Please review our updated visitor guidelines as of November 6, 2023, before arriving for care.

Inflammatory bowel disease care

Pediatric gastroenterologists (GI doctors) at Dell Children’s deliver personalized care for children with inflammatory bowel disease.

Girl talking to pediatric doctor.

Care for children with inflammatory bowel diseases

Pediatric gastroenterologists (doctors who specialize in treating children with digestive health symptoms and conditions) at Dell Children’s Medical Center, part of Ascension Seton, have the expertise to diagnose, treat and manage the care of children who have inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. These conditions are chronic, meaning they last a long time or come and go over a long period of time. Providing the right care for your child starts with doctors and care teams who listen to understand your child and your concerns.

At Dell Children’s, we take a multidisciplinary approach to care. That means your child will benefit from the expertise of multiple pediatric specialists. Your child’s care team may include pediatric GI doctors, rheumatologists, surgeons, dietitians, child life specialists, social workers, psychologists and more. We work together with you to create a care plan that’s right for your child.

Diagnostic testing for inflammatory bowel diseases

At your child’s first visit, we listen to your concerns and discuss your child’s health history. Then, your child will have a physical exam. Your child’s doctor may also recommend diagnostic tests.   Testing may involve simple blood tests, such as checking blood counts, to advanced genetic testing. Stool studies may also be used to detect infections or inflammation. Endoscopies are often needed to diagnose conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, and for determining the type and severity of inflammation. We also offer advanced procedures and studies, such as capsule endoscopy, small bowel enteroscopy and MR enterography to evaluate the GI tract beyond what can be seen with standard endoscopies. Once the evaluation has been completed, your child’s doctor explains your child’s diagnosis, answers your questions and works with you to create a personalized care plan for your child.

Advanced care for children with inflammatory bowel diseases

Dell Children’s offers a multispecialty approach to the care of your child. Our pediatric GI doctors use therapeutic or minimally invasive techniques to diagnose and treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) conditions. Your child’s care team works together to create a comprehensive care plan, to deliver the specialized care your child needs. Many care plans include a combination of diet changes or medication. We provide many different treatment options, including some of the latest medications available.

In some cases, surgery may be recommended. If procedures are recommended as part of your child’s care plan, have confidence knowing you are connected to the highest level of pediatric surgical care at Dell Children's Level I Pediatric Surgery Center including the ability to go beyond standard upper and lower endoscopies with advanced procedures, like small bowel enteroscopy and capsule endoscopy. At Dell Children’s, you’ll be connected to all the care your child needs.

What is inflammatory bowel disease?

Inflammatory bowel disease is a disorder of immune dysregulation affecting the digestive system. Children who have IBD often have diarrhea and complain of stomach pain that doesn’t seem to go away. There are two main types of IBD: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Crohn's can affect any part of the digestive tract, including the stomach, mouth, or esophagus. Most of the time, it affects the colon or small intestine. It is characterized by inflammation, or swelling, and ulcers, or sores, in the GI tract, and it can cause strictures or narrowing within the bowel. Ulcerative colitis causes inflammation or swelling in the large intestine or colon. It can also cause inflammation in the lining of the colon.

Symptoms of IBD are not always the same for every child. The most common symptoms are chronic stomach pain and diarrhea. Other symptoms include:

  • Blood in the stool or toilet
  • Anemia
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low energy or weakness
  • Delay in growth
  • Joint pain
  • Unexplained skin rash

IBD education and nutrition counseling for children and families

The more you know about your child’s condition, the better you are able to help manage it. Your child’s care team takes the time to explain your child’s diagnosis and care plan, and answer your questions. Your child’s care team may also include a pediatric registered dietitian. Our dietitians will work with you and your child's doctor to find a food and nutrition plan that works to help ease your child's symptoms. By getting to know your child and family, we deliver care that’s right for your child.

Inflammatory bowel disease care