Digestive disorders affecting infants and children range from simple problems that most children experience, such as vomiting or diarrhea, to more serious problems such as the birth defect tracheoesophageal fistula or illnesses such as appendicitis.
Digestive and liver disorders can have significant effects on the health of a child. A healthy digestive system processes the foods and liquids that your child eats, replenishing vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats that are vital for the body to grow, heal, and function properly.
Occasional vomiting or diarrhea may lead to dehydration. However, long-term problems with the digestive system or liver can deplete these important nutrients, causing malnutrition that affects a child's physical and mental growth and development.
Some digestive disorders, such as vomiting or diarrhea, may be effectively treated by your child's general health care provider. Other times, your child's health care provider may refer you to a doctor who specializes in children's digestive and liver disorders. This specialist is known as a pediatric gastroenterologist.