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What causes functional abdominal pain in adults and kids who have recurrent abdominal pain (RAP)?

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RAP is if you have at least 3 stomachaches over 3 months, and they’re severe enough to keep you from doing everyday activities. They can be caused by clear medical problems, such as heartburn or anxiety. But many adults and kids have RAP without an obvious cause. Then, it’s called functional abdominal pain. Doctors don’t know what causes it, but things like stress, personality, and genes may play a role. Another idea is that the nerves in the digestive tract are more sensitive than they are for most people.

SOURCES:

University of Michigan: “Abdominal Pain and Recurrent or Functional Abdominal Pain (RAP or FAP.)”

Mayo Clinic: “Abdominal Pain,” “Colonoscopy.”

Merck Manual: “Chronic and Recurring Abdominal Pain.”

Current Psychiatry: “8 steps to manage recurrent abdominal pain.”

NHS: “Stomach ache and abdominal pain.”

About Kids Health/The Hospital for Sick Children: “Recurrent Abdominal Pain.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on June 30, 2019

SOURCES:

University of Michigan: “Abdominal Pain and Recurrent or Functional Abdominal Pain (RAP or FAP.)”

Mayo Clinic: “Abdominal Pain,” “Colonoscopy.”

Merck Manual: “Chronic and Recurring Abdominal Pain.”

Current Psychiatry: “8 steps to manage recurrent abdominal pain.”

NHS: “Stomach ache and abdominal pain.”

About Kids Health/The Hospital for Sick Children: “Recurrent Abdominal Pain.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on June 30, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

What are symptoms of recurrent abdominal pain (RAP)?

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