Visceral Hyperalgesia

Visceral Hyperalgesia

(Visceral Hypersensitivity)

Definition

Visceral hyperalgesia is a higher sensitivity to the normal activity of organs inside the body. A person may notice normal intestinal activities that most people do not feel. These feelings may be painful. The pain when a person is sick is also stronger.

It may be felt in the pancreas, intestines, and stomach.

Nervous System

CNS and PNS
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

It is not clear why this problem happens. It often starts after an infection, illness, or injury.

Risk Factors

Things that may raise the risk are:

Symptoms

The type of pain can differ from person to person. It may be dull and achy, sharp, or burning pain. The pain may be all the time or it may come and go.

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.

There is no test. It may be suspected when no other cause is found.

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to manage symptoms. Choices are:

  • Counseling to learn how to change thought patterns to manage pain, such as through relaxation tools, biofeedback, and cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Medicine to lower pain signals that are sent to the brain, such as antidepressants or antiepileptic medicines

Prevention

There are no known guidelines to prevent this problem.

RESOURCES:

American Chronic Pain Syndrome
https://theacpa.org
American Gastroenterological Association
http://www.gastro.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Digestive Health Foundation
http://www.cdhf.ca

References:

Ford AC, Lacy BE, et al. Irritable Bowel Syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2017 Jun 29;376(26):2566-2578.
Functional abdominal pain syndrome. International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorder website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed October 28, 2020.
Irritable bowel syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs. Accessed October 28, 2020.
Irritable bowel syndrome. London Gastroenterology Centre website. Available at: https://www.gastrolondon.co.uk/irritable-bowel-syndrome. Accessed October 28, 2020.
Visceral hyperalgesia. Cincinnati Children’s hospital website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed October 28, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD
Last Updated: 5/5/2021

EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at healthlibrarysupport@ebsco.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.

Home |Terms and Conditions |Concerned About Privacy? |Accessibility |Careers |For Employers and Medical Plan Providers

You may also be looking for: CVS/pharmacy | MinuteClinic | Specialty Pharmacy | SilverScript | Accordant