(GERD—Child; Chronic Heartburn—Child; Reflux Esophagitis—Child; Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease—Child; GORD—Child; Reflux—Child)
|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 aspiration pneumonia or 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
- Images tests can assess the stomach and esophagus. These may include an upper GI series and/or upper endoscopy with biopsy.
- 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 their bed.
- Having your child lie on their 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 them lose it.
- Avoid exposing your child to secondhand smoke.
- H-2 blockers
- Proton pump inhibitors
- Promotility drugs—to help stomach emptying (not used often)
GI Kids—North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition http://www.gikids.org
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases http://www.niddk.nih.gov
Canadian Digestive Health Foundation http://www.cdhf.ca
About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca
Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in children and adolescents. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/ger-and-gerd-in-children-and-adolescents/Pages/facts.aspx. Updated August 2006. Accessed May 10, 2013.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 9, 2013. Accessed May 10, 2013.
Pediatric GE reflux clinical practice guidelines. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2001;32:S1-S31.
Treating GERD. Ohio State University Medical Center website. Available at: http://wexnermedical.osu.edu/patient-care/healthcare-services/digestive-diseases/heartburn. Accessed May 10, 2013.
5/12/2015 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: National Collaborating Centre for Women's and Children's Health. Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease: recognition, diagnosis and management in children and young people. London (UK): National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE); 2015 Jan 14. 34 p. (NICE guideline; no. 1). Available at: http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=48992#Section420. Accessed May 12, 2015.
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD
- Review Date: 01/2015 -
- Update Date: 05/12/2015 -