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Digestive system, liver and nutritional disorders

This resource centre will help you understand the various complex conditions that can affect the liver, pancreas and gastrointestinal system (esophagus, stomach and intestines). You will be able to find out more about diagnostic procedures, treatment options and how to deal with nutritional challenges. This resource centre was elaborated in collaboration with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition​ (GHN) at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).


Gastrointestinal disorders

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Gastrointestinal disorders affect the esophagus, stomach and the intestines (guts). These diverse conditions have various causes, signs, and symptoms, and may be chronic (last for a long period of time). Read on to find out more about these disorders.

Inflammatory bowel disease

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Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) causes chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. It may cause painful, uncomfortable symptoms that require treatment with medications or special diets. Find out more about IBD in this section.

Liver diseases and transplantation

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The liver is an organ involved in many processes, such as food processing or waste disposal. Different diseases may cause inflammation or scarring in the liver, and may affect its ability to work properly. A liver transplant may be necessary in extreme cases.

Gastrostomy tube ("G-tube")

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Gastrostomy tubes (G tubes) may be placed in your child's stomach to help with feeding. Using the G-tube, liquid feeds can be given directly into your child's stomach or small intestine. Learn more about this feeding method in this section.

Pancreas disorders

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The pancreas belongs to the gastrointestinal system and is located behind the stomach. The pancreas helps digest the food we eat and regulate blood sugar levels. It may cause pain if it becomes inflamed, or cause poor digestion if it does not work properly.

Diagnostic procedures

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Looking at the organs in the abdomen requires special equipment and procedures. The following information aims to help you better understand the procedure your child will undergo and its purpose, and how to prepare for the procedure.

Medications and vitamins

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Each gastrointestinal, liver or pancreas disease may be treated with specific medications or diet supplements, such as vitamins. To learn more about your child’s medication or vitamin, read on and talk to your child’s health-care provider or pharmacist.

Nutritional disorders

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