Irritable bowel syndrome and neurotic disorders

In case of IBS patients suffering from neurotic disorders (anxious, somatoform, algic, vegetative) irritable bowel syndrome develops more favorably according to the clinical course of organic neurosises, for example, such as a cardioneurosis.

One of the peculiarities of such patients is that abdominal pains usually can’t be localized for sure. They tend to migrate and change their intensity and the area of irradiation. The character of pains is also labile – from burning to long-lasting, spastic or shooting pains. More than that, they are accompanied by the feeling of abdominal distension, frequent sudden urges to defecate with the subsequent feeling of uncompleted rectal expulsionin. Patients often link occurrence IBS symptoms with wrong diet, unhealthy lifestyle, change of the place of living, psychotraumatic circumstances.

In most cases the spectrum of pathological sensations also include headaches, heartaches, giddiness, unsteady step, faint, numbness of hands and feet. They are often combined with phobias and anxiety disorders. Exacerbations of pains and change of stool pattern take place in case of panic attacks (incidental spontaneous or situationally conditioned attacks of fear with heavy vegetative disorders). It often leads to protective behavior when the patient tries to refuse from public transport, go to the lavatory frequently right before going out, study locations of public lavatories that lies on the route, etc.

Another typical feature of irritable bowel syndrome developing together with organic neurosis is excessive attention of the patient to “pathological processes” that take place in the gastrointestinal tract. Dissatisfaction of negative results of treatment and state of one’s health results in attempts to diagnose oneself independently and to resort to self-treatment.

In case of long-lasting (about several years) treatment patients get used to cope with irritable bowel syndrome in stressful conditions and resort to the doctor only when symptoms are exacerbated. Even in case of persistent protective behavior most patients preserve social activity and working capacity.

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