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    Old 02-12-2012, 07:56 PM   #1
    fanKC
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    acid reflux/gerd in chiildren

    my eight year old daughter is having problems lately with acid reflux/gerd. she's always had respiratory problems, especially during flu season, seeming to always come down with bronchitis each year, one year pnuemonia. not sure if they can be related or not.

    about 2-3 weeks ago she had the stomach flu. she threw up violently for about 5-6 hours and she was threw with it. she has had alot of problems with the reflux ever since. i have acid reflux/gerd myself, i've been on prilosec for about 6 years (i'm 30). i know what to listen for, as far as her symptoms go, she complains about throwing up in her throat and mouth, and she has burping bouts that can last hours, causing her to want to sleep in the recliner every night... she dosen't seem to have the "burning" sensatiion though.

    a trip to our doctor about a week ago prompted him to prescribe some medicine for her to take twice a day it's just the liquid form of zantac. it dosen't seem to be helping her.

    i guess my question is, is this something kids outgrow? i'm worried because she's only 8 and it just seems to me that this is something she'll struggle with her entire life. i would hate to have her start a ppi treatment this young. i wish i could rid myself of the prilosec, but when i get off of it, the heartburn returns in a couple days.

    any answers, thought, suggestions would be much appreciated. thanks.

     
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    Old 02-12-2012, 09:21 PM   #2
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    Re: acid reflux/gerd in chiildren

    My sympathy goes out to you! My 5 year old son (now almost 6) has been suffering from acid reflux/gerd since he was 3. Around his 5th birthday, he was put on zantac. It did nothing for him. Then, he was switched to prilosec. That helped a bit more, but not much. So, after an endoscopy & biopsies and 24 hours of ph metry testing, the G.I. put him on a combo of zantac and prilosec. I was disappointed that they could not do more. However, this combo does seem to be "keeping the bad acid down" (as I am told), because after a 2nd endoscopy, he showed minor improvement.

    The docs tell me that they there may be no way of keeping all of the acid down completely. They say that they are doing all they can medically and that our next step would be surgery. Our ENT is trying to help with the LPR, but as I'm sure you are aware, there isn't much that can be done. Our pediatrician and ENT both tell me that this is something that he'll outgrow, but from what I've researched so far, this isn't the case. I wish I could give you more good news. I wish I could find some for myself and my son. We have found a tiny bit of help by reducing fats and acidic foods. My son also sleeps on an incline pillow and chews gum constantly (sweet cough drops help sometimes too). His current private school even allows him to chew gum during the day as they are aware of all the problems he has. I wish you and your daughter all the best. I hope that we can help each other in the future with sharing any forms of progress we can make. Thanks again for your post!!!

     
    Old 02-13-2012, 10:37 AM   #3
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    Re: acid reflux/gerd in chiildren

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hrvioux View Post
    My sympathy goes out to you! My 5 year old son (now almost 6) has been suffering from acid reflux/gerd since he was 3. Around his 5th birthday, he was put on zantac. It did nothing for him. Then, he was switched to prilosec. That helped a bit more, but not much. So, after an endoscopy & biopsies and 24 hours of ph metry testing, the G.I. put him on a combo of zantac and prilosec. I was disappointed that they could not do more. However, this combo does seem to be "keeping the bad acid down" (as I am told), because after a 2nd endoscopy, he showed minor improvement.

    The docs tell me that they there may be no way of keeping all of the acid down completely. They say that they are doing all they can medically and that our next step would be surgery. Our ENT is trying to help with the LPR, but as I'm sure you are aware, there isn't much that can be done. Our pediatrician and ENT both tell me that this is something that he'll outgrow, but from what I've researched so far, this isn't the case. I wish I could give you more good news. I wish I could find some for myself and my son. We have found a tiny bit of help by reducing fats and acidic foods. My son also sleeps on an incline pillow and chews gum constantly (sweet cough drops help sometimes too). His current private school even allows him to chew gum during the day as they are aware of all the problems he has. I wish you and your daughter all the best. I hope that we can help each other in the future with sharing any forms of progress we can make. Thanks again for your post!!!
    thank you so much for the reply. i hope your son finds some relief from his problems, hopefully the doctors are right, and this is something both our children will outgrow.

    i need to take my daughter in for an upper g.i. scope in a month or so if her problems don't get any better. i've had one done myself, and it will be very difficult for her, the hardest thing she's had to do medically (testing wise) in her young life so far has probably been a strep test.

    does your son complain about the "burning" sensation? when i started having major problems with my own acid reflux issues about six years ago i got to the point of not even being able to drink carbonated beverages without severe heart burn. my daughter dosen't complain of the burn, just the belching and food regurgatation.

    ppi's (prilosec) may work for her, i just hate the fact of a child that young being on a ppi. i hate the fact i have to take them daily as there isn't a whole lot of concrete research on long term affects of the drugs. just dosen't seem possible for a child that small to struggle with what i call "adult" medical problems. she eats well, very active in baseball, softball, gymnastics, and basketball.... but i know all too well you can be in peak physical shape and still be hit by this problem. i ate very well and was a college and for a short while professional athlete.

    good luck to you and your son, i hope that every thing gets better. i'll post here from time to time with an update, you do the same and maybe we can compare "notes" on the subject. have a great day.

     
    Old 02-13-2012, 04:24 PM   #4
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    Re: acid reflux/gerd in chiildren

    Now, reflux in babies is very common and usually goes away as the digestive system matures. With her, because this was triggered by one specific incident, she may recover fully. My husband once had terrible heartburn for 2 weeks following a bad bout of stomach flu, but has had no problems since.

    However, maybe it won't clear up, in that case medicines may be needed. In general, PPIs are pretty safe. However:

    1) They do cause dependency in some people, as the stomach produces extra acid to compensate.

    2) They can make it harder to absorb nutrients. You should consider a multivitamin and a calcium citrate supplement for yourself, and DEFINITELY ask your pediatrician about supplements for your daughter if he has her on PPIs for more than a couple months.

    I'm 31 myself, GERD since age 24. Just had the surgery.

     
    Old 02-15-2012, 08:23 AM   #5
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    Re: acid reflux/gerd in chiildren

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by janewhite1 View Post
    Now, reflux in babies is very common and usually goes away as the digestive system matures. With her, because this was triggered by one specific incident, she may recover fully. My husband once had terrible heartburn for 2 weeks following a bad bout of stomach flu, but has had no problems since.

    However, maybe it won't clear up, in that case medicines may be needed. In general, PPIs are pretty safe. However:

    1) They do cause dependency in some people, as the stomach produces extra acid to compensate.

    2) They can make it harder to absorb nutrients. You should consider a multivitamin and a calcium citrate supplement for yourself, and DEFINITELY ask your pediatrician about supplements for your daughter if he has her on PPIs for more than a couple months.

    I'm 31 myself, GERD since age 24. Just had the surgery.
    what kind of surgery did you have, and has it totally cured your problems? i've thought about having it done, but not sure if it's worth it since i rarely have any problems with mine since i've been on the prilosec. thanks.

     
    Old 02-15-2012, 06:58 PM   #6
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    Re: acid reflux/gerd in chiildren

    I had Nissen Fundoplication 7 weeks ago. My symptoms were pretty bad, and medicines provided only partial relief.

    I can't say I'm 100% better, but technically I'm still recovering, because it can take up to 3 months for the digestive system to really adjust to the surgery. I can say I almost never have reflux symptoms now, while I used to have them several hours a day most days.

    I kind of didn't realize how bad it was, you know? There was nothing more I could do about it, so I just ignored it most of the time. I just got used to the acid taste in my mouth, to two weeks of laryngitis after every cold, to eating a diet that grew more limited all the time, and to the burning pain.

    I'm still on medications, but maybe in another month or two I'll ask the doctor about doing without them.

     
    Old 02-15-2012, 09:04 PM   #7
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    Re: acid reflux/gerd in chiildren

    fanKC - my son rarely complains about the burning sensation of heartburn. When he does, we give him a TUMS and this seems to resolve the pain immediately (thank goodness!!!) Also, today I purchased some baking soda gum for him to try out. It's too early to tell if it's going to do any good for him, but he likes the flavor and such. So, if it does work, this might be another minor aid in the fight against acid reflux. My son's food refurgitation is quite severe, so any help with that is a huge bonus!

    As for the endoscopies, my son did really well with those. His throat was a bit sore for a few hours afterward, but that was it. He also did amazingly well with the ph metry testing. (I pray your daughter will never have to get to this point, but if she does, it may not be as scary as it initially seems.)

    Jane - I'd also be interested in hearing about what made the final decision for you to have the surgery (assuming it is the Nissen Fundo.). From what I understand, it is not recommended for children as young as my son, but considering how many years he has already suffered from reflux, I am guessing that he'll have to face the surgery decision himself one day. I imagine that's a hard decision to make.

    I agree about the prolonged use of PPI's being a concern in regard to dependency. I so fear that issue for my son. Recently, we tried to back off of the Zantac just for a few days, and he had a lot of trouble with that. I also agree about staying on top of nutrient absorbtion. We are having my son's vitamin levels checked soon for that reason. It will be interesting to see where his levels are at after a year of medications.

    Also, Jane, I hope you are doing well since your surgery... I've heard it can be hard to recover from. I appreciate all your input on these boards. I cannot tell you how valuable it is to get feedback from others like you who are in the same situation. Best wishes to you and thank you!!!

     
    Old 02-16-2012, 05:49 PM   #8
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    Re: acid reflux/gerd in chiildren

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hrvioux View Post
    Jane - I'd also be interested in hearing about what made the final decision for you to have the surgery (assuming it is the Nissen Fundo.).
    I also have allergic asthma that developed within the past few years. I knew that the reflux and the asthma were triggering each other. (lungs do NOT like it when stomach acid gets near them!) Last summer, I went through all the pH and other testing, but I wasn't sure about the surgery because I was afraid of developing swallowing problems.

    Then in October, I had an asthma attack, not dangerous but dreadfully uncomfortable, and my asthma doctor said, "If you want to breathe better, get the reflux under control," as there wasn't much he could do without resorting to dangerous oral steroids.

    At this point, I had exhausted drug therapy and lifestyle changes, and was still suffering from reflux a lot. So I went back to the GI doctor and said, "I'm ready. Send me to the surgeon."

    I talked to the surgeon, he thought I was a good candidate. Then, I made an appointment with my family doctor and said, "The surgeon thinks I'm a good candidate, but surgeons like to cut people. What do you think?"

    We talked about how my reflux was, and all the things I'd done to treat it. I said things like, "I eat a small bowl of Rice Chex and skim milk for breakfast. Then I taste stomach acid for two hours." That conversation was when I realized just how severe things had become. So, we decided I would go ahead with the surgery.

     
    Old 02-17-2012, 04:56 AM   #9
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    Re: acid reflux/gerd in chiildren

    Wow, Jane, that's a heck of a story. I'm glad I asked. Thanks for sharing it with me!!! My son's doc's have also warned us to watch for asthma as he is coughing a lot with physical activity. He hasn't always been like this... but it's been flaring up more in the last year... we are assuming it's been a "side effect" of the reflux, so to speak. So, your story makes that theory seem more realistic now.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. I do hope you are recoveirng well, and that the surgery makes your life better! Please keep us posted on your status. I definitely fear that my son will be doing the surgery one day too... I just hope we can put it off til he is a bit older. Thanks again for your sharing!!!

    fanKC... how is your daughter doing? Making any improvements? I am going to start giving my son probiotic tablets today. I read about them elsewhere in this website as being good for digestion, and then I asked my GI if they recommended them too. They said that they highly recommended them, not just for reflux patients, but for everyone. --Guess I might sneak a few of them for myself on occassion!

     
    Old 02-20-2012, 11:07 AM   #10
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    Re: acid reflux/gerd in chiildren

    hrvioux-

    thanks for asking. she was doing pretty well up until last night. my wife made tacos, and about an hour after dinner, she complained about her stomach hurting, and she burped quite alot before bed. we just really have to adjust what we feed her. other than last night though, she was doing pretty well the last few days, hopefully it was just a slight "hiccup". we will continue you the liquid zantac for about another week or so, then pull her off of it and see how she does. i'll update when we take her off of it and see how she adjusts.

     
    Old 02-23-2012, 01:43 PM   #11
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    Re: acid reflux/gerd in chiildren

    Hi - my son is 12 and has suffered from reflux for a couple of years on and off now - prolly since 9. I put him on medicine for about 30 days or less and take him off and he is good for about a year or so. He also has a touch of asthma - only has a rescue inhaler but only seems to really need it right when winter begins when he gets his cold/cough.

    I read an interesting story the other day that about 75% of kids who have asthma will most likely have gerd/reflux as well and they don't seem to know why.

    Ugh -I really feel for him. I have it too but he gets sick and throws up so much and his belly hurts so bad. I'm not sure what else to do. I don't want him to have surgery - at least not yet....

     
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    Old 02-23-2012, 08:36 PM   #12
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    Re: acid reflux/gerd in chiildren

    Willow, gosh, my heart goes out to you!!! I know how hard it is to watch your child be in pain. My son does not have the nausea/vomitting (at least not yet). Has your son always had this side effect from GERD? Does he eat a pretty low fat diet? I keep trying to trim the fat out of my son's diet, and I will say that it has helped some. Sugar really seems to bother him, too, and of course, it's hard to take all sugary things away from a kid. What does your son's GI doc recommend? My son's GI wants to put him on Reglan, but my husband and I refuse to do it because of all the scary stuff that we have read about that. I am working like crazy to find other solutions rather than just more meds. (Great that you have been able to use only minimal meds with your son, by the way! I wish that I had researched earlier on about how addictive they can be!)

    It's very intersting what you wrote about the asthsma and GERD. I was just talking to my son's pediatrician today about that. He had prescribed my son an inhaler to use before sports activities, etc., but it has done little for him. I told the pediatrician what Jane's doc had said about "solve the reflux and you'll solve the asthsma". (Thanks again for that story, Jane!) My pediatrician agreed. He said that he could definitely see where the reflux could be causing inflamation as it passes by the lungs. Anyway, we've definitely had to cut back on my son's sports activities.... yet another sad hit in this reflux battle (it's especially hard for my husband to see my son, who used to be the fastest kid we knew, now have to sit down after only a short period of strenuous activity).

    Speaking of all this, Jane - have your asthsma problems been reduced since having your surgery? (Hope that you are continuing to feel better with your recovery too!)

    Also, fanKC, regarding your last post, I had read somewhere that corn-based products, like corn chips, can be bad for GERD. My son had some corn chips about a month back (before I had read about this) and they definitely did not go over well with his system. Perhaps that might have been what caused the problem for your daughter with the tacos. Has she had any more problems since? Hope that episode was just a "hiccup" like you said!

    Thanks again to all of you for your posts!!! Your stories are helping me so much! I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart! Best wishes to everyone!

     
    Old 02-24-2012, 06:35 AM   #13
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    Re: acid reflux/gerd in chiildren

    Hi again - we are still in the early stages of this. We are still trying to find what his "trigger" foods are. I don't generally let him eat after 7pm cause he goes to bed at 9:30 cause food too early to bedtime is hard on the body, I have cut out most all of his pop, I try to get him low fat food and snacks to eat. I have him eating more fresh fruits and vegetables too. We have also joined the YMCA because both of us could stand to lose a few pounds too which can contribute to gerd/reflux. I am on a full time med. I don't want him to have to go through that too so I am trying to teach him right now rather than him paying forever. Unfortunately, my Dr told me once you have it, it will most likely stick with you forever. His reflux is not so bad yet that we have gone to a GI Dr. He has only seen his pediatrician.

    Good luck to you too!

    Last edited by willow71; 02-24-2012 at 06:35 AM.

     
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