Pediatric Digestive Disorders

The pediatricians and children’s specialists at MaineHealth are experts in diagnosing and treating a full range of pediatric digestive disorders.

MaineHealth offers children’s doctors who are close to home and in the community. We also have pediatric gastroenterologists who see patients at offices in Portland, Lewiston, Oakland and Caribou.

At The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, MaineHealth provides families with a critical resource for caring for children with digestive disorders, liver disorders and nutritional disorders.

What are pediatric digestive disorders?

A digestive disease is a health problem of the gastrointestinal system. These disorders can get in the way of day-to-day functioning. Digestive disorders can affect a child’s development.

Signs and symptoms of digestive disorders can include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bloating in the belly
  • Bleeding
  • Problems with appetite

Talk to your doctor if you are worried that your child has a digestive disorder.

How are digestive disorders found?

Your child’s pediatrician or family healthcare provider can help diagnose and treat digestive problems. Your child’s doctor also may refer you to a pediatric gastroenterologist.

A pediatric gastroenterologist is a specialist who has extra training in the diagnosis and treatment of digestive disorders in children. He or she may order a screening or test in order to diagnose a digestive disorder. Tests for digestive problems can include:

  • Colonoscopy
  • Upper GI endoscopy
  • Capsule endoscopy
  • Ultrasound
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • Biopsy
  • Blood tests
  • CT scan

Digestive disorders treated

At MaineHealth, our pediatricians and specialists care for children with a range of GI disorders and digestive disorders that include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Celiac disease
  • Colitis
  • Constipation
  • Crohn’s disease
  • >Esophagitis
  • Feeding problems, or failure to thrive
  • Food allergies
  • Gallbladder diseases
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Gastroparesis
  • GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Hirshsprung’s disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intestinal pseudo-obstruction
  • Liver disease
  • Motility disorders
  • Pancreatic diseases
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Polyps
  • Obesity
  • Short bowel syndrome

Treating digestive disorders

Treatment depends on the diagnosis, but options include:

  • Nutrition counseling and dietary changes
  • Medication
  • Surgery
  • Swallowing therapy

Medical programs and resources for digestive disorders

At MaineHealth, we offer specialty care for children with digestive orders through Maine Medical Partners – Pediatric Specialty Care and The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital:

  • Aerodigestive Clinic for problems of the airway, lungs and GI tract;
  • Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis Clinic held weekly at The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital;
  • Countdown to a Healthy ME Program is for family’s that are concerned about their child’s weight and health.