Saturday, July 17, 2010

Reflux in Children

Reflux is when food backs up after a meal. Bringing up food is common in babies and young children. It usually doesn't cause problems and most children grow out of it. But if it happens frequently or causes problems, they may need treatment. And whether it is serious or not, there are some steps which can help with treating reflux in children.

The doctor said that my son could have reflux. I decided to do some research on it and found that it can be common condition. Also, a lot can be done through good diet.

What is reflux in children?

Reflux happens when partly digested food comes up the tube that links the mouth to the stomach (the esophagus).

Reflux happens because a muscle at the bottom of the esophagus does not work properly. This muscle is supposed to stops food from coming back up.
Reflux 101: A Parent's Guide to Gastroesophageal Reflux
When food goes up into the esophagus, it's often mixed with acidic stomach juices.

This can make the esophagus sore and inflamed.

Doctors may call it gastro-esophageal reflux disease, or GORD.

What are the symptoms?

Most babies and children don’t even realize they have reflux.

There are 2 things that could happen:

- the stomach contents remain in the esophagus and damage the esophageal lining.
- Or the stomach contents go up to the mouth and are swallowed again.

When this happens, the child could show the following symptoms

• Hoarse voice
• recurrent pneumonia
• wheezing
• difficult or painful swallowing
• vomiting
• sore throat
• weight loss
• heartburn (in older children)
• stomach pain
• irritable

Talk to your doctor if your child brings up vomit that looks like coffee grounds. This can be a sign that their stomach or esophagus is bleeding.

What treatments work?

Treatment for reflux depends on the child’s symptoms and age. There are drugs to treat reflux.

Besides using medication, you may be able to reduce symptoms other ways.

• Eat more frequent smaller meals.
• Avoid eating 2 to 3 hours before bed.
• Raise the head of your child’s bed 6 to 8 inches
• Through Diet.

In rare case surgery may work.

Of course, with kids, always talk to your doctor.

Diet for Kids with Reflux

Foods to Avoid

With reflux situations, you need to remind yourself that acidic foods make it worse. Avoid:

- Caffeinated beverages such as sodas and teas should be avoided or drunk in moderation.
- Tomato based products,
- Citrus food,
- Chocolate,
- Fried foods and high fat foods
- Spicy food

But whatever the food, watch your child carefully to see if he has any symptoms after eating these foods. If he does, try to leave them completely from his diet or only allow them in moderation or special occasions.

Foods to Eat

What do we give our kids who have reflux?

- Whole grains
- breads,
- rice,
- oatmeal,
- cheeses,
- baked potatoes,
- steamed vegetables,
- pears, apples, bananas,
- baked chicken and other lean meats.

Notice if you child’s acid reflux is triggered by milk or dairy products, try soy milk and replace other dairy products with alternatives.

When to Eat

Eat several small meals instead of three large ones throughout the day.

This can cut down on the amount of stomach acid that they are producing and reduce reflux symptoms.

If you are interested this book on reflux could help understand the issue better.

Cooking at home and teaching kids about cooking and eating properly will no doubt help him earlier on.  Get your kids into kitchen and teach them of what is good for them and what would make them comfortable.

Happy Cooking and Teaching!

1 comment:

  1. Very informative post shared here on gastro esophageal reflux in children. One should have to take care of their children diet regularly.