Visceral Hyperalgesia

Visceral hyperlagesia is extreme sensitivity to something painful (hyperalgesia) in the internal organs (viscera), usually those of the abdomen (belly). It is a common symptom of people with irritable bowel syndrome, a disorder of the intestines with various signs and symptoms, and no clear biological cause. Visceral hyperalgesia typically occurs after injury or inflammation of an internal organ. The cause of visceral hyperalgesia can be increased sensitivity of the sensory pathways in the brain that process sensations from the viscera. Another cause can be abnormal changes in the sensory nerve cells in the viscera which causes them to respond more intensely to normally occurring stimuli. Both causes are referred to as sensitization. Viscera hyperalgesia is commonly treated with pain medications but there are very few medications that can actually target the viscera. Visceral hyperalgesia can occur in both adults and children.

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Visceral hyperalgesia can also mean an increased awareness of the normal movements of internal organs, such as the intestines.Visceral comes from the Latin word "viscus" meaning "internal organs." Hyperalgesia comes from the Greek word "hyper" meaning "above," and "algos" meaning "pain." Put the words together and you get "above pain (in the) internal organs," meaning too much pain in internal organs.

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