Gastrointestinal

Digestive Disorders


Gastrointestinal

The Gastrointestinal System is affected by many things.
There are many conditions that can affect the GI system and its many organs. The GI system begins at the mouth and extends to the anus. The organs it includes are: the esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and small and large intestines. The proper function of the Gastrointestinal System results in proper food assimilation and in the growth development in children. The following conditions are some of the main disorders of the gastrointestinal system.

Abdominal pain: Such discomforts, especially if persistent, are often a signal that something serious is not right. Many GI conditions resulting in abdominal pain are quite complex. Others require only a simple solution. Tests and examinations may be required to clearly define the source of the abdominal pain and to determine the course of treatment.

Celiac disease: This condition involves not being able to absorb the nutrients from certain foods containing gluten. Foods that contain gluten are wheat, oats, barley, rye and their byproducts. Diet control is required to manage the discomfort if these foods are ingested, which may result in diarrhea, discomfort, and bloating.

Constipation: Usually an easily treated condition in children with benign causes, constipation can be a critical health issue in infants and newborns. Constipation is generally treated with some combination of diet, activity, and medicine.

Cystic Fibrosis (CF): Although CF is typically thought of as a lung condition, there are a number of GI associated problems with this multi-organ genetic condition. These include maldigestion and malabsorption resulting is stunted growth, reflux, liver and gallbladder problems, and bowel obstruction.

Inflammatory bowel disease: These are usually referred to as Crohn's disease or Ulcerative Colitis, and often appear during the adolescent years. Nutrition plays a key role in treatment. Control is also managed through diet and medicines.

Pancreatitis: An inflammation of the pancreas. Acute pancreatitis runs its course and is usually resolved with treatment. Chronic pancreatitis may return and is controlled by diet modification and medicines. Sometimes, specialized nutrition must be delivered to rest the pancreas.

Reflux disease: Feeding problems sometimes point to this condition, which is the backflow of stomach contents into the esophagus. The condition may be mild to severe and may require diet modification, position adjustments during and after feeding (for infants), or surgery.

Short bowel syndrome: This condition is often the result of an insult to the intestine at birth or in the newborn period. It can be acquired in an older child from trauma or twisting of the bowel. The child must undergo surgery to remove the damaged portion of the intestine and is left with a smaller length of bowel. It is treated with specialized nutrition and nutrition by the vein.

Ulcers: This condition, an erosion of the stomach or intestine lining, may be caused by bacteria or other factors.

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