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A functional symptom is a medical symptom in an individual, which has no identified cause (etiology) despite extensive diagnostic assessments. By default, a functional symptom often is judged to have causes that are neither physical nor physiological, but rather psychological or psychiatric.[1]

An example is functional constipation, which may have psychological or psychiatric causes. However, one type of apparently functional constipation, anismus, may have a neurological (physical) basis.

See alsoEdit


  1. Mayou R, Farmer A (2002). ABC of psychological medicine: Functional somatic symptoms and syndromes. BMJ 325 (7358): 265–8.

External linksEdit

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