Pediatric Stomach and Digestive Issues | Pediatrics


Pediatric Stomach and Digestive Issues

Our skilled pediatric specialists treat all types of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders in children, from birth to adolescence. We use the latest research and a team-based approach to manage and treat even the most complex digestive and nutritional problems.

Medically reviewed by Daphne Say, M.D. on June 06, 2023.

Girl and her dad sitting on an exam table talking to a female nurse.

Experts in World-Class Pediatric GI Care

Children often experience gastrointestinal issues. Whether your child has a mild stomach problem, nutritional concern or severe food sensitivity, turn to UC Davis Health for innovative and compassionate care close to home.

Our pediatric gastroenterologists, nurses and registered dietitians offer the full range of services for conditions that may affect your child's digestive health. We provide all the information you need to make the best choices to manage many different conditions, ranging from celiac disease to short bowel syndrome. By focusing on your child's unique GI needs, we serve as your partners in exceptional care.

Our Difference

Coordinated Team Approach

At UC Davis Health, pediatric gastroenterologists, nurses and registered dietitians combine their skilled expertise to tackle common and complex GI disorders. Our highly specialized team will guide and empower you and your family every step of the way, from diagnosis through treatment.

Convenient, High-Quality Care

Access the region's only pediatric GI services in Sacramento at UC Davis Health. We also offer telemedicine consultations for issues such as feeding disorders, chronic (long-term) abdominal pain, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or gastroesophageal reflux (GERD).

Exceptional Diagnostic and Treatment Options

Our GI specialists use the latest diagnostic and treatment techniques, so your child has the best outcome possible. We offer rare digestive evaluation (motility testing) to help guide decision-making and a unique intestinal rehabilitation program to support your family. You’ll also find leading-edge services like medical acupuncture to help treat certain digestive issues.


What Is Pediatric Gastroenterology (GI)?

Pediatric gastroenterologists treat all parts of your child's digestive system that break down food, absorb nutrients and get rid of waste. GI disorders may affect your child's digestive tract (stomach, esophagus and intestines) or liver, pancreas, bile ducts and gallbladder (biliary organs).

Your child may have common signs of gastrointestinal disease such as indigestion, nausea or diarrhea. Or they may have more severe symptoms such as stomach pain or rectal bleeding. Together with you, our highly trained specialists determine the cause of your child's discomfort and the right treatment to meet their needs. Count on us to provide an accurate diagnosis for effective care. 

Types of Pediatric GI Disorders We Treat

Pediatric Gastrointestinal Diseases

Our team of experts diagnose and treat all types of disorders that may affect your child's stomach and intestines. These include gastroenteritis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. We also manage conditions that trigger immune reactions, like celiac disease, as well as those that affect your child's ability to absorb nutrients (short bowel syndrome).

Pancreatic, Gallbladder and Biliary Diseases in Children

We expertly treat problems of the pancreas, gallbladder and bile ducts in infants, children and adolescents. Children may develop conditions such as pediatric pancreatitis, biliary tract disease or gallbladder problems that make it difficult to release bile (fluid made by the liver).

Pediatric Esophageal Disorders

Our specialists help you and your child manage problems that affect their esophagus. These include pediatric esophageal reflex, eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) and GI allergy or intolerance to certain foods.

Liver Disease in Children

Your liver is an important organ that filters everything your body consumes and absorbs. It also helps digest food and kills germs. Viral hepatitis is a common liver condition in children.

Learn more about liver disease and treatments

Pediatric GI Services and Diagnostics

We offer a full range of tests and treatments to meet your child's unique needs, as well as specialty services.

Our services include:

Nutritional Support

Effective treatment of gastrointestinal disorders in children often requires nutritional support. Registered pediatric dietitians work closely with you and your care team. They work together to manage your child's digestive disorder or allergy with a personalized nutrition plan. Our EoE program allows our team of skilled specialists to better serve your child's unique needs.

Learn more about our GI allergies and nutrition program
Advanced Single Balloon Enteroscopy

The experienced pediatric GI physicians at UC Davis Health use this diagnostic and treatment technique to get a real-time, detailed view of your child's small bowel. We may choose this procedure to treat areas that cannot be reached using a standard endoscope.

Intestinal Rehabilitation Program

Our intestinal rehabilitation program — unique to Northern California — focuses on helping children manage intestinal disorders and supporting those who require liquid IV (parenteral) nutrition. Led by a team of pediatric GI physicians, our program features education, rehabilitation and home health visits by pediatric nurses.

Find out more about our intestinal rehabilitation program
Motility Testing

GI motility is the process in which parts of your gut (nerves, muscles and hormones) push food and then stool out of your body. At UC Davis Children’s Hospital, we have the rare capability to diagnose your child's symptoms, such as difficulty swallowing or severe constipation, with manometry (pressure-sensing) tests. With these tests, we can better determine diagnosis and effective treatment for your child.

Learn about UC Davis Children’s Hospital motility testing
Medical Acupuncture

One of our leading pediatric GI specialists, Arthur John de Lorimier, M.D., received medical acupuncture training at the esteemed Helms Medical Institute. This is the longest-running program of its kind in North America. Acupuncture involves placing thread-like needles into specific areas of your child's body, with minimal or no pain. Your child’s specialist may recommend this traditional Chinese therapy for certain GI conditions, including chronic nausea or abdominal pain.

Get more information on medical acupuncture
Inflammatory Bowel Disease

The Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Program at UC Davis provides expert care and disease management for children affected by Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. We partner with your child and family to understand potential causes and manage your child’s symptoms. Our goal is to enhance the long-term health and quality of life for your child. The IBD Program offers a full range of personalized treatments for your child’s IBD. Our team includes pediatric gastroenterologists, pediatric surgeons, registered dietitians, pathologists, pharmacists, social workers, and child life specialists. We also work closely with pediatric specialists in psychiatry and psychology, radiology, infectious diseases, endocrinology and urology.

Get more information on the Pediatric IBD Program

Why Your Child's GI Health Matters

Your child's digestive system involves a network of organs and complex processes. It's important for this system to work properly, so your child can get the nutrients they need and maintain good health.

Turn to specialists at UC Davis Health for support when your child needs GI care or nutritional support. Our team of specialists partner with you to make sure your child enjoys a healthy and active life.

  • Every year, about 3 to 5 billion children develop infectious gastroenteritis, the most common pediatric gastrointestinal disorder and second cause of death worldwide.
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common type of chronic liver disease in children and teens.
  • Children with GI sensitivity most often experience abdominal pain.


Two young boys talking to a female health care provider outside next to a bench.

"Educating Physicians in the Science & Art of Medical Acupuncture," Helms Medical Institute,

"Gastroenteritis in Children," MSD Manual,

"Pediatric Gastroenteritis," NIH National Library of Medicine,

"Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) in Children," American Liver Foundation,

 "Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders in Pediatric and Adolescent Patients," American College of Gastroenterology,


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For the 11th consecutive year, UC Davis Medical Center has been recognized as a “Leader in LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality.”

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