Preventing & Treating GERD in Kids

From the Show: Healthy Children
Summary: GERD can lead to more serious conditions, even in babies and kids. Learn the best ways to treat and even prevent GERD in your children.
Air Date: 2/5/14
Duration: 10
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Ivor D. Hill, MD
ivor hillDr. Hill received his medical training at the University of Cape Town Medical School and completed his training in pediatrics and pediatric gastroenterology at the Red Cross Children's Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. He was a Senior Specialist and Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Town Medical School until 1990 when he immigrated to the USA. He was appointed Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Hahnemann University School of Medicine in Philadelphia and then Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore before moving to Wake Forest University School of Medicine in 1995. In 2013 he joined the Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, as section chief of pediatric gastroenterology. He is the author of 35 book chapters in Textbooks of Pediatrics and Gastroenterology and has over 80 publications in peer reviewed medical journals.

He was the Chair of the committee for development of the "Guidelines for the Evaluation and Treatment of Celiac Disease in Children" published in JPGN in 2005.

He was Chair of the NASPGHAN Ethics Committee and Chair of the Professional Education Committee. He was an Executive Board member of the CDHNF and serves on the CDHNF Scientific Advisory Board for the Pediatric GERD Education Campaign and the CDHNF Scientific Advisory Board for the Celiac Disease Education Campaign. In the American Academy of Pediatrics he is a member of the Executive Committee of the National Conference and Exhibition Planning Group and is the Chair of the Committee on Continuing Medical Education. He also serves on the American Board of Pediatrics Sub-Board for Pediatric Gastroenterology and is the chair elect of this Sub-Board.
Preventing & Treating GERD in Kids
Spitting up in babies can be associated with gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) which is usually a temporary mechanical hitch. In fact, it can be worse for  you as a parent than it is for your baby.

With babies, if his stomach is full or his position is changed abruptly, especially after a feeding, the stomach contents—food mixed with stomach acid—press against the valve at the top of the stomach called the lower esophageal sphincter.

This ring of muscle normally relaxes to let food pass from the esophagus into the stomach and then tightens again to keep the food there.

When it is not fully developed or it opens at the wrong time, the stomach contents move back (or reflux) into the esophagus.

In babies, gastro-esophageal reflux rarely causes symptoms or distress and usually disappears as the upper digestive tract functionally matures.

Reflux is mainly a messy problem, not a serious one. But, in older children, the condition can be very uncomfortable and need medical attention.

Pediatric gastroenterologist, Ivor Hill, MD, is medical director of the Celiac Disease Center at Nationwide Children's and one of the leading clinicians and researchers in childhood celiac disease. Dr. Hill joins Melanie Cole, MS, to discuss what you can do to help treat GERD in your child, as well as how best to eat healthy in order to prevent those heartburn attacks in the first place.
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