About Pediatric Gastroenterology

Digestive disorders in children

Tummy disorders in children are often considered normal, which is part of the growth process. Although this may be true for the majority, for some children, digestive problems may indicate a more critical problem.

Digestive disorders can have a negative impact on a child’s growth and development. Digestive disorders such as celiac disease, lactose intolerance, etc., can wreak havoc on a child’s life. It is imperative that a digestive disorder in a child is detected early and that treatment and/or management begin at the earliest.

Symptoms of digestive disorders (Pediatric Gastroenterology)

  • Here is a list of the most common symptoms of digestive disorders in children :
  • Stomach ache: Moderate to severe stomach pain in children that persists or recurs frequently.
  • Vomiting – The child is unable to hold back certain foods or vomit.
  • Diarrhea – Loose stools that persist for long periods or the presence of blood in the stool.
  • Feeling of bloating: The child complains of feeling full all the time.
  • Constipation – The child is pushing to have a bowel movement or is usually constipated.
  • Loss of appetite – The child is not hungry and refuses to eat.
  • Nausea – The child complains of feeling uncomfortable most of the day.

Tests for digestive disorders

In Pediatric Gastroenterology, pediatric gastroenterologists better understand digestive disorders in children and will order tests to diagnose the problem. The tests may include the following:

  • Endoscopy: A thin tube is inserted through the mouth to collect images of the gastrointestinal tract. An upper gastrointestinal or capsule endoscopy can be performed depending on the symptoms.
  • Colonoscopy: This is a test to see the condition of the lower intestinal tract, mainly the colon.
  • Ultrasound – A non-invasive imaging test to look for problems or abnormalities in the abdomen
  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy – This is a screening test to look for abnormalities in the rectum and the lower part of the colon.
  • CT Scan – This gives a 3D sectional image for better diagnosing a problem.
  • Blood tests
  • Biopsy

Common types of digestive disorders in Pediatric Gastroenterology

Some digestive disorders in children can be severe and chronic – Crohn’s disease, gallbladder diseases, liver diseases, peptic ulcers, short bowel syndrome, etc. In contrast, others, such as gastroenteritis, food allergies, etc., can be treated easily.

Celiac disease 

  • It is an autoimmune disease that makes it impossible to digest foods containing gluten, such as wheat, barley, cereals, etc.

Allergic to milk

  • This concerns the body’s inability to digest lactose, a key component of dairy products.


  • An inflammatory condition of the inner lining of the large intestine and rectum, source of frequent diarrhea and stomach pain.

Irritable bowel syndrome

  • This disorder causes unpredictable bowel movements and stomach upset and can be triggered by certain foods such as cheese, nuts, etc.

Eosinophilic esophagitis

  • This digestive disorder is due to excess white blood cells in the digestive tract, which causes inflammation and difficulty swallowing.

Treatment of digestive disorders in Pediatric Gastroenterology

Several options may be available to treat digestive disorders in children.

  • Medication: Many digestive disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, can be treated with medication.
  • Improvement: Digestive disorders such as celiac disease and lactose intolerance can be managed by dietary restrictions.
  • Oral: Disorders of the pancreas, liver, or gallbladder, for example, may require surgery. Usually, laparoscopy is performed because it is a minimally invasive surgical procedure.

The digestive system’s role is to extract the nutrients necessary for our body from the diet. But sometimes, in children, the stomach, intestine, colon, or other organs encounter some problems: abdominal pain, food intolerance, pancreatic disease, etc. In the case of a simple or complex condition of the digestive tract, it is the pediatric gastroenterology team that intervenes.

What is gastroenterology?

Hepato-gastroenterology is the medical specialty interested in the organs of digestion, their functioning, their diseases, and the means of treating them. The organs that make up the digestive system are :

  • the digestive tract (esophagus, stomach, intestines, colon, and rectum)
  • liver
  • pancreas
  • Hepato-gastroenterology

What does the gastroenterologist do in Pediatric Gastroenterology?

It detects, diagnoses, and treats diseases of the digestive system as varied as :

  • inflammatory bowel diseases (ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease…)
  • diseases of the liver and biliary tract (stones, tumors …)
  • hepatitis
  • digestive hemorrhages
  • diseases of the pancreas
  • digestive cancers

When to consult a gastroenterology specialist?

The consultation of a hepato-gastroenterologist takes place at the attending physician’s request or another specialist’s request. This reorientation makes it possible to have examinations carried out and/or interpreted to establish a diagnosis, set up treatment, and carry out a particular technical gesture.

How to choose a gastroenterologist?

Hepato-gastroenterology uses special techniques, in particular, imaging. The choice of this specialist will therefore be made in consultation with the attending physician, who knows the best-equipped establishments and the practitioners with whom he works in confidence.

Gastroenterologist for children

A child’s organism is much more sensitive than an adult’s. Therefore, every health problem he presents should not be taken lightly. On the contrary, at the slightest worrying sign, the consultation of a specialist must be de rigueur to avoid complications.

If your child, therefore, suffers from painful colic, frequent diarrhea, unexplained abdominal pain, or vomiting accompanied by strong odors, it is essential to present him to a child gastroenterologist. Indeed, the gastroenterologist is the specialist who can treat this kind of disorder, especially in a child who must be closely monitored for any treatment.

The children’s gastroenterologist takes care of children from zero to fifteen years old. To find one that can meet your expectations, you must approach a hospital and contact the pediatric gastroenterology department. You also can contact a private gastroenterologist’s office, who will be able to welcome your child by appointment or urgently as appropriate and ensure the necessary treatment for his recovery.

Pediatric gastroenterology

Gastroenterology concerns the afflictions of digestion and the stomach. A specialized pediatric consultation at the Clinic treats these cases in children.

Stomach disorders in children

The specialized consultation of pediatric gastroenterology and hepatology is aimed at children of any age with a gastroenterological or hepatic disorder. Technical examinations such as pHmetry, endoscopy, lactose breath test, or manometry are carried out as part of the consultation. Most patients are referred by their pediatrician for a specialized opinion.

What is pediatric gastroenterology?

Pediatric gastroenterologists have great expertise in all diseases of the child’s digestive tract and pancreas, whether they are common such as constipation, reflux, etc., complex, for example, chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, or rare, in particular congenital diseases of the digestive tract.

Pediatric Gastroenterology: Support

At the Children’s Hospital, the pediatric gastroenterology team receives children from an early age and up to 16 years of age on an outpatient basis, referred by their pediatrician or other specialists. Whether to make a diagnosis or for an intervention, the team has a complete technical platform allowing it to carry out many functional investigations, such as biopsies, endoscopies, or respiratory tests.

Reassure the child and integrate him into the care.

The various examinations and the disease are often a source of concern for children. To better understand them, nurses specialized in hypnosis can intervene during functional investigations, such as placing probes or ingesting a video capsule. A hypnotherapist can also teach them self-hypnosis so that children can manage their anxieties or functional disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Nursing staff specialized in therapeutic education also intervene to allow them to understand their illness and to be as autonomous and participatory as possible in their management.

Pediatric Gastroenterology: Conclusion

Digestive disorders are often not diagnosed in children due to the nature of the symptoms that are very common. For better child health, the symptoms should be checked with a doctor or a pediatric gastroenterologist for a correct diagnosis. Digestive disorders in children are pretty standard, but good growth could be hindered without the necessary treatment and diet changes.