Swallowing Problems

Achalasia

Achalasia is a motility disorder that affects muscle function in the esophagus. Normally when a person swallows, there is a reflex to immediately relax the lower esophageal sphincter (the valve at the bottom of the esophagus that opens so contents can drain into the stomach) as the muscles in the esophagus begin to squeeze food down from the top.

Diaphragmatic Breathing for GI Patients

For those suffering from GI symptoms, diaphragmatic breathing offers specific benefits and can help manage diarrhea and constipation. Activating the diaphragm creates a gentle massaging action felt by internal organs like the intestines and stomach, which can reduce abdominal pain, urgency, bloating and constipation.

Digestive and Liver Health

Digestive health at the University of Michigan Health System diagnoses and treats diseases of the gastrointestinal system of the body, including irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's Disease, GERD, liver disease and constipation.

Dysphagia (Difficulty Swallowing)

Dysphagia means difficulty swallowing food or liquids. There are many causes, including problems in the coordination or strength of the swallowing muscles, inflammatory conditions, benign narrowings of the esophagus called strictures, and cancers. At the University of Michigan’s Esophageal Disorders Program, our multidisciplinary team has broad experience diagnosis and treating dysphagia, with comprehensive diagnostic testing and a robust clinical research program.

Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)

Eosinophilic esophagitis, or EoE, is inflammation of the esophagus (swallowing tube) that is related to allergies. Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell that is involved in allergic reactions. At the University of Michigan’s Esophageal Disorders Program, our multidisciplinary team has broad experience diagnosing and treating eosinophilic esophagitis, through diagnostic testing, therapies that are not widely available and a dedicated nutritionist with expertise in eliminating trigger foods.

GI Behavioral Therapy

For patients with chronic gastrointestinal (GI) conditions, everyday life brings many challenges. In addition to managing physical symptoms, the discomfort, uncertainty and inconvenience of living with a chronic GI condition can take an emotional toll, negatively impacting mental health and quality of life. Members of the GI Behavioral Health Program work with the medical team to bring mind and body care together, complementing medical treatments with proven behavioral health interventions.

GI Nutrition Therapy

GI Nutrition Services, part of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, play an integral role in Michigan Medicine’s comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to GI care. Together with GI physicians, nurses, clinical psychologists, pelvic floor physical therapists and other specialists, we partner with patients to promote well-being and optimize quality of life.

Make an Appointment

Make an appointment with an GI or liver specialist (gastroenterologist or hepatologist) at the University of Michigan or call one of our special clinic phone numbers. Call 1-888-229-7408 to get answers to your questions.

Our Care Team

Your gastrointestinal medical care team will depend upon the specific GI condition you are being treated for and often includes doctors with different medical specialties along with other health professionals collaborating to give you the best care possible. This is called a multidisciplinary approach, and at the University of Michigan, our goal is always to coordinate this multidisciplinary care in a way that is convenient and efficient for you.

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

EndoFLIP is a technology that simultaneously measures the area across the inside of a gastrointestinal organ (for example, the esophagus) and the pressure inside that organ. The ratio of the two measurements is called distensibility (stiffness).

Your Digestive System

Your digestive system is made up of a series of organs that allows your body to get the nutrients and energy it needs from the food we eat.  As food travels through the digestive system it is broken down, sorted, and reprocessed before being circulated around the body to nourish and replace cells and supply energy to our muscles. This page includes an animation of the digestive process as well as a description of the various digestive organs and diseases related to them that we treat at the University of Michigan.