What Does Functional Somatic Syndrome mean?

A functional somatic syndrome is a term that covers symptoms which are just not easily explained in medical terms but, it could even relate to many conditions. A good example of this would be muscle and joint pain. There may have been trauma and so, various causes or, even conditions such as fibromyalgia.


Other common functional symptoms and syndromes could include


  • Lower back pain
  • Headaches
  • Chest pain
  • Irritable Bowel
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Insomnia


Many of these symptoms can remain unidentified with any connecting illness and can cause a lot of confusion or worry. This is because there is always a fear of the unknown. Also, add into the equation that many serious illnesses could manifest similar symptoms. It is easy for panic to set in.


Of course, with any health concerns, it’s very important that you let a medical expert know all the symptoms you are feeling or noticing. Some patients hold back if they feel a symptom is not associated with the illness that is being explored but this could be a big mistake. It could even lead to a false diagnosis costing time and potentially, a worsening of the condition. It is possible that sometimes a patient will feel that a certain symptom is just not relevant because they have already made their mind up about the condition they have. This too can lead to a false diagnosis of self-analysis should be avoided.


Often people search online to ascertain health conditions matching their symptoms but, they may see common illnesses but not gain the whole picture and, the functional somatic syndrome may account for a whole arena of other symptoms that are much rarer. Of course, these may be associated with the searched for illness. A medical expert will be aware of these cross-over symptoms and they can still be a valuable guideline to the expert.


Many functional somatic syndrome symptoms will not always be taken seriously but, this can be damaging as it prevents some people from reporting them. They worry that they will not be believed.  Even fibromyalgia which is a very painful and dilapidating disease was once thought to be made up by the patient. This seems ridiculous now, but it was once the case. As medical science makes further advances, we are uncovering many other conditions that are now becoming stand-alone but were once grouped in with other conditions.


General fatigue and even mood changes can all be linked to many different conditions and on their own do not indicate a definitive problem. But this does not mean that it is not connected to something a little more serious. The basic message is if you do not feel right then get it checked because this can save a lot of frustration and pain in the long run.


For years, the functional somatic syndrome has baffled Doctors who have been looking for specific diseases and known related conditions. Now we are beginning to understand more about a great number of diseases that hide beneath a mask of symptoms often associated with other illnesses.


In medical science, this is an exciting area to work in and there is no doubt that new information will continue to present itself, but this does mean that each person must bring their symptoms to the attention of the doctors. This may well enable the medical world to connect more functional somatic syndromes and to understand more illnesses.