Bowel Motility

What is Bowel Motility?

Bowel motility is a term that describes the movement of stool through the digestive tract. This process is essential for the absorption of nutrients and the excretion of waste products. Without normal bowel motility, serious health issues can arise, including digestive blockages and constipation. Bowel motility is affected by several different factors, including diet, medications, and underlying medical conditions.

What Causes Poor Bowel Motility?

The following factors can affect bowel motility:

  • Diabetes
  • Nervous system disorders
  • Digestive tract infections
  • Lack of fiber in the diet
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Certain medications
  • Digestive disorders, such as Chron’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis

How is Poor Bowel Motility Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of poor bowel motility typically begins with a physical examination and a review of the patient’s medical history. Your doctor may also order several tests to determine the underlying cause of the motility disorder. These tests may include a neurological examination, endoscopy, ultrasound, or other imaging tests. Your doctor may also order a 24-hour stool-collection analysis to evaluate the content of stool over a period of time.

Treatment of Poor Bowel Motility

The goal of treatment is to increase the speed of the stool’s movement through the digestive system. Treatment typically includes dietary changes, exercise, and medications. Increasing the amount of fiber in the diet can be beneficial. Foods with high-fiber content include fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Increasing the amount of physical activity can also be beneficial, as activity increases the muscular contractions that aid in the movement of stool through the digestive tract. Medications such as laxatives, prokinetics, and antibiotics may be prescribed to aid in increasing bowel motility.