Gastrointestinal Tract and Disorders of Motility

Introduction

Gastrointestinal Tract (GI) or the so-called digestive tract is a long tube, which has a different width in some of its parts as well as a large number of flexures. Several sphincters are also the essential fractions of this system. Some sections of the digestive tract can be distinguished anatomically. Moreover, the entire system can be defined by its functional features. All the parts of the digestive tract must have a similar structure beginning with the esophagus. With respect to the whole body, in general, the gastrointestinal cavity represents the environment, and its sides represent the proper internal environment of the body (Greenberger, Blumberg, & Burakoff, 2015). Thus, the functionality of the system is essential for the whole organism. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the normal activity of the GI as well as to review the disorders of motility.

The GI is sensitive towards the effects of external and internal environment such as food, stress, hormonal disorders, and so on. The increased number of deleterious effects result in a significant increase in gastrointestinal diseases. Notably, the system’s hormones, acids, and enzymes can affect the condition of GI, and they can harm it. Motility is the normal activity of the GI. Such factors as food and hormones provoke the contraction of muscles of the GI (Greenberger et al., 2015). Any dysfunctional work of the tract can lead to motility disorders and the improper functioning of the GI in general. The most common motility disorders are GERD, gastritis, and so on.

Normal Pathophysiology

The basal secretion of hydrochloric acid is a circadian process with the lowest level of secretion in the morning, and the maximum – at night. The secretion of acid in the stomach is subject to cholinergic regulation via the vagus nerve. In addition, the crucial aspect is the local release of histamine (Johnson, 2013). The main stimulant of acid production is the food. Acid production process is divided into three stages cephalic, gastric, and intestinal. The cephalic phase occurs in cholinergic stimulation of gastric acid secretion by n. Vagus. As soon as the food enters the stomach, the gastric phase of secretion begins.

Some substances (amines and amino acids) directly stimulate the synthesis and secretion of gastrin, which, in its turn, stimulates the secretion of acid. When food enters the intestine, the final phase of stimulation of acid secretion begins (Johnson, 2013). The basic mechanisms in the stimulation phase include tensile bowel action of proteins and their degradation products. The discharge of somatostatin is the most important in the balance of the secretory process. Thus, the acid is the results of the successive processes in the GI. The gastric cells release the gastrin, which influences the production of enterochromaffin. It results in the discharge of histamine.

Disorders

In terms of GERD, PUD, and gastritis, the gastric acid stimulation is dysfunctional. In particular, when the inflammation of the GI is present, the sphincter muscle does not rise properly. It leads to the failure of the muscle to close. In the normal condition, it closes as soon as the substance comes to the stomach. When it cannot close when needed, some acids get into the esophagus (Trowers & Tischler, 2014). Thus, they start digesting its lining. The muscle dysfunction results in gastritis and GERD. Several factors can contribute to the emergence of GI disorders. For instance, beverages rich in carbonates including alcohol, medications (aspirin and so on), physiological issues including obesity, and resting on the back after having a large meal can also lead to disorders.

Patients’ Behavior and Pathophysiology

Notably, the behavior and the unhealthy habits can have a direct impact on the pathophysiology of GERD, PUD, and gastritis. For instance, it has been proven that the majority of smokers have a rather distinct cough. In its turn, cough provokes the undesired contractions of the sphincter muscle (Pandolfino, 2014). In the process of these contractions, the stomach acid would get to esophagus. It generates burning actions in this part of the GI. That is to say, it results in digestion of the gut sides.

Further on, overeating and alcohol consumption could lead to the same effects. In particular, the acid from stomach would move to the esophagus. It happens due to the fact that when a person who has eaten excessive amount of food lies flat, the acid can easily get to the esophagus (Pandolfino, 2014). Moreover, different types of alcohol can cause different levels of acid in the GI. Nevertheless, alcohol causes the relaxation of the esophageal sphincter, which enables the acid to move freely to another part of the GI causing the burning actions.

Treatment

Rather often, different indicators of motility disorders are evident in patients. The typical symptoms of GERD, PUD, and gastritis include the following:

  • heartburns;
  • regurgitation;
  • bloating bloody;
  • nausea;
  • chest pain;
  • weight loss;
  • dry cough (Trowers & Tischler, 2014).

However, these indications are not always present in patients. It is rather easy to treat a patient with these symptoms when he or she has the motility disorder due to particular behavior. It should be advised to break the food intakes into smaller amounts and avoid lying flat on the stomach or back right after eating. The patient should not consume heavy or irritating foods, which cause the increased amounts of the acid production. In addition, the patient should be advised not to consume alcohol or to reduce the amount of its intake as well as to quit smoking. Nevertheless, if these symptoms are not present in the patient, it makes it rather difficult to diagnose the disorder. In that case, conducting diagnostic tests (ECGs, biopsy, blood tests) should be essential to determine the presence of health complications (Trowers & Tischler, 2014).

In terms of PUD, the patient should be prescribed with acid-blocking meds. A patient must change his or her lifestyle to avoid the emergence of larger ulcers. Gastritis can be diagnosed through blood tests or biopsy (Pandolfino, 2014). Such treatment as antacids prescription will improve the production of the acid. Importantly, B12 can also be prescribed in case of pernicious anemia.

Mind map

Mind map

Conclusion

Thus, it can be concluded that disorders of motility can be the consequence of the physiological issues or the particular behavior of a patient. The gastrointestinal tract is one of the most significant systems of the human body, and its proper functioning is essential for the healthy life of a person. In case of disorder, it is crucial to conduct a timely assessment and to take the necessary lab tests to evaluate the condition of the patient and to propose the appropriate measures to improve the acid production and stimulation as well as to advise the individual on the healthy practices of eating and his or her lifestyle.

References

Greenberger, N., Blumberg, R., & Burakoff, R. (2015). Current diagnosis & treatment. New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Johnson, L. (2013). Gastrointestinal physiology. New York, NY: Elsevier.

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