World Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 389–398 | Cite as

Non-pharmacological management of abdominal pain-related functional gastrointestinal disorders in children

  • Siba Prosad PaulEmail author
  • Dharamveer Basude
Review article



Abdominal pain-related functional gastrointestinal disorder (AP-FGID) comprises of 4 main conditions: functional dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, abdominal migraine and functional abdominal pain. AP-FGIDs are diagnosed clinically based on the Rome IV criteria for FGIDs of childhood. There is limited evidence for pharmacological therapies.

Data sources

This review article discusses nonpharmacological management of AP-FGID based on the current literature including systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials, cohort and case control studies. We aim to provide a comprehensive overview on the available evidence for the pediatricians and pediatric gastroenterologists involved in managing children with AP-FGID.


Managing AP-FGIDs can be challenging. This should follow a stepwise approach with focused history, identification of “red flag” signs and symptoms, physical examination and investigations done following initial consultation. Family needs explaining that there is nothing seriously wrong with the child’s abdomen. This explanation and reassurance can achieve symptom control in large number of cases. Non-pharmacological interventions are delivered through lifestyle and dietary changes and bio-psychosocial therapies. Dietary interventions vary depending on the type of AP-FGID. Bio-psychosocial therapies such as hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and yoga aim at stress reduction.


There is increasing evidence for use of non-pharmacological interventions in children with APFGID.


abdominal pain behavioral intervention diet gastrointestinal diseases hypnosis Rome IV criteria 


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Copyright information

© Children's Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Torbay Hospital, Vowden HallTorquayUK
  2. 2.Bristol Royal Hospital for ChildrenBristolUK

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