Gastrointestinal (GI) impairment in children can range from reflux to chronic diarrhea, and vary greatly in terms of severity and length of the condition. However, regardless of the type of GI issues, appropriate nutritional intervention can play a key role in managing the overall symptoms and help improve the quality of life of the child.
Pediatric gastrointestinal (GI) impairment refers to a range of disorders that can affect any part of the digestive tract, from the esophagus and stomach to the small intestine, colon and rectum. Common GI disorders that cause impairment, such as gastro-esophageal reflux (GERD), acute or chronic diarrhea, constipation, short bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease, can be concerning. However, in many cases the symptoms associated with these disorders can be managed through nutritional intervention.
The GI tract is responsible for the digestion and absorption of the food we eat. When children suffer from GI impairment, there is often a risk for malabsorption or maldigestion of nutrients, which may cause nutritional deficiencies. This compromised nutritional status can put growing children at risk for their normal growth and development. For example, in critically ill children, reaching prescribed energy and protein goals early is linked to a better recovery and shorter length of hospital stay.
At Nestlé Health Science, we are committed to providing nutritional options that can be tailored to the individual needs of children. In the case of infants and children with GI impairment, these needs are not very specific to the condition, but also the unique nutritional requirements for their normal growth and development.