By: Lewis First, MD, MS; Editor-in-Chief
If you read our journal or others, you are bound to run into a variety of studies trying to identify the best therapeutic approach to functional abdominal pain. Ideally the goal is to avoid prescription pharmacologic intervention and focus on non-pharmacologic strategies like changes in diet, lifestyle, cognitive behavioral therapy, pre- and probiotics, or alternative or integrative medical approaches.
So what works best? Rutten et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2014-2123) have performed a systematic review of this topic that we are releasing this week online identifying all randomized controlled trials done in children with functional abdominal pain. While the quality of evidence was “very low-moderate” overall, the authors did find some studies showing efficacy of some of the modalities mentioned above and a few others not yet mentioned in this blog.
Given how common this problem is with our patients, reading this review article should not hurt at all and may result in trying some options you have not tried before, and giving up on others where the evidence is poor. What have you found to be successful in treating your patients with functional abdominal pain? We’d love to hear your solutions to this problem and “what works” by responding to this blog, sending us an e-letter, or commenting on our Facebook or Twitter sites.