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Motility Disorders

What Are Motility Disorders?

The muscles in your digestive tract usually work in a coordinated manner to move food from your esophagus to stomach and from your stomach to the intestine and anus. In individuals with a motility disorder, the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract do not work properly – either in the short or long term. 

Motility disorders can cause a wide range of issues and conditions, including:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – A chronic disorder where stomach acid or bile bothers the esophagus

  • Diarrhea – Loose, watery stools more than three times in one day

  • Constipation – Difficulty passing stool

  • Fecal incontinence – Inability to control passing stool or the urge to have a bowel movement

  • Gastroparesis – A gastrointestinal disorder where food moves through the stomach slower than usual

  • Achalasia – An inability to move food through the esophagus

Achalasia

Achalasia is a rare motility disorder that affects the esophagus, which is the tube that passes food from the mouth to the stomach. It is a chronic condition that worsens over time. It impacts the muscles of the esophagus and makes it difficult to move food along. The cause of achalasia is not known, but it may be related to damage to nerves in the esophagus. 

When to Seek a Specialist

Schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist if you experience recurrent or chronic digestive problems, such as:

  • Heartburn

  • Diarrhea

  • Constipation

  • Abdominal pain and cramping

A gastroenterologist will work closely with you to understand your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that brings you relief.

View all motility disorder symptoms.

Experienced Care to Help Manage Motility Disorders

The Temple Digestive Disease Center delivers a team-centered, state-of-the-art approach to a wide range of digestive diseases and conditions, including motility disorders. Our gastroenterologists are highly trained and offer the latest advances in care, including minimally invasive procedures and proven surgical techniques. Highlights include:

  • Expert care – Temple digestive disease specialists are at the forefront of motility disorders, including measuring gastrointestinal muscle contractions and identifying difficult-to-diagnose disorders.

  • Latest advances in care – Temple gastroenterologists are the leaders in minimally invasive surgery and are often the first to offer the newest standards of care for a wide range of digestive disorders.

  • State-of-the-art facilities – We offer advanced technology to diagnose, treat and manage complex digestive disorders.

  • Clinical trials – Part of a leading academic center, Temple physicians participate in the latest research and clinical trials for digestive disorders. You have the access and opportunity to participate in select trials.

  • Convenient locations – The Temple Digestive Disease Center offers outstanding care at convenient locations across Greater Philadelphia.

We are proud to be a leader in digestive disorders and deliver innovative care in diagnosing, treating and managing your condition so that you can live a full, healthy and active life.

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of motility disorders, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat motility disorders.

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Motility Disorders Program

Our gastroenterologists are leaders in diagnosing and treating both the causes and symptoms of conditions such as achalasia, chronic GERD and gastroparesis.

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