Feedback Pay Bills MyChart

Functional GI Motility Disorders at Atlantic Digestive Health Institute

Functional gastrointestinal disorders are a group of disorders classified by gastrointestinal symptoms related to any combination of the following: motility disturbance, visceral hypersensitivity, altered mucosal and immune function, altered gut microbiota, and altered central nervous system.

The term "functional" is  applies to disorders where the body's normal activities in terms of the movement of the intestines, the sensitivity of the nerves of the intestines, or the way in which the brain controls some of these functions is impaired. 

At Atlantic Digestive Health Institute, we treat several conditions related to functional gastrointestinal disorders, including:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with diarrhea, constipation or both
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Gastroparesis
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction

How Functional GI Disorders Can be Diagnosed

Most diagnostic tests (laboratory tests, radiology, endoscopy, and isotope scans) are designed to identify structural problems, but not disorders of function. Functional gastrointestinal disorders can be diagnosed in several ways, such as:

  • Physical examination
  • Blood and urine tests
  • Examination of the stool
  • Colonoscopy (insertion of a flexible scope to see inside the colon)
  • Upper endoscopy (insertion of a flexible scope to see inside the esophagus, stomach and small intestine)
  • Abdominal imaging tests, such as x-rays and ultrasound
  • Breath tests for malabsorption or bacterial overgrowth
  • Specific motility tests for different parts of the gastrointestinal tract

How Functional GI Disorders Can be Treated

At Atlantic Digestive Health Instistute, we may treat your functional gastrointestinal disorder in the following ways:

  • Nutritional counseling
  • Non-pharmacologic therapy such as hypnosis, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and psychodynamic-interpersonal therapy 
  • Pharmacologic therapy 
  • Stress management