Oesophageal Motility Disorder

Oesophageal Motility Disorder

Overview

This is one condition wherein the patient finds it difficult to swallow food, either due to inflammation of the oesophagus or allergic reactions. When the oesophagus contractions become irregular or are completely absent, then the condition is identified as Oesophageal Motility Disorder.

Signs and symptoms

Patients experience mild to severe chest pain, difficulty while swallowing and regurgitation. Symptoms vary from case to case but they can be largely identified as dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing and a burning sensation in the chest. A feeling that food is stuck in the throat often prevails. Some experience malnutrition and weight-loss.

Causes and risk factors

The oesophagus is the main pathway for the food to travel from the mouth to the stomach. Any disruption in this pathway creates the risk of the food getting pushed back into the throat, thus leading to OMD.

Complications

If left untreated symptoms can worsen. Often when a Motility disorder is neglected it leads to sudden weight loss, pneumonia and weakened lungs. Achalasia is a condition of severe motility disorder which occurs when the oesophagus nerves get damaged causing further complications.

Diagnosis

Based on the symptoms of OMD, the diagnosis normally includes acid reflux tests, barium swallow, and high-resolution manometry. The latest technological treatment for evaluating the condition of the oesophagus is Impedance Planimetry under which the internal sensory and motor functioning of the oesophagus are measured in relation to the pressure exerted by the lumen.

Surgery

Surgical treatment for Oesophageal Motility Disorder is essential in case of a distorted oesophagus or when there is a malignancy. Only after a complete preoperative inspection of the oesophagus further treatment is advised.

Prevention

Eating certain foods like meat, rice, etc. can worsen OMD.

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