Here are a few remedies that will help you, your older child, or your baby to cope with reflux.
Babies suffering from Reflux
Babies who repeatedly vomit are often diagnosed with reflux. A baby’s sphincter muscle opens to allow food to pass through to the baby’s stomach and then it closes to keep the food from regurgitating. The sphincter can sometimes inappropriately open and this causes the food and stomach acid to come back up into the baby’s oesophagus. If the baby’s sphincter muscle does not fully mature at the stomach end of the oesophagus the baby is likely to suffer from recurring vomiting.
Fortunately, by the end of the third month of a baby’s life the sphincter has developed, so a baby is less likely to suffer from reflux once he is three months old.
How can a Chiropractor help a Baby who suffers from Reflux?
A visit to a chiropractor may help a baby suffering from reflux. In order for your child’s stomach to work as best as it can, it requires a properly functioning nervous system. If there is a birth related problem in the baby’s nervous system that causes excessive vomiting, a gentle chiropractic adjustment will help the baby. An adjustment may help with your baby’s peristalsis working at the correct level.
Natural Home Remedies that may help a Baby Suffering from Reflux
There are a number of easy remedies that may help a baby suffering from reflux to find relief.
When you are feeding your baby, keep the baby held in an upright position. Feed the baby more often, using smaller amounts of breast milk or formula. Burp your baby regularly during feeding as burping will minimize gastric pressure. Nursing mothers should avoid eating chocolate, eating or drinking foods containing caffeine, and eating foods containing garlic.
Your baby may settle in his cot more easily if you elevate the head of the cot by 30 degrees. Try to avoid travelling your baby by car, if he has recently been fed. Sleeping in a car seat can cause reflux because the baby’s abdomen is compressed.
Reflux in Older Children and Adults
Older children and adults may also benefit from Chiropractic adjustments. Below are some home remedies that help control reflux for adults and older children.
If you suffer from reflux you may need to look at the type of foods you are consuming. Try to avoid eating spicy foods, foods or drinks that contain caffeine, and chocolate. Limiting your intake of alcohol may help you to control the frequency of your reflux attacks. Carry a packet of hard lollies or an apple with you, when you are away from home. Should you feel uncomfortable after a meal, suck a lolly or take a bite of an apple.
Add a tablespoon of natural cider vinegar to a glass of water. Mix well and drink during your meal instead of drinking plain water, soft drink, or alcohol. Drink decaffeinated coffee, decaffeinated tea or herbal tea after your meal instead of coffee or tea that contains caffeine.
A teaspoon of cold yogurt or milk may help alleviate the burning sensation associated with reflux.
Do not eat or drink before you go to bed. It is best if you do not eat for at least three hours before you lay down.
Follow the simple home remedies to help prevent reflux, so you have fewer and less severe attacks. Babies particularly will benefit from a few minor adjustments to their feeding routines.
By Dr Maria Ananakis (Chiropractor)