Health Information

Digestive and Liver Disorders

  • Anorectal Malformation

    Anorectal malformations are birth defects, or problems that happen as an unborn baby is developing during pregnancy. With this defect, the anus and rectum don’t develop properly. They are the lower part of the digestive tract.

  • Appendicitis in Children

    Appendicitis is a painful swelling and infection of the appendix.  It is a medical emergency. The appendix can burst or rupture. This is serious and can lead to more infection. If not treated, it can be fatal.

  • Biliary Atresia

    Biliary atresia is a rare liver disease that occurs in infants. It is often found shortly after birth. The disorder affects tubes in the liver called bile ducts. If not treated with surgery, it can be fatal.

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in Children

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a long-term (chronic) disorder that affects the large intestine or colon. IBS causes painful belly (abdominal) and bowel symptoms.

  • Common Children's Digestive Problems

    Detailed information on common children's digestive problems, including colic, diarrhea, food allergies, and lactose intolerance

  • Colic

    Colic is when a healthy baby cries for a very long time, for no obvious reason. It is a common problem that affects some babies during the first 3 to 4 months of life.

  • Constipation in Children

    Constipation is when a child has very hard stools, and has fewer bowel movements than he or she normally does. It is a very common GI (gastrointestinal) problem.

  • Crohn's Disease in Children

    Crohn's disease is when there is redness, swelling (inflammation), and sores along the digestive tract. It is part of a group of diseases known as inflammatory bowel disease or IBD.

  • Inguinal and Umbilical Hernias in Children

    A hernia is when a part of the intestine pushes through a weak spot in the belly (abdominal) muscles. The hernia creates a soft lump or bulge under the skin.

  • Diarrhea in Children

    Diarrhea is when stools (bowel movements) are loose and watery. Your child may also need to go to the bathroom more often.

  • Dysphagia

    Detailed information on dysphagia, including causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Encopresis

    Encopresis is when your child leaks stool into his or her underwear. It is also called stool soiling. It is most often because of long-term (chronic) constipation. Encopresis happens to children ages 4 and older who have already been toilet trained.

  • Food Allergies in Children

    A food allergy is when your child’s body has a bad immune reaction to a certain food. This is different than a food intolerance which does not affect the immune system. This is true even though some of the same signs may be present.

  • GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) in Children

    GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a long-term (chronic) digestive disorder. It happens when stomach contents flow back up (reflux) into the food pipe (esophagus).

  • Helicobacter Pylori in Children

    H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori) is a spiral-shaped germ (bacteria) that infects the stomach. It can damage the tissue in your child’s stomach and the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). This can cause redness and swelling (inflammation). It may also cause painful sores called peptic ulcers in the upper digestive tract.

  • Inguinal and Umbilical Hernia

    Detailed information on hernia, including risks, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Hirschsprung Disease

    Hirschsprung disease is a rare birth defect. It affects the nerve cells in the large intestine. These nerve cells control the muscles that move food and waste, or stool, through the large intestine. The large intestine is the last part of the digestive tract.

  • Home Page - Digestive and Liver Disorders

    Detailed information on digestive disorders in children

  • Inflammatory and Infectious Digestive Disorders

    Detailed information on digestive inflammatory and infectious disorders in children

  • Intussusception

    Intussusception is a serious problem in the intestine. It occurs when one part of the intestine slides inside another part. The intestine then folds into itself like a telescope. This creates a blockage or obstruction. It stops food that is being digested from passing through the intestine.

  • Liver Disorders

    Detailed information on the most common liver disorders in children

  • How the Liver Works

    Detailed information on how the liver works, including a full-color, labeled illustration of the digestive system

  • Liver Transplantation in Children

    A liver transplant is surgery to replace a diseased liver with a healthy liver from another person.

  • Problems Affecting the Lower Digestive Tract

    Detailed information on problems affecting the lower digestive tract of children

  • Intestinal Malrotation and Volvulus

    Detailed information on intestinal malrotation and volvulus, including risk, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Meckel's Diverticulum

    Detailed information on Meckel's diverticulum, including risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Omphalocele

    An infant with an omphalocele has a portion of the abdominal organs protruding through an opening in the muscles near the umbilical cord.

  • Online Resources - Digestive and Liver Disorders

    List of online resources to find additional information on digestive disorders

  • Problems in Prenatal Development of the Digestive Tract

    Detailed information on problems in prenatal development of the digestive tract

  • Topic Index - Digestive and Liver Disorders

    Detailed information on digestive disorders in children

  • Tracheoesophageal Fistula and Esophageal Atresia

    Detailed information on tracheoesophageal fistula and esophageal atresia, including symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Viruses, Bacteria, and Parasites in the Digestive Tract

    Detailed information on viruses, bacteria, and parasites in the digestive tract

  • Ulcerative Colitis in Children

    Detailed information on ulcerative colitis, including causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Stomach and Duodenal Ulcers (Peptic Ulcers) in Children

    Detailed information on ulcers, including causes, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Problems Affecting the Upper Digestive Tract

    Detailed information on problems affecting the upper digestive tract of children

  • Congenital Liver Defects

    Detailed information on congenital liver defects, including biliary atresia and choledochal cyst

  • Digestive System: An Overview

    Detailed information on how the digestive system works, including a full-color, labeled illustration of the digestive system

  • Diaphragmatic Hernia

    A diaphragmatic hernia is a birth defect in which an opening is present in the diaphragm. Some of the organs that are normally found in the abdomen move up into the chest cavity through this abnormal opening.

  • Common Characteristics of Liver Disease

    Detailed information on liver diseases, including the most common characteristics of liver disease such as jaundice, cholestasis, liver enlargement, portal hypertension, esophageal varices, ascites, liver encephalopathy, and liver failure

  • Lactose Intolerance in Children

    Lactose intolerance is when the body can’t easily break down or digest lactose. Lactose is a sugar found in milk and milk products.

  • Rumination Syndrome

    Rumination syndrome is a rare behavioral problem. It affects children and some adults. Rumination syndrome causes an automatic regurgitation of recently eaten food. If your child has this problem, he or she will usually eat meals normally. But, after about an hour or two, undigested food comes back up into his or her mouth from the esophagus. Your child will either re-chew and re-swallow the food, or spit it out. Usually, this happens at every meal, day after day. Rumination is a reflex, not a conscious action.