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Digestive System

Every child gets a tummy ache or the flu once in awhile, but ongoing symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or poor growth may be cause for concern. Unlike adults, children are still growing, so it’s important to see someone with special training and expertise in pediatric digestive problems.

Care from a Specialist

A pediatric gastroenterologist is a doctor who specializes in digestive system disorders affecting infants, children, and adolescents. University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital is home to the most comprehensive gastroenterology service in Eastern Iowa and offers expert diagnosis and care for children with stomach, intestinal, and liver disorders.

UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital is nationally recognized as an approved NPF Center by the National Pancreas Foundation—one of only 11 official pediatric centers in the country. An approved NPF Center has expert physician specialties such as gastroenterologists, pancreas surgeons, and interventional radiologists, along with more patient-focused programs such as a pain management service, psychosocial support, and more. NPF support helps promote research and education for children and adults diagnosed with pancreatitis.

  • Abdominal pain
  • Celiac disease
  • Complications related to cystic fibrosis
  • Crohn's disease
  • Congenital bowel dysfunction
  • Congenital liver disorders
  • Constipation and soiling
  • Diarrhea
  • Feeding, growth and nutritional problems
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Indigestion
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Hepatitis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Vomiting

We believe parents and family members know their children best, so at UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, you’re an equal partner on the pediatric health care team. We listen to you and your child so that we can work together to improve your child’s health and well-being.

Other Resources

Patient Stories

  • Parent Blog: Elizabeth and Tyler VanCamp

    Leda VanCamp, photo My daughter, Leda, was born a perfectly healthy baby. During the two days after her birth she had a little trouble eating and spit up pretty much anything she ate. However, because she didn’t lose too much weight during those two days, we were sent home with our healthy baby (who just happened to spit up a lot). Read more
  • Jeg Weets

    Jeg Weets, portrait At 2 years old, Jeg was seen by pediatric gastroenterologists at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, and was ultimately diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age 4. When pediatric specialists noticed that his spleen was enlarged at a routine visit, they pushed for answers. Through extensive testing, Jeg was diagnosed with Niemann Pick Type C (NPC), a rare, progressive genetic disorder where cholesterol accumulates in body tissues, including the brain.Read more
  • Livia Jackson

    Livia Jackson, portrait Livia was referred to University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital by her local doctor at age 5 after being diagnosed with cyclic vomiting syndrome—a condition marked by episodes of severe vomiting and nausea.Read more
  • Christopher Turnis

    Christopher Turnis, portrait Christopher was born at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital at 34 weeks gestation with several organs that were severely damaged. The first of many surgeries took place when he was just 2 weeks old. Since birth, Christopher has undergone more than 40 surgeries and has spent more than 1,000 nights in the hospital. Read more
  • Parent Blog: Kendra Mennen

    Heather Mennen, portrait Heather was referred to University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital with a distended abdomen when she was about 8 months old. Read more

Locations and Contact

  • UI Stead Family Children's Hospital
    2400 Colloton Pavilion
    200 Hawkins Drive
    Iowa City, Iowa 52242
    In House Directions: UI Stead Family Children's Hospital public elevator, Level 2
    • Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • 1-855-543-2884 (855 KID AT UI)
    • 1-319-356-1616 (Emergency)
  • Lincoln Road Healthcare Building
    865 Lincoln Road
    Bettendorf, Iowa 52722
    • 1-563-344-2240
  • University of Iowa Health Care–Cedar Falls
    2624 Orchard Drive
    Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613
    • 1-855-543-2884
  • UI Stead Family Children's Hospital–10th Street
    411 10th Street S.E., Suite 150
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52403
    • Monday through Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
    • Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Saturday: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    • 1-319-363-3600
    • 319-363-9971 (Fax)

    At this location

    • Lab services
    • Free parking
    • Same day, evening, and weekend hours
  • Pediatric Specialty Services - Dubuque
    777 Mazzuchelli Street
    Dubuque, Iowa 52001
    • 1-855-543-2884 (855 KID AT UI)