Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Services at The UVM Children's Hospital

Our pediatric gastroenterologists at The University of Vermont Children's Hospital provide a full range of services for children with stomach and intestinal issues as well as nutritional concerns. Some of the conditions we treat include:

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a digestive disorder that occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus. This irritates the lining of the esophagus and causes a number of symptoms, the most common being heartburn or acid indigestion. Other symptoms can include belching, stomachache, frequent vomiting or refusing to eat.

Reflux is caused by problems with a muscle at the bottom of the esophagus. This muscle, the lower esophageal sphincter, usually opens and closes to let food in or keep it out. When the muscle relaxes for too long, or too often, acid can back up in the esophagus.

Recurrent Abdominal Pain

Many children suffer from abdominal pain or stomachaches. They can be caused by constipation, infection or a serious medical condition. They may not be related to a medical condition and instead may be a child's way of expressing feelings of stress or anxiety. If serious health problems have been ruled out and the pain is serious enough to limit your child's activities and occurs for more than three months, your child may be diagnosed with recurrent abdominal pain. This condition usually affects children from ages 4 to 12 and is quite common. The exact cause is not known, but it can be related to diet, anxiety, depression, immaturity of the nervous system or other factors.


Constipation is a common gastrointestinal problem in children. It is usually characterized by irregular bowel movements or hard, dry stools. Constipation can be caused by changes in diet or early toilet training. However, most cases in children are temporary and will go away with proper treatment and simple dietary changes.

Less common, but sometimes more serious disorders, include Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, liver diseases, pancreatic disorders, and nutritional problems leading to poor growth.

Esophageal Disorders Treated

  • Swallowing problems
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Chronic esophagitis and ulcers
  • Esophageal strictures
  • Esophageal foreign bodies
  • Eosinophilic esophagitis

Stomach Disorders Treated

  • Chronic vomiting
  • Chronic abdominal pain
  • Gastritis and Ulcers
  • H. Pylori disease
  • Eosinophilic gastroenteritis
  • Inflammatory diseases of the stomach
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding

Intestinal and Colon Disorders Treated

  • Chronic diarrhea and malabsorption
  • Chronic abdominal pain
  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn's disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Polyps
  • Duodenitis and ulcer disease
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Intestinal motility disorders
  • Congenital defects of the intestines
  • Allergic diseases of the intestines
  • Constipation and encopresis
  • Short bowel syndrome
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding

Nutrition Disorders Treated

  • Overweight and obesity
  • Food allergy
  • Failure to thrive, poor growth, underweight
  • Total parenteral nutrition
  • Chronic enteral nutritional needs
  • Nutritional deficiency states

Liver Conditions Treated

  • Acute and chronic hepatitis, including infectious (Hepatitis A, B, and C viruses)
  • Autoimmune hepatitis, primary sclerosing hepatitis
  • Neonatal liver diseases
  • Biliary and gall bladder disorders
  • Biliary Atresia
  • Choledochal cyst
  • Cirrhosis
  • Congenital bile duct malformations
  • Congenital liver disease
  • Cystic fibrosis liver disease
  • End-stage liver disease due to biliary atresia, alpha-1- antitrypsin deficiency, Byler's syndrome, Alagille syndrome, chronic active hepatitis, Wilson's disease, primary sclerosing cholangitis and many others
  • Fulminant hepatic failure
  • Liver tumors and masses
  • Metabolic disorders involving the liver (hemochrematosis, glycogen storage disease, Wilson's disease, etc.)
  • Portal hypertension and esophageal varices
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Portal Hypertension
  • Other causes of liver disease
  • Post-transplant care (liver and small bowel)

Pancreatic Disorders Treated

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Pancreatic insufficiency
  • Congenital defects of the pancreas