Esophageal Motility Disorder

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Esophageal motility disorder, or esophageal dysmotility, is a condition where the muscles in your esophagus fail to contract and the esophagus does not properly deliver food and liquids into your stomach. Esophageal motility disorder is also an umbrella term for all swallowing disorders which include:

  • Dysphagia
  • Inefficient esophageal motility disorder
  • Nutcracker esophagus
  • Diffuse esophageal spasm
  • Hypertensive lower esophageal sphincter
  • Achalasia

As well as secondary esophageal motility disorders related to:

  • Diabetes
  • GERD
  • Mellitus
  • Scleroderma

If you or someone you love has difficulty swallowing, they could be suffering from this condition. Contact a GI Alliance location in your area to find a gastroenterologist who can help treat and manage esophageal motility disorder.

There is not one primary cause for esophageal motility disorder. The causes will be specific to the particular condition you suffer from, but commonly include:

  • Weakened esophageal muscles
  • Neurological disorder
  • Neuromuscular disorder
  • Benign or malignant strictures
  • Spasms of the esophagus

Some of the common symptoms and signs of esophageal motility disorders are:

  • Acid reflux and heartburn
  • Anxiety
  • Regurgitation
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Recurring pneumonia
  • Weight loss
  • The sensation of food getting stuck in your chest or neck
  • Poor sleep

If you or someone you love experiences these symptoms, contact a local GI Alliance clinic right away.

The common treatments for esophageal motility disorder include:

  • Muscle spasm medications
  • Botulinum toxin or Botox® injection in the areas of the spasm
  • Balloon dilation of the lower esophagus to disrupt the abnormal obstructing sphincter
  • Heller myotomy - the division of the esophageal sphincter muscle to allow food to pass through
  • Surgical manipulation of the valve at the lower esophageal sphincter to reduce pressure on the muscle

Clinical trials are continually being conducted to find new treatments and to improve upon treatments that already exist. To learn more about the treatment options for esophageal motility disorder, please connect with a GI Alliance gastroenterologist.

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The nation's leading physician-led network of gastroenterologists, GI Alliance, is continuing to conduct research into esophageal motility disorder and many other diseases that affect the GI tract. If you or someone you love is suffering symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, acid reflux, regurgitation, and chest pain then contact a local gastroenterologist through GI Alliance as soon as possible. Our providers aim to take a compassionate and patient-centric approach to the care and management of esophageal motility disorder and other conditions.

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