When is irritable bowel syndrome not irritable bowel syndrome? diagnosis and treatment of chronic functional abdominal pain

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Functional abdominal pain syndrome (FAPS) is a distinct chronic gastrointestinal (GI) pain disorder characterized by the presence of constant or frequently recurring abdominal pain that is not associated with eating, change in bowel habits, or menstrual periods. The pain experience in FAPS is predominantly centrally driven as compared to other chronic painful GI conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and chronic pancreatitis where peripherally acting factors play a major role in driving the pain. Psychosocial factors are often integrally associated with the disorder and can pose significant challenges to evaluation and treatment. Patients suffer from considerable loss of function, which can drive health care utilization. Treatment options are limited at best with most therapeutic regimens extrapolated from pain management of other functional GI disorders and chronic pain conditions. A comprehensive approach to management using a biopsychosocial construct and collaboration with pain specialists and psychiatry is most beneficial to the management of this disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-296
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent gastroenterology reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012



  • Brain-gut axis
  • Chronic functional abdominal pain
  • Functional abdominal pain syndrome
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Psychotropics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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