Natural Remedies & Treatments For Acid Reflux | Natural Remedy For GERD

Acid Reflux in Children
and Treatment Challenges

Of all the gastroenterological disorders encountered in infancy, acid reflux is, perhaps, the most common. It is primarily due to the immaturity of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) function manifested as frequent, transient LES relaxations causing the gastric contents to be regurgitated into the esophagus. Thus, it is a common physiological phenomenon in the first year of life. If growth and development is normal, then medical intervention is not required. However, pathologic acid reflux in children is generally determined not merely by the number and severity of reflux episodes but also by the presence of reflux-related complications such as failure to thrive, erosive esophagitis, esophageal stricture formation, chronic respiratory disease etc.

In older children, the causes of acid reflux are the same as those seen in adults. Anything that causes the LES to relax or anything that reduces the pressure below the LES can cause acid reflux. They include obesity, overeating, certain foods, beverages and medications.

The symptoms of acid reflux in children are masked or are similar to those from other conditions. They may be as follows:

Abdominal pain above the belly button

Burning sensation in the esophagus

Refusing food or eating only a few bites despite hunger

Gagging or choking

Poor weight gain or weight loss

Bad breath

Constantly runny nose and frequent sore throat

Sinus infections and respiratory problems (such as bronchitis, wheezing, asthma)

Night-time cough

Poor sleep, frequent waking

Frequent ear infections and/or ear congestion

Excessive salivation or drooling

If acid reflux is diagnosed in children, the doctor will most likely recommend lifestyle changes first. Some lifestyle changes are listed below.

Elevate the head of the child's bed using bricks or blocks. This will not only lower the pressure on the LES but also ensure a good night's sleep which in itself will reduce stress and increase the well-being of the child.A wedge pillow is also useful.

Keep the child upright for at least two hours after eating.

Serve several small meals throughout the day, rather than three large meals.

Limit foods and beverages that seem to worsen the child's reflux. These include mainly fried, high-sugar, and spicy foods as well as carbonated beverages and chocolates.

Limit watching television and encourage the child to get regular exercise.

Avoid non-steroidal and aspirin-containing medications.

Only when these lifestyle modifications do not work, medications are considered. Most medications suitable for adults may be prescribed, especially proton pump inhibitors. With any childhood condition, lifestyle changes are always considered first because a child should live as normal and medication-free a life as possible. Even in children, acid reflux is a complicated disease with varying causes and symptoms. Just treating the symptoms defeats the very aim of the therapy. The holistic approach, therefore, will not only relieve symptoms but also prevent the recurrences forever. This is because the holistic approach treats the body as a whole and tries to reach deeper and identify where the real problem is and then treat the symptoms.

This is often the better approach because the causes of acid reflux are many and complex. Identifying just the symptoms often means that the disease keeps coming back and haunting the person again and again, even after the symptoms have been removed with the treatment. So if you want a permanent sure, turn to the holistic therapy.

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