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Functional abdominal pain in adolescents: case-based management


Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs), including functional abdominal pain (FAP), account for a large portion of conditions seen by paediatric gastroenterologists. Despite the commonality of FGIDs, there remains significant stigma around these diagnoses among medical providers, patients and families. This is due to the absence of easily identifiable biological markers in FGIDs and the overlay with psychological and social factors contributing to symptom onset and maintenance. As such, the biopsychosocial model is essential in conceptualising, evaluating and treating FGIDs. The way in which medical providers explain FGIDs and the manner in which they collaborate with other specialists (eg, psychologists, dieticians, physical therapists, school nurses) is paramount to the patient and family acceptance of an FGID diagnosis and the success of subsequent treatment. The following review outlines paediatric FGIDs with a focus on FAP in adolescents, in particular within the context of the biopsychosocial approach to pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment.

  • functional bowel disorder
  • psychological stress
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • abdominal pain
  • functional dyspepsia

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