Dr Leana van Dyk has the specialized training and expertise in pediatric gastroenterology required to detect potential digestive issues and treat your child. She can also refer or consult with other specialists regarding testing and optimal treatment. Digestive, liver, and nutritional problems in children often are quite different from those seen in adults, because their bodies are small and growing. Children also communicate differently or often cannot express exactly what their symptoms are. Dr van Dyk is thorough, patient, attentive and supportive and will help get to the bottom of what is causing the discomfort. Dr van Dyk creates a relaxed environment that encourages cooperation.

Most digestive problems in children are mild and pass quickly, however, if your child has vomited more than once, there is blood or bile in the vomit, or if your child is under 6 and can’t keep liquids down, it’s time to call your doctor. You should also call your doctor if there is associated fever, diarrhoea, or signs of dehydration, which includes: decreased urination, dry lips, decreased energy, or if your child clearly looks unwell to you. Always trust your instincts.

Common digestive system symptoms and issues that affect infants and young children include:

  • Vomiting, chronic constipation or chronic or severe diarrhoea
  • Dehydration
  • Acute or chronic abdominal pain - abdominal pain can be caused by food allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, appendicitis, intestinal obstruction or even pneumonia
  • Food allergies or intolerances, such as lactose or gluten intolerance
  • Bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract
  • Severe or complicated gastroesophageal reflux disease (reflux or GERD)
  • Gastritis, also known as inflammation of the lining of the stomach
  • Food poisoning, or gastroenteritis, also known as stomach flu
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease
  • Intestinal issues, such as short bowel syndrome (SBS) and weight loss.
  • Liver disease
  • Pancreatic insufficiency, including cystic fibrosis or pancreatitis
  • Nutritional problems, including malnutrition, failure to thrive (FTT), and obesity
  • Feeding disorders
  • Swallowing or feeding problems, including breastfeeding