5 Year Old with Acid Reflux

Updated on February 24, 2008
C.D. asks from Hood River, OR
12 answers

My son has had acid reflux for a couple of years. We have tried prescription medication which gave him a head ache. We are currently trying acidopholus chewables taken with meals. This doesn't seem to help either. Does anyone have any suggestions? He burps up in his mouth several times a day. It really has a bad odor and is pretty gross!

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So What Happened?

thank you to all of you for all of the information and help. I am going change his diet first and go from there. Yikes, I'm a little nervous. It seems like there's not a whole lote for him to eat that he will like...

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answers from Seattle on

This is going to sound reallyl strange, I know - but I had a terrible time with this when I was pregnant, and I stumbled on a website that recommended a particular type of apple to help with acid reflux. You had to pay to find out the full report and find out which type of apple it was, and I didn't want to do that, but I decided to try apple cider, and it worked great for me! The key seemed to be Tree Top apple cider - the store brand didn't work at all for me, and they are totally differrent colors in the glass, so I'm assuming they may be from different types of apples? Anyway, a glass of apple cider before bed, or eating it frozen in a kid's popsicle mold was my ticket off the zantac. It might be worth a try?! Good luck!

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answers from Seattle on

My daughter had acid reflux, as did I. But we started eliminating allergens to see if maybe it was an allergy/intolerance causing at least part of our problem. My daughter ended up being extremely sensitive to citrus fruit/wheat/food dyes/dairy. I am sensitive to wheat and dairy, though I haven't successfully given up dairy yet. It's addicting!

Just eliminate ALL traces of one allergen for one month. After that month, allow ONE exposure to it. Wait a week and write down everything out of the ordinary that happens with the child. Besides reflux, other symptoms of food intolerence are runny/dry/large/tiny/infrequent stools, exzema, headaches, hyperactivity, inability to listen and follow directions, becoming more physical almost violent, trouble sleeping, peeing the bed.

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answers from Seattle on

Hello C. -

Acid reflux is often the result of incompatability with one's diet.

Eliminate acidic foods and focus on alkalinizing foods. Here is the info from a handout we used in our clinic:

"An alkaline diet is composed of approximately 75-80% alkaline foods and 20-25% acid foods.

ALKALINE FOODS (Higher alkaline are better)

-Vegetables –
High alkaline: wheat grass, barley grass, alfalfa spouts, broccoli sprouts, other types of sprouts, cucumber, kale, parsley, sea vegetables.
Moderate alkaline: avocado, arugula, beets, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, celery, collard, endive, garlic, ginger, green beans, lettuce, mustard greens, okra, onion, spinach, tomato.
Slightly alkaline: artichoke, asparagus, brussels sprouts, carrot, cauliflower, kohlrabi, leeks, peas, rhubarb, rutabaga, turnip, watercress, zucchini

-Fruit -- Slightly alkaline: coconut, grapefruit, lemon, lime

-Beans and legumes –
Moderate alkaline: lima beans, soy beans, white beans.
Slightly alkaline: Lentils, tofu.

-Nuts, seeds, oils –
High alkaline: pumkin seeds.
Slightly alkaline: almond, borage oil, coconut oil, cod liver oil, evening primrose oil, fish oil, flaxseed oil, olive oil, sesame seeds.

-Grains -- buckwheat, quinoa, spelt

-Condiments -- Moderate alkaline: cayenne, red chili pepper, sea salt, stevia. Most herbs and spices are somewhat alkaline.

-Dairy -- Slightly alkaline: goat milk

ACIDIFYING FOODS (Lower acid are better. Most acidic are worst)
-Dairy and Dairy Substitutes –
Slightly acid: cow's milk, rice milk, soymilk.
Most acid: cheese (including cottage cheese, hard cheese, aged cheese, and goat cheese), ice cream, soy cheese, whey protein powder.

-Animal meat –
Moderate acid: wild fish.
Most acid: beef, chicken, duck, eggs, farmed fish, gelatin, lobster, organ meat, pheasant, pork, poultry, seafood, squid, turkey, veal, venison.

-Grains –
Slightly acid: amaranth, millet.
Moderate acid: oats, rice (brown rice, white rice), rye, wheat.
Most acid: barley, corn, rye.

-Beans and legumes -- Slightly acid: black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans.

-Vegetables -- Most acidic: mushrooms, potatoes.

-Fruit -- Slightly acid: cantaloupe, dates (not dried), nectarines.
Moderate acid: apple, apricot, banana, all berries, figs (fresh), grape, honeydew, mango, orange, papaya, peach, persimmon, pineapple, tangerine, watermelon.
Most acid: dried fruit.

-Nuts, Seeds, and Oils –
Slightly acid: brazil nuts, flaxseeds, hazelnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil.
Moderate acid: butter, ghee, corn oil, margarine, walnuts.
Most acid: cashews, peanuts, pistachios.

-Condiments –
Moderate acid: ketchup, mayonnaise, table salt.
Most acid: jam, mustard, soy sauce, vinegar, white sugar, aspartame, molasses, sugar cane, barley malt syrup, honey, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, yeast."

Chewable acidophilus is great, but usually most of the bacterium in the tablet has already died, so making your own kefir or liquid acidophilus is far superior. Order the "Kefir Starter" or "Essential Duo" starter packets from Body Ecology www.bodyecology.com and follow their instructions. It is so simple - fill a 1/2 gallon glass jar with rice, soy or almond milk and pour in a packet. Let sit on your cupboard until you can see it curdling, then put it in the frig and drink a glass a day or with each meal. When there is only 1/2-1 cup left, refill it with your milk of choice and let sit on the cupboard again until curdling. If you watch it closely, you can get one packet to make several gallons of beverage before having to start with a new culture packet.

Of these, I highly recommend the Kefir as it has four strains of beneficial bacteria rather than the two in the Essential Duo. Most acidophilus tablets have mutliple strains of acidophilus bacterium, but kefir has four distinct species of bacterium.

The other thing I would recommend is some craniosacral work with a very good craniosacral therapist. Ask naturopaths in your area for recommendations of a therapist they refer to. It will be $80-120 per session, but well worth it in terms of recovering your child's overall health.

If you need any clarification or more info, feel free to contact me.

Be well-

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answers from Richland on

May I suggest seeing Connie at Alive and Well in Hermiston,OR who is very good at giving advice to help with this kind of problem. One thing I do suggest is that you take a class that your whole family can benifit from and become healthy and your sons acid reflux may disappear, it is called the CHIP (Coronay Heatlth Improvement Project) class and Connie can tell you about that also, it starts in April. Or if you do not live near Hermiston she can help you find a class near you. Her number is: ###-###-#### I took this class and it has changed my life, I had acid reflux and many other health issues and a majory of them are gone just by changing my diet. Good luck and God Bless. BC in Pendleton, OR



answers from Seattle on

Hi C.,

You could have your child as well as you tested for parasites. We take a product called 3 LAC which is incredibly helpful. :) The website is www.globalhealthtrax.org

It is an all natural probiotic. :)





answers from Seattle on

I would check the dose of the acidophilus and try increasing it. We put our newborn on this and increased the dose... tripled it once he was three months old... really made a difference. Not all formulations are at the same. We went from 1 billion to 3 billion units for our three month old... look online to see what type of dose you can give your son.

Also, we were using a powder that was mixed with his formula / breastmilk when he had a bottle. It had to stay in the fridge.



answers from Portland on

I recommend talking to your childs doctor or nutritionist about foods that help with acid reflex. I know that Papaya is one of the foods that can provide great relief. You can also get dietary chewable Papaya Enzyme supplements that can help, they are available in the health food section of Fred Meyers. It does not state on the container that it helps with acid reflex but I chew them in the morning after breakfast and they reduce my acid relfex for the rest of the day.



answers from Portland on

I, unfortunately won't recommend another MD or prescription. I believe that you should seek out methods that will help you find out the CAUSE of the problem, not just treat the symptoms. Face it, either way having your child on a prescription med for years on end is not the answer, nor is it healthy for him. You need to seek out a good Naturopath to use as your main doc for this problem. They will help you find the cause of what's going on and help you, as the parent, to eliminate whatever foods or things migh be causing this...also help you to treat your child w/ natural remedies that will help just as much as the RX meds, but w/o the long term damage that they will have.
I also highly suggest you seeking out a chiropractor! Chiropractic care has been known to help w/ acid reflux, even helps to at some point not have to take meds anymore! Here's a great resource for info on Children and Chiro care and reasons why it can help w/ issues like your child's:



answers from Portland on

Hi C.,
Have you had him checked for food allergies that may be triggering the reflux? Maybe some diet changes would help a bit... there are LOTS of GI supplements available; try a naturopath who works with kids. Good luck!



answers from Eugene on

My son is less than two and we have to give him medacine for this as well. His was so bad the he would vomit 5 to 10 times a week. And it wasn't just a little bit in his mouth...it was massive amounts. Anyway we finally found a perscription that works. The name is Axid. I guess it is not normally used but it works for him great. He is too little to tell me if it give him a headache but he doesn't act any different on it (with the exception of not vomitting). It wasn't very cheep though. Without insurance it would be about $75 for one month. I have pretty good insurance and I still had to pay $25. This is the first time that I have actually had to buy it as it is new for us and the doctor gave us several samples. I will try Costco or Canada drugs next time but as it was really hard to find a pharmacy that had it I didn't worry about the price this time. I hope this helps.



answers from Portland on

Since there is an odor with the bleching this is usually associated with a bacterial infection of some sort. You didn't mention what the odor smelled like, if it is rotten eggs I would get him in to see his pediatrition right away and possibly a specialist; as there is an underlying cause to his problem. It could be something very simple as an allergy or more complex such as a hernia, appendicitis, GERD, or any number of issues. I suggest you take your son to his primary care physician and request seeing a specialist in the field.
Good luck to you and your family...



answers from Eugene on

I have heard that it could be a problem with his diaphram. I am not sure I can describe this well but here goes. In his chest just below where the two sides of his rib cage come together, (the upsidedown "v" area), gently press downward (not inward) toward his tummy and hold for 15 seconds and release. Wait a minute and do it again. Sometimes the diaphram can get a small tear from falling down or coughing hard and it can pinch the stomach by the esophigus. Sometimes it can releave the problem right away, and other times it may take several days to help. Do this 2x a day till the problem goes away. When you feel the spot where the ribs come together, follow where they seem to just start to v apart (upside down "v"). My husband had fallen and it seemed to "cure" the problem. I also tried it on my granddaughter who is an infant, using a downward messaging movement with my thumb and she quieted down and quit urping up her formula. So I don't know, but it is worth a try. The pushing down is to release the pinched area, or to gently pull the part of the stumach that might have gotten stuck free.

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