Pain/Depression dyad: a key to a better understanding and treatment of functional somatic syndromes

Am J Med. 2010 Aug;123(8):675-82. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2010.01.014. Epub 2010 Jun 11.


Functional somatic syndromes include some of the most common and frustrating illnesses seen by primary care physicians and medical specialists. An extensive literature search of the 2 best characterized functional somatic syndromes, fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome, reveals the overlap of these 2 disorders and their close relationship to depression. New pathophysiologic studies have shown that there are similar central nervous system changes in fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and depression. These clinical and biologic similarities are consistent with the observations that the effective management of fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome is comparable to that of depression.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Comorbidity
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / physiopathology*
  • Fibromyalgia / epidemiology
  • Fibromyalgia / genetics
  • Fibromyalgia / immunology
  • Fibromyalgia / physiopathology*
  • Fibromyalgia / psychology
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Interleukins / blood
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / genetics
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / immunology
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / psychology
  • Pain / epidemiology
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Pain / psychology


  • Interleukins