Specialty Services and Programs for Digestive Disorders

The body’s systems work together efficiently to maintain overall health and wellbeing. When one system is under attack from a virus or bacteria, or experiencing problems from a particular condition, it can impact all others bodily systems.

At University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s, we understand the multisystem impact of gastrointestinal, or GI, disorders. Our digestive health specialists take a collaborative approach to care for pediatric GI disorders. We work closely with other clinical specialists as well as dietitians, nurse practitioners, psychologists and social workers – maximizing time and resources – for better overall care. We also take a leading role in research and have access to innovative therapies that enable us to individualize and improve treatment for digestive disorders.

We offer the following specialty services to treat more complex pediatric GI conditions:

Pediatric Aerodigestive Clinic: Aerodigestive disorders can impact the upper airways, lungs, esophagus, stomach and top of the small intestine, making it difficult for children to feed and swallow. The Pediatric Aerodigestive Clinic at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital offers advanced procedures and services, including upper endoscopy with endoscopic balloon dilation for patients with narrowing of the food pipe.

Bladder and Bowel Dysfunction Program: Bladder and bowel dysfunction (BBD) describes a range of involuntary elimination symptoms. BDD can occur for various physical and psychological reasons, including stress. We also specialize in short bowel syndrome in children who have had part of their small intestines removed. The shortened length limits the amount of nutrients and water that can be absorbed by the body, causing diarrhea and malnutrition. UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital Biofeedback Clinic offers innovative behavioral therapy to help children with BDD regain control over their muscles.

Eosinophilic Esophagitis Clinic:

Often triggered by food, eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a chronic inflammatory condition of the digestive systems typically caused by overactive allergy cells present in the esophagus, which makes it difficult or painful for a child to eat or swallow properly. UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s takes a multidisciplinary approach to treatment with a team that includes pediatric gastroenterologists, pediatric allergists, registered dietitians and pediatric nurses. In addition to conventional medication treatments, our EoE specialists recommend a 4-food elimination lifestyle change to help with ongoing management of this condition. Dietitians work with patients and their families to identify foods and other triggers to help children improve their quality of life.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinic:

Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, is an inflammatory condition of the intestine. The two main forms of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC). A third form of IBD is Unclassified (IBD-U) and has features of both Crohn’s and UC. UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s offers leading, evidence-based inflammatory bowel disease treatments and therapies, including a biologics therapy program. The care of our pediatric IBD patients extends beyond routine medical visits to manage symptoms and medications through the IBD clinic’s self-management and transition of care programs. Our team works closely with each patient to develop the necessary care skills in advance of their transition to an adult provider.

Integrative Medicine Program:

Many different factors can cause nutritional and digestive issues in children, sometimes making them difficult to diagnose or treat. Our specialized team at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s takes an integrative approach to digestive disorders to relieve symptoms and promote healthy behaviors and overall wellbeing. We offer a range of specialized alternative therapies and medical services, such as acupuncture, chiropractic, life coaching, massage therapy and meditation.