Intractable Abdominal Pain

Also known as: functional abdominal pain.

What is intractable abdominal pain?

Intractable abdominal pain is abdominal pain that arises in the absence of a structural blockage or inflammation in the intestinal tract, and which bears no or only occasional relationship to bodily processes such as eating, stooling, or menstrual periods. Pain can vary in both frequency and severity.

What causes intractable abdominal pain? 

The cause of intractable abdominal pain is often difficult to determine. Nerve receptors in the abdomen that communicate with the brain are at the root of intractable abdominal pain. Infections, injuries, or traumatic life events that lead to stress (such as deaths of loved ones or divorces) seem to trigger intractable abdominal pain in some instances.

What are the symptoms of intractable abdominal pain? 

Along with the pain, diarrhea and constipation are common symptoms with intractable abdominal pain.

What are intractable abdominal pain care options? 

Different approaches may be utilized to benefit intractable abdominal pain, and several of these approaches may be used in a particular patient at the same time. Medications that target the pain pathways leaving the GI tract or which influence how the brain perceives painful stimuli may be helpful. Diet, psychological counselling, and stress reducing activities such as yoga may also be of benefit in decreasing intractable abdominal pain.  

Reviewed by: John M. Peters, DO

This page was last updated on: March 20, 2019 04:07 PM