Reflux

Reflux is the backflow of the stomach’s contents into the esophagus and is often the result of lower esophageal sphincter not working in concert with the digestive process. 

Gastric juices are acidic and can damage the lining of the esophagus, causing inflammation and discomfort. Chronic reflux results in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and long-term GERD can result in Barrett’s Esophagus. 

Benign reflux can occur in babies and peaks around 4 months of age and is often outgrown without need for intervention.. 

The traditional treatment for children who are symptomatic with reflux is to prescribe antacid medications (proton pump inhibitors, (PPI))Doctors can place babies as young as one month old on PPIs, which are the most widely prescribed class of medications in the United States. You have likely seen ads for some of these: Nexium, Prilosec or Prevacid. 

PPIs account for >$10 billion in annual health care costs. 1 

Contrary to common belief, reflux is not caused by excessive stomach acid. Antacids do not address the underlying cause, and their use in children can cause more digestive and systemic problems for children over time.

When the acid is blocked using a medication, the digestive system is hindered, and certain nutrients such as Vitamin B12 may not be well absorbed. The strong acid in the stomach is needed to activate our pancreatic enzymes which break food down into smaller, absorbable particles. Undigested food in the GI tract triggers systemic inflammation and may worsen symptoms and food sensitivities. 

Dr. Kilbane’s 7-Step Healthy Kids Happy Moms Program decreases pressure within the stomach by supporting the proper stomach emptying time, healing the mucosal lining of the GI tract, and restoring overall digestive physiology. This approach has helped hundreds of children and their families heal reflux and GERD from the inside out. The method is explained in Dr. Kilbane’s book and its accompanying workbook, as well as in her online companion course

Caution:

Do NOT abruptly stop your child’s antacid medication. This can lead to rebound acid overproduction and worsening of symptoms. The integrative process uses the best of both conventional and integrative medicine. Antacids can be utilized when needed. Dr. Kilbane’s Program works simultaneously to heal the gut using food, supplements, and lifestyle modifications. Once your child’s digestive function is restored, slowly weaning the antacid medication in conjunction with your doctor may be possible.

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