What are Motility Disorders?
Motility disorders are disorders that occur when the coordination of the muscles of the digestive system is impaired. The digestive system depends on the movements of a number of muscles that work for the uptake and digestion of food. When the coordination of these muscles is impaired, the digestive system does not work properly and a series of disorders appear.
Common Motility Disorders
Motility disorders usually affect digestive system organs such as the stomach, intestines, and esophagus. The most common motility disorders are:
- Gastroparesis: Gastroparesis is a motility disorder characterized by a slowing or stopping of stomach movements. This condition can be caused by nerve damage or muscle disorder that prevents the outflow of the stomach.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Irritable bowel syndrome is a motility disorder that occurs as a result of impaired coordination of the muscles in the intestines. This can cause discomfort such as abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea and gas.
- Esophageal Motility Disorders: Esophageal motility disorders occur due to impaired coordination of the muscles of the esophagus. This can cause discomfort such as difficulty swallowing, chest pain, and reflux.
- Hirschsprung’s Disease: Hirschsprung’s disease is a motility disorder that occurs due to a disorder in the muscle movements of the intestines. This can cause discomfort such as difficulty defecating and constipation.
Can Motility Disorders Be Treated?
Motility disorders are diseases that can be treated. Treatment differs depending on the cause of the disease. For example, the treatment of gastroparesis may include a special diet, medications, and in some cases, surgical interventions such as a gastric pacemaker. Irritable bowel syndrome can be treated with dietary changes, stress management, and medication. Esophageal motility disorders can be treated with medications and, in some cases, surgical intervention. Hirschsprung’s disease is a condition that requires surgical intervention.
What are the Symptoms of Motility Disorders?
Motility disorders can cause many different symptoms, as they cause the muscles in the gastrointestinal tract to not function properly. Symptoms can vary depending on the type and severity of the motility disorder. However, common symptoms include:
- Nausea or vomiting during or after eating
- Painful or difficult swallowing
- Gas, bloating, indigestion and pain in the stomach or intestines
- Heartburn and reflux
- Increase or decrease in gastric emptying time (in cases such as gastroparesis and malabsorption syndrome)
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Loss of appetite or weight loss
- Frequent hiccups or coughs
Since motility disorders cause the muscles of the digestive system to not work properly, the symptoms will usually be related to the digestive system. However, it is important to consult a doctor for an accurate diagnosis, as these symptoms may indicate other health problems as well. If your symptoms are mild, they can be managed with some lifestyle changes and medications, while if your symptoms are severe, more aggressive treatments may be required.