Gastroesophageal Reflux

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in Children

There is a muscle (the lower esophageal sphincter) that acts as a valve between the esophagus and stomach. When your child swallows, this muscle relaxes to let food pass from the esophagus to the stomach.

Our stomach releases some acid, which has an important role in digesting the food. However, sometimes there is a backward flow of stomach acid into the food pipe (the tube that connects the throat and stomach) and this causes Acidity/Acid reflux.

Esophageal pH and impedance monitoring, which measures the amount of acid or liquid in your child’s esophagus. A doctor or nurse places a thin flexible tube through your child’s nose into the stomach. The end of the tube in the esophagus measures when and how much acid comes back up into the esophagus. The other end of the tube attaches to a monitor that records the measurements.

He is old enough now to go on medication from the doctor to limit the amount of acid which his stomach produces. This has worked really well but we still can’t get him to try anything new.

Most babies with reflux like to feed often and this is actually good for them as this causes less pressure on the stomach muscle than a large sudden intake of food. Discourage physical exertion or playing sports immediately after eating, as that can loosen the LES allowing stomach acid and partly digested food to come back up the esophagus.

There are different feeding issues from infancy to adolescence. Be sure to consider normal developmental stages for eating. While a child with a chronic illness such as GERD may exhibit delayed, divergent eating patterns, there may be some stages that are universal for all kids.

Mint and products with mint flavoring, like chewing gum and breath mints, can also trigger acid reflux symptoms. People with acid reflux may notice their symptoms acting up after their morning coffee.

If food does not remain in the stomach as long as usual, there may be less chance of reflux occurring. A medicine in this category that can be prescribed is metoclopramide (Reglan).

PCOD Treatment

Is that surprising? I’m guessing yes, but hear me out on this. In kids, prevention is much better than treatment.

If one or both parents have a history of food allergies, their child may be affected too. There is also evidence that babies at risk for food allergies due to family history should not be exposed to certain foods too early. Some physicians advocate avoidance of peanuts and dairy products during the last trimester of pregnancy for at risk infants. Some newborns are given a dairy free, predigested formula from birth.

These drugs are often used to treat arthritis. Don’t eat before bedtime.

In addition, being overweight can aggravate symptoms of acid reflux. Losing even 5 or 10 pounds may help relieve some of your GERD symptoms. Talk to your doctor about a diet plan to help you lose weight. Although more common in adults, GER can develop into gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Consult with your pediatrician about alternative formulas. To pinpoint trigger foods, keep a journal of all foods eaten and symptoms experienced, and add only one new food at a time. Keep your baby upright at least 30 minutes after feeding. This may result in less reflux than when babies recline in an infant seat.

Gastroesophogeal reflux (GER) is the upward flow of stomach contents from the stomach into the esophagus (“swallowing tube”). While not required by its definition, these contents may continue from the esophagus into the pharynx (throat) and may be expelled from the mouth, and in infants, through the nostrils.

acid reflux in kids foods to avoid

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February 4, 2010

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