Reflux Symptoms In Toddlers

Newborn-to-Toddler Nasal Aspirator

Acid reflux is a painful disease that affects all sorts of people. It doesn't matter how old you are, what your sex or gender is, you are susceptible to acid reflux disease. Acid reflux is a long lasting disease that is often chronic. Most people who contract acid reflux disease will have it their entire lives.

GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is another name for acid reflux disease. With acid reflux, the liquid in the stomach, which includes acid, pepsin, and sometimes bile, backs up into the esophagus. The acid is the most damaging of the refluxed liquids and can cause painful inflammation and damage the esophagus.

The most common symptom of acid reflux disease is heartburn. The feeling of heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest. Some patients also report feeling the burn in the area of the neck or throat. Heartburn is often the cause of unnecessary visits to the hospital because it can feel like a heart attack. If you are not sure if your chest pain is from acid reflux or from the heart, you must seek immediate medical attention. Some people assume that their pain is just heartburn and refuse to go to the emergency room, and some of those people were wrong. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Some other symptoms of acid reflux, though not so common, are nausea, regurgitation, or vomiting. Nausea happens the most often of the three and can be chronic. When the acid pushes all the way up the esophagus and into the mouth, this is regurgitation. Vomiting is seen most often in the littlest bodies, babies and toddlers, because typically when a baby regurgitates he gags on it and subsequently vomits.

A complication of acid reflux disease is esophageal ulcers. This happens when the regurgitated acids break down the esophageal lining resulting in a tear. Bleeding can be a result of esophageal ulcers, which can prove dangerous if the bleeding is serious.

In order to diagnose acid reflux doctors use hypothesis and trial and error with treatment. If treatment in ineffective the doctor will then use x-ray, endoscopy, biopsy, or esophageal acid testing before ruling out acid reflux disease as a cause for the symptoms.

Treatment for acid reflux disease includes lifestyle changes and changes in diet. Other things that could exacerbate symptoms of acid reflux are smoking, alcohol, caffeine, and foods like peppermint or chocolate. Giving up these things and reducing other food items that you think might be triggering symptoms may be the only treatment needed. Antacids or a prescription can be used to alleviate symptoms of heartburn and pain from ulcer. Anti-nausea medications can help with the nausea and vomiting in adults. A pediatrician should be consulted before giving anything to a baby for acid reflux disease.

If none of the initial attempts at treating acid reflux symptoms, a tablet can be used that is a combination of an antacid and foam that form a barrier over the acid in the stomach, preventing it from coming up. Surgery would be a last resort, but is ultimately an available option. Only you and your physician can decide what the best treatment for your acid reflux is.

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About the Author

Ryan informs people about acid reflux and how to better handle acid reflux disease.

Frequently Asked Questions

    Asthma symptoms in toddlers?
    I was wondering if the following could be considered an asthma symptom. I am still planning on discussing this with my 2yr old son's allergist but I thought I check here as well.

    My son on ocassions when playing, excited or laughing (it happens more with the latter) will bring him a dry? 'cough' which he clears by self gagging (sticks his finger).

    I am not sure if a phlegm is what causes this cough or else. It only happens when he doing an activity that gets him excited so it is not like it happens when he's watching tv or just being idle. I guess that would rule out reflux, etc.

    His respiration rate is about 20 per min and sleeps soundly through the night... he does have eczema and some mild food allergies...

    my wife thinks that his cough is because of a 'self gagging' habit that remained from when he was younger but I have observed the pattern to be the other way around, with self gagging being his way of clearing his throat...

    none of the sites I've visited have my toddler's symptoms as part of asthma, and I do not believe he wheezes either...

    • ANSWER:

      I don't have answers for you but I do have a 2 y o son myself that does the same thing when he runs around too much and also when he gets stressed over something I've noticed lately it triggers this "gagging" cough. I was thinking the tonsills and or just bronchities as he's had this a few times before, I've gotten so used to this cough now and that he sticks his fingers down his throat that it is becoming "the norm" but it shouldn't. I will ask our GP about this again next time we go see her and will check back here in case someone has a better advise.

      Best of luck

    Why's my 2 yr old randomly vomiting, could it be reflux?
    My son had diagnosed reflux as an infant. He was diagnosed failure to thrive and vomiting blood. He went through every test imaginable and was diagnosed with reflux. We did the thickened feeds, special formula, reglan and prevacid. We weaned him around 1 when the spitting up stopped and he's seemed fine since.

    He has always occasionally vomited out of the blue, especially he he eats a big meal. Lately he's been vomiting more often, every few days, and it's completely random. It might be before eating or after. Now he's burping more often and crying after he burps. He recently had a cold and an ear infection.

    Do you think his reflux is flaring back up or could this be related to his cold? What are the symptoms of reflux in a toddler. I'm going to look to see if anything is available otc and possibly call his doctor to see if she will put him back on the prevacid. What do you think would be causing his random vomiting?

    • ANSWER:

    Could a 3 year old get a fever with ?
    Hi, I was wondering if any one might be able to shed a bit of light on my daughters symptoms

    My daughter has been suffering with tummy aches. She has had it 3 times in 4 weeks, but it has lasted for 2-3 days, however she has also had a raging Temperature each time also lasting 2-3 days being 38 or above. The other day it was 38.7, she also gets a rash, but think that's from Temperature. She cries, thrashes herself, she won't let u touch her as she in so much pain. We kept taking her doctors and they just said it is probably a virus and checked her tummy for pendic probs, but said her tummy is soft. One night it got so bad we called the emergency doc and he heard her crying and said bring her to the hospital. By time got there she had calmed down but looked ill. He said he thinks it is Colic pain. 2 docs have said Colic pain now. It is awful seeing her in pain like that and it doesn't seem right. It not a virus. When she got it again a few days ago i started investigating on the internet and looking back at when she was a baby. When she was a baby she had a Chronic Cough and had to be propped up, also she was put on Gaviscon for a month. The pediatrician had wrote on his his notes that he is wondering if this is a sign of Gastroesophgeal Reflux Disease. This got me wonder and made me look on internet at this disease as didn't know what it was. My daughter always gets coughs which gets worse at night and that is a symptom of GERD. My daughter is 3 but when she was in nappies she was diagnosed with Toddlers Diarrhea as she always had very stinky nappies & always very loose stools, from what I have read about GERD this is another symptom. She has about 10 symptoms and only 2 days ago the doc diagnosed her with GERD, however i am a bit confused about the temperatures as the doc said a Temperature isn't associated with GERD, but she gets it every time and very high. But she def has all symptoms of acid reflux. The 3rd time she had the pain, we tried her with infants Gaviscon and blow me down her pain went and her temp and we were so relieved as she was fine and slept all night.

    Has anyone heard of a Temperature with GERD? I am really interested to hear what people say as if she gets it again she is going to go back docs and it would be nice to say what other peeps experiences are that have suffered with temp too. The doc said we don't need to see a pediatrician about the GERD and she can deal with it and treat it and put her on some medicine. But i demanded to see a pediatrician as not happy about temp and want a proper diagnoses.

    Can anyone shed any light with their experiences.


    • ANSWER:

    Does your baby or toddler do anything strange to get your attention?
    My daughter is 15 months and will arch her back and kick her legs up. She used to have reflux and this was a symptom, it is now gone and she is off her meds. I have been to the GI md and her PED, they say it is doubtful its the reflux. She has no other symptoms. But, since I pick her up or give her what she wants when she does it, she now, just does it...It drive me nuts... Before it was just in her high chair and still mostly is, so we thought she just hated the high chair, she doesn't like to feel strapped into anything... Unless its my arms, she loves being held. Lol. Maybe I did spoil her, I love holding her too, I just have to get things done sometimes.

    Does your baby do anything strange to get your attention? My daughter went through a screaming phase, whew, that was a long 2 weeks. That was 100% for attention, we were glad when that was over.

    • ANSWER:
      He's 8 months old and he coughs at me when he wants attention. He's starting to say "Mama" and he will do this over and over and louder and louder until I go to him (then he wants nothing do with me, of course), but the coughing has been going on longer. Its especially nice when he goes into one of his coughing "fits" out in public and people are looking at me like I am terrible for bringing him out being so ill (he's not even remotely ill) and for exposing them to whatever he's got- they don't realize its just a bad case of the "i want my mama's".

    Apple Cider Vinegar for GERD?
    Hi all :) When I was younger, I was diagnosed with GERD, or acid reflux. As an infant/toddler it was constantly causing me to vomit or spit up stomach acids. It's been nearly 12 years now, and my symptoms seemed to recede, only occurring occasionally, but recently they stared recurring, and it's gotten to the point where every day I experience loss of breath and embarrassing excessive burping, in addition to a bitter-sour acid being regurgitated. (Gross, I know. :P ) I have been told this is all due to my anxiety, and I am sure I have a little, but I am also sure it's in part due to the GERD.

    Recently, I've read about taking 1 tsp. a day of Apple Cider Vinegar to aid/cure GERD. I was wondering if this would be worth giving it a try, as I'd like to consult a gastroenterologist soon because this has gotten so out of hand. So, should I try taking a teaspoon of the vinegar a day, in addition to exercising more, not eating before bed, etc.? Thanks so much for all of your help!

    • ANSWER:

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