Month: October 2015

Acid Reflux 101

Patient CheckupAcid reflux can be harmful to both children and adults. Take a moment to learn more about this condition so that you can recognize it either in yourself or your child.

What is acid reflux?

Acid reflux is a condition where the content in the stomach, including acid, gets pushed up through the esophagus to the mouth. This condition is technically referred to as gastro-esophageal reflux disease or GERD for short. Acid reflux is a more common problem for adults, but it can also affect children and sometimes even infants.

What are the symptoms of acid reflux?

Heartburn is the most common symptom of acid reflux. Throat irritation and vomiting are also sometimes symptoms of acid reflux. If an infant has problems with acid reflux, they may have trouble eating or keeping food down. They may spit up more frequently than is normal, cough while attempting to eat, lose weight, or fail to gain weight when they should.

If an adult has acid reflux, it can eat away at their teeth, cause severe pain, and permanently damage the esophagus.

What causes acid reflux?

Acid reflux does run in families, so in some cases a child will have a genetic predisposition to the disease. In infants it is sometimes caused by a poorly developed gastrointestinal system. This means that as the child continues to grow, they may also grow out of the acid reflux.

Adults and older children can experience problems with acid reflux because of obesity, eating too much or eating too fast, consuming carbonated beverages, consuming caffeine, or eating fatty or spicy foods.

What should you do if you think someone in your family has acid reflux?

If you think that you or your child has acid reflux, it is important to see a doctor quickly. This is especially important for infants since losing weight or failing to gain it when needed can contribute to other health problems and development issues. If your child is showing signs of acid reflux, schedule an appointment with a pediatric specialist as soon as possible.

If you’d like to learn more about acid reflux, contact the Sahara Medical Institute.

Helping Your Child Maintain A Healthy Weight

Smiling ChildObesity is a growing problem, and it is a problem that affects children as well as adults. As a parent, one of your primary goals in life is to keep your children healthy, and like it or not, maintaining an appropriate weight is an essential part of keeping your children healthy now and in the future.

Weight, however, is a sensitive topic and it is important to help your children be healthy without damaging their self-worth and confidence. The following tips can help you teach your children to be healthy without harming their psychological health and body image.

Set A Good Example

Maintaining a healthy weight is just as important to your health as it is to your children’s health. Make sure you are setting a good example.

  • Let your children know that exercise is a priority for you—even if that means doing embarrassing exercise videos in your living room while your children play.
  • Be aware of what you say about your body—your children are listening. Instead of talking about how fat you feel or the width of your thighs, teach your children to appreciate their bodies by appreciating yours. Having a happy healthy attitude about your body will motivate you and your children to take care of your health. Self-hatred is discouraging—not motivating.
  • Eat healthy foods in front of your children.

Provide Healthy Meals And Snacks

As a parent of young children, you have almost total control over what they eat, at least when they are at home. Take advantage of this opportunity and provide healthy meals and snacks. If your children learn healthy eating habits while they are young, they’ll be more likely to keep eating healthy when they are making decisions on their own.

Focus On Function – Not Appearance

As mentioned above, self-hatred won’t encourage you or your children to live a healthy lifestyle. Instead of focusing on being thin, focus on appreciating what the body can do. Don’t teach your children that their value is based on their appearance. Instead, teach them to take care of their bodies so that they can do things they love like swimming, dancing, climbing trees, or riding bikes around the neighborhood. Take time to do these fun active things with your children so they learn to love being physically active.

Ask Your Child’s Doctor For Help

It can be difficult to know whether your child’s weight gain is a phase associated with normal growth or a serious problem. If you’re concerned about your child’s weight talk to your doctor. At Sahara Medical Institute, our doctors can help you determine what is a healthy weight for your child based on age, height, and growth patterns. Then the doctor can make recommendations to help you and your child make necessary changes. Contact us today to learn more.