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Am J Dis Child. 1985 Dec;139(12):1216-8.

The use of dietary fiber in the management of simple, childhood, idiopathic, recurrent, abdominal pain. Results in a prospective, double-blind, randomized, controlled trial.


Recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) affects 10% to 18% of school-age children and is caused by obvious organic pathology in fewer than 10% of cases. Two recent studies do not support previous beliefs that most RAP is psychogenic. Studies have shown disorders of bowel motility in children with RAP similar to those of adult irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); controlled trials of additional dietary fiber in adult IBS have shown beneficial results. We did a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in 52 children with RAP and demonstrated a clinically and statistically significant decrease in pain attacks (at least 50% fewer) in almost twice as many children who were given additional fiber as placebo. Compliance was excellent in both groups and side effects were few. Although the cause of RAP is poorly understood, it is hypothesized that the beneficial effect of added fiber is due to its effect on shortening transit time, as in IBS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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