Disorders of the Digestive System

Throughout early childhood, attacks of diarrhoea and vomiting system are common, and many children have episodes of constipation. Such disorders can often be treated successfully at home with self-help measures. Other rarer disorders may be due to a physical defect present at birth, and these disorders may require surgery.

The first two articles in this section cover problems with the mouth that affect babies: the physical defects of cleft lip and palate, which require surgery, and oral thrush, a common fungal infection. Two other digestive disorders that may affect babies, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and pyloric stenosis, are covered next. Both can be treated successfully, but pyloric stenosis requires surgery.

A general article follows on vomiting and diarrhoea, including self-help measures for avoiding dehydration. There is also an article on cows’ milk protein allergy. The section ends with articles on intussusception, a rare obstruction of the intestines, and constipation. Digestive disorders that affect adults only or affect adults and children are covered in the section on the digestive system.

Key anatomy

For further information on the structure and function of the digestive tract, see Digestive System.

Cleft Lip and Palate

Oral Thrush

Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease in Infants

Pyloric Stenosis in Infants

Vomiting and Diarrhoea

Cows’ Milk Protein Allergy


Constipation in Children

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.

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