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Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Jun;4(3):293-304. doi: 10.1586/egh.10.28.

Management of functional abdominal pain and irritable bowel syndrome in children and adolescents.

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Center for Motility and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, Children's Hospital Boston, 300 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02155, USA.


Functional abdominal pain (FAP) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are among the most commonly diagnosed medical problems in pediatrics. Symptom-based Rome III criteria for FAP and IBS have been validated and help the clinician in making a positive diagnosis. The majority of patients with mild complaints improve with reassurance and time. For a distinct subset of patients with more severe and disabling illness, finding effective treatment for these disorders remains a challenge. Over the years, a wide range of therapies have been proposed and studied. The lack of a single, proven intervention highlights the complex interplay of biopsychosocial factors probably involved in the development of childhood FAP and IBS, and the need for a multidisciplinary, integrated approach. This article reviews the current literature on the efficacy of pharmacologic, dietary and psychosocial interventions for FAP and IBS in children and adolescents.

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