USA

  3. 4

    Western New York Respiratory Research Center Buffalo, NY, USA

Author Information

  1. Imperial Weight Centre, Imperial College London, London, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 APR 2012
  2. Published Print: 16 APR 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470655900

Online ISBN: 9781119962083



  • Obesity;
  • Gastrointestinal pathology;
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease;
  • Gallstones;
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease;
  • Pancreatitis;
  • Colonic carcinoma;
  • Gut bacteria;
  • Weight loss;
  • Obesity surgery


Obesity is associated with a higher risk of developing a number of gastrointestinal conditions ranging from relatively benign gastroesophageal reflux disease and asymptomatic gallstones to cancers of all major gastrointestinal tract organs. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is very common in the context of obesity and can lead to liver cirrhosis, while obese patients are more susceptible to the development of severe pancreatitis. Disturbed balance of the gut flora can lead to a higher energy yield from ingested diet and contribute to obesity, whilst manipulation of this altered ecology may prove to be a future treatment for obesity. There is a need for high-quality research to elucidate the pathophysiology of obesity and gastrointestinal disease before novel therapies can be developed for both.