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My 9 year old son has developed a problem with his teeth, where
they are beginning to deteriorate. His dentist suspects acid
reflux and we have begun the process of evaluating whether or
not this could be the cause. He is asyptomatic, but
gastroenterologist wants to test him. I am very hesitant to
start him on Prilosec as his course of healing. The long term
effects are inconclusive, but indicate bone loss in older
people. I would like to investigate alternative medical
solutions, change in diet, supplements, etc. Any ideas where to
start? Does anyone have experience with this in their own
You are SO smart to investigate other things before putting your
child on a medication like Prilosec. I'd like to recommend a
fabulous nutritionist to you, I think she could help you much
more than a medical doctor for this problem your child is having:
Laura Knoff, N.C., phone 510-658-9067. Her office is in
Berkeley, near Whole Foods. She is incredibly knowledgeable.
Dental enamel defects and acid reflux are both symptoms of
I would get a second opinion from a pediatric or family dentist
about his teeth before submitting my asymptomatic child to a
battery of invasive tests. My husband is a dentist, and gets
asked for second opinions all the time on different treatment
plans. Very standard in the field. Especially if it involves
One thing about acid reflux that you should know as you search
for answers is that it is really bad for the esophagus. Some in
the medical community think its like smoking to the lungs. it may
take decades, but can contribute to esophageal cancer.
just a thought
I have had great success with different things working with a homeopath
children. Her name is Christine Ciavarella and she is at the Hahnemann
Clinic in El
Cerrito Plaza 524 3117. She has a sliding scale. The first appointment
expensive, but she is not someone you will need to see very often over a
period of time. Christine's specialty is children. Children are very
receptive to this
particular medicine and it is good for systemic problems that allopathic
doesn't really know what to do with.
She will also be honest with you as to whether she has had success with
this sort of
thing. I, like you, would be really concerned to put my child on
anything without a
My son had a lot of decay and xylitol was very useful. Apparently the
causes decay comes from the caregivers. After I had my son, I had a lot
decay, due to hormone changes, and so he got this from me, and the
about xylitol is fairly new. Now that he is seven, he doesn't ahve any
But he had 8 cavaties at the age of five!
It sounds like something more is going on with your child, but just
mention this too...
A friend has Gastroeophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Prescription
medications are not helping and he is considering fundoplication
surgery but is looking for other alternatives that might help.
If you have had the surgery, could you please let me know if it
has been successful and if not, why? Would you recommend having
it done? Do you know of alternatives he could try (someone
recommended accupuncture and a Chinese herbal medicine) and how
well it works?
Thanks so much!
The term is actually reflux and not relux; this was probably a
typographical error on your part. Surgery is an option that is
typically used only after many other options are exhausted. Is
this person sleeping while sitting up? Is the last meal of the
day eaten at least 4 hours prior to going to sleep? Are there
issues of poor digestion, food incompatibilities,
hypochlorhydria, or yeast overgrowth that are complicating the
situation? These are some of the issues that should be explored
along with or prior to any decision regarding surgery. You may
feel free to contact me at my office, 510-849-1176, should you
like to discuss these things in more detail. I am a licensed
acupuncturist and herbalist/homeopath in practice more than 20
years. I also speak Japanese if that is of help.
Jay Sordean, L.Ac., OMD
Does anyone have any success stories (or failures, for that matter) treating acid
reflux beyond the standard medications (Prilosec, Gaviscon, etc). I've been on the
drugs, changed my diet, raised my bed... and I still have reflux, albeit much milder.
I'm schedule to see a gastroenterologist in a week or so, but wanted to have as
much info as possible. Anyone have experience with alternative therapies, or other
ideas? I'm hoping to not take drugs indefinitely, and would some day like to be able
to enjoy a glass of red wine again...
Although I am not as familiar with treatment of GERD in
adults (my toddler son is being treated for GERD), we have
a wonderful homeopathic/chinese medicine doctor we see
as complementary to some of the traditional approaches
(GI specialist, traditional pediatrician) that we're doing. Her
name is Dr. Sally Savitz (located at 158 Santa Clara Ave. in
Oakland 655-9644). Dr. Savitz has over 20 years of
experience and is amazing, thoughtful and careful. I know
others who have seen her for a wide range of illnesses and
conditions and everyone has had a positive experience.
I first got heartburn during pregnancy, and suffered through it,
thinking when I delivered, things would go back to normal -- and
I would have my stomach of steel/teflon back. A year and half
later, I am not pregnant any more, but I am suffering HORRIBLY
from heartburn. I have eaten bottles of Tums, and quite a few
PepcidAC's. Pepcid has a warning not to take more than 2 in 24
hours, and that has not been even close to enough. Then what?
Can I mix medications? What i want to find out is both
additional alternative solutions, and how to make it go away
forever. I have read the archives, and have or will try many of
the recommendations (Papaya, ginger, mylanta, baking soda (?),
almonds, and cheerios). I can't figure out what gives it to me -
- some things are obvious such a fried chicken. But last night I
had spaghetti and redsauce and suffered all night. The night
before I had a cesar salad. I am willing to make some
modifications to my diet, but right now I feel like eating
ANYTHING is a risk. I can't imagine life if I get pregnant
again. So, advice about what to take, what to do to make it go
away, recommendations for Pepcid or Tagamet or presciption
medication, and recommendations about what food to avoid would
be really great. I will also be calling my doctor, but your
advice is always so thoughtful and offers so many perspectives,
I'd like to hear some alternatives before I meet him.
sleepless and suffering
Gastrosoothe (available at Whole Foods) worked for me for
I've been a long time sufferer of heartburn, before, during,
and after pregnancey. It did, however seem to get worse
about a year after my daughter was born. It was so bad that I
had to seek medical advice. I now suffer from acid reflux
For the more occasional heartburn I found a few home
remedies that work great. Here is a list of of tips
Foods that you should avoid or reduce
high fat foods
tomatoes and tomato sauce
refined carbohydrates (too much bread)
Try proper food combining for better digestion. I found this
combination to work great for me
Meats combined with vegitables and/or fruit.
carbohydrates combined with vegitables and/or fruit
Avoid meats in combination with carbohydrates. It is harder
Do not eat late in the evening. It is best to eat early so that
your stomach has at least a couple of hours to digest the
food before going to bed.
Elevate the upper portion of your body while in bed so that
your esophagus and throat is angled above your stomach.
Drink plenty of water through out the day
Get lots of excersise. Increased physical activity speeds up
your metabolism which improves digestion. Lowering
weight can also eleviate pressure on the stomach.
Reduce stress and tension and increase relaxation. Stress
and muscle tension can cause digestive problems.
Don't eat too much at one sitting and chew your food well.
If none of these work, then try Extra strength Malanta
(without aluminum). I found that Tums never worked.
Or talk to your docter about some of the stronger over the
My problem is much more sever, so I have to take a
prescription drug. The one I take is called Aciphex which
has been the best thing so far for me.
I had terrible heartburn during my pregnancy too, so I know what a bummer it
is. I slept sitting up for almost my entire third trimester, like the Elephant Man.
Two things that I tried helped more than TUMS, ginger, raw almonds and the
myriad of other things I tried Odwalla's Future Shake Vanilla Al'mondo and
warm milk with a generous helping of honey. I found these to be most helpful
when I took them at the first sign of heartburn. It also helped me to stay away
from acidic foods, such as tomatoes, citrus fruit, etc. I hope you find
something that works for you. Best of Luck!
I've had two bouts of unbearable severe heartburn both of
which lasted a while several years ago; both came about, I
finally discovered, because of trying natural remedies. One
was caused by St. John's Wort, the other was caused by
ground flaxseed which I was adding to cereal. During those
bouts the acid was aggrevated further by cooked tomatoes,
oil/butter in any form, coffee, tea, alcohol. Eating late also
made trying to sleep even more difficult. I also tried all the
over-the-counter remedies. When I eliminated the two main
causes, the heartburn quickly resolved. Now, when I very
infrequently experience mild heartburn, I'll pop a Pepcid AC.
I ingest all of the above once again except cooked tomatoes
and alcohol. Good luck with this; I know how absolutely
miserable it is!
All the foods you spoke of are acidic, which will definitely
cause digestive problems if you are so inclined. Try to stay
away from Tums and the like--I found they prolonged the
problem. It could be something as simple as needing to rest
your stomach and build up your own supply of digestive juices
(this is not a medical statement in away way--just the way I
describe how my stomach feels if I've been eating badly.) Try
to take a digestive enzyme (papaya is good but you probably
need something stronger). Stress can make it worse (including
stress about your digestive system) as can overeating.
Definitely see your doctor because you may have a hiatal hernia
or another condition causing your food to leak up into your
My heartburn began with my pregnancy also. That was 8 years
ago. This past year, during vacation, I experienced heartburn
so acute that I thought I might be having a heart attack. After
running the treadmill and an upper GI, the Drs. told me I had
GERD (gastro-esophogeal reflux disease). They gave me drugs for
it (Ranitidine, which is like Tagamet, and Acifex, which is a
proton-pump inhibitor). These seemed to work for awhile, but I
became leary of taking them and started searching the web. I
found several sites that were of great help. Most of these
sites had a lot more advice on using diet to control symptoms of
GERD. There's actually in institute's homepage that you can
pick up by searching under ''gastro''. These are things you need
to avoid eating
tomato in any form
highly spiced foods (salsa, hot pepper)
citrus fruits and juices
No food or drink after 7PM
Also, I raised the head of my bed up 6 inches by having my dear
husband cut 6-inch blocks of wood and putting them under the
legs of the head of the bed. This probably helped the most. I
was able to stop the medications. Please email me if you have
any questions. Elaine
I had heartburn for many years, kept a big bottle of Tums on my
desk, ate them all day.
I tried it all - staying away from coffee, wine, and acid foods
but never could figure out what was causing it.
Recently I went on a low-carbohydrate diet to lose a few pounds. My heartburn went
away. I now believe that it may have been a wheat allergy causeing
all the problems, or at least let's say, as long as I don't eat
toast, bagels, pasta, beer, bread I DO NOT GET HEARTBURN.
I CAN eat tomatoes and all spicy foods and
drink coffee and wine with no problems. Try that.
From what you describe, it sounds likely that you may have a
hiatal hernia, which is basically when a bit of the stomach gets
on the wrong side of the diaphragm, causing improper digestion.
This can be tested for with a barium swallow and x-ray, but is
often just diagnosed and treated symptomatically. I've seen
this treated VERY effectively with chiropractic manipulation,
and if you have a chiropractor who you've worked with before I
would let him or her know about these symptoms and see if he or
she is comfortable evaluating and treating this (not all
chiropractors do it), or find a name from this list. Another
really common cause of heartburn is too little stomach acid,
rather than too much. Stomach acid production can be aided by
having something bitter before your meal, like bitter greens in
a salad (arugula, etc) or a swig of Swedish bitters. If this
helps, even a little, then you may be aided by actually taking
some hydrochloric acid with your meals. If you're interested in
further consultation on natural althernatives for this, I'd be
happy to talk with you. This is a problem that I see a lot!
Good luck -- I hope you sleep well again soon!
I don't know if this folk remedy for heartburn is strong enough
for your particular situation but I would like to let you know
that eating almonds is a great way to get rid of heartburn.
During my second pregnancy my craving was cranberry juice...
unfortunately by the third trimester I was miserable with
heartburn. Someone suggested I try eating 10-12 raw almonds
every so often to combat the heartburn. Well it worked so well I
was able to eat Mexican food for lunch, spaghetti with garlic
bread for dinner and wash both meals down with my cranberry
juice and then go to bed and sleep with absolutely no heartburn
My mom has had recurring heartburn since her heart attack &
bypass surgury several years ago and has a standing prescription
for Tagamet. After my success with almonds she began eating
almonds or cookies with almonds in them for her morning snack
and no longer suffers from heartburn. Give it a try it works
THANK YOU... To the person/people who recommended eating
almonds for heartburn, I want to give a big THANK YOU!!! I have
been suffering with heartburn since I was pregnant with my
first child. Lately it had become so bad that I started to
consider that I might be having angina. When I read the post
about almonds I didn't take it seriously. However, one day I
noticed that I hadn't had heartburn for a few days and realized
I had been nibbling on some roasted almonds that my husband
bought. I have been eating a few every morning and have been
heartburn free for over 2 weeks. I'm amazed and very grateful.
Thank you for you advice.
Our otherwise normal and healthy 21-month-old has been having
some trouble chewing and swallowing his food properly. About
once a week, on average, he gags on some food and throws up.
Usually the offending food is something soft and innocuous that
he's eaten successfully other times, such as pasta. (For
example, twice it was on Annie's shells, which are tiny, the size
of your pinky.)
I have talked to his peditrician several times about this.
Basically, because our son is happy and healthy, she's not really
interested in seeing him. She said some kids just gag easily,
and they tend to get better as they get older. She offered the
hypothesis that he has reflux, and said we could have a test done
where he swallows barium and they Xray him, but it seems like a
lot to put him through when the results would not be that
helpful. If we seriously thought he had reflux, we could put him
on (relatively innocuous) anti-reflux drugs without the test, but
given the relative infrequency of the problem and the
circumstances in which it occurs (almost always when he's eating,
although he has thrown up a few times when he wasn't eating
anything (and he wasn't sick)) we don't think it's reflux.
There are several mysteries about the situation. One is that he
was pretty good at eating food from about 12-18 months; this
problem started around 18 months. Another is that, as far as we
can determine, he has never gagged on food while he's with his
nanny. I've quizzed her about what she feeds him, and it's
pretty much identical to what we offer him; she doesn't cut his
food in smaller pieces or anything. He shares his nanny with
another toddler who's a voracious eater; if anything, you'd think
that would make our son more likely to gulp down his food without
chewing it well. But although DH and I have considered, many
times, the possibility that our son is gagging for attention, it
really doesn't seem that way.
Someone I talked to knew a kid with a similar problem who was
helped by speech therapy. This seemed like a weird idea to me,
especially since my son is quite a good talker, but apparently
the speech therapist enabled him to use his mouth more
Does anyone have a recommendation for a Chewing Therapist, or
other advice on helping our son get over this yucky problem?
Barfy in Berkeley
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