Chronic functional abdominal pain

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Chronic functional abdominal pain

Chronic functional abdominal pain (CFAP) or functional abdominal pain syndrome (FAPS)[1] is the ongoing presence of abdominal pain for which there is no known medical explanation, and has the potential to interfere with all aspects of daily functioning.[2] It is quite similar to, but less common than, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and many of the same treatments for IBS can also be of benefit to those with CFAP. The fundamental difference between IBS and CFAP is that in CFAP, unlike in IBS, there is no change in bowel habits such as constipation or diarrhea. Bowel dysfunction is a necessary diagnostic criterion of IBS.

CFAP is characterized by chronic pain, with no physical explanation or findings (no structural, infectious, or mechanical causes can be found), although the pain may originate in the viscera, fascial layers, muscles, or peripheral nerves.[2] It is theorized that CFAP is a disorder of the nervous system where normal nociceptive nerve impulses are amplified "like a stereo system turned up too loud" resulting in pain. This visceral hypersensitivity may be a stand-alone cause of CFAP, or CFAP may result from the same type of brain-gut nervous system disorder that underlies IBS. As with IBS, low doses of antidepressants have been found useful in controlling the pain of CFAP.[3]


  1. ^ Clouse, RE; Mayer, EA; Aziz, Q; Drossman, DA; et al. (2006). "Functional abdominal pain syndrome". Gastroenterology. 130 (5): 1492–7. doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2005.11.062. PMID 16678562. S2CID 41944746.
  2. ^ a b Chernishof, Vasili; Wong, Jocelyn; Kim, Eugene (2021-02-05). "Ilioinguinal/Iliohypogastric Pulsed Radiofrequency for the Treatment of Pediatric Chronic Abdominal Pain: A Case Report". A&A Practice. 15 (2): e01393. doi:10.1213/XAA.0000000000001393. ISSN 2575-3126. PMID 33560645. S2CID 231873121.
  3. ^ Drossman, DA (2013). "Functional abdominal pain syndrome". Milwaukee, WI: International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. Archived from the original on April 15, 2012.

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