Functional abdominal pain

Madhusudan Grover, Douglas A. Drossman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Functional abdominal pain syndrome (FAPS) is a relatively less common functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder defined by the presence of constant or frequently recurring abdominal pain that is not associated with eating, change in bowel habits, or menstrual periods (Drossman Gastroenterology 130:1377-1390, 2006), which points to a more centrally targeted (spinal and supraspinal) basis for the symptoms. However, FAPS is frequently confused with irritable bowel syndrome and other functional GI disorders in which abdominal pain is associated with eating and bowel movements. FAPS also differs from chronic abdominal pain associated with entities such as chronic pancreatitis or chronic inflammatory bowel disease, in which the pain is associated with peripherally acting factors (eg, gut inflammation or injury). Given the central contribution to the pain experience, concomitant psychosocial disturbances are common and strongly influence the clinical expression of FAPS, which also by definition is associated with loss of daily functioning. These factors make it critical to use a biopsychosocial construct to understand and manage FAPS, because gut-directed treatments are usually not successful in managing this condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-398
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent gastroenterology reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010


  • Biopsychosocial
  • Chronic abdominal pain
  • Complementary therapy
  • Functional abdominal pain syndrome
  • Functional gastrointestinal disorders
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Psychological treatments
  • Psychotropic agents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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