The parasympathetic nervous system uniquely controls the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. In the upper GI tract, GERD is possible in two ways: either as a parasympathetic insufficiency (leading to gastroparesis) causing food to collect, causing the acid to back up into the esophagus, or as a parasympathetic excess causing an overactive stomach, splashing the acid up into the esophagus. In the lower GI tract, parasympathetic insufficiency leads to lower motility leading to constipation, and parasympathetic excess leads to excess motility leading to diarrhea. Most GI medications, especially those that affect motility, are direct or indirect anticholinergics.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Acid Reflux
- Parasympathetic Activity
- Parasympathetic Nervous System
- Bowel Motility
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