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HomeTrendingWhat Can You Give A Child For Heartburn

What Can You Give A Child For Heartburn

How Is Heartburn Diagnosed

Infant Acid Reflux WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Step by Step Guide

Often all that a health-care professional requires is a thorough history and physical to make the preliminary diagnosis of heartburn. To evaluate if there is any damage and how severe your heartburn is, the doctor my suggest some of the following tests:

  • Endoscopy: A flexible scope is passed down the esophagus to examine the esophagus as well as the stomach. Biopsies can be taken if indicated. This lets the doctor see if there is any obvious damage, and also eliminate other reasons for the patient’s symptoms .
  • Upper GI series : After drinking a liquid that coats the inside of the digestive tract, X-rays are taken. These X-rays will show the outline of the digestive system.
  • Ambulatory pH testing: This test measures the acidity in the esophagus via a small tube that goes through the nose into the stomach.

What Should You Know About Heartburn

Heartburn is a symptom that feels like a burning in your chest, and is a symptom of acid reflux .

Do most people get heartburn?

Heartburn is more common during pregnancy. Most people get heartburn after meals, but can also awaken people while they are sleeping. People also may experience heartburn after eating specific foods or drinking certain beverages.

What can heartburn be a sign or symptom of?

How can you tell if you are having a heart attack or heartburn?

How can you get rid of heartburn?

Heartburn can be relieved and cured for many people with lifestyle changes, for example,

  • eat a healthy diet,
  • sleep with your head elevated with pillow.
  • Over-the-counter, prescription, and surgery may be necessary to cure heartburn.

Five Things Parents Should Know About Gerd

  • The main GERD symptoms in children are vomiting or regurgitation. Children might complain of a tummy ache, pressure in the chest, a feeling of something coming up into the throat, a burning pain in the chest, or might just seem irritable or agitated.
  • While GERD does affect the pediatric age group, it is important to distinguish physiological or normal digestive occurrences from disease. Effortless spitting up or regurgitation is normal for most happy, growing infants during the first year of life. In 95% of cases, infants will outgrow this by the time they are 12-15 months old. This condition is actually reflux, a normal physiological occurrence, not GERD. Parents can relax knowing that spitting up or regurgitation rarely persists into the childs second year of life, or perhaps a bit longer for babies who were born many weeks before their due date.
  • A small percentage of infants who have very frequent or forceful spitting up, crying, coughing, distress, or weight loss, may actually have GERD or another condition. GERD is more common in children who are 2-3 years of age or older. If your child has these continual symptoms, seek medical advice.
  • Between 5-10% of children who are 3-17 years of age experience upper abdominal pain, heartburn, regurgitation, and vomiting, all symptoms that might suggest a GERD diagnosis. Only a physician should determine whether it is truly GERD or possibly another digestive condition.
  • Also Check: What Do You Do To Get Rid Of Heartburn

    Remedies For Heartburn In Teenagers

    The following remedies are suggested by doctors to reduce or prevent acid reflux from the stomach. Your teen may require medical treatments if dietary and lifestyle modifications do not resolve it. The remedies to prevent heartburn include :

    • Cutting down weight if your teen is overweight or obese
    • Eating smaller portions of food, slowy and not overeating
    • Eating two to three hours before bedtime
    • Getting enough exercise and adequate sleep
    • Destressing
    • Quitting smoking
    • Avoiding foods that cause reflux

    You may encourage your teen to consume healthy food and do some exercises to avoid weight gain and to improve overall health. However, there is no approved diet to prevent heartburn, and the triggering foods may vary among individuals.

    Possible Complications Of Paediatric Gerd

    Give What You Can

    GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease may sometimes cause serious complications in children. Following are some of the complications that may arise:

    • Sometimes GERD may cause bleeding in the oesophagus.
    • Some children may develop esophagitis, a condition resulting from irritation and redness of the oesophagus.
    • In some cases, children may develop scar tissue in the oesophagus. This may make swallowing extremely difficult for the child.

    Recommended Reading: Can You Have Acid Reflux Without Heartburn

    What Are Acid Reflux Medications

    What exactly is the best acid reflux medication all about? There are different types of acid reflux medications that you can turn to if you or your child is suffering from acid reflux. Well, you can opt for antacids formulated for children to deal with mild cases of acid reflux, so they will feel relief immediately. Antacids can be bought over the counter and can aid in reducing the acid in the stomach.

    You can also give your child some anti-gas medications because bloating and gases are also symptoms of acid reflux. When your child has reflux problems, they can also experience bloating in the stomach which can trigger various health issues. Taking this medication can alleviate the amount of gas forming in the stomach because of the acid.

    The best acid reflux medication in children can also come in the form of PPI or proton pump inhibitors where it primarily inhibits acid production. This medication can also help with healing tissues that have been damaged because of the stomach contents running back up the esophagus. This type of medication is normally prescribed to patients who experience symptoms of acid reflux regularly.

    Is There Surgery To Treat Gerd

    GERD is usually controlled with medications and lifestyle changes . If these dont work, or if you cant take medications for an extended period, surgery may be a solution.

    • Laparoscopic antireflux surgery is the standard surgical treatment. Its a minimally invasive procedure that fixes your acid reflux by creating a new valve mechanism at the bottom of your esophagus. The surgeon wraps the upper part of the stomach around the lower portion of the esophagus. This reinforces the lower esophageal sphincter so food wont reflux back into the esophagus.
    • LINX deviceimplantation is another minimally invasive surgery. A LINX device is a ring of tiny magnets that are strong enough to keep the junction between the stomach and esophagus closed to refluxing acid but weak enough to allow food to pass through.

    Recommended Reading: How To Stop Heartburn Without Medicine

    How Is Gastroesophageal Reflux Treated

    Treatment for GER depends on the symptoms and how severe they are. In babies, doctors sometimes suggest thickening formula or breast milk with a little bit of oat or mixed grain infant cereal to reduce reflux. Making sure the baby is seated or held upright during and after feedings can also help.

    Older kids often get relief by avoiding foods and drinks that trigger GER symptoms. Often, these include:

    • citrus fruits
    • food and drinks with caffeine
    • fatty and fried foods
    • tomato-based foods and sauces
    • peppermint

    Doctors may recommend raising the head of a child’s bed 6 to 8 inches to help with reflux that happens at night. They also may look at other conditions that can contribute to GER symptoms, including obesity and some medicines. In teens, smoking or alcohol use can play a role in GER.

    If symptoms continue, doctors might prescribe medicine, such as:

    • H2 blockers, which can help block the production of stomach acid
    • proton pump inhibitors, which reduce the amount of acid the stomach makes
    • prokinetics, which help the esophageal sphincter work better and the stomach empty faster. This can prevent reflux episodes.

    Rarely, medical treatment alone doesn’t help and a child fails to grow well or has other problems. Then, a surgical procedure might be an option. In this surgery, called fundoplication , the doctor creates a valve at the top of the stomach by wrapping part of the stomach around the esophagus to strengthen the sphincter and prevent reflux.

    Key Points About Gerd In Children

    How can I help my baby with acid reflux?
    • GERD is a long-term digestive disorder.

    • It happens when stomach contents come back up into the food pipe .

    • Heartburn or acid indigestion is the most common symptom of GERD.

    • Vomiting can cause problems with weight gain and poor nutrition.

    • In many cases, GERD can be eased by diet and lifestyle changes.

    • Sometimes medicines, tube feedings, or surgery may be needed.

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    What Causes Heartburn And Reflux

    Reflux is very common in babies because the esophageal sphincter is still weak, which is why babies frequently spit up. Some foods , caffeine, and smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke can trigger reflux. Some medications, including ibuprofen, can lead to reflux by irritating the stomachs lining. Even severe constipation can cause reflux symptoms if a child has considerable stool backup that is delaying gastric emptying.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Heartburn And Reflux

    Babies with reflux may be especially irritable and cry a lot during and after mealtimes. Older children may complain of:

    • Burning sensation in the chest
    • Belching
    • Mint
    • Alcohol and cigarette smoke

    Reflux also happens more when youre lying down, so your child should try not to eat or drink two hours before bed. If your child is overweight, the doctor might recommend a weight-loss plan to help alleviate heartburn and reflux.Treatment isnt always necessary with infants. Babies with reflux might cry because theyre scared of spitting up or are bothered by regurgitated liquid coming out of their nose, but that doesnt necessarily mean they need medication. Reflux medications come with side effects including headaches, constipation and increased risk of pneumonia and intestinal infections and its generally safest to wait for babies to outgrow the problem. However, some simple changes in feeding routines can reduce reflux symptoms in infants:

    Some infants with reflux will not be able to gain weight due to frequent vomiting. If thats the case, your childs doctor may recommend:

    • Adding rice cereal to baby formula
    • Increasing calories by adding a prescribed supplement to formula or breast milk
    • Nasogastric tube feedings: Formula or breast milk is given through a tube that is placed in the nose, guided through the esophagus and into the stomach. Tube feedings can be given in addition to or in place of regular feedings.

    Also Check: Is Acid Reflux The Same As Heartburn

    Diet And Lifestyle Changes

    In many cases, diet and lifestyle changes can help to ease GERD. Talk with your childs healthcare provider about changes you can make. Here are some tips to better manage GERD symptoms.

    For babies:

    • After feedings, hold your baby in an upright position for 30 minutes.
    • If bottle-feeding, keep the nipple filled with milk. This way your baby wont swallow too much air while eating. Try different nipples. Find one that lets your baby’s mouth make a good seal with the nipple during feeding.
    • Adding rice cereal to feeding may be helpful for some babies.
    • Burp your baby a few times during bottle-feeding or breastfeeding. Your child may reflux more often when burping with a full stomach.

    For children:

    • Watch your child’s food intake. Limit fried and fatty foods, peppermint, chocolate, drinks with caffeine such as sodas and tea, citrus fruit and juices, and tomato products.
    • Offer your child smaller portions at mealtimes. Add small snacks between meals if your child is hungry. Dont let your child overeat. Let your child tell you when he or she is hungry or full.
    • If your child is overweight, contact your childs provider to set weight-loss goals.
    • Serve the evening meal early, at least 3 hours before bedtime.

    Other things to try:

    Surgery For Infant Reflux

    Home Remedies for Acid Reflux in Babies

    In rare cases when GERD symptoms become life-threatening, a surgical procedure called fundoplication may be performed. Your infant’s pediatrician may recommend fundoplication if:

    • GERD lasts well beyond the first year of life and does not respond to treatment
    • Your infant develops recurrent aspiration pneumonia caused by regurgitated stomach contents that are breathed into the airways
    • Your baby has episodes of apnea, in which they are fully or partially unable to breathe for more than 20 seconds when regurgitating
    • They develop an irregular heart rhythm, known as bradycardia
    • Their airways become damaged, resulting in a chronic lung disease called bronchopulmonary dysplasia
    • Your infant is not growing properly due to malnutrition
    • Your baby’s esophagus is abnormally tight due to inflammation, a condition that increases their risk of choking

    During a fundoplication surgery, the top of the stomach is wrapped around the esophagus, tightening the LES and making it more difficult for food to reflux out of the stomach.

    Although it can be an effective solution for children with severe reflux that doesn’t respond to medication, fundoplication surgery is a major surgical procedure that has a number of possible complications. It also has a high failure rate in some children. As such, it is considered as a last resort.

    Talk to your healthcare provider to see if fundoplication might be right for your child.

    Recommended Reading: Foods To Get Rid Of Heartburn

    Causes Of Heartburn When Breastfeeding

    The exact cause for heartburn during breastfeeding is not known.

    However, the following are a few common causes for heartburn among adults .

    • Obesity
    • Avoid lying down after a meal
    • Wear loose, comfortable clothes
    • Raise your head using pillows or lift the bed with blocks so that you are elevated, thus letting gravity reduce acid reflux

    Although heartburn and breastfeeding are not directly related, it can affect some lactating women and cause discomfort. If you are unable to manage with some lifestyle modifications, then contact your healthcare provider. The doctor will help you diagnose the cause and plan the relevant treatment.

    Do you have any experiences to share about heartburn during breastfeeding? Let us know in the comment section below.

    References:

    What Are The Main Symptoms Of Gerd

    The main symptoms are persistent heartburn and acid regurgitation. Some people have GERD without heartburn. Instead, they experience pain in the chest, hoarseness in the morning or trouble swallowing. You may feel like you have food stuck in your throat, or like you are choking or your throat is tight. GERD can also cause a dry cough and bad breath.

    Recommended Reading: Foods To Avoid With Acid Reflux And Heartburn

    How Is Pediatric Gerd Treated

    Treatment for pediatric GERD depends on the severity of the condition. Doctors will almost always advise parents, children, and teens to start with simple lifestyle changes. For example:

    • Eat smaller meals more often, and avoid eating two to three hours before bedtime.
    • Lose weight if necessary.
    • Avoid spicy foods, high-fat foods, and acidic fruits and vegetables, which can irritate your stomach.
    • Avoid carbonated beverages, alcohol, and tobacco smoke.
    • Elevate the head during sleep.
    • Avoid eating large meals before vigorous activities, sports games, or during times of stress.
    • Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes.

    Your childs doctor may recommend medications that help reduce the amount of acid their stomach produces. These medications include:

    • antacids
    • histamine-2 blockers that reduce acid in the stomach, such as Pepcid
    • proton pump inhibitors that block acid, such as Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid

    Theres some debate regarding starting young children on these medications. Its not yet known what the long-term effects of these medications may be. You may want to focus on helping your child make lifestyle modifications. You may also want your child to try herbal remedies. Some parents feel that herbal remedies may be helpful, but the effectiveness of remedies is unproven and the long-term consequences for children taking them are unknown.

    What Lifestyle Changes Can Help Treat My Child’s Reflux Or Gerd

    How do you treat reflux in a baby?

    Sometimes reflux and GERD in children can be treated with lifestyle changes:

    • Losing weight, if needed
    • Wearing loose-fitting clothing around the abdomen
    • Staying upright for 3 hours after meals and not reclining and slouching when sitting
    • Sleeping at a slight angle. Raise the head of your child’s bed 6 to 8 inches by safely putting blocks under the bedposts.

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    What Treatments Might The Doctor Give For My Child’s Gerd

    If changes at home do not help enough, the doctor may recommend medicines to treat GERD. The medicines work by lowering the amount of acid in your child’s stomach.

    Some medicines for GERD in children are over-the-counter, and some are prescription medicines. They include

    • Over-the-counter antacids
    • H2 blockers, which decrease acid production
    • Proton pump inhibitors , which lower the amount of acid the stomach makes
    • Prokinetics, which help the stomach empty faster

    If these don’t help and your child still has severe symptoms, then surgery might be an option. A pediatric gastroenterologist, a doctor who treats children who have digestive diseases, would do the surgery.

    NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

    Acid Reflux Remedies For Children

    Treating seemingly adult health conditions in children can be complicated, especially when wee ones do not respond to medicine in the same way as adults. If your little one is fighting a battle with acid reflux and it seems like nothing else is working, you may want to try one of these natural remedies. Many children respond to natural cures for acid reflux such as apple cider vinegar, dietary changes, and coconut oil.

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