When Is the Right Time to Contact a Pediatric GI Professional?


When imagining the sort of individual who will require more help for a digestive issue, we commonly picture an adult or a person of advanced age. Even when age can be a factor in the progression of certain types of gastrointestinal (GI) diseases, there's no doubt that youngsters are not immune to digestive issues — and might be even more susceptible to these distinct conditions.

In the event your youngster may be experiencing some type of pediatric digestive problem, the gastroenterologist providers at GastroArkansas are always on hand to help bring them back to good health. Below is some key information to take note of when determining the right time to connect with us for a visit with a pediatric GI physician in Little Rock, AR.

How is a child's digestive system different from an adult’s?

Just like every other system in the body, the digestive system requires some time to develop after birth. Gastrointestinal problems in infants are fairly normal while they're in this developing period. For instance, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscle tissue at the lowest point in the esophagus that functions to interrupt stomach acid from flowing backward, is commonly not fully developed in newborns, triggering concerns with gastroesophageal reflux.

Due to the fact that adequate nourishment is closely tied to a child's proper development and growth, it's strongly recommended that you connect with a pediatric gastrointestinal specialist if you think your child is enduring gastrointestinal concerns. Pediatric GI conditions are more commonplace than you may anticipate, with some being present at birth.

Which pediatric digestive complications are most commonly experienced?

Though young children may be impacted by a lot of the same digestive issues that are experienced in adults, certain problems are more probable than others. Some of the more prevalent GI issues involve:

  • Food intolerances: Such as lactose intolerance (struggling with digesting milk items) and celiac disease (an autoimmune response to gluten that harms the small intestine).
  • Cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS): This disorder causes severe vomiting that follows in cycles and frequently affects kids.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): GERD refers to scarring and inflammation present in the esophagus caused by periodic acid reflux. This condition is extremely typical in newborns and infants and is commonly displayed by vomiting, hiccups, gagging, and an aversion to ingesting food.
  • Abdominal distress: A lot of minor stomach symptoms (like flatulence) will self-correct over a certain period of time. Nevertheless, recurrent or great stomach aches justify that you connect with a pediatric gastroenterologist provider.
  • IBD (inflammatory bowel disease): Including GI conditions like Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.
  • Constipation: Problems with passing stools.

It's imperative to treat GI issues in infants and toddlers, as these troubles might inhibit the child's capability to absorb the nourishment they need to grow. The providers at GastroArkansas can work with you and your child to help you become more knowledgeable about their digestive troubles and how to treat them.

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

A proactive approach is generally recommended when encountering any health problem. Even a small issue, like diarrhea, might point to a bigger issue if it strikes often. There may be several clear symptoms that we encourage you to discuss with a pediatric GI provider, such as:

  • Constant watery stools (diarrhea) or hard stools (constipation)
  • Blood in the stool
  • A lag in or little to no growth even when getting adequate subsistence
  • Repeated vomiting or blood present in vomit

If you observe any of the listed symptoms above in your child, please set up an appointment with a GI provider immediately.

Experience professional pediatric GI care in Little Rock, AR

At GastroArkansas, our providers treat an array of pediatric GI concerns and are dedicated to helping our patients thrive. In the case that you're worried about your child's digestive well-being and are seeking a pediatric gastrointestinal provider in Little Rock, AR, please contact our team today to request an appointment.