Intestinal Dysmotility

Also known as: intestinal motility disorders, small bowel, colonic pseudo-obstruction.

What is intestinal dysmotility?

The actions of the muscles and nerves in the gastrointestinal tract that mix and move food (muscle contraction and relaxation) along is the known as motility. When something goes wrong with this action in the muscles or in the nerves of the intestines, this is referred to as intestinal dysmotility.

What causes intestinal dysmotility?

Two factors tend to play a role in intestinal dysmotility. They are muscle weakness in the intestines, which is known as myopathy, or difficulty with the nerve signals reaching the muscles, or neuropathy. Often both factors can be present.

What are the symptoms of intestinal dysmotility?

Common symptoms of intestinal dysmotility can include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, bloating, constipation and malnutrition from lack of nutrient absorption. Symptoms at times can be quite severe.

What are intestinal dysmotility care options?

Dietary changes and medication can help relieve the symptoms related to intestinal dysmotility. IV nutrition is often required in the case of malabsorption. In some cases, surgery to relieve pressure or to remove a portion of the intestines may be needed.


Reviewed by: Shifra A Koyfman, MD

This page was last updated on: March 16, 2020 11:56 AM

Pediatric Gastroenterology

The Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital is dedicated to the treatment of a wide variety of gastrointestinal problems in infants, children and adolescents with a multidisciplinary approach.

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