by admin | March 13, 2019 6:08 am
Functional gastrointestinal disorders or FGIDs occurs when the GI tract malfunctions without any outside causes like a chemical imbalance or a growing tumor. What frustrates patients with this disorder is how difficult it can be to diagnose because signs and symptoms cannot be traced on x-rays, CT scans, and blood test. The pain that comes with a functioning GI disorder can often be severe and debilitating to some.
Identifying The Symptoms
Seeing the negative results on the typical lab tests is infuriating. It becomes a challenge when a patient is told that their pain is just “all in their head” due to the lack of positive results. Medical researchers have acknowledged the difficulty of diagnosing FGIDs and medical practitioners are told to take note of the symptoms instead of just relying on test results.
These are the most common types of functional gastrointestinal disorders and the signs and symptoms patients feel:
IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome – The most commonly diagnosed type of functional GI disorder is IBS. Patients will report mild to severe abdominal pain and a drastic change in their bowel movements such as constipation or diarrhea. IBS usually occurs when the patient is under extreme stress which disrupts their normal bowel movements.
Functional Dyspepsia – Pain located in the upper abdominal area that is accompanied by bloating and feeling nauseated after a meal might be because of functional dyspepsia.
Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome – Episodes of vomiting and nausea that can last anywhere from a few short hours up to a few days. A decrease in activity and appetite is common as well as dehydration. Other symptoms of cyclic vomiting syndrome include headache, fever, and abdominal pain. This is most common with children, but can also be experienced by adults.
Functional Constipation – This functional GI disorder is characterized by lack of regular bowel movements. Having three or fewer bowel movements in a week is very unhealthy and the first sign of constipation. Hard and lumpy stool, as well as incomplete evacuation, are also signs of functional constipation.
Functional Abdominal Pain – Another functional GI disorder that is commonly seen in children is functional abdominal pain. This disorder is characterized by the presence of blood in the stool, recurring fever, vomiting, and several episodes of diarrhea within the day.
Don’t Be Shy About Sharing Your Symptoms
It is fairly common to be dismissed after all of the medical tests show to be positive for any signs of a GI disorder. Most patients give up and try to adapt to the pain and discomfort of their functional GI disorder. Instead of backing down, stay persistent and talk to your physician about your symptoms. There is no need to live in pain when you are sure you have a disorder that is difficult to diagnose.
Make note of the different symptoms you feel and experience in detail so that you don’t forget. This way your doctor can compare your symptoms to the common symptoms associated with the different functional gastrointestinal disorders and provide the proper treatment you need.
Around 50 to 80 percent of people with FGIDs do not consult physicians. Better education might help improve these numbers.
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