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December 31, 1932


JAMA. 1932;99(27):2234-2237. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02740790004002

The confusion which exists at present in the minds of most physicians in regard to the term irritable or unstable colon and its relationship to neurosis justifies a study such as this, which attempts to clarify the meaning of the term and to indicate its exact relationship to neurosis. Conditions described by the terms "spastic colitis," "intestinal neurosis," "nervous diarrhea," "constipation," "mucous colitis" and "dilatation of colon, cause unknown," in recent years have been placed by some gastro-enterologists in the more suitably designated and more comprehensive category of the "irritable or unstable" colon. The term "unstable," first suggested by Kantor, replaces "irritable," because in some phases of the condition decreased irritability rather than increased irritability is found. The fundamental factor in the condition is an imbalance between the nervous and the muscular apparatus of the colon, which results in a disturbance in its mechanical, and, to a lesser degree, its

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