The common belief is that acid reflux is a malady that affects only adults. Nothing could be further from truth. In fact, acid reflux in children is very common. Unfortunately, the regular adults do not know too much about this, complicated by the fact that children do not know how to express themselves and explain what they feel, makes this a hidden disease.
How Can You Find Out Whether Your Child Is Suffering From Acid Reflux?
Before you go for diagnostics, learn a little about what characterizes acid reflux in children. This occurs when the acid contained in the stomach for the digestion of food, with or without food, rises up the alimentary canal which is also called as esophagus. There is a ‘little gate’ at the upper end of the stomach, which is meant to keep the food inside till it is digested. There is another ‘little gate’ at the end of the mouth which is meant to keep the food in the mouth till it is ready to be swallowed.
These two little gates are the most crucial players in the acid reflux in children. While the upper esophageal sphincter (the gate at the end of the mouth) opens to let the food in, many times the other gate, the lower esophageal sphincter, also opens. This is totally independent of the upper gate’s movement, but when it happens, the acid and food from the stomach, will come up in the alimentary canal. This upwards movement creates a strong burning sensation which the adults recognize and interpret as acidity.
Unfortunately, acid reflux in children goes undetected for a long time simply because the children do not know what is happening and do not know how to express themselves well. By the time they are able to explain, the acid reflux in children will disappear. Watch closely the child when he/she is eating, and when they are on empty stomach. Ask them if they feel the food coming back into the mouth, if they ever feel their chest burning after eating. If any of these answers are, “yes”, then it would be good if you show your child to a specialist or pediatrician.
The Diagnosis Of Acid Reflux In Children
The diagnosis is based on a series of tests which include Barium and X-ray Test and/or endoscopy. These tests will help the doctor identify where and what could be the problem, for which the food regurgitated. If the diagnosis is found to be positive, then there would be another test following, i.e. the test which would measure the amount of acidity the stomach contains, so the doctors can judge what type of treatment he/she should prescribe.