Chronic and recurrent abdominal pain in children usually refers to the 10-15% of children who complain of recurrent pain in the abdomen for which no specific cause can be found.
When an infant has a birth defect that involves an opening in the abdomen, this is known as an abdominal wall abnormality or abdominal wall defect.
Acute liver failure is a rare condition in which the liver stops working quite rapidly, and often with no other previous liver problems being present.
Alagille syndrome is a genetic disorder. It causes problems throughout the body, but one of the common signs is liver damage due to problems with the liver’s bile ducts. Instead of transporting bile away from the liver to other parts of the body, these problems cause bile to build up in the liver and damage it.
Alpha-1 antitrypsin is a protein produced by the liver. It plays a role in protecting the lungs. When the body doesn’t make enough of it, or it can’t travel properly from the liver to the lungs, the disease is known as alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.
Anorexia is a severe debilitating eating disorder that occurs most frequently in girls that is characterized by a distorted view of their body that leads them to believe they're overweight and need to restrict how much they eat, over exercise, and/or perform other behaviors that prevents them from gaining weight, almost to starvation.
The appendix is a finger-like blind-ended tube that arises at the junction of the small and large intestines in the abdomen. Appendicitis is a very common acute infection/inflammation of the appendix usually occurring in children between the ages of 10-19 years.
When excess fluid accumulates in the abdomen, specifically in the area between the abdominal lining and the organs in the abdomen, this is known as ascites. When the fluid buildup contains chyle (a milky-type fluid that contains lymphatic fluid and fat), this form of ascites is known as chylous ascites.
Atresia is a medical term that means that a body part that is tubular in nature does not have a normal opening, or lacks the ability to allow material to pass through it.
An autoimmune disorder refers to a medical condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own organs and tissues, thinking they are a foreign invader. Autoimmune enteropathy occurs when the immune system attacks the intestines, which leads to frequent diarrhea and other nutritional problems in children.
An autoimmune disorder refers to a medical condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own organs and tissues, thinking they are a foreign invader. Autoimmune hepatitis occurs when the immune system attacks the liver, which leads to liver damage and inflammation.
Bile acids are chemicals in the liver that play several important roles in the body, including helping with the breakdown of fat and removing cholesterol from the body. When the body has trouble producing bile acid, this is known as a bile acid synthesis defect.
The biliary system refers to the ducts and channels that allow the fluid produced in the liver ( bile ) to drain into the intestines
Binge eating is a type of eating disorder where abnormally large amounts of food are eaten in a single sitting.
Bulimia is a type of eating disorder where children/adolescents will have episodes of uncontrollable overeating.
When people’s bodies are unable to absorb sugars, starches and other carbohydrates, this condition is known as carbohydrate malabsorption. It can lead to a number of complications.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder. This means that the body’s own immune system attacks itself as if it were a foreign invader.
If a duct draining bile from the liver is dilated or shows an out-pouching in a particular segment, this is called a choledochal cyst.
In order for food to make its way through the digestive tract, it relies on a process of involuntary muscle contractions known as peristalsis. When peristalsis doesn’t work properly due to nerve or muscle problems, this is known as chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction.
Cirrhosis is a fancy term for scarring of the liver. It can occur due to alcohol abuse, hepatitis, and other reasons.
Cloacal exstrophy is a birth defect that is linked to malformations of the urinary bladder, portions of the rectum and intestines, vaginal structures in females, and pelvis.
The diaphragm is the muscular boundary that helps separate the contents of the chest from those of the abdomen. When there’s a hole within the diaphragm of a growing fetus while it’s in the mother’s womb, this is known as a congenital diaphragmatic hernia, or CDH.
Congenital hepatic fibrosis is a disease that affects the liver. Specifically, it’s known for causing structural problems with the bile ducts and blood vessels of the liver that are present at birth.
Constipation in a common problem in children and is described as a condition where the child has infrequent ( less than 2-3 or less stools a week ), or hard dry and small bowel movements that are difficult to pass and are painful.
Crohn’s disease is a chronic type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes the intestine anywhere from mouth to anus to become inflamed, and/or ulcerated, causing it to lose its ability to absorb digested foods.
Cyclic vomiting is a disorder in which a person has periods of vomiting that can last anywhere from a few hours to several days.
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that mostly affects a child's ability to form normal sweat and/or mucous.
Malabsorption is the failure to digest or absorb nutrients from eaten food.
If use on over-the-counter medications, prescriptions medications, herbs and supplements or illegal drugs ultimately leads an individual to develop liver problems, this is known as drug-induced liver disease.
Dysphagia means difficulty with feeding and/or swallowing from problems with using the mouth/lips, tongue or throat.
Please see Fecal Incontinence for further information.
Eosinophilic esophagitis (EE) is a condition related to food ingestion or inhaled allergens. It is characterized by an isolated inflammation of the esophagus by a specific white blood cell called the eosinophil.
Eosinophilic Esophagitis is when a white blood cell called an eosinophil is present in the esophagus, which is the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach.
When a fetus’s esophagus, the tube that carries food to the stomach, does not develop correctly, the defect is known as esophageal atresia.
When the esophagus becomes inflamed, it’s known as esophagitis.
If an infant or child is not maintaining or gaining weight at a normal rate, because of inadequate calorie intake, poor food absorption or increased caloric expenditure, the condition is known as failure to thrive.
Pancreatitis is a disease that affects the pancreas, causing pain and other symptoms. Familial pancreatitis refers to pancreatitis that occurs in a family with a rate that is greater than would be expected by chance alone.
Many problems that arise with the liver over time are related to alcohol abuse. In the absence of alcohol abuse, when more than 5 percent of a person’s liver mass develops increased fat accumulation, this is known as fatty liver disease.
When a child does not have control over their bowel movements (past the age of toilet training- at least 4 years of age), and leaks solid or liquid (or mucous) stool from the rectum at unexpected times, it is known as fecal incontinence.
The terms feeding disorders or feeding difficulties are frequently used to refer to infants and children who have problems with eating enough and/or an appropriate variety of foods.
Food allergies are when a person develops allergy antibodies (IgE antibodies) to a protein in a food, and when exposed to this protein it causes an allergic reaction.
Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome occurs in a small percentage of infants after ingestion of an offending food, causing repetitive vomiting sometimes with diarrhea leading to dehydration and possibly shock.
Many forms of abdominal pain are related to problems with the digestive function of the intestinal tract; inflammation within the lining of the intestinal tract; or blockages or other abnormalities in the structure of the intestinal tract or its associated organs.
The gallbladder is a pouch located beneath the liver that stores bile before sending it along to the small intestine. Any medical condition that impacts the gallbladder can be lumped into the category of “gallbladder disease”.
When the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed, this condition is known as gastritis.
When digestive acids from the stomach back up or reflux back up the food pipe ( esophagus ) causing heartburn ( acid reflux ) it's called gastroesophageal reflux.
When the gastrointestinal tract, most often the intestine, is infected by a parasite, this is often referred to as gastrointestinal parasites. If not treated some parasites may linger for many years and cause long term problems
Gastrointestinal polyposis refers to a group of diseases that are known for causing polyps in the stomach, colon, or other areas of the gastrointestinal tract. Polyps are abnormal growths that form on the lining of the GI tract.
Gastroparesis occurs if the muscles and/or nerves of the stomach do not move food properly, causing the stomach to take too long to empty.
Gastroschisis and omphalocele are both part of a relatively uncommon group of birth defects that involve an opening or hole in the abdominal wall, frequently on the right side of the belly button.
Certain disorders that children are born with can make it difficult for the liver to process certain nutrients, such as fats, proteins or carbohydrates. This group of disorders is known as genetic/metabolic diseases of the liver.
Any internal bleeding that originates anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract is known as GI bleeding.
A wide variety of highly contagious infectious agents can infect the gastrointestinal tract. Giardia, which is a parasite, is one of the more common.
Helicobacter pylori is a spiral shaped, motile bacterium that infects the stomach, and duodenum sometimes causing illness.
A hernia is the extension of a portion of an organ or tissue through an abnormal opening in the wall that normally contains it.
Hirschsprung's disease describes a congenital condition (happens before birth) where nerve cells in the wall of the large bowel (colon) that normally develop during intrauterine development are missing.
If a baby is born without an anus (the opening at the end of the digestive tract), then this birth defect is known as an imperforated anus.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are several related illnesses that cause chronic inflammation of the gut with swelling and damage of the bowel lining.
Intestinal atresia, a type of birth defect, refers to a complete block in an area of the intestines of a baby. It occurs when the intestines aren’t formed properly.
The actions of the muscles and nerves in the gastrointestinal tract that mix and move food (muscle contraction and relaxation) along is the known as motility. When something goes wrong with this action in the muscles or in the nerves of the intestines, this is referred to as intestinal dysmotility.
Without the enzyme, lactose cannot be absorbed and the condition is known as lactose intolerance because it causes children to have uncomfortable gut symptoms.
Megaloblastic anemia is a type of anemia where the bone marrow produces fewer and abnormally large, oval shaped (instead of round/disk-like) red blood cells, with underdeveloped inside contents (hemoglobin).
An ulcer is an open sore in the skin, or in the lining tissue of the mouth to the anus (mucus membranes of the gastrointestinal tract ).
While the fetus is growing in the womb, the openings for the anus, vagina and urethra actually start out bundled together in a formation known as the cloaca. When these fail to separate from one another as the fetus develops, this is known as persistent cloaca and can cause complications.
When the valve is narrowed by thickening of the muscles that make up the pylorus, blocking the passage of food, the condition is known as pyloric stenosis or hypertrophic pyloric stenosis.
Short bowel syndrome means that an infant/child doesn't have a long enough functioning bowel to properly absorb food.
Shwachman-Diamond syndrome is a rare complex disorder that affects a child's bone marrow, pancreas and bones (and sometimes other parts of the body).
Ulcerative colitis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), in which the inner lining of the large intestine ( colon ) and rectum become inflamed, on and off, causing symptoms, which come and go.
Viral hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by a number of viruses which can damage or destroy liver cells.
Vomiting is a symptom, not a disease and describes the reflexive act of emptying the contents of the stomach up through the mouth.