What is gastroenterology?

Paediatric gastroenterology involves diagnosing and treating gastrointestinal problems in children. A paediatric gastroenterologist is a doctor that specialises in children's liver, digestional and nutritional issues. Dr Noxolo Nsele is a specialist paediatrician that has experience in gastroenterology. She treats gastroenterological conditions such as:

Gold Star GERD
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a chronic digestive disorder that occurs when the stomach contents reflux (flow back up) into the oesophagus (the food pipe). The most common symptoms of GERD include not eating, often coughing, having coughing fits at night, stomach pain, vomiting often, gagging and choking.

Gold Star Constipation
This is a condition where the child has very hard stools and fewer bowel movements than normal. Constipation is a very common gastrointestinal problem. Signs and symptoms of constipation in children include fewer bowel movements than normal, passing stool that is hard and sometimes large, and Having bowel movements that are difficult or painful to push out.

Gold Star Diarrhoea
This is a medical condition where stools are loose and watery, which results in your child needing to go to the bathroom more often. Diarrhoea is normally caused by a bacterial infection, viral infection, digestion problems, food allergy, food intolerance and parasites entering the body through food or water. Symptoms of diarrhoea include fever, blood stools, incontinence, loss of body fluids, nausea, abdominal pain and bloating.

Gold Star Crohn’s disease
This is a rare inflammatory disease that is characterised by severe chronic inflammation of the intestinal wall or any portion of the gastrointestinal tract. It causes symptoms such as cramping, abdominal pain and chronic episodes of watery diarrhoea.

Gold Star Irritable bowel syndrome
This is a digestive disorder that causes diarrhoea, abdominal pain, constipation, gas, bloating, or a combination of these. Some children may experience diarrhoea as a dominant symptom, while others may experience constipation as the most dominant symptom. In some cases, children may have symptoms that alternate between diarrhoea and constipation. Other symptoms may include vomiting, nausea, weight loss, mucus in stool and urgency with bowel movement.

How are gastroenterology diseases treated?

Depending on your child’s condition and the severity of the condition, the paediatric gastroenterologists may recommend glucose-electrolyte solutions to help replace lost body fluids, diet changes, H2 blockers, proton pump inhibitors and supplements.


When should my child see a paediatric gastroenterologist?

Seek medical attention if your child has unexplained blood in their stool, unexplained difficulty swallowing, abdominal pain, have digestion issues and experience constant acid reflux.

What procedures can a paediatric gastroenterologist perform?

A gastroenterologist may perform procedures such as endoscopies, colonoscopy, feeding tubes replacements, removing polyps from the colon, and the removal of objects from the major airways.

What other conditions can a paediatric gastroenterologist diagnose and treat?

Paediatric gastroenterologists may diagnose and treat conditions such as pancreatitis, cystic fibroids, obesity, extreme weight loss or gain, malnutrition, and bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract.

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When should my child see a Paediatrician

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Visits with your paediatrician should begin as soon as your child is born. This allows you to become familiar with your child’s doctor, and also allows your child’s health to be monitored from an early age.

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