Recollection of childhood events in adults with irritable bowel syndrome.
We examined retrospectively premorbid factors that might relate to the development of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). We administered a semistructural interview to adult IBS patients, adults with symptoms of IBS who had not visited a doctor (nonpatients), and asymptomatic normals. Patients with IBS differed from nonpatients by reporting more severe bowel problems, more frequent doctor visits in childhood, and more pain associated with current bowel symptoms. These factors may contribute to the tendency of people with bowel symptoms to seek medical care. More patients, and in most cases nonpatients with IBS, reported poorer general health and headaches, stomachaches, and bowel complaints during childhood. They also showed evidence for greater parental attention to illness with more frequent school absences and doctor visits than normal subjects. Loss and separation during childhood, and in the current family, and conflicted or dependent maternal relationships were also more frequently reported among patients and nonpatients. These factors may contribute to the development of IBS.
Lowman, BC; Drossman, DA; Cramer, EM; McKee, DC
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