Irritable bowel syndrome and mental pathology

The link between functional disorders of gastrointestinal tract of IBS patients with mental pathology was already determined in the beginning of XX century. It was established that abdominal attack-like pains accompanied by diarrhea were connected with pathological fears, social phobia, anxiety and excessive excitement.

Quite a lot of studies have confirmed irritable bowel syndrome to be a complicated psychosomatic complex of symptoms that covers both structural derangements of the colon and psychopathological disorders. According to various scholars, 70-90 % of IBS patients have some mental disorders. Moreover, in more than half of these cases gastrointestinal disorders occurred and developed against the background of already present mental pathology. On the other hand, more than 50 % of patients with irritable bowel syndrome have their gastrointestinal and psychopathological symptoms aggravated in stressful situations.

In case of IBS patients with mental pathology there is prevalence of the neurotic (anxious) and affective (depressive) disorders with expressed algic and vegetative derangements (weakness, excessive fatigability, nervousness, dizziness, headaches, tremor, pains in the back, sleeping disorders).

As a matter of fact, patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome differ according to clinical presentations (both psychopathological and those connected with disorders of gastrointestinal functioning) and dynamics of the disease.

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