Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tuesday, December 01, 2009 AmyLynn, Community Member, asks

Q: 2 yr old with GERD has stopped eating

My 2 yr old has stopped eating. I don't know what to do. She was dx with GERD at about 2 weeks old. She seemed to outgrow it at around 18 months, but that only lated 6 months. When she turned 2 she started having problems again.


She is 2 1/2 now, and we can't seem to get it under control. She is on 15 mg Prevacid twice a day. But we are using tums and pepto at least twice a day. She won't eat barely anything. And when she does, she starts crying that her neck and tummy hurt. And doing the coughing, gagging thing. So she ate about 500 calories today and yesterday. And most of that was juice, cause that she drinks.


What next? Are there better meds for this? She hasn't been tested since being a newborn. I'm just lost. I thought we had it under control and for the first month on the prevacid, she did REALLY good, but now it's like we aren't even giving her the meds.


Wanted to add, she's only 24.8 lbs. Which puts her in the 8% for her age. So she's a little thing, she can't afford to lose any weight.


Thank you

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Answers (3)
Jan Gambino, Health Guide
12/ 2/09 5:53am

Hello Amy Lynn,


It sounds like you and the doctor have a bit more work to do to find a GERD treatment plan that will allow your daughter to eat without pain and discomfort. Medication can be very effective but often diet and other treatments are needed as well. If your daughter is drinking a lot of juice, she may be causing further irritation to her stomach. And when every calorie counts, you want her to be eating nutrient rich foods that will help her to grow. I know this can seem really, really hard right now. Believe me, I know. My daughter was a world class picky eater when her throat and stomach hurt from reflux. She ate like a bird and I thought she would never grow or gain weight.


In addition to talking to the doctor about her diet, see if the doctor thinks it would help to refer you to a dietician with experience helping children with reflux. You may need to write down what she eats and drinks for 3-5 days as a sample of her typical schedule.


Some children develop a fear of eating when eating used to hurt or some foods still hurt when eaten. A feeding therapist can be enormously helpful in sorting out the behavioral side of an eating problem from the physical side. A feeding therapist can give you a plan of action to follow at home regarding the schedule of meals and how to present foods.


With my daughter, she had a few (like 5) foods she would eat over and over. I had to gradually add one new food at a time. THis was the really hard part since she didn't want to add new foods! Sometimes she tried a new food because she saw another child eating a food. Other times we happened upon a food at the store and she tried it. I like to check the baby food aisle for nutritional foods that are packaged for kids. Breakfast cereal is surprisingly rich in nutrients.


Also talk to the doctor about the signs of food allergies. Some kids avoid eating from reflux but others avoid foods that cause an allergic reaction. My daughter had lactose intolerance and GERD so that really limited what she could eat.


I hope that I have answered your question. Let me know if you need more information.


Best wishes,

Jan Gambino

The Reflux Mom

Esther of Kent, Community Member
12/ 6/09 3:55pm

Try adding Aloe Vera juice to some milk, or mild herbal tea or coconut milk.

I have an Asian market near my home and they sell a bottled young coconut milk with aloe that is slightly sweet and mildly flavored. I love this juice and it really helps more than Nexium, Prevacid, Tums, or numbing throat sprays to curb the burn. Aloe heals the damaged tissues.

If she will co-operate, try getting her to drink some sweetened aloe vera juice three times a day if you cannot find the coconut juice with aloe in your area.  The brand that I am buying is a product of Thailand and is called CocoAloe. There are strips of coconut meat or aloe (I am not sure which) to add fiber.

A child her age may like the idea of these soft solids in the juice.

Good luck. Esther Whittle of Kent, WA

Esther of Kent, Community Member
12/ 6/09 4:02pm

P.S. to my answer just submitted.

Is your child on a GLUTEN-FREE DIET?

My GERD gets really bad if I cheat and eat Wheat.

Make sure that all of her foods are Gluten-Free. Even foods that you would not suspect of having any gluten in them have things like "modified food starch" if it is not stated that the food starch is from corn, presume that it is gluten extracted from wheat and do not eat.

I have found that Quinoa Flakes are as versitile as rice and very nutritious and easy on the tummy.

Also, a recent report on MedPage indicated that GERD may be an auto-immune disease and that Protein Pump Inhibitors are not the answer to this painful condition.

Check out MedPage and Science Daily for up to the day news about any medical science research in many countries.

The research about GERD was done in the Netherlands, if I recall correctly.

Again, good luck.

Esther of Kent

Jan Gambino, Health Guide
12/ 7/09 6:30am

Hello Esther,

I am so glad you found a solution that worked for you! I hope Amy Lynn will discuss these remedies and any other treatment with her daughter's doctor before making changes to the treatment plan.

Best wishes,



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By AmyLynn, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/24/10, First Published: 12/01/09