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Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease—Child
(GERD—Child; Chronic Heartburn—Child; Reflux Esophagitis—Child; Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease—Child; GORD—Child; Reflux—Child)
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease/Heartburn—Overview
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease—Adolescent
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease—Infant
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease—Children with Disabilities
|Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease|
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- Problems with the nerves that control the LES
- Problems with LES muscle tone
- Impaired peristalsis—muscular contractions that propel food toward the stomach
- Abnormal pressure on the LES
- Increased relaxation of the LES
- Increased pressure within the abdomen
- Premature birth
- Parents with a history of heartburn or acid regurgitation
- Down syndrome or intellectual disability
- Neurological impairments
- Cerebral palsy
- Head injury
- Hiatal hernia
- Food allergies
- Certain medications
- Exposure to tobacco smoke
- Narrow or short esophagus
- Delayed emptying of the stomach
- Chronic heartburn—most common symptom
- Regurgitation or vomiting
- Green or yellow-green vomit
- Bloody vomit
- Weight loss or poor weight gain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Pain in the abdomen or chest
- Frequent respiratory problems
- Cough or wheezing
- Dental problems due to the effect of the stomach acid on the tooth's enamel
- Feeling full almost immediately after eating
- upper GI series
- upper endoscopy
- 24-hour pH monitoring—A probe is placed in the esophagus to measure the level of acid.
- Short trial of medications—The doctor may use the success or failure of a medication to understand the cause.
Your child's doctor may suggest making lifestyle changes before trying medication. These changes may include:
- Eating small, frequent meals.
- Avoid eating 2-3 hours before bedtime.
- Raising the head of your child's bed.
- Having your child lie on his or her left side when sleeping.
Your child may need to avoid certain foods and drinks, such as:
- Fried foods
- Spicy foods
- Caffeine products
- Carbonated drinks
- Foods high in fat and acid
- If your child is overweight, your doctor will advise you on a safe way to help your child return to a healthy weight.
- Avoid exposing your child to secondhand smoke.
- H-2 blockers
- Proton pump inhibitors
- Promotility drugs—to help stomach emptying (not used often)
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD
- Review Date: 03/2016
- Update Date: 05/12/2015