Definition of Dysmotility syndrome

Dysmotility syndrome: A vague, descriptive term used to describe diseases of the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines) in which the muscles do not work normally (hence the term dysmotility). Other terms that are sometimes used for dysmotility problems are gastroparesis when the stomach is involved, and chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction when the intestines and stomach are involved.

In patients with dysmotility syndrome, food does not move normally through the stomach and intestines, there often is distention of the stomach and intestines as fluid collects, and there frequently is pain. The disease may involve any part of the gastrointestinal tract and is due to abnormalities in the muscles of the intestines or the nerves controlling the muscles. The dysmotility problem can be mild, moderate or severe.

There are medications that can be used for treating these diseases. Because of the rarity of these diseases the management of patients usually is turned over to "sub -subspecialists," gastroenterologists with special expertise in disorders of motility.


Last Editorial Review: 9/20/2012

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