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October 29, 1938


Author Affiliations


From the Division of Medicine (Dr. Wakefield) and the Division of Surgery (Dr. Mayo), the Mayo Clinic.

JAMA. 1938;111(18):1627-1632. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790440021005

Persons who have a functional disorder of the colon which may have been excited by social conditions describe symptoms which they believe arise in the colon, but when the colon is examined it is found to be free of physical changes which are indicative of organic disease. The disorder is manifested by irregularities of defecation and apparent alteration in the absorptive and secretory functions of the colon. It frequently is associated with abdominal discomfort, pain and often with mucus in the feces and subjective abdominal distention. Variations in these symptoms are the rule. However, the patient will rarely admit of periods without some "suffering." Changes in symptoms may be related to changes in the quantities of mucus present in the feces. Alternating periods of constipation and diarrhea are not uncommon, but the outstanding symptom usually is either diarrhea or a constipation.

Our object in this paper is to present what

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