Beth Pulsifer-Anderson's The Reflux Book is a must for all parents of children suffering with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Section 1 of the book is a basic overview. The book starts out with an excellent introduction to acid reflux. In Chapter 1, normal digestion is discussed, and then reflux is defined. Reflux is compared to colic, and parents are reassured that reflux is very common. Chapters 2 and 3 give a great description of symptoms your child may be experiencing, and clues that should prompt a trip to see the child's physician. You will again be reassured to know how common acid reflux is, and how your child's doctor might go about making the proper diagnosis.
Treating Infant Reflux
Chapters 4 through 9 go over the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease in children including preparing your home to best care for your child with GERD andfeeding tips, including how often and what to feed your child. These measures are reviewed in detail. Then various medications used to treat GERD in children is discussed.
Chapter 10 is an excellent overview of the different disciplines of the medical field that will be encountered if your child has more complicated GERD .
Family and Caregiver Issues
Chapters 11 and 12 are probably the most important chapters of the book. It really helps one to deal with the feelings and emotions of having a sick child with GERD , such as disappointment, guilt, anger, frustration and denial. Explanations are given for what it is like to be the parent, grandparent or sibling of a child with GERD and descriptions for what is experienced and felt by all are discussed.
Section 2 is meant for families of children with more severe GERD. Chapter 14 is an excellent source of information on medical tests that your doctor might recommend if your child doesn't immediately respond to treatment. The chapter includes more common tests such as upper GI series, pH probe testing and upper GI endoscopy, as well as rarer ones such as food allergy testing, gastric emptying studies, manometry and tests to rule out gluten allergy or celiac sprue.
Chapter 15 helps parents see how, as their child ages, gastroesophageal reflux plays an important factor in their lives. Symptoms to watch for such as dental problems, respiratory problems, trouble sleeping and weight issues are discussed. Other topics such as what to expect when your child enters school and what to expect when your child begins to participate in sports are addressed. Chapter 16 provides an excellent guide to what to feed older children with gastroesophageal reflux disease. A particular favorite page of mine lists food alternatives to give your child based on what types of food they tend to enjoy.
Chapter 17 is reserved for parents of children with significant complications of GERD, children with multiple health issues or developmental issues, and those with unusual symptoms that do not respond to typical treatment. For those that do not respond to treatment, an excellent list of alternative diagnoses such as lactose intolerance, H. pylori, irritable bowel syndrome and cyclical vomiting syndrome is provided. For the severe cases, treatment with tube feedings and even surgery are discussed. The final chapter, Chapter 18, discusses alternative and complementary treatments that can be combined with traditional medical treatment to optimize the care of your child.
Throughout the book, the general theme is to provide an informative resource for parents of children afflicted with this disease, while doing so in a non-threatening way. While many medical books for the layperson tend to scare those that read it with the attitude of an alarmist, The Reflux Book has a straight-forward and positive approach. It should be read by all who are close to a child with gastroesophageal reflux disease.
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Published On: February 22, 2008