Pediatric GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease as it is sometimes referred to can be a big problem in children if it has not been properly diagnosed and treated. It has been estimated that out of all children, five to eight percent will have symptoms associated with pediatric GERD in their younger years.
As a general rule, the symptoms of GERD for children will normally include heartburn but this cannot be properly diagnosed in children for many cases because of their inability to describe it as well as adults can. One of the main ways to diagnose pediatric GERD is for a medical professional such as a doctor or physician to perform a series of tests which may include one or more of the following:
A pH probe entered into the body by the nose to the bottom of the oesophagus which will monitor when the acid is refluxing from the stomach and therefore see whether or not it is a problem for the child or patient that is being tested.
Technetium gastric emptying study which uses a solution of a very weak radioactive substance combined with milk that is then followed in progress by way of a special camera to detect how long food and drink is waiting around in the stomach before it has been digested and also if it ends up in places that it shouldn’t, for example, the lungs, and other areas by way of acid reflux.
Endoscopies are used by way of a small camera being inserted down the throat of the patient to check for pediatric GERD to see if there are any signs of irritation or inflammation which could have been caused by the pediatric GERD itself.
For the most part, medication for pediatric GERD is generally avoided to make sure that the child doesn’t have any adverse side effects and more in the way of lifestyle changes will be advised to ensure that the problem and it‘s symptoms do not come back in the future.
These are basic steps which can be taken such as raising the top half of the child‘s body to make sure that they are not laying completely flat while they are sleeping, making sure that they get enough exercise and also making a few minor adjustments to their dietary patterns.
Medication taken for pediatric GERD will need to be carefully monitored by the physician while they are on the course of treatment and this is to ensure that they are not suffering from any negative side effects and also to make sure that the treatment itself is working.
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