People with this disorder have many physical complaints that last for years. Most often, the complaints involve chronic pain and problems with the digestive system, nervous system, and reproductive system.
The symptoms often interfere with work and relationships, and lead to many visits to different health care providers.
Stress often worsens the symptoms.
Some of the many symptoms that can occur with somatization disorder include:
Abdominal pain Amnesia
- Back pain
Bloating Chest pain Diarrhea Difficulty swallowing Dizziness Headaches Impotence Joint pain
- Nausea and sometimes vomiting
Pain during intercourse Pain during urination Painful menstruation
Pain in the legsor arms Palpitations
Paralysisor muscle weakness Sexual apathy Shortness of breath Vision changes
Signs and tests
A thorough physical examination and diagnostic tests are performed to identify physical causes. The types of tests that are done depend on what symptoms you have.
A psychological evaluation is performed to identify related disorders.
If, after you have a thorough evaluation, no physical cause is found to explain the symptoms, somatization disorder may be diagnosed.
Review Date: 08/09/2010
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Michelle Benger Merrill, MD, Instructor in Clinical Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.