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Papers of the Week

Papers: 12 Aug 2023 - 18 Aug 2023

Pediatric, Psychology

Human Studies, Neurobiology

Abdominal/Pelvic Pain, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 Aug 11

Acta Paediatr


Stress and recurrent abdominal pain.


Alfvén G, Andersson E


We discuss the aetiology of recurrent abdominal pain of non-organic origin, according to the Rome Criteria for Functional Gastro-intestinal Disorders and a psychogenic hypothesis. Stress activates the brain-gut-axis, which is important for local gut symptoms such as abdominal pain, but it also causes pain in other areas, including the head, back and chest. Our research has indicated that the startle reflex plays a dominant role in this stress-induced pain pattern, which is manifested in the whole body. CONCLUSION: Localised abdominal pain can be part of a general negative stress reaction that causes multiple pains in other areas of the body.