Patients with “functional disorders” constitute a very significant proportion of gastrointestinal illness seen in medical practice. They make up about 40% of patients seen by gastroenterologists. Despite this imposing frequency, scientific knowledge about the pathogenesis, treatment, and even classification of such disorders is appallingly scant. It is therefore a courageous effort that the author has undertaken to write a book of 275 pages exclusively about such diseases. The writing in general is well done, spiced with good humor and, at times, overly simplistic.
The first section deals with physiologic and pathologic factors—at least what little is known of them. The