Generally considered to be 2 distinct disorders, functional dyspepsia (FD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) share many symptoms. In the November 2004 issue of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, F. Cremonini, MD, and N.J. Talley, MD, reviewed these disorders by defining features that they have in common and those that are unique to each.
Symptoms commonly reported by patients with both disorders include bloating, epigastric pain, indigestion, and vomiting. Both patient populations also experienced exaggerated motor response to meals, delayed gastric emptying, abnormal small bowel and colonic transit, and visceral hypersensitivity. Other studies showed that diagnoses may switch over time; 15% of patients who first present with dyspepsia may be classified as having IBS just 1 year later. The authors also identified numerous commonalities in the pathophysiology of each disease. They concluded that at least some subsets of FD and IBS patients might represent different manifestations of a single, broadspectrum condition, rather than 2 distinctly different abnormalities.