Dr. MJ Bazos MD,
What it is and how to
What is somatoform disorder?
People with somatoform disorder have a number of
different symptoms that typically last for several years. Their symptoms can't
be traced to a specific physical cause. In people with somatoform disorder,
medical test results are either normal or don't explain the person's symptoms.
People who have somatoform disorder often become very worried about their health
because they don't know what is causing their health problems. The symptoms of
somatoform disorder are similar to the symptoms of other illnesses. People with
this disorder may have several medical evaluations and tests to be sure that
they don't have another illness.
What are the symptoms of somatoform
Symptoms of somatoform disorder may include
frequent headaches, back pain, abdominal cramping and pelvic pain. Other
symptoms include pain in the joints, legs and arms, and chest or abdominal pain.
Somatoform disorder may also cause gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea,
bloating, vomiting, diarrhea and food intolerance. Sometimes somatoform disorder
makes it painful for a person to urinate, even if he or she doesn't have an
infection. It can also cause problems with sexual function for both men and
What is the cause of somatoform
No one knows exactly why symptoms of somatoform
disorder start. In some cases, there may be a problem with the nerve impulses
that send signals of pain, pressure and other unpleasant sensations to the
brain. We do know that the pain and problems caused by somatoform disorder are
Like many medical problems, somatoform disorder
often runs in families. It tends to come and go over time.
How is somatoform disorder treated?
The goal in treating somatoform disorder is for
a person to be able to live a normal life as much as possible, even though he or
she may still have some pain or other symptoms. Fortunately, somatoform disorder
will not shorten a person's life. Although there is no known cure, it can be
Your doctor may be able to prescribe medicine
for some of your symptoms, but in many cases you will not need medicine.
The most important part of your treatment is for
you to see your doctor for regular checkups. Your doctor will tell you how often
he or she needs to see you. You may feel frustrated if your symptoms continue,
but remember that somatoform disorder can be very difficult to treat. Your
doctor will do his or her best to help you maintain your