5 Serious Causes Of Acid Reflux In Toddlers

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After having spicy foods or a big meal, you must have experienced an uncomfortable feeling accompanied with heartburn. If you think you only suffer from this, you are wrong. Your toddler may also suffer from similar acid refluxes known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and gastroesophageal reflux (GER).

Your toddler may get fussy and vomit everything he eats when he suffers from GERD. In case, if a kid outgrows GERD, he may require some medical treatments as well.

Acid Reflux In Toddlers:

Heartburn in toddlers suffering from acid reflux can last for 1 to 2 hours and may get worse after a meal. This happens when the stomach acid backs up the tube connecting the esophagus and the mouth in course of a meal.

  • There is a valve at the bottom of the esophagus that opens up to allow the food down and close to stop the acid from flowing up.
  • When a toddler suffers from acid reflux, the valve opens and closes at the wrong time.
  • If the toddler vomits or spits, he or she is showing toddler acid reflux symptoms.

[ Read: Stomach Pain In Toddlers ]

Symptoms Of Acid Reflux In Toddlers:

Here are some other symptoms that you should be careful of:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Refusing to eat
  • Spitting yellow or green fluid
  • Projectile vomiting
  • Not gaining weight

Causes Behind Acid Reflux In Toddlers:

Studies have not been able to conclude the reasons why toddlers suffer from acid refluxes. Here are some factors that have been underlined:

  1. Toning of the muscles below the lower end of esophagus.
  2. Angle of the esophagus joining the stomach.
  3. Pinching effects of the diaphragm fibers, in which the esophagus is separated to pass from abdomen to the chest.
  4. Length of esophagus in the abdomen.
  5. Some toddlers have weak valves and are thus very sensitive to certain beverages and food. Sometimes inflammation of the esophagus also causes this problem.

Toddlers with neurological or developmental conditions, like cerebral palsy, are at greater risk of suffering from acid refluxes. They may experience lasting and severe symptoms as well.

[ Read: Asthma In Toddlers ]

Treatment For Acid Refluxes In Toddlers:

Like in case of adults, the treatment for acid reflux in your toddler also depends on the severity of his or her condition. Doctors begin the treatment procedures by advising you to start with lifestyle changes of your tot.

Here are some more advices you should follow:

  • Doctors will advise for smaller meals, at regular intervals, throughout the day for toddlers.
  • To shed extra weight, i your toddler is found to be overweight during regular checkups.
  • To stay away from spicy foods, acidic vegetables and fruits that irritates his or her stomach.
  • Should avoid taking heavy meals before sports, plays, at times of stress and before vigorous activities.
  • Make sure that your toddler does not wear tight fitted clothes.

In case these lifestyle changes fail to bring any improvements, your toddler will be suggested medication to reduce production of acid in the stomach. Common medicines suggested are:

  • Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs)
  • Pepcid
  • Zantac
  • Nexium
  • Prilosec
  • Prevacid

There are lot of debates going on about the effects of these medicines on toddlers, as not much is known about the long-term effects. It is thus better to try with the lifestyle changes first and then opt for the medicines.

[ Read: Strep Throat In Toddlers ]

Surgery called fundoplication is a very rare option in this case. It is suggested only in cases when ulcers or esophageal bleeding cannot be controlled.

Acid reflux can interfere with proper nutrition, as it makes eating painful. So, if you feel your toddler is not gaining weight or is losing weight, you must bring it to the doctor’s notice.

Do share with us if your toddler too suffered from acid reflux and what you did to alleviate his or her discomforts in the comment section below. Your experiences can be valuable for other parents.

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