What You Need to Know about Acid Reflux

Topics reviewed in this article:

  • What is Acid Reflux?
  • What are the symptoms of Acid Reflux?
  • What are the causes of Acid Reflux?
  • What are the effects of Acid Reflux?
  • Reflux & a G tube
  • Tips to minimize Reflux

What is Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux is also known as GERD. This medical condition occurs when the contents of the stomach often ascend back up to the esophagus.

What are the symptoms of Acid Reflux?

Some of the symptoms of Acid Reflux are a burning sensation and contents of the stomach ascending up the esophagus and the mouth. Your child will experience an uncomfortable feeling and a sour and bitter taste in their throat and mouth. Also called heart burn.

What are the causes of Acid Reflux?

At the end of your child’s esophagus is a muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter. At times you child is experiencing acid reflux or GERD, the sphincter loses it’s ability to tighten and close properly. Because the sphincter opens easily, digested food and stomach acid emerges upward.

When the circular band, esophageal sphincter operates correctly, it relaxes and opens as your child swallows. Then the esophageal sphincter tightens and closes once she or he swallows.

What are the effects of Acid Reflux?

One of the effects of Acid Reflux for children with disabilities is not being able to swallow properly. Their Esophagus can also become damaged from having reflux for long periods of time. Additionally, a child can have aspiration issues as they swallow which can cause the ability to breathe difficult and other respiratory problems.

Check out a related article: Webmd

The G Tube & Acid Reflux

During G tube surgery, the location of the stomach is refigured to line up the Pressure on the sphincter sometimes causes it to open more easily rather tightening. Therefore, Acid Reflux is more than likely to occur.

Formula for G tubes go directly to the stomach and are not eatable. When formula ascends up the esophagus and in the mouth from the stomach, Acid Reflux feels much more uncomfortable than regular food.

Tips to minimize Acid Reflux

  1. Make sure your child is sitting up during oral or G tube feedings.
  2. Elevate their mattress by putting several blankets underneath.
  3. Give water and formula separately during the day.
  4. Figure out the amount of food or formula your child can handle without spitting up or having reflux.
  5. You can try giving your child overnight G tube feeds.
  6. If your child has a G Tube, the rate of flow on their feeding machine can be decreased.
  7. If they receive water through their G Tube extension and a syringe, you can give them water more often and at a slower pace.
  8. Trial and error is always key. Try one thing at a time for about a week.
  9. If your child does have Acid Reflux and spits up, give them water or another drink. You can also brush their teeth or rinse or spray their mouth with mouthwash.
  10. Constipation often causes an increase in Acid Reflux. Therefore, a stool softener, fiber diet and increase of water will help with constipation issues.
  11. See a GI doctor or your child’s pediatrician about any Acid Reflux issues your special one is having.
  12. Ask your child’s doctor about medications to minimize damage of the esophagus such as Priolsec, Lansoprazole/ Prevacid.
  13. Give your child Pepcid to help comfort your special one and settle their Acid Reflux and any stomach issues.
  14. Laparoscopic Anti-Reflux Surgery is also an option.

See a related post: Everything You Need to know about a G tube

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