This Blog Covers:
- According to a study by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, gastrointestinal disorders may be linked to psychological dysfunctions.
- This finding indicated a malfunction in the communication between the brain and bowels may be present in those with chronic abdominal pain.
- The spine and pain management specialists at American Spine explain results from this study and why chronic abdominal pain may be linked to psychological dysfunctions.
It’s said one in five individuals in the U.S. suffers from gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, diarrhea, poor digestion, or irritable bowel syndrome. For some of these cases, there is no identifiable cause and patients are usually told to implement strict dietary restrictions to reduce discomfort. A research team from Graz, Austria, looked into these situations and found chronic, inflammatory abdominal pain may be linked to the brain’s inability to communicate proper bowel function in the intestines and colon.
Additionally, the researchers found chronic abdominal conditions such as colitis could lead to increased pain sensitivity, which could then lead to dysfunctions in social behavior such as withdrawal, anxiety, and depression. According to the lead author of the study, Peter Holzer, behavioral changes from conditions like colitis often take place in the limbic system and connected regions of the cortex in the brain.
This understanding, and additional findings made during the research study, demonstrates the impact the brain has on bowel function. The researchers were also able to determine there are very pain-sensitive nerve fibers in the gastrointestinal tract that may be causing some to experience chronic abdominal pain over others. With more research, scientists may be able to develop new forms of treatment for those with chronic abdominal pain.
If you’re suffering from chronic abdominal pain, it’s important to seek coordinated care from a pain management specialist, like the ones at American Spine, and a gastrointestinal physician. Because this type of pain may be caused by a number of syndromes or ailments, it’s important to talk to both experts about ways to reduce pain through diet, exercise, and pain management.
Call American Spine today to talk to your physician about chronic abdominal pain, or spine pain that may be the result of a gastrointestinal issue. Some digestive disorders can cause referred pain in the low back, so it’s best to get your symptoms checked out!
At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246).
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.