The American Journal of Gastroenterology published a new study on the prevelance of functional gastrointestinal disorders after episodes of infectious gastroenteritis (in some cases, after foodpoisoning, or infection by bugs like E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Shigella).  A "functional gastrointestinal disorder" is a gastrointestinal disorder for which no structural abnormality or other objective findings to explain it. 

Here is a summary:

OBJECTIVES: Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGDs) are recognized sequelae of infectious gastroenteritis (IGE). Within the active duty military population, a group with known high IGE rates, the population based incidence, risk factors, and attributable burden of care referable to FGD after IGE are poorly defined.

METHODS: Using electronic medical encounter data (1999 – 2007) on active duty US military, a matched, case-control study describing the epidemiology and risk determinants of FGD (irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional constipation (FC), functional diarrhea (FD), dyspepsia (D)) was conducted. Incidence rates and duration of FGD-related medical care were estimated, and conditional logistic regression was utilized to evaluate FGD risk after IGE.

RESULTS: A total of 31,866 cases of FGD identifi ed were distributed as follows: FC 55 % ( n = 17,538), D 21.2 % ( n = 6,750), FD 2.1 % ( n = 674), IBS 28.5 % ( n = 9,091). Previous IGE episodes were distributed as follows: specifi c bacterial pathogen ( n = 65, 1.2 % ), bacterial, with no pathogen specifi ed ( n = 2155, 38.9 % ), protozoal ( n = 38, 0.7 % ), viral ( n = 3431, 61.9 % ). A signifi cant association between IGE and all FGD (odds ratio (OR) 2.64; P < 0.001) was seen, with highest risk for FD (OR 6.28, P < 0.001) and IBS (OR 3.72, P < 0.001), and moderate risk for FC (2.15, P < 0.001) and D (OR 2.39, P < 0.001). Risk generally increased with temporal proximity to, and bacterial etiology of, exposure. Duration of FGD-related care was prolonged with 22.7 % having FGD-associated medical encounters 5 years after diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS: FGD are common in this population at high risk for IGE. When considering effective countermeasures and mitigation strategies, attention directed toward prevention as well as the acute and chronic sequelae of these infections is needed.