During a twelve month period beginning March 28, 1942 200 patients were admitted to a large hospital in the South Pacific because of "dyspepsia." Fifty-three per cent of these patients presented symptoms that were subsequently judged to be due to functional disturbances of the digestive tract. Though no organic basis for their distress could be demonstrated, these patients were found to be no less disabled than those suffering from peptic ulcer. Functional disorders constitute a major problem wherever there are large bodies of troops in the field. It is therefore considered important to record our experiences in the observation, treatment and disposition of these patients.
DEFINITION AND TYPES
Under the heading of functional gastrointestinal disease are included all those conditions in which the predominating symptoms are due to a disturbed function of the digestive tract but in which no positive objective evidence of organic disease can be demonstrated. This large
RUSH A. GASTROINTESTINAL DISTURBANCES IN THE COMBAT AREA: II. PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS ON FUNCTIONAL DISORDERS OF THE DIGESTIVE TRACT. JAMA. 1943;123(8):471–473. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840430023006
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