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What is enhanced visceral nociception in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

William B. Salt II., MD
Gastroenterology
Research has conclusively shown that patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have enhanced sensation and perception of what is happening in their digestive tract. They can feel things in their throat, chest, abdomen and rectum that other people cannot feel. What they feel can be uncomfortable and even painful. Doctors call this enhanced visceral nociception. Another way of looking at this is that the internal pain threshold for patients with IBS and other functional gastrointestinal disorders is reduced. Even the sensation of normal peristaltic activity, movement and distention of the gut by food and gas may be experienced as uncomfortable.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the MindBodySpirit Connection: 7 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functional Bowel Disorder, Crohn's Disease, or Colitis (Mind-Body-Spirit Connection Series.)

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the MindBodySpirit Connection: 7 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functional Bowel Disorder, Crohn's Disease, or Colitis (Mind-Body-Spirit Connection Series.)

Fast Facts on IBS: One in five people suffers from the frustrating symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). There is no simple answer--no pill, potion, or quick fix--that will cure IBS. But help...

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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.