While many GI needs are easily treated by a child’s pediatrician or primary care provider, some conditions and illnesses require the specialized care of a pediatric gastroenterologist. This sub-specialty of gastroenterology and pediatrics is based on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and symptoms affecting the liver, pancreas and gastrointestinal tract in children under age 18.
Pediatric gastroenterology has been a medical specialty in the U.S. since the 1960s, despite pediatric medicine and gastroenterology each independently becoming medical specialties nearly 100 years earlier. This was in response to a need for more specialized care in children with gastrointestinal health issues, as their needs often differed from those of adults. Today’s pediatric gastroenterologists are trained and held to rigorous standards, with less than a quarter of one percent of all physicians in the U.S. practicing in this specialty.
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of symptoms and conditions does a pediatric gastroenterologist treat?
Children are often referred to a pediatric GI doctor for chronic or acute diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, reflux or abdominal pain. These symptoms may be related to a number of diseases and conditions, such as celiac disease, gallbladder disease, food intolerances and irritable bowel disease.
When should a child see a pediatric GI doctor?
Often, a child’s primary physician or pediatrician will refer patients to a pediatric GI doctor when digestive health problems begin to interfere with a child’s life on a regular basis. Kids who frequently miss school or experiencing ongoing or severe symptoms may need to see a pediatric gastroenterologist.
How do pediatric GI doctors treat children with gastrointestinal health issues?
At our pediatric GI office, we use highly developed drug therapies and sophisticated procedures to help our patients thrive despite their GI health issues. Our highly develop diagnostic process is designed to root out the cause of each child’s symptoms and allow us to develop a personalized plan for treatment.
For more information about pediatric gastroenterology and whether it could help your child, contact our office to speak with a team member.