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Functional gastrointestinal disorders are the most common problem in gastroenterological practice. They are defined by chronic abdominal symptom complexes that occur in the absence of underlying structural abnormalities. The pathogenesis of these disorders is heterogeneous and involves behavioral, infective, and inflammatory components. Common symptoms are abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and bloating. Mechanisms underlying these symptoms include alterations in gastrointestinal motility, visceral perception, altered epithelial function, and disturbances in fermentation activity by gut commensal bacteria.
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