Treatment & Management – GERD & Reflux in Teens

Treatment and Management of GERD & Reflux in Teens

If you are one of the millions of kids with GERD, you’ll be glad to know that there are many effective ways to treat and manage your condition. In fact, lots of kids with GERD find that they don’t need to rely on medication once they make certain changes to their diet and lifestyle.

Helpful Suggestions for Managing Kids GERD:

  • Eat smaller meals more often
  • Limit foods that are spicy or contain lots of acid (pickles, tomatoes, citrus)
  • Drink lots of water when symptoms arise
  • Avoid drinking alcohol
  • Avoid cigarettes and all types of tobacco smoke
  • Avoid carbonated drinks, chocolate, caffeine, and foods that are high in fat (For example, pizza and french fries)
  • Elevate the head of your bed with books or bricks about 30 degrees
  • Avoid wearing tight waistbands
  • Try to lose some weight if you are above your ideal weight
  • Avoid eating or drinking 2-3 hours before bedtime
  • Avoid eating large meals before periods of heavy or stressful activities

Medications for GERD

Sometimes, it takes more than diet and lifestyle changes to get your GERD under control. If that’s the case, your doctor may recommend that you take medication to help your condition. Medications for reflux and GERD are designed to reduce the amount of acid that your stomach makes. Your doctor may prescribe one of many medicines. Some of the most common ones include:

  • cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • ranitidine (Zantac)
  • famotidine (Pepcid)
  • nizatidine (Axid)
  • esomeprazole (Nexium)
  • omeprazole (Prilosec)
  • lansoprazole (Prevacid)
  • rabeprazole (Aciphex)
  • pantoprazole (Protonix)

(Don’t worry—we won’t quiz you on those names!)

If your symptoms don’t improve when you are on medication, your doctor might run a few more tests to help find better treatments. In very rare cases, your doctor may recommend surgery.

If you’re living with GERD, it’s important to remember that there are many treatment options, and with your doctor’s help, you can get better.

Featured Resources

PDF Downloads

North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
The Association of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Nurses
North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Foundation
The NASPGHAN Council For Pediatric Nutrition Professionals
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