FGIDs is short for functional gastrointestinal disorders which is a classification of common disorders that affect the gastrointestinal tract or other wise known as a GI tract. The disorder can either be persistent, meaning the symptoms are always present. Or they can be recurring which means they come and go from time to time.
The distinguishing factor of a functional gastrointestinal disorder is its cause. The disorder is not because of the presence of any structural tumors or masses in the GI tract nor is it caused by any biochemical abnormality. FGIDs are due to an abnormally functioning gastrointestinal tract, despite the absence of any obvious causes.
How Is It Diagnosed?
It is estimated that over 1 in every 4 Americans has some form of functional GI disorder. However, diagnosing the disorder is very complicated as the usual medical tests like endoscopy, x-ray, CT scans, and blood test will show a negative result.
The best way to determine if a patient indeed does have a functioning GI disorder is if they have clear symptoms, despite the absence of a positive test result. Thankfully, more and more research is focused on this particular classification GI disorder to help patients and doctors understand this particular health concern.
What Are The Features Of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders?
There are three primary features that are linked to the disorder. These are classified as motility, sensation, and the brain-gut dysfunction.
Motility is described as the muscular activity of the gastrointestinal tract. A normal GI’s motility is observed to have an order to its muscular contractions starting from the top to the bottom. People with the disorder tend to have abnormal motility. Spasms in the GI tract are common and are also very painful. When the contractions are very fast, this causes diarrhe while slow contractions cause constipation.
Sensation is monitored by how the nerves located on the GI tract respond when stimulated. In some patients, the nerves are so sensitive that contractions experienced when digesting food results in severe pain.
Brain-Gut Dysfunction happens when the GI tract and the brain cannot communicate properly. Since there is a lack of proper communication, pain and difficulty in bowel movements can occur which can escalate during times of stress.
The Most Common Types Of The Disorder
So far there are already 26 different types of functional GI disorders that have been identified by the medical community. There are so many because there are different parts of the GI tract worth considering when identifying types of disorders.
However, the most commonly identified disorder is IBS or irritable bowel syndrome which leads to unpredictable bowel consistency as well as abdominal pain that is usually relieved after a bowel movement. Another commonly diagnosed disorder is the functional dyspepsia that is known to have ulcer-like symptoms that are accompanied by feelings of indigestion as well as nausea very soon after a meal.
Get Diagnosed Soon
Dealing with a functional GI disorder can be stressful when you cannot get a proper diagnosis. However, if you suspect you have the disorder, be persistent with your physician until they can look up the different symptoms of the disorder for a proper and accurate medical diagnosis.
There’s a ton of considerations when diagnosing and treating FGIDs. Public education and proper training of experts can help push for better protocols to help patients.