Children or teenagers suffering from gastroesophageal reflux (GER) may get the taste of food or stomach acid at the back of their mouth. It is classified as a disease (GERD) in children of age 12 and older when the child experiences regular heartburn and a painful feeling at the centre of the chest and middle of the abdomen. In general, children with GERD below age 12 don t suffer from heartburn. Children suffering from acid reflux should eat smaller portions of food and avoid eating 2-3 hours before bedtime.
What is the cause of acid reflux in children and teens?
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When a child or teenager has a weak lower esophageal sphincter or it relaxes when it shouldn t then the problem of acid reflux occurs. This dysfunction causes the food and stomach acid to rise up into the esophagus. The reason for such an occurring may be due to being overweight, obese or as a reaction to medicine taken for asthma, depression, sedatives or painkillers. Get a proper diagnosis of your child and find out what triggers the acid reflux. If it is a certain type of medicine or food then the child should avoid it.
Cerebral Palsy can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease.
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If a child or teen has a neurological condition such as cerebral palsy then the child can develop GERD. The disease can also be developed as a result of severe developmental delay or a previous esophageal surgery. Such situations can severely damage the functionality of the lower esophageal sphincter and cause recurring acid reflux which shall cause immense pain in the esophageal tract or heartburn. Only a neurologist shall be able to diagnose the link between cerebral palsy and acid reflux. Consult a renowned neurologist and seek his expert guidance and treatment.
Poor growth is a sure shot sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease.
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A child s poor growth can be the result of several health factors such as malnutrition or hormonal problems. If other symptoms such as difficulty swallowing food, difficulty in breathing after vomiting or is dehydrated then this is an indication of GERD. Do not forcefully try to feed your child anything during such a situation. Seek medical attention immediately!
A child does not have reflux issues if he/she does not spit or vomit.
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It is not possible to determine a child s medical condition such as GER or GERD simply based on his vomiting. Although vomiting or spitting up is a common sign of reflux, it can present itself in various other ways. Children who do not vomit may have silent reflux, but it can be severe whereas children with vomiting may have mild reflux. Rather than believing myths, it is wise to seek professional assistance and understand the root cause of reflux. Consult a physician to determine whether child s reflux is severe or mild.