Terms such as functional colonic disease (or functional bowel disorder) refer in medicine to a group of bowel disorders which are characterised by chronic abdominal complaints without a structural or biochemical cause that could explain symptoms. Other functional disorders relate to other aspects of the process of digestion.
The consensus review process of meetings and publications organised by the Rome Foundation, known as the Rome process, has helped to define the functional gastrointestinal disorders. Successively, the Rome I, Rome II, Rome III and Rome IV proposed consensual classification system and terminology, as recommended by the Rome Coordinating Committee. These now include classifications appropriate for adults, children and neonates/toddlers.
The current Rome IV classification, published in 2016, is as follows:
Functional gastrointestinal disorders are very common. Globally, irritable bowel syndrome and functional dyspepsia alone may affect 16–26% of the population.
There is considerable research into the causes, diagnosis and treatments for FGIDs. Diet, microbiome, genetics, neuromuscular function and immunological response all interact. A role for mast cell activation has been proposed as one of the factors.
^Sperber AD, Drossman DA, Quigley EM (2012). "The global perspective on irritable bowel syndrome: a Rome Foundation-World Gastroenterology Organisation symposium". Am. J. Gastroenterol. 107 (11): 1602–9. doi:10.1038/ajg.2012.106. PMID23160283.
^Wouters MM, Vicario M, Santos J (2015). "The role of mast cells in functional GI disorders". Gut. 65: 155–168. doi:10.1136/gutjnl-2015-309151. PMID26194403. It is well established that mast cell activation can generate epithelial and neuro-muscular dysfunction and promote visceral hypersensitivity and altered motility patterns in FGIDs, postoperative ileus, food allergy and inflammatory bowel disease.
^Bashashati, M; Moossavi, S; Cremon, C; Barbaro, MR; Moraveji, S; Talmon, G; Rezaei, N; Hughes, PA; Bian, ZX; Choi, CH; Lee, OY; Coëffier, M; Chang, L; Ohman, L; Schmulson, MJ; McCallum, RW; Simren, M; Sharkey, KA; Barbara, G (January 2018). "Colonic immune cells in irritable bowel syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis". Neurogastroenterology & Motility. 30 (1). doi:10.1111/nmo.13192. PMID28851005. Mast cells and CD3+ T cells are increased in colonic biopsies of patients with IBS vs non-inflamed controls