Women with fibromyalgia and chronic widespread pain are more likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) compared with patients with two stomach conditions (achalasia and dyspepsia), according to a new study. The study also showed a link between the severity of PTSD and the severity of pain among these patients. Women with fibromyalgia also reported more cases of childhood adversities compared with patients with one of the stomach conditions, but the link between these childhood events and the severity of pain could be explained by the presence of PTSD, researchers at the University Hospitals Leuven and KU Leuven said. Therefore, doctors should look into whether patients being examined for fibromyalgia have PTSD, since management of symptoms could impact the severity of pain and general functioning. The study, “Prevalence and impact of childhood adversities and post-traumatic stress disorder in women with fibromyalgia and chronic widespread pain,” was published in the European Journal of Pain. Several earlier studies have noted that patients with fibromyalgia and chronic widespread pain more often report emotionally or physically traumatic events during childhood compared with patients who have other chronic illnesses. However, few of these studies examined if these events were linked to PTSD. To do so, researchers enrolled 154 women with fibromyalgia or chronic widespread pain. In addition, 83 women with functional dyspepsia — a chronic condition of sensation and movement in the upper digestive tract — and 53 women with achalasia were enrolled. Achalasia is a condition in which the esophagus fails to press food down, and the valve linking to the stomach doesn’t fully relax, which makes it difficult for food to enter the stomach.