If your child has symptoms of short bowel syndrome, the Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital Center for Digestive Health and Nutrition can help. Your child’s specialist will ask about their symptoms and when they began. They will also ask about any serious illnesses in other family members, and if your child has had intestinal surgery.


A physical exam can provide more information on your child’s condition, including signs of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, weight loss or muscle wasting. The doctor may also listen to your child’s abdomen with a stethoscope.


These tests can also help diagnose short bowel disease:


  • Blood tests. These are used to check for anemia, infections and other issues.
  • Imaging tests. X-rays, CT scans and ultrasound tests may be used to examine the intestine and other abdominal organs.
  • Barium study. During this test, your child swallows a chalky liquid called barium, which is then tracked through the upper part of digestive system with X-rays. This can show narrowing or widening of the intestines.
  • Fecal fat tests. This test measures the amount of fat in the stool to show how much fat the body absorbs during digestion.
  • Stool culture. This test can find bacteria, viruses and small amounts of blood in the stool.
  • Upper endoscopy. During this test, while your child is sedated, the doctor passes a thin, flexible tube with a camera through the mouth and into the stomach. This test can show inflammation, infection, ulcers and other problems.
  • Colonoscopy. Using a thin, flexible tube with a camera at the end, doctors examine the inside of the colon. Your child will be sedated during this test.


At the Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital Center for Digestive Health and Nutrition, our experts work together to determine which tests are needed for your child’s diagnosis . Your team will explain each test your child has, how to prepare for the test and what it may reveal. We understand your child may be wary of having any kind of test, and our nurses, doctors and technicians take time to reassure them. Whenever possible, you can be with your child during the test.