In order to create an appropriate and effective treatment plan, your board-certified Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children pediatric gastroenterologist will work with you and your child to accurately diagnose the problem. Starting with a complete medical history and physical examination, your doctor also may order one or more of the following digestive system tests:

  • Abdominal Ultrasound
  • Abdominal X-Ray
  • Anorectal Manometry – this test looks at the muscles and nerves in the anus.
  • Barium Enema (Lower GI Series) – this test looks at the large intestine using special fluid to help the area show up better on an x-ray.
  • Blood Tests
  • Chest X-Ray – a test that uses electromagnetic energy beams to create images of organs, bones and internal tissue.
  • Colonoscopy – this test looks at the large intestine through a long, flexible lighted tube that is placed in the rectum to the colon.
  • Colorectal Transit Study – this test examines the path of food through the colon. A special capsule that is visible on x-ray is ingested and tracked through the body.
  • Computed Tomography Scan (CT or CAT Scan) – this test uses x-rays and computer technology to show a detailed image of the body.
  • Endoscopy – this test uses a small, flexible tube with a camera to examine the digestive tract.
  • Esophageal Manometric Studies – this test looks at the muscles in the esophagus through a small tube that is inserted through the nose into the throat and esophagus.
  • Fasting Tests – these tests may be used to determine food allergies.
  • Gastric Emptying Studies
  • Lactose Breath Hydrogen Test
  • Lactose Tolerance Test – this test looks how lactose is absorbed into the system. After fasting, a lactose drink is consumed and stools are tested.
  • Laryngoscopy – this test involves inserting a tube in the patient’s throat to find any abnormally small areas or other problems.
  • Meckel's Scan – during this test, a special substance is injected through an IV and the body is x-rayed to show where stomach tissue exists.
  • Oral-Pharyngeal Video Swallow – for this test, a small amount of barium is ingested and a series of x-rays are taken to track the barium and see what happens as it is swallowed.
  • pH Monitoring – this test looks at the levels of acid in the esophagus. A tube is placed through the nose into the throat and esophagus; the end of the tube has a sensor to measure the acidity (pH). Your child continues normal activity for 24 to 48 hours and a record of activity and symptoms is kept. The readings and records are read together to make any possible connections.
  • Rectal Biopsy – during this test, a small sample of cells is removed from the rectum and examined for abnormalities.
  • Rectosigmoidoscopy – during this test, a tube with a camera on the end is inserted into the rectum and colon. The area is examined for bleeding, blockage and other problems.
  • Sigmoidoscopy – during this test, a short flexible tube, or sigmoidoscope, is inserted into the intestine through the rectum. Air is blown into the intestine, making it more visible in an imaging test.
  • Stool Acidity Test – this test measures the amount of acid in the stool.
  • Stool Culture
  • Stool Guaiac – this test is used to detect blood in stool samples.
  • Urine Analysis and Culture
  • Upper GI (Gastrointestinal) Series – this test looks at the organs of the upper digestive system. Barium is ingested and x-rayed to help the digestive organs show up better.