Acid Reflux in Kids: The Effects, Causes, Symptoms, and Handling – Not only attacking older people, stomach acid reflux or GERD can also occur in kids by showing some symptoms. How to overcome GERD in children can be done with some handling at home.
GERD occurs when gastric acid returns to the esophagus during or after meals.
There are several factors causing GERD in children. In infants, GERD occurs because the muscles in the tip of the esophagus have not strong enough to withstand gastric acid. In older children, GERD occurs due to pressure from under the esophagus or weakened esophagus muscles.
GERD may also occur due to food intolerance, gastric anatomical disorders, and stress. High levels of stress in children can increase the risk of GERD.
Effects of Acid Reflux in Kids
Some children have complications from GERD. Acid reflux that occurs continuously can cause:
- Respiratory disorders (when the stomach is entered into the trachea, lungs or nose).
- Irritation of the esophagus, commonly called esophagitis.
- Bleeding in the esophagus.
- The presence of wounds in the esophagus that makes children difficult to swallow food.
- Because these complications make it difficult for the child in consuming food, then there is a chance that GERD affects their nutrition. If the child’s weight decreases, consult a doctor immediately.
Causes of GERD in children and adolescents
Researchers are not really sure what causes Acid Reflux in Kids and adolescents. Some factors may be involved, including:
- How long the esophagus are in the stomach
- The angle at which the stomach and esophagus meet
- Conditions of the muscles at the lower end of the esophagus
- Clasped diaphragm fibers
- Some children may also have weak valves that are highly sensitive to certain foods and beverages or inflammation in the esophagus that cause problems.
Symptoms of stomach acid reflux (GERD) in children and adolescents
Observe, if the child looks or complain of the following symptoms:
- The most common symptom is heartburn. It can last up to 2 hours and tends to be worse after eating.
- Pain or burning sensation in the upper chest
- Feeling pain or uncomfortable when swallowing
- Nausea and often occurs regurgitation and vomiting immediately after eating something.
- Vomiting is yellow or green and excreted in spurts.
- Often cough, wheezing, or Hoarseny
- Excessive burping
- Feeling stomach acid in the throat
- Feel like there is food stuck in the throat
- Pain deteriorates when lying down
- Bad breath.
- Sour taste in the mouth, especially in the morning.
- It occurs with frequent frequencies, numerous volumes, and accompanied by other symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, and bloating.
Learn more about GERD Symptoms and Causes
Handling GERD in children
GERD treatment in children depends on how severe the symptoms are. For children, it is usually done by avoiding foods and drinks that trigger symptoms of GERD, such as:
- Fruits that are acidic
- Caffeine-containing foods and beverages
- Greasy and fried foods
- Onion and garlic
- Spicy food
- Tomato-based food
- Mint leaves
- In older children, alco**hol and ciga**rettes are also the main causes of GERD.
As the child is declared positively GERD, there are some things that you can do.
- Encourage the child to eat small amounts but often.
- Avoid eating at least three hours before bedtime.
- Avoiding foods and drinks that trigger symptoms of GERD (read above).
- If the child is obese with a weight loss is recommended to lower the possibility of pressure on the stomach.
- Keep the child’s head in a high position as he sleeps.
- Avoid wearing tight clothing for children.
- If the child has GERD because of milk intolerance, it is better to avoid the feeding of cow’s milk in children.
Look back on health development and child habits afterwards.
If GERD symptoms do not improve, then acidic stomach suppressant medications may be administered for 4-8 weeks.
However, in patients who are not able to be treated with gastric acid medications for 2 weeks and are accompanied by serious signs, such as difficulty swallowing, weight loss, and repeated hematemesis or vomiting, immediately consult your child to a pediatric gastroenterology to undergo endoscopy of the upper gastrointestinal tract.
Meanwhile, in the case of a toddler who spit up, but does not experience GERD, usually the doctor will make a further examination to distinguish symptoms or signs of a diagnosis, such as obstruction disorders, nervous system abnormalities, and the possibility of a protein allergy to cow’s milk, soy, or cigarette smoke.
A reference to a pediatric gastroenterology can be performed when symptoms of the disease cannot improve with gastric acid suppressant medication for 2 weeks, or the kids feel more sensitive and does not gain weight.
Read also: How To Cure GERD Permanently
Thank you very much for reading Acid Reflux in Kids: The Effects, Causes, Symptoms, and Handling, hopefully useful.