Intestinal & extraintestinal symptoms in functional gastrointestinal disorders

Functional gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel

syndrome or functional dyspepsia have traditionally been

regarded as syndromes limited to the digestive system.

However, both clinical experience and published evidence show

that patients with such disorders also report a series of

other symptoms of physical distress, such as fibromyalgia and

irritable bladder and alterations in vital functions, such as

sleep, libido, appetite and energy level. Some of these

extraintestinal symptoms can be explained in the context of an

evolving comprehensive disease model which views functional

gastrointestinal disorders as manifestations of alterations in

the interactions between the nervous system, the viscera and

the musculoskeletal system. Alterations in central circuits

concerned with arousal, attention and fear, cognitions about

bodily symptoms and possible alterations in the hypothalamic

pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis may all contribute to the wide

range of symptoms reported by affected patients.

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