When your child suffers with a digestive or gastrointestinal illness, you know the toll it can take on your child as well as the entire family. In addition to the discomfort from physical symptoms, digestive illnesses often have a broader impact, causing anxiety and sometimes even embarrassment for your child, as well as frequent absence from school.
At Mission Children's Hospital we work to help alleviate the physical and emotional challenges. We treat a wide range of conditions, from food allergies or persistent constipation, to unexplained vomiting, jaundice or other liver or bowel diseases.
Our specialists care for infants, children and adolescents to diagnose and manage disorders of the digestive system and serious eating and nutritional problems, including, but not limited to, failure to thrive, severe inflammatory bowel disease and liver disorders.
When to ask for a referral to a specialist
You should always consult your pediatrician if you feel your child's symptoms are severe and/or persistent. Often there is a simple solution such testing for a food allergy, changing a baby's formula or understanding a breast fed baby's response to breast milk. For situations that are more complex, a subspecialist can help you determine if further medical examination or treatment is needed.
Pediatric gastroenterologists treat:
- Esophagitis, where swallowing hurts or is hard to do
- Gastroesophogeal reflux (GERD), which sometimes includes a burning hot feeling in the throat, with frequent stomachaches
- Unexplained, frequent vomiting
- Peptic ulcer and other stomach diseases
- Celiac disease, where eating foods like bread that contain gluten can give the child stomach pain and gas and may even affect behavior
- Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, a severe lifelong problem with the intestines.
- Rectal bleeding
- Jaundice and other liver diseases
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Birth defects of the digestive system
- Failure to thrive, trouble with eating and normal growth
- Encopresis, severe constipation and problems with soiling
- Serious food allergies and sensitivities
At Mission Children's Hospital we treat a number of different ailments and provide a wide variety of services and procedures for children with digestive system disorders. Our testing and evaluation services include:
- Esophageal pH studies, to measure stomach acid reflux
- Diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy, which is now available using a wireless monitor to measure the acid in the child's esophagus
- Anorectal manometry, to evaluate the causes of constipation or incontinence
- Hydrogen breath tests, to evaluate for intolerance to lactose, fructose and lactulose, as well as identification of small bowel bacterial overgrowth
- Asthma and reflux differentiation
- Impaction clean out
- Hydrogen breath test and tests for celiac disease
|Dr. Michael Bates||Dr. Douglas LaGarde||Dr. Rose Graham|
If you are concerned about your child's symptoms, please ask for a referral to see a gastroenterologist at Mission Children's Hospital. You can print the Patient Referral Form and give it to your physician. If you have any questions or would like us to fax you a form, please call 828-213-1740 or 800-377-9251.