Functional GI Disorders

Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) are common disorders that are characterized by persistent and recurring GI symptoms. These occur as a result of abnormal functioning of the GI tract. They are not caused by structural (tumors or masses) or biochemical abnormalities. There are three primary features of FGIDs -- motility, sensation, and brain-gut dysfunction.

Motility is the muscular activity of the GI tract, which is essentially a hollow, muscular tube. Normal motility (e.g., peristalsis) is an orderly sequence of muscular contractions from top to bottom. In FGIDs, the motility is abnormal. There can be muscular spasms that cause pain and the contractions can be very rapid, very slow or disorganized.

Sensation is how the nerves of the GI tract respond to stimuli (e.g., digesting a meal). In functional GI disorders, the nerves are sometimes so sensitive that even normal contractions can bring on pain or discomfort.

 Brain-gut dysfunction is the disharmony in the way that the brain and GI system communicate. With FGIDs, the regulatory conduit between brain and gut function may be impaired.

  • Classification
  • Epidemiology
  • bowel disorders
  • Gastroduodenal disorders

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