A bowel motility disorder is a condition where a person's nerves and muscles in the gastrointestinal tract are not working together correctly. Typical symptoms of a motility disorder are constipation, a swollen stomach, pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Constipation is a symptom of a motility disorder and a common problem for children who have infrequent or painful bowel movements due to the stool being too large or hard to pass. A child who is constipated usually has two or fewer bowel movements per week. Children often position their bodies differently like arching their back, holding on to furniture or squeezing their buttocks together to avoid having a bowel movement.
Parents may notice that their child passes a large stool that sometimes can be as large as a soda can. This is a good sign of constipation.
Functional constipation does not mean the child has a disease of the intestine but that he or she has painful bowel movements. To help treat functional constipation, children should eat foods high in fiber like fruit, vegetables and grains, and drink plenty of water to help pass stool. Sometimes laxatives are recommended to ensure regular bowel movements.
For some children, fiber, fluids and laxatives not help and they will continue to suffer from constipation. In these cases, parents should seek treatment from an expert. Our specialists at the Center for Pediatric Neurogastroenterology, Motility and Autonomic Disorders are nationally recognized experts in the treatment and research of motility disorders.