Danya Rosen, MD, is a pediatric gastroenterologist who specializes in constipation and other colorectal disorders. She believes it is important to always discuss nutrition and how it affects the gut with her patients and their families. “With my own kids, I would much rather make dietary changes than give them medications,” says Dr. Rosen. “I take that same approach with my patients.”
Small changes, such as cutting down on dairy products and refined carbohydrates, can make a big difference, Dr. Rosen says. A common misconception she encounters is that a gluten-free diet is always healthier, but that’s not necessarily so, she says. “I spend a lot of time educating patients and families. I’ll show them that many gluten- free products have very little fiber and they are better off with a multigrain bread,” she says.
However, by the time many patients visit a specialist, the constipation has been going on for a while and they initially need medication to make the dietary changes more effective, she says.
Dr. Rosen also treats children with a wide range of GI-related illnesses, including reflux, abdominal pain and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). She recently received grant support from the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) to examine the transition of IBD care from pediatric to adult practitioners, and is currently studying how electronic medical records can be used to improve care of IBD patients. Dr. Rosen is an assistant professor of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine.