Gastroesophageal Reflux & Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Parent FAQs

For more information about eating a balanced diet, visit Choose My Plate. Surgery isn’t often needed to treat acid reflux in babies and kids. When it is necessary, a fundoplication is the most often performed surgery. During this procedure, the top part of the stomach is wrapped around the esophagus forming a cuff that contracts and closes off the esophagus whenever the stomach contracts — preventing reflux.

GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a disease where reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus and oral cavity is chronic in nature. In infants and children, it is much less frequent when compared with GER. The “disease” of GERD implies the need for various therapeutic approaches in order to minimize the consequences of reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus and oral cavity. Continue to breast-feed. For breast-feeding moms, a 2 to 4 week trial of avoiding milk and other dairy products as well as eggs may be worthwhile, because sometimes GER actually reflects symptoms of an infant’s food sensitivity.

Some children have a weak LES by birth, which makes them particularly predisposition to reflux. Acid Reflux has a genetic influence in some families. Children over the age of 2 years old may be diagnosed with acid reflux if they are showing other complications of reflux like poor growth pattern, chronic cough and sore throat, esophagitis, poor appetite, pain after eating, tooth erosion and inflammation of the esophagus.

So reduce how often your children have the trigger foods above. Fruits and veggies like spinach and peaches go a long way toward balancing out the acids so get in at least 1-2 per meal. Try to get your child to eat several smaller meals throughout the day and don’t allow him/her to skip meals.

In severe cases of reflux, a surgical procedure called fundoplication may be performed. Your doctor may recommend this operation if your child is not gaining weight due to vomiting, has frequent respiratory problems, or has severe irritation in the esophagus. This procedure is usually done laparoscopically, which means that pain in minimized and the recovery time is faster after surgery. Small incisions are made in the abdomen, and a small tube with a camera on the end is placed into one of the incisions to look inside. The surgical instruments are placed through the other incisions while the surgeon looks at a video monitor to see the stomach and other organs.

This way your baby won’t 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.

Basil or Tulsi leaves are also effective in treating the symptoms of acid reflux. Give it to the child before a meal to prevent acid reflux. Eating yogurt right after eating something spicy can help, for yogurt is an alkaline food and can help balance the pH levels in the stomach.

Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce the inflammation caused due to acid reflux. Give one teaspoon of coconut oil to the child once a day.

Many infants with GERD are otherwise healthy; however, some infants can have problems affecting their nerves, brain, or muscles. According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, a child’s immature digestive system is usually to blame and most infants grow out of the condition by the their first birthday. Instead of immediately adopting a rather beige and uninteresting diet, first consider some of the worst offenders when it comes to acid reflux and remove these foods as necessary. Heartburn is no reason not to exercise.

A small tube with a camera on the end is placed into one of the incisions to look inside. The surgical tools are put through the other incisions.

What causes GERD?

acid reflux in kids foods to avoid

A more forceful expulsion of stomach contents than do infants and children with GER. A small percentage of infants are unable to handle proteins found in milk or soy formulas.

For example, high-fat and salty foods can make GERD worse, while eggs and some fruits can improve it. Learn which foods are beneficial here. If feeding and positional changes do not improve GERD, and the infant still has problems with feeding, sleeping, and growth, a doctor may recommend medications to decrease the amount of acid in the infant’s stomach. Baking soda has alkaline properties, which make it a natural pH balance-restoring ingredient. One glass of water mixed with a teaspoon of baking soda can provide immediate relief from the symptoms of GERD.

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