Services & Specialties
Neurogastroenterology and Motility Disorders

Looking Beyond the Gut

Most of us don’t think twice about going to the toilet, swallowing or digesting food. The brain and gut do the work on their own – sending signals to move food and drink through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract with a series of contractions.

But, for children with a functional GI disorder, the signals that the brain sends to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract – and vice versa – can become confused.

When that happens, the stomach may not be signaling that it’s full and needs to be emptied. Or, the brain may be sending signals to tighten muscles during a bowel movement when it should be relaxing muscles. And, for other children, problems in the brain can make it difficult to swallow food.

This brain-gut connection is why our neurogastroenterologists look beyond the gastrointestinal tract to get to the bottom of your child’s motility disorder. This gives us the insight we need to understand how your child’s body works – and what we can do to treat the functional or motility disorder, ease symptoms and bring your child comfort.

A Holistic Approach for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders

Parents of children with functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID) understand the impact these conditions can have on their child. FGIDs occur when the nerves in the wall of the GI tract don’t work properly, or the brain sends incorrect signals to the gut causing persistent and recurring GI symptoms that affect quality of life.

Irritable bowel syndrome is the most common FGID. Symptoms of FGIDs typically include abdominal pain, diarrhea and/or constipation, among others.

Our FGID clinic brings in experts across departments to offer treatments that may include medication, cognitive behavioral therapy and neuromodulation. Our team includes psychologists, clinicians, dietitians and others – making it easier for your child to receive the interdisciplinary care they need.

Here, we understand there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment. We’ll work closely with you to find the plan that’s just right for your child and family.

A Seamless Approach to Care

Managing and treating a motility disorder or FGID can be complex and confusing for parents and children. That’s why, from day one, we are on the same page – with surgeons, dietitians, behavioral health experts, radiologists and, most importantly, your child and you.

Our close partnership with the colorectal surgery team means no more bouncing between appointments and deciphering medical speak.

When possible, our gastroenterologists and surgeons meet with you at the same time – in the same room – to outline the best treatment plan for your child. We explore non-surgical options, new therapies to try and decide together what the best next step is. And if needed, we’ll discuss possible surgical approaches.

It’s how we’re building confident kids, happy families and better outcomes.

Schedule an appointment today. Call 513-803-0776.

Treatment Approach

Information for Patients and Families.
Learn more about our treatment approach for motility and functional gastrointestinal disorders. Learn More

Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

Explore Gastroenterology at Cincinnati Children's: The best care — from the best Gastroenterology team in the nation. Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

Contact / Refer

Dr. Ajay Kaul (center) consults with care coordinators Rebecca Bailey (left) and Jackie Dierig (right).

Ajay Kaul, MBBS, MD, consults with care coordinators Rebecca Bailey (left) and Jackie Dierig (right).

For more information, or to schedule a consultation with the Neuro-gastroenterology and Motility Disorders Center, please email You may also contact us via phone at 513-803-0776 or reach our main hospital phone number toll-free at 1-800-344-2462. We look forward to working with you, your family and your current care team.