Acid reflux strikes at any age. The signs and symptoms of acid reflux can be slightly different in those who are children than when adults experience the reflux. The treatment and prevention of acid reflux can be the same with modifications for children and adults.
Adults who get acid reflux typically complain about the heartburn the most and children can have reflux and not have any recognizable outward sign of it but may give us glues of their distress even if they are too young to communicate verbally with us.
If acid reflux is not discovered and treated and left to remain it can cause damage to the esophagus which can lead to damage that includes reflux Barrett’s esophagus, esophagitis, esophageal strictures, and esophageal adenocarcinoma which is a rare cancer. Other things that may happen to adults who have acid reflux is that they may notice dental erosion, an increase in asthma, hoarseness of the voice or the urge to constantly clear the throat because of a feeling that something is in there. Acid reflux can also irritate the throat and produce a chronic cough.
When babies or young children experience acid reflux it is not always easy to determine that what is happening is caused by acid reflux. Especially when they are non-verbal. The signs and symptoms can seem like other things and may take a trained eye such as a doctor to correctly diagnose the problem. Young babies and children with acid reflux may have repeated vomiting, spitting up seemingly at the “drop of a hat”, persistent cough, inconsolable crying with no outward cause, and they may be diagnosed with failure to thrive (or to gain weight) because of refusing nourishment.
They may have bad smelling breath, or have a habit of belching or burping a lot. Babies and young children may exhibit one or several of the above signs and symptoms. Infants often are born with immature digestive systems which contributes to the problem of acid reflux but fortunately outgrow this by the time the first birthday rolls around.
Whether the individual is an adult or a child when presenting with suspected acid reflux a medical professional will take a medical history, examine the patient for physical signs and symptoms of acid reflux. If it is found that there is acid reflux, a treatment plan will be devised. The treatment plan will be revised around the cause or causes for the discomfort as well as the needs of the patient. If at all possible prevention is the best cure.
Acid reflux is one of those conditions in which lifestyle can have an impact. Foods and drinks that are consumed can make a difference. If you are able keep a food journal where you write down all the foods and drink you consume over a 4-week period of time, this tool can be invaluable assistance to coming up with a diagnosis. In the food journal Indicate which days represent days in which you experienced signs of symptoms of acid reflux.
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