Examples of functional gastrointestinal (GI) and motility disorders in children which affect the upper GI tract, from the esophagus to the stomach, include:
- Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS)
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
- Infant Regurgitation
- Rumination Syndrome
The disorders are primarily characterized by symptom features. No structural abnormality, like an ulcer or infection, can be seen by commonly used examination, x-ray, or blood test.
Examples of symptoms in upper GI disorders include:
- difficulty swallowing
- abdominal discomfort- Pain varying from dull to sharp that occurs inside the stomach or intestines
- nausea– a feeling of sickness with an urge to vomit
- vomiting– bringing food back up from the stomach
- problems in the passage of food
- any combination of these symptoms
What are Functional GI and Motility Disorders
Functional GI and motility disorders in children refer to a wide variety of digestive conditions that occur from birth to 18 years old.
A functional GI disorder refers to a condition where the primary abnormality is an alteration in the way the body works (altered function), rather than an identifiable structural or biochemical cause.
Gastrointestinal motility is defined by the movements of the digestive system, and the transit of the contents within it. When nerves or muscles in any portion of the digestive tract do not function normally, symptoms may result. While GI motility can be measured using tests, abnormal patterns do not always cause symptoms. When symptoms are present motility tests provide information to help with diagnosis and treatment.
Other disorders can have symptoms that may be similar to or overlap with gastrointestinal functional or motility disorders in children. Significantly, these disorders have features that a doctor can identify, which distinguish them from functional gastrointestinal or motility disorders.