Asked by ruth
School Anxiety & Gerd In Children
My 7 year old daughter has had reflux for a couple of years. It has always been very mild - treatable with tums, watching the fat and acid content of her diet, and elevating the head of her bed. It has suddenly become very severe. I am wondering if this could be due to school anxiety. She has been very upset with her teacher, who she says "yells a lot," at her and the rest of the class. She has cried, doesn't want to go to school, melts down with homework (none of which she has ever done before - generally, she's a model student.) Is this anxiety likely to be causing the spike in her symptoms?
It may take some detective work to figure this out. All of us have experienced digestive symptoms during a stressful event. If you have reflux and your are stressed, it could lead to an increase in reflux symptoms. Certainly it makes sense to discuss the classroom situation and the symptoms with her doctor. It also might help to talk to the school nurse, guidance counselor or principal about the situation. Perhaps some things can be done to improve the climate of the classroom and the school.
I wonder if you are able to observe the classroom and school. I have found that some of the other aspects of going to school affect digestion and reflux. This includes: lunch schedules, bathroom access, access to drinks/fluids and snacks and a rushed pace to the day, especially meals. Sometimes the school nurse is your best ally and other times they don't seem to get it. My refluxers had a nursing action plan for reflux. I have written extensively on going to school with reflux on this site and in my book, Reflux 101.
Here are some links:
Going to School
Good luck! Jan