Functional somatic syndrome
Functional somatic syndromes (or FSS) are groups of physical symptoms that occur together, with no known physical cause. The lack of a clear physical basis for the illness can lead to assumptions that it is a psychosomatic illness. The term "functional somatic syndromes" is sometimes used to refer to physical illnesses which are not fully understood, even when these illnesses are classified as specific diseases rather than as illnesses of unknown origin, for example chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome may be referred to as "functional somatic syndromes" by proponents of the biopsychosocial model of understanding illness.
Lumping illnesses together[edit | edit source]
Functional somatic syndromes is a term used to lump different illness together on the basis on overlapping symptoms, despite their separate diagnostic criteria. Lumping distinct disorders together, and regarding all as medically unexplained physical symptoms is an approach that has been criticized by unscientific and lacking validity. 
Notable studies[edit | edit source]
Letters, articles and talks[edit | edit source]
- 2000, Functional somatic syndromes (Full text)
- 2013, Disease-modifying therapies for nonrelapsing multiple sclerosis: Absence of evidence does not constitute evidence of absence
See also[edit | edit source]
- Medically unexplained physical symptoms
- Martha Mitchell Effect
- Psychosomatic illness.
- Functional movement disorder
- Periodic paralysis
Learn more[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- World Health Organization. "ICD-10 Version:2016". icd.who.int. Retrieved Mar 6, 2019.
- Wessely, S.; Nimnuan, C.; Sharpe, M. (Sep 11, 1999). "Functional somatic syndromes: one or many?". Lancet (London, England). 354 (9182): 936–939. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(98)08320-2. ISSN 0140-6736. PMID 10489969.
- Nimnuan, C.; Hotopf, M.; Wessely, S. (Jul 2001). "Medically unexplained symptoms: an epidemiological study in seven specialities". Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 51 (1): 361–367. ISSN 0022-3999. PMID 11448704.
- English, T. L. (Feb 15, 2000). "Functional somatic syndromes" (PDF). Annals of Internal Medicine. 132 (4): 329. ISSN 0003-4819. PMID 10681297.
Lupus, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, and Lyme disease suffered similar fates before “tissue evidence” was available. Patients were belittled by armchair speculators masquerading as scientists. Who among us believes this was helpful? A simple “I don’t know” would have been better than specious speculation.
The authors confuse absence of evidence with evidence of absence. They are not the same. Absence of evidence may reflect insufficient research, inadequate technology, poor methods, flawed paradigms, closed minds, or lack of clinical experience; for example, in 1980, there was no clear evidence that AIDS was viral—blood products were considered “safe.”
- Dunn, J. (Oct 31, 2013). "Disease-modifying therapies for nonrelapsing multiple sclerosis: Absence of evidence does not constitute evidence of absence". Neurology: Clinical Practice. 3 (6): 515–518. doi:10.1212/01.cpj.0000436215.95884.89. ISSN 2163-0402.