When Should a Child See a Pediatric Gastroenterologist?


When imagining the kind of person more likely to seek care for a gastric issue, we frequently think of a full-grown adult or people advancing in age. Even when age is a factor in the evolution of some gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, however, we know that children aren't insusceptible to intestinal setbacks — and might be possibly more susceptible to certain conditions.

If you believe your child might have some type of pediatric intestinal condition, the gastroenterologist providers at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants might be able to help improve their well-being. Below is some key information to take note of when deciding if you should connect with us for an appointment with a pediatric GI physician in DFW.

How is a kid's GI system different from an adult’s?

Just like every other system in the body, the digestive system takes some time to develop following birth. GI issues in newborns are common while they're in this growing stage. For instance, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscle at the lowest part of the esophagus that functions to delay stomach acid from flowing backward, is usually not completely formed in babies, creating problems with acid reflux.

Since optimal nutrition is closely tied to a child's proper development and growth, it's important to connect with a pediatric gastroenterologist if you feel your child is facing gastrointestinal problems. Pediatric GI disorders are more common than you might anticipate, and some even begin at birth.

What are the most common pediatric gastrointestinal issues?

While young children can be impacted by a number of similar gastrointestinal conditions that are commonplace in grownups, a few are more prevalent than others. A few of the more likely problems consist of:

  • CVS (cyclic vomiting syndrome): This complication incites extreme vomiting that occurs in frequent cycles and is predominantly found in children.
  • Abdominal distress: A lot of minor stomach symptoms (like flatulence) will straighten out over a certain period of time, but frequent or serious stomach aches justify a visit with a pediatric GI provider.
  • Constipation: Difficulty passing stools.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): Gastroesophageal reflux disease describes the inflammation and scarring in the esophagus brought on by frequent acid reflux. This disorder is prevalent in newborns and infants and is often signified by hiccups, gagging, vomiting, and a reluctance to ingest food.
  • Food intolerances: For example, lactose intolerance (complications with processing lactose products) and celiac disease (an autoimmune reaction to gluten that harms the small intestine).
  • IBD (inflammatory bowel disease): Including GI issues like Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.

It's important to manage GI troubles in infants, toddlers, and newborns, as these troubles may block the child's ability to consume the nutrients they need to grow. The gastroenterologist providers at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants can help you understand their troubles and provide the necessary treatment.

When should I bring my child to a pediatric GI specialist?

It is always better to be proactive when dealing with any health disorder. Even a GI problem, like diarrhea, could signal a greater problem when it occurs persistently. There are a few clear signs that you should consult with a pediatric gastrointestinal provider, including:

  • Continual vomiting or blood in vomit.
  • Slow or increase in growth regardless of getting plenty of nourishment.
  • Blood with bowel movements.
  • Recurrent bouts of diarrhea (loose, watery stools) or hard stools (constipation).

In the case that you notice some of the complications listed above, please set up an appointment with a gastroenterologist provider as soon as you can.

Get skilled pediatric GI care in DFW

At Texas Digestive Disease Consultants, the gastroenterologist providers provide many treatments for pediatric GI concerns and are dedicated to making sure that our patient's GI health is improved. In the event you're anxious about your little one's gastro well-being and are seeking a pediatric gastrointestinal provider in DFW you might trust, please contact our team today to set up a consultation.