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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 70-81

A review of functional gastrointestinal disorders: A primer for mental health professionals


1 Senior Resident, Department of Psychiatry, St. John's Medical College, St. John's National Academy of Health Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Intern Resident, Department of Psychiatry, JSS Medical College and Hospital, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysore, Karnataka, India
3 Junior Resident, Department of Psychiatry, JSS Medical College and Hospital, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysore, Karnataka, India
4 Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, JSS Medical College and Hospital, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysore, Karnataka, India
5 Professor, Department of Psychiatry, JSS Medical College and Hospital, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Suhas Chandran
Department of Psychiatry, St. John's Medical College, St. John's National Academy of Health Sciences, Sarjapur Road, Bengaluru - 560 034, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/AMH.AMH_25_18

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Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) are chronic, recurrent, frequently debilitating disorders with no identifiable underlying pathology. They occur due to a complex interplay between biological, psychological, and social factors and are some of the most common conditions encountered in general clinical practice as well as the specialist gastroenterological clinic. The top-down regulation of visceral sensations plays an important role in the pathophysiology of the disease, i.e., the central processing of emotions and stressors altering the sensory and motor components of the gut, which increases hypersensitivity and therefore symptom severity. In addition, the core personality traits of the individual play their part in the way symptoms are perceived, further providing proof for the long-prevailing belief that the gut and emotions are linked, the so-called “gut feeling.” The current diagnostic criteria for FGIDs are entirely based on subjective symptoms, challenging in itself due to the varied presentations, and further complicated by the current unavailability of objective laboratory tests which could confirm its presence in the symptomatic individual. The various treatment modalities include psychotherapies ranging from cognitive behavioral therapy to mindfulness, along with appropriate pharmacotherapy to treat physical and psychiatric comorbidities. Addressing all these underlying causes, in addition to weighing in the genetic makeup of the individual, is necessary for delineating accurate prognosis, reducing attending health-care costs, and improving overall outcome of the individual.


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