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Digestive Disorders

Carnitine and GI Dysmotility/Dysautonomia

06/11/2010

Question:

I have been diagnosed with gastroparesis and small bowel dysmotility. I also have been diagnosed with POTS. Recently my carnitine levels were tested which came back abnormal. There was suggestion of MNGIE although I do not have all the signs of this. What can cause carnitine abnormalities? Is there a link between abnormal carnitine levels and POTS/ GI dysmotility? Thank you for your time.

Answer:

This is a series of questions. Carnitine deficiency is a condition that affects skeletal but not smooth muscle and as such should not relate to gastroparesis. POTS conceivably may have a role as it is a autoimmune deficiency and could affect bowel motility. MNGIE GI manifestations are of encephalopathy, etc. The mitochondria are the linking issue and if the mitochondria of the gut neurons are included in the disease then GI manifestation could include gastroparesis.

I am not an expert in mitochondria disorders and would defer to someone (neurology, endocrinology etc) who is, regarding the possible links.

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Response by:

D Roy Ferguson, MD D Roy Ferguson, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University