It has long been known that stress affects both the stomach and colon, as shown by the very high prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms among patients with psychiatric illness. The source may be limbic or peripheral, involving encoded memories or physiological changes. It is important to realise that physical symptoms such as those of functional dyspepsia do not only mean that the patient has a stomach disorder which needs to be identified and treated with specific pharmacological remedies, they often represent, in metaphorical and symbolic form, a state of disharmony brought about a specific psychosocial situation. It is only when that situation is understood and acknowledged that the patient can begin to get better.
- irritable bowel syndrome
- functional dyspepsia
- food allergy
- CCK, cholecystokinin
- IBS, irritable bowel syndrome
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