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What is Functional Abdominal Pain?

Is there is any relation between the negative emotions which we experience with a pathological pain in abdomen? According to medical science, there is one such condition similar to the notorious irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It is rare and is known as functional abdominal pain in the chronic form. There is no verified explanation for this pain in medical science.

The basic difference between this condition and IBS is that in the former state, the patient experiences no changes in the bowel habits like diarrhea or constipation. The treatment meant for IBS is also effective for this abdominal pain.

What Research Knows About Functional Abdominal Pain?

  • The pain experienced here is many folds by nature owing to the origin of the aching from more than one place in the brain.
  • When impulses from the abdomen travels through the nerves they reach the spinal cord. From their, these messages are sent to different parts of the brain associated with abdominal pain.
  • Along with the nerves belonging from location and intensity of the pain, nerves connected to memories and emotions also get involved in this condition.
  • The result is an increase in the perception of the pain due to bad experiences of life as well apart from bodily impairments.
  • It is believed that the condition is caused when the nociceptive nerves of the nervous system become hyper sensitive.
  • Presence of a protozoan blastocystis in the intestine and its ability to interact with the nervous system is also considered as a possible cause of this pain.
  • Usage of antidepressants in low dosage is found to provide relief from this chronic pain similar to the case in IBS.
  • A strong gut-nervous system nexus is believed by many researchers to the cause of this condition.
  • This belief is based on the observation that when peppermint oil capsules coated with enteric were given to the patients along with hypotherapy of the gut, there was reduction in the pain.

According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, functional abdominal pain treatment is effective only when the personal bond the doctor and the patient is strong enough to challenge the complications of this condition.

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