Diagnosis & Treatment of Gastrointestinal (GI) Disorders
Gastroenterologists work with issues and diseases in the gastrointestinal
(GI) tract. Problems in the GI tract have complex physical, emotional
and nutritional outcomes. The most common diseases types in GI for kids
are Crohn's disease, celiac disease, bulimia, anorexia, constipation,
irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and food allergies.
Sometimes your child's stomach ache is something more and you will
need to visit a gastrointestinal specialist. The GI staff at East Tennessee
Children's Hospital in Knoxville, TN knows what signs and symptoms
to look for if your child's pain is more serious.
What to Expect During Your Visit
At your first visit, the gastrointestinal, or GI doctor will talk about
your child's medical history with you. They will be trying to determine
if your child has experienced any of the following:
- Uncontrolled weight loss
- Late puberty
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Unexplained fever
- Family history of inflammatory bowel disease
The doctor will also do a physical exam. They will look for tenderness,
fullness beneath the skin or organ enlargement. Further tests may include
abdominal CT scans, ultrasounds, endoscopy or MRIs at Children's Hospital.
If your child has sharp stomach pain then vomits, the problem may be more
serious than a visit to the GI doctor. Causes for sharp stomach pain can
include appendicitis or intestinal obstruction or perforation. You may
need to go to the
East Tennessee Children's Hospital has one of the few stand-alone endoscopy
suites in the country just for children. This means that we can to perform
endoscopies on site. These tests allow doctors to put a camera through
the digestive system and find the source of many GI issues.
Transitions & Therapy
Many GI disorders can cause frequent pain and embarrassing symptoms. These
sometimes lead to social withdrawal and avoiding school. Psychological
illnesses can also be the cause of problems in GI for kids. Eating disorders
and elimination disorders lead to the physical problems that our GI doctors treat.
At East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, we want to do more than treat
the symptoms, we want help our patients in every way we can.
Our therapists can help your child with:
- Accepting illness
- Living with illness
- Managing chronic diseases
- Eating disorders
Meeting with a Dietician
After your appointment, your child may need a new diet for recovery and
good health. Many medical problems improve quickly with changes in food
habit and nutrition. You may need to see a dietitian if your child has
- Celiac disease or gluten intolerance
- Food allergies
- Failure to thrive
- Constipation or diarrhea
A dietitian will review your child's medical records, measure their
weight and height and discuss the three day food diary you will create
before the appointment. This diary includes what food and drink was consumed,
when and how much. The dietitian will help you create a food plan for
your child based on medical needs, lifestyle and food preferences.
Our Committed Gastroenterology Team
At East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, every member of our staff
is passionate about helping children and families. Our gastroenterology
team doesn’t just focus on the patient’s condition, they look
after the mental and physical concerns of our patients so they can help
them live happier and healthier.