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What do you do with a 11 year old suffering from GERD??

Christy H Community Member January 26, 2009
  • I am a mother of two children, a girl and boy.  I also have GERD.  So I know what my kids are going through, or atleast I thought!  My 8 year old boy, had a terrible time with GERD as an infant, but is fine at this point in his little life. My 11 year daughter, is not.  I just returned to work after being off a week with her.  She had a sinus infection, but the biggest problem was her stomach.  All she did was complain of a stomach ache.  I had her to the pediatric gastrointestineral doctor two years and she was diagnosed with GERD.  She was perscribed Prevacid.  It seemed to help and they gradually whined her off of it.  Occasionallly she would complain of a bellyache again, and sit in the bathroom with her head in the tiolet, but nothing happened.  I gave her Tums and everything was fine the next morning.  This week we started her back on the Prevacid.  She wouldn't eat, and just said her belly hurt.  I knew that some of the cause was her sinus infection and all the stuff draining into her stomach, with the acid, and no food to neutralize everything.  How do you get a child to eat to break that cycle?  I told her that she had to eat, even if her belly hurt because that was why it hurt, it had nothing in it, but acid and, infection.  My husband doesn't understand and gets mad at both of us.  We both have a phobia of throwing up which doesn't help the situation.  I don't know when to push her to school and when not to.  Last year she missed 10 days of school, and we got a letter from school, saying we would be reported if she missed any more days.  She sitting in the tiolet crying in the morning, but by afternoon she is fine if she eats.  What do you?????  Advise is greatly appreciated. 

18 Comments
  • Jan Gambino
    Health Guide
    Jan. 27, 2009

    Hello Christy,

    An illness can make reflux worse for days or weeks after...You are right that the increased secretions from a sinus infection can trigger symptoms. Antibiotics can kill off the good bacteria or flora in the stomach too. I often give my children acidophilus during and after antibiotics. Ask the doctor or pharmacist about a kid friendly formulation....

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hello Christy,

    An illness can make reflux worse for days or weeks after...You are right that the increased secretions from a sinus infection can trigger symptoms. Antibiotics can kill off the good bacteria or flora in the stomach too. I often give my children acidophilus during and after antibiotics. Ask the doctor or pharmacist about a kid friendly formulation. We use chewable tablets but there are powders and liquids too.

    Changing her diet may help too. Easy to digest carbohydrates such as crackers, toast, plain cereal may settle better. Make sure her head is elevated for sleep so her nose can drain and help her reflux too.

    My refluxers often could not eat breakfast due to their stomach aches. The GI doctor wrote a note giving them permission to have snacks and drinks as needed at school. A little nibble here, a little sip of water there all morning was much better than a big breakfast.

    Jan Gambino

    The Reflux Mom

    • Christy H
      Jan. 27, 2009

      Jan,

       

      thank you so much for your reply.  We do have her bed elevated.  We started that two years ago.  I am lucky because they can eat a snack at 10AM since they don't eat lunch until 12:30.  Breakfast is very hard for her.  In addition to her reflux, she is a picky eater.  She does not like most breakfast foods.  She...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Jan,

       

      thank you so much for your reply.  We do have her bed elevated.  We started that two years ago.  I am lucky because they can eat a snack at 10AM since they don't eat lunch until 12:30.  Breakfast is very hard for her.  In addition to her reflux, she is a picky eater.  She does not like most breakfast foods.  She don't drink milk, eat toast, oatmeal, or eggs.  This morning she had jello with apples!  We had a good morning today, so hopefully the antibiotic is helping.  Thanks again.

    • Jan Gambino
      Health Guide
      Jan. 28, 2009

      Hello!

      My kids are the same...most breakfast foods are low on their list. They often eat non traditional breakfast foods or eat a late breakfast/early lunch. In my book, Reflux 101 I talk about this topic. It seems that many children and adults with GERD have a "eating window". Often the middle of the day is when the food is tolerated and most calories are...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Hello!

      My kids are the same...most breakfast foods are low on their list. They often eat non traditional breakfast foods or eat a late breakfast/early lunch. In my book, Reflux 101 I talk about this topic. It seems that many children and adults with GERD have a "eating window". Often the middle of the day is when the food is tolerated and most calories are consumed. Early morning and night are the worst times for eating when you have reflux.

      I tend to think of kids with reflux as being "careful eaters" rather than picky eaters.They are extremely careful about what they eat because many foods cause discomfort going down or come back up the esophagus and cause pain going back up again. They are not trying to be controlling or oppositional, they are just trying to eat without pain...

      Jan Gambino

      The Reflux Mom

  • Mama3+1
    Jun. 04, 2012

    This sounds just like my 10 year old son. He would sleep by the toilet because his tummy would hurt so bad he thought he would vomit. Dr's tried him on so much. Nothing has helped. 2 months ago I tried him a product called the GREENS that a friend of mine starting selling. First night... tummy problems gone. He is even eating better. It has been such a relief...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    This sounds just like my 10 year old son. He would sleep by the toilet because his tummy would hurt so bad he thought he would vomit. Dr's tried him on so much. Nothing has helped. 2 months ago I tried him a product called the GREENS that a friend of mine starting selling. First night... tummy problems gone. He is even eating better. It has been such a relief for my husband and I... we went thru 8 months of hell trying to get him to feel better. If he misses this though he is sick again. So don't run out. Plus it is all natural which makes me feel so much better than giving him prescriptions. I just give him one scoop a day. 

    https://healthylittleme.myitworks.com/Shop/Product/303

  • mom
    mom
    Oct. 13, 2010

    I have an 11 year old boy  2yrs ago h-pylori 2 rounds of antibiotics..cleared up  now every so often food and liquid "comes up his pipe" in his words, no pain,burning,or stomach ache....he has missed alot of school too.  Spits up about 3 or 4 times...changed his diet   and he is on prevacid meltaways....  I cant sleep do to worry......

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I have an 11 year old boy  2yrs ago h-pylori 2 rounds of antibiotics..cleared up  now every so often food and liquid "comes up his pipe" in his words, no pain,burning,or stomach ache....he has missed alot of school too.  Spits up about 3 or 4 times...changed his diet   and he is on prevacid meltaways....  I cant sleep do to worry...

    • Anonymous
      concerned mom
      Aug. 17, 2011

      I am so thankful to have found this site.  Now I know that I am not the only mom experiencing this most stressful situation.  My eight year old daughter was diagnosed with H pylori a few years ago and treated with antibiotics.  Recent endoscopy confirmed that she has been cured of the HP, but has GERD.  She has terrible reflux and complains...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      I am so thankful to have found this site.  Now I know that I am not the only mom experiencing this most stressful situation.  My eight year old daughter was diagnosed with H pylori a few years ago and treated with antibiotics.  Recent endoscopy confirmed that she has been cured of the HP, but has GERD.  She has terrible reflux and complains of indigestion constantly.  She has been on and off of Prevacid with no major improvement in her symptoms.  This is so stressful as she is a very poor eater and small for her age.  We are thinking that maybe it is some allergy that she has but the test came back negative.  We are trying elimination starting with dairy.

       

      Thanks so much for your comments.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Dec. 10, 2009

    My 11 yr old daughter just resently started to complain about stomach aches. I give her childrens pepto which seems to help. However i do think her diet, or at least preparing for the fods she eat can help. I always thought 11 was too young for acid reflex? After reading these comments, I noticed one thing everyone has is common, female. But why females, dont...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    My 11 yr old daughter just resently started to complain about stomach aches. I give her childrens pepto which seems to help. However i do think her diet, or at least preparing for the fods she eat can help. I always thought 11 was too young for acid reflex? After reading these comments, I noticed one thing everyone has is common, female. But why females, dont we go through enough, lol. Any thoughts on my no sons or dads have this probelm, well I know they must, right???

  • proudmom32
    Jun. 09, 2009

    I really do understand your situation and I am going through the same thing.  I have a phobia of throwing up also.  My daughter has been complaining about her stomach for the last 3 weeks now off and on, and I don't know when she is serious or not.  Today I had to pick her up from school after she ate oranges she said her belly hurt.  She...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I really do understand your situation and I am going through the same thing.  I have a phobia of throwing up also.  My daughter has been complaining about her stomach for the last 3 weeks now off and on, and I don't know when she is serious or not.  Today I had to pick her up from school after she ate oranges she said her belly hurt.  She has terrible terrible hiccups alot and says she has a bad taste in her mouth at times, also said she had a little trouble breathing once. but mainly it's every other day her stomach hurts.  I'm going to take her to the doctor to see what they say b/c at first

    I thought she was kidding around, but now, I feel there is something wrong.  When she was 8 months she was not able to hold anything down ever, and she ended up having to get the surgery.  She is now 12 and the problem seems to be coming back.........Waiting for answsers:(

  • Anonymous
    Mary
    Mar. 06, 2009

    Try eating an apple everyday.

    • Anonymous
      Joyce
      Mar. 18, 2009

      Thanks so much for this site.  I have a 16 year old that is suffering from acid reflux.  She's always been a picky eater, especially in the morning and won't eat certain foods that are good for her such as apples, bananas, etc.  She likes pasta but I'm not sure that's good for her.  Any other suggestions on a healthy diet that a 16 year...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Thanks so much for this site.  I have a 16 year old that is suffering from acid reflux.  She's always been a picky eater, especially in the morning and won't eat certain foods that are good for her such as apples, bananas, etc.  She likes pasta but I'm not sure that's good for her.  Any other suggestions on a healthy diet that a 16 year old will eat would be appreciated.  I also thought she may be faking illness since it seems like school days are the days when she's the sickest (she's been out for a week with sinus problems and acid reflux) but reading these posts made me think that food just doesn't taste good to her in the morning.  This is the first time she's had a full blown acid reflux incident however.

  • karmah
    Feb. 24, 2009

    I am so thankful that I found this site! I put in a search for "Severe Acid Reflux in 11 year old girl" and found a link to your message Christy.


    My daughter is waiting to see a pediatrician and has been diagnosed by our family physician with Severe Acid reflux by way of an upper G.I. x-ray along with the obvious symptoms. It seems to come and go for her,...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I am so thankful that I found this site! I put in a search for "Severe Acid Reflux in 11 year old girl" and found a link to your message Christy.


    My daughter is waiting to see a pediatrician and has been diagnosed by our family physician with Severe Acid reflux by way of an upper G.I. x-ray along with the obvious symptoms. It seems to come and go for her, she always has to run to the bathroom after she eats but sometimes the food comes up and not out. Other times she's vomiting everything. She seems to be able to keep down crackers and tea (although I read that tea can aggravate this condition.)

     

    She has missed quite a bit of school but sometimes I wonder if she's playing it up a bit. Symptoms always seem worse on school mornings-is there a link between acid reflux and anxiety?

     

    I am extremely frustrated waiting to find out why she has this condition and how we can help her. She is taking 10 mg. of Losec and it seemed to help the stomach pain but not the regurgitation/vomiting.

     

    I welcome any comments/suggestions. Thanks for letting me vent!

     

    Karmah

     

     

    • Christy H
      Feb. 25, 2009

      Karmah,

       

      My daughter seems to have good days and bad days.  Thank God, she doesn't get as sick as many of the children I read about here on this site.  However, it still upsets you as a parent when there isn't anything you can do at the time.  I just got her tested for food allergies and it came back normal.  So, I guess that means...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Karmah,

       

      My daughter seems to have good days and bad days.  Thank God, she doesn't get as sick as many of the children I read about here on this site.  However, it still upsets you as a parent when there isn't anything you can do at the time.  I just got her tested for food allergies and it came back normal.  So, I guess that means that she could be intolerate of certain foods, but not allergic.  Stress definitely plays a part in acid reflux.  When she is worried or upset, it gets worst.  My father died in July and when she found out, she was a mess for three days.  She wouldn't eat, had a stomache, etc.  I also took her to a pediatric gastro specialist and that was when she was put on Prevacid.  We watch her diet to an extend, cutting out or down on things like chocolate, soda, tomatoes, and ice cream.  I have learned to just take it one day at a time or I would go crazy.  She gets panic attacks and that sends me into a panic attack too. ( We both have a phobia of vomiting). The key for her is to make sure she eats a good supper and a little something before bed so she isn't so hungry in the morning. 

      Good luck!

  • Anonymous
    Charlie
    Feb. 19, 2009

    I am not really sure what to tell you, but I know that I am going through exactly what you and your daughter are going through.  All the acid coming back up, the nausea, the runs, the stomach aches and the stomach pain as well.  I even gag with it and it is very annoying.  I can't seem to eat in the morning either or real late at night...say...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I am not really sure what to tell you, but I know that I am going through exactly what you and your daughter are going through.  All the acid coming back up, the nausea, the runs, the stomach aches and the stomach pain as well.  I even gag with it and it is very annoying.  I can't seem to eat in the morning either or real late at night...say 7ish or later, and I am a 35 year old woman.  I have been on Prilosec and I have been off of it for a couple of days now and everything just comes right back.  I also just got over the stomach bug that is going around and it really did make it worse, especially with the sinus thing now.  I think that the Prilosec is a good idea, but if you/she has to be on it for ages (I have been), you may develop an immunity for that and it would be time for a prescription.

     

    I was wondering what I could about it, then I came across your post.  I am considering doing the elimination diet too, to see if there is anything that may be the cause of it.  I know that I am allergic to nuts (all kinds), so I have been avoiding them, but something else could be causing it too.  Please keep us updated as to how you and your daughter are doing.

  • Anonymous
    Rachelle Pittsley
    Feb. 05, 2009

    Have you considered the possibility that you and your child have food allergies?  I had GERD for most of my life.  At age 45 I figured out I was allergic to wheat.  My now 12-yr-old daughter also showed symptoms of wheat allergy.  I had a blood test done for food allergies, and she came up negative on everything.  She missed 25 days...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Have you considered the possibility that you and your child have food allergies?  I had GERD for most of my life.  At age 45 I figured out I was allergic to wheat.  My now 12-yr-old daughter also showed symptoms of wheat allergy.  I had a blood test done for food allergies, and she came up negative on everything.  She missed 25 days of school during the first 4 months of school this past year from cyclic vomiting.  I was able to get her in right away to the pediatric gastroenterologist.  All physical tests were negative - no blockages or anything.  She was officially diagnosed with GERD and put on Prilosec.  The doctor suggested an elimination diet.  Her younger sister was diagnosed a year ago with GERD and tested positive for dairy and egg allergies, so I eliminated those from the 12-yr-old's diet.  Between the combination of Prilosec and removing the allergens, she has not had any problems. 

     

    The OTC Prilosec is the exact same thing as the prescription.  You might try a two-week round with her to settle things down while trying an elimination diet for food allergies. 

     

    I have a friend who complained of a constantly acidic stomach and told me that her sixteen-yr-old daughter had a lot of problems with GERD and diarhea.  I suggested this course of action last summer and they are finally doing it.  They have already found dairy to be one of the problems and my friend said that they are both feeling "pretty darn good" on the allergy free diet.

     

    Good luck!

    • Jan Gambino
      Health Guide
      Feb. 07, 2009

      Rachel, Excellent information! I found that my two refluxers were severely lactose intolerant. They still needed the GERD medication for heartburn but the gassiness and stomach aches were largely due to lactose.

      Happy (careful!) eating!

      Jan Gambino

      The Reflux Mom

    • Christy H
      Feb. 17, 2009

      Jan and everyone,

       

      Thank you for all your information.  My daughter was doing fine for the past couple weeks, but had a "relapse" last night and this morning.  She complained again of a stomach ache. I am trying to rack my brain to think what we had to eat that might have caused it.  If I wanted to get her tested for allergies, how do I...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Jan and everyone,

       

      Thank you for all your information.  My daughter was doing fine for the past couple weeks, but had a "relapse" last night and this morning.  She complained again of a stomach ache. I am trying to rack my brain to think what we had to eat that might have caused it.  If I wanted to get her tested for allergies, how do I go about doing that?  What makes it worst is that she gets severe panic attacks with it. I really think that last night, she wouldn't eat supper because we had something new that she wouldn't even try, then she had a fruit smoothie and some cinnamon crackers.  That was it until this morning. But that time, she was so hungry, her belly hurt. But when she tried to eat, she said she got a funny taste in her mouth and ran to the bathroom. She did a lot of burping and coughing, but never got sick. We managed to get her to school, so we'll see how the day goes. But now, I will be a nervous reck tonight until I see if she sleeps or if we are in the bathroom for an hour again.

       

  • Anonymous
    Toni
    Jan. 29, 2009

    Good Day,

     

    I have had GERD for the past 7 years.  my younger one was suffering with it also.  What you have to do is change you and your daughter's eating habits.  the main food that you CANNOT eat or feed to her is Pizza, Spaghetti sauce, greasy foods, a lot of dairy products, chocolate (because of the caffeine) peppermints, franks and...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Good Day,

     

    I have had GERD for the past 7 years.  my younger one was suffering with it also.  What you have to do is change you and your daughter's eating habits.  the main food that you CANNOT eat or feed to her is Pizza, Spaghetti sauce, greasy foods, a lot of dairy products, chocolate (because of the caffeine) peppermints, franks and anything that has acid like orange juice, and also, ketchup!!!  I know its hard to not have some of these things but it does help a great deal.  I haven't had ketchup in over 6 years.  I don't eat in fast food restaurants except Wendy's chicken sandwiches and chicken nuggets.  That's it.

     

    You can eventually have it gradually as you test what really upsets her stomach or yours.  but for the most part if you change her eating, she will be much better.  I baked and/or broil most of my food.  I put the french fries in the oven instead of frying them.  If she does have any of the listed foods, you might want to give her a beano tablet or better yet papaya enzymes from the health food store is good also.  I hope I have helped. 

    • Jan Gambino
      Health Guide
      Jan. 29, 2009

      Toni,

       

      Thanks for the excellent suggestions! Diet is certainly a vital part of a successful reflux treatment plan.

      I find that I make most foods from scratch and we eat out very little. We know exactly what is in the foods and there are no surprises to cause stomach aches...

       

      Jan Gambino

      The Reflux Mom