How are functional somatic syndromes linked to depression?

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William B. Salt II., MD
Gastroenterology

A recent medical review examining 244 studies confirms that there is a moderately strong association of depression and anxiety with functional somatic syndromes, including irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Another medical journal article written by Drs. A. Tylee and P. Gandhi reinforces the syndrome--depression link: “A holistic approach to recognition [of depression] is clearly necessary, and primary care physicians need to have a high index of suspicion for depression when faced with medically unexplained somatic symptoms, including general aches and pains and lack of energy.”

The core symptoms of functional somatic syndromes are chronic pain and discomfort associated with loss of vitality (fatigue, low energy, and sleep disturbance). These medically unexplained symptoms are also the most common symptoms of depression. Not only do the symptoms of functional somatic syndromes overlap with one another, they overlap and are associated with depression.

Still Hurting? FIND HEALTH! Discover What's Behind Your SYMPTOMS (That Doctors Can't Explain)

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Still Hurting? FIND HEALTH! Discover What's Behind Your SYMPTOMS (That Doctors Can't Explain)

Still Hurting? FIND HEALTH! presents a new model of disease, which empowers readers suffering with pain, symptoms (e.g., fatigue), and symptom syndromes (e.g., irritable bowel, fibromyalgia, chronic...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.