A short explanation of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders.

Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) cause distress to infants and parents and lead to a cascade of infant and parental discomfort, repetitive consultations with health care providers, frequent changes in milk formula and other costly non-pharmacological treatments. Doctors often recommend medications without proven efficacy, which possibly induce adverse reactions. Furthermore, parents seek help from family members, friends, and social media exchanges, which are often inappropriate.

At birth, the microbiota, nervous and immune systems in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract exist in the immature state. Generally, FGIDs are categorized into 7 different groups: infant regurgitation, infant colic, functional constipation, functional diarrhoea, cyclic vomiting syndrome, infant dyschezia, and infant rumination syndrome. The diagnosis of a functional disorder virtually eliminates the organic disease as a cause of the symptoms, and is, in principle, a diagnosis made by the elimination of the organic disease.

From birth to six months of age, approximately one infant out of 2 develops at least one FGID or related signs and symptoms. Regurgitation, infantile colic, and functional constipation are the most common FGIDs in infancy. Functional diarrhoea, dyschezia, rumination syndrome, and cyclic vomiting syndrome occur less frequently. Over 50% of the infants present with more than one FGID.

Article courtesy of US National library of Medicine