The muscles in the gut wall help move the food. When there are abnormal muscle contractions in the gut or gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines) leading to slow or uncoordinated movement, it is called dysmotility. These abnormal contractions can affect any part of the gut and can also affect more than one part at a time. Delayed gastric emptying, referred to as gastroparesis, is also known as dysmotility.
The food will not get propelled forward properly if the coordination of the contraction and relaxation of the muscles of the gut are out of sync with each other. In case the contractions are weak and slow, the food will not move forward. Dysmotility is also sometimes called chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction that is when the intestines and stomach, both are involved.
The dysmotility can be mild or severe. Severe constipation caused by dysmotility is called colonic dysmotility. It is usually women who are affected by dysmotility, however, men and children can also suffer from the disease. When dysfunctional nerves or muscles lead to severe constipation, the condition is called as colonic dysmotility. Patients of colonic dysmotility will have delayed colonic transit, that is, they will take longer to pass the stool through the colon.
There is no structural abnormality or other well defined causes which can lead to this ailment. However, it is often seen that people recount eating a particular food pattern, which resulted in the condition. Usually, it is the fatty and rich foods, too much alcohol, eating late at night, eating on the go etc, all of which make it difficult for the stomach to function.
Also at times, a viral stomach upset or a course of antibiotics can trigger the dysmotility in the gut. A side effect of a medication may also result in dysmotility. It can also happen as a secondary disease related to diabetes or Parkinson’s disease or after a stomach surgery.
When the digestive system slows down, the food simply gets collected in the stomach for long. This leads to the accumulation of the fluids and stomach secretions in the gut resulting in the symptoms like nausea, vomiting, excess belching, reflux of stomach acid and bloating. The distention of the stomach leads to pain.
You can also feel full and uncomfortable just after consuming little food, and at the same time feel lethargic. Dissolute can result in a reduced quality of life by restricting the food you eat and the activities you participate in.
Medications like metoclopramide or cisapride can be used in order to treat the dysmotility, but these are usually beneficial in the milder cases. The physicians may also suggest prokinetics like laxatives or suppositories or enemas to help with the passage of the food. An evaluation and a therapy for the stress and other psychological factors can also be provided to the patients suffering from dysmotility.
In most severe cases, a surgery can help to deal with the problem. The surgeon simply removes the colon and joins the end of the small bowel to the rectum. After the surgery you can have one to four bowel movements every day. These days, laparoscopic treatments are also being used in the treatment of severe cases of dysmotility.
Eating healthy and sensible is vital in order to reduce the effect of dysmotility. Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol and take time out to eat and enjoy the food. Eating lighter and smaller meals throughout the day will help. Once you have identified the kind of food, which trigger dissolute in the stomach, you can avoid them in future.