There are several different kinds of gastrointestinal motility disorders
(disorders of movement or peristalsis).


Recurrent Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

When the gastroesophageal sphincter is lax, fails to work, or when the stomach bulges through the diaphragm (hiatus hernia), reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus may occur. Reflux causes heartburn, difficulty in swallowing, vomiting, halitosis, angina-like chest pain, anemia, and bleeding among other symptoms. It may also cause various respiratory problems such as wheezing, pneumonia, and even apnea (lack of breathing) if regurgitated stomach contents are. breathed into the lungs.


Pseudo-obstructive Disease

Pseudo-obstruction is the most severe of the motility disorders. Its symptoms--periodic vomiting, abdominal distention, heartburn, constipation, urinary retention, weight loss, inability to eat normally--are those of recurrent intestinal obstruction. And yet, there is no evidence of an actual obstruction of the digestive system. Pseudo-obstruction may be caused by dysfunctions in the nerves or the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract that result in a lack of coordination between the nerves and the muscles.

Early diagnosis to determine that a motility problem exists is of the utmost importance to children with pseudo-obstructive disease. Nutritional intervention by means of feeding tubes such as gastrostomy or jejunostomy tubes and total parental nutrition (the intravenous infusion of necessary nutrients) is necessary.


Cyclic Vomiting

Recurrent cyclic vomiting is also a gastrointestinal motility problem. At this time patients are treated with an antiemetic drug to control the vomiting. Newer drugs are available to promote the coordinated stimulation of the intestine. Prevention of dehydration is crucial.


Functional Dyspepsia

Dyspepsia (imperfect digestion) is known as functional (or non-ulcer) dyspepsia when the origin of the condition is unknown. Its symptoms are upper abdominal pain or discomfort, early fullness while eating or an inability to finish a normal meal, loss of appetite, belching, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and regurgitation. Symptoms typically occur during the daytime.

Our Mission

The Mission of PEDS is to raise funds for the research, diagnosis and treatment of Pediatric Gastrointestinal, Motility and other related diseases, while supporting efforts to find a cure.