Shriners Children's provides specialty care for children with Crohn's disease.
The goal of our colorectal and gastrointestinal specialty care is to provide advanced care and rehabilitation to children with anal-rectal disorders, free them from social stigma, and allow them to live and play like other children.
What Are Anorectal Malformations?
Anorectal malformations are conditions where the anus and rectum don't develop as they should. This occurs during pregnancy, when an unborn baby is developing. Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It causes inflammation of the digestive tract, which can lead to stomach pain, severe diarrhea, weakness, weight loss and children not getting enough nutrition.
What Are Some of the Symptoms in a Child with Crohn's Disease?
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Blood in stool
- Mouth sores
- Reduced appetite and weight loss
- Pain or drainage near or around the anus
Children with Crohn's disease can also experience:
- Inflammation of skin, eyes and joints
- Kidney stones
- Iron deficiency (anemia)
- Delayed growth or sexual development
How We Care for Children with Crohn's Disease
There is no cure for Crohn's disease, but our colorectal and gastrointestinal surgeons and clinicians provide a variety of treatment options for children with this condition. Treatments include nutrition therapy, use of medications, as well as surgical procedures; and no single treatment works for every child. Each case is treated on an individual basis. The goal is to give children the ability to live with as few limitations as possible by focusing on symptom relief and long-term remission.
We provide follow-up care to monitor your child’s health throughout their entire childhood, prevent problems, manage symptoms and focus on giving your child the best quality of life.
Specific treatments and services may vary by location. Please contact a specific location for more information.
Understanding Your Child's Colorectal & Gastrointestinal (GI) Appointment(s)
On the first visit, parents and children typically come for a group overview and educational presentation about bowel management. Our doctors and nurses explain the medicines, enemas and diets we use as treatment options. Each family has a one-on-one clinic visit with a provider from the program to make a plan for their child.
If referred to one of our locations for a more complex condition or surgery, you and your child go directly to the one-on-one visit with one of our providers to build an individualized plan of care.
Sometimes, when deemed appropriate, your child may have bowel X-ray. This helps us with diagnoses and to check whether your child’s plan is progressing as expected. A nurse from our program will talk with you either in person or by phone to discuss your child’s results.
Our goal is for your child to empty their bowel daily with no accidents and to live with as few limitations as possible. Success depends on your child’s condition and following your plan closely.
How We Support Your Child’s Total Health and Well-Being
Families and patients say that Shriners Children’s feels like home to them, and it's no wonder to us. We know that a child's needs go beyond the physical. Our care teams support their social, emotional and developmental health with patient programs and activities.
A few examples include:
- Child life enrichment
- Creative arts
- Live entertainment
- Music therapy
- On-site public schooling
- Pet therapy
- School and community re-entry program
- Specialty camps
- Therapeutic recreation
The dietitians at Shriners Children's do an especially good job. They would visit us every day to give us advice on what foods were best for Jordyn’s digestive system. They recommended food combinations that helped her digestion work well.