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 pediatrics has a strong emphasis on gastroenterology with special attention to diagnosis and treatment of diseases and symptoms affecting the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, liver and pancreas in infants, children and young adults up to 21 years of age.
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.
Children are often referred to a pediatric GI doctor for chronic or acute diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, reflux, jaundice, feeding difficulties, blood in the stool or abdominal pain. These symptoms may be related to a number of diseases and conditions, such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, food allergies/intolerances and irritable bowel disease.
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 and growth or development. Kids who frequently miss school or experiencing ongoing or severe symptoms may need to be evaluated by a pediatric gastroenterologist.
At WNY Pediatric Gastroenterology, we combine our strong clinical background, years of experience with radiological and diagnostic tools to identify causes of each child’s symptoms and develop a personalized treatment plan. Our commitment is to enable our patients to thrive and achieve their goals despite their underlying gastrointestinal problems.
For more information about WNY Pediatric Gastroenterology and whether it could help your child, contact our office to speak with a team member.