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It’s Time to Worry If Your Child Has Heartburn

It’s Time to Worry If Your Child Has Heartburn
January 26, 2011 Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

Are You Poisoning Your Children?

Believe it or not, if your child has heartburn it’s because they are slowly being poisoned by the excessive amounts of carbohydrates in their diet.

Their excessive carbohydrate intake is toxic to their nervous system and is directly responsible for increasing incidence of heartburn, fatigue, headaches, abdominal pain and frequent urination.

Heartburn, the Most Obvious but Not the Only Symptom

I see kids almost every week who are experiencing the symptoms of heartburn.  This is not a harmless condition but a harbinger of illness yet to come.  And kids with heartburn often experience other signs of carbohydrate neurotoxicity as well.

Many have to urinate frequently, a sign of poor neurological control of bladder emptying.  They may experience headaches, poor concentration, and fatigue while sitting in class, a sign of poor blood flow regulation to the brain.

Watch Dr. N’s CoffeeTalk on Heartburn

Parents are often surprised when I get their children to admit to a variety of other symptoms once I hear about their heartburn.  Kids don’t complain much and just seem to suffer through it.

Damaged Nervous System Functioning

From a broader perspective, heartburn is a warning signal that your child’s nervous system is not functioning correctly.  Yes, heartburn is actually a neurological problem.

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Excess acid collects in the stomach, not because of excess acid production but because the stomach isn’t emptying as well as it should.  Couple this with poor closure of the valve between the stomach and the esophagus and you end up with stomach acid splashing up into the esophagus.  It’s this combination of neurological problems that leads to heartburn or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).

Both of these problems are controlled by the autonomic nervous system (ANS).  The ANS is a primitive part of the brain that controls all bodily organ function.  It controls peristalsis that pushes food through the intestinal tract.  It coordinates the muscles and valves of the bladder so we can empty the bladder efficiently.  It even controls blood pressure regulation, sweating, pupil dilation and constriction, saliva production and erections.

A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that carbohydrates are having a toxic effect on the ANS and is the cause of such common problems as heartburn, constipation, frequent urination, chronic fatigue and lightheadedness.

Recovery is Possible

Fortunately, a reduction in carbohydrates can result in complete reversal of many of these problems.   Simply cutting out all the soda and juices in a child’s diet can result in nearly complete reversal of these symptoms within just a few weeks.

If they are having heartburn don’t drink any soda or juice, find out what they drink at or after school (might be sodas there), and start cutting back on the bread, pasta or potatoes in their diet.

The bottom line is you have to cut back on the carbohydrates or their symptoms won’t go away.

Childhood Heartburn, A Warning Sign for Your Child’s Future Health

It goes without saying that no one wants their child to have heartburn.  But I believe the most important aspect of this problem is that a child with heartburn is a child that is progressing towards more serious illnesses in early adulthood.

High blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, polycystic ovarian disease, gout, obesity, sleep apnea and all triggered by excessive carbohydrates consumption.  These are all illnesses associated with insulin resistance; a disorder known to be triggered by excess carbohydrate consumption.  Coincidentally, these conditions are becoming increasingly more common in young adults.

Your child’s lifelong eating habits and taste preferences are formed when they are young.  If your child has heartburn, they are on the fast track to develop these other illnesses as well.

It is imperative you change their eating habits by controlling the foods that come into the house, their choices when eating out and the foods they eat at school.  You must take charge because no one else is looking out for them.

It’s not too late to change their future.  Start today by pledging not to bring any more soda, juices, chips, cookies, fruit rollups, donuts or ice cream into the house.  These should be foods that are eaten only infrequently.  Save them for the rare celebration.

Your kids don’t NEED these foods.  Sure they will gripe and complain.  But in time, they will adapt and in the process, you will literally save their life in adulthood.

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Srujana
Srujana

My daughter 15 year old very healthy normal child never had any issues started abdominal pain all of a sudden. I was using protein powder in her milk shake shakes for some time. Don’t know if that caused pain . We took her to the pediatrician and they did ultrasound and blood tests all the results came back normal told to use Nexium and Hyoscyamine. She was okay first 2 weeks but now again she started heartburn with stomach bloating and gas. She is having constant dull pain in the stomach with whatever she eats . Doctor suggests to do… Read more »

Naeem M Hassan
Naeem M Hassan

Hi my son ten years old he suffering from hurt burn acid reflux which bother him to much he vomits every morning .we took him to the dr he said he have allergies to dairy product and acid reflux .he is not allowed to eat acidic fruits or dairy but he still having the same symptoms and I don’t know what to do ? Regarding what to eat and how to stop the vomiting every day .

Anon
Anon

Alright so reading through this I’m starting to think this is what happened to me. Ever since the fourth grade I have been having indigestion. And as I’ve grown older I have been having heartburn almost everyday multiple times a day. I’m 20 years old male about 260 pounds. I don’t know how relevant that is. At some points my heartburn is so bad I can’t go on with my day. I tried Prilosec otc for the 14 days and it worked. But after I stopped my heartburn started.

Lindy
Lindy

Hi Dr. Nemechek! I’m planning to start my 9yo ASD son on your protocol. I’ve read the book, joined the groups, read lots of posts, watched the YouTube videos, have approved products. Feeling prepared! However – question about antacid/PPIs. My ASD son has a hiatal hernia. He goes to his GI every year to get a scope and see how it’s doing. This year the report is that the ulcers have mostly healed and he is slowly growing out of the hernia, but it is still present and significant. Because of this, to prevent the ulcers from returning, he is… Read more »

Maz
Maz

Thanks for your reply. My children are 5 and 6 & have had such bad reflux they have been gluten free on advice from the paediatrician. However at special occasions I let them have it. Would you recommend to stay gluten free with the protocol? If not, when would you introduce it? I am going to buy a copy of your book. Many thanks.

Maz
Maz

Hi, how many grams/day do you reduce the carbs for children? Do you recommend all children with heartburn take Omega3 as well as inulin?
Thanks

Carly
Carly

Sorry, she’s also had stomachaches the last few days and around since the heartburn suddenly started up again, and nausea. I don’t know if that has to do it with, but they all started at around the same time.

Carly
Carly

Hi, my daughters been having heartburn since she was about 9, then it went away for a while, but now she’s almost 13 and it’s getting pretty bad again. Should we talk to a pediatrician about it or just try to stop having a lot of carbohydrates? It’s not that bad that she is constantly complaining about it, but when I ask her she will say it hurts a lot and it’s just heartburn, she doesn’t have breathing problems with it or anything else. Could this be dangerous in any way? Thank you

Lea
Lea

Hi Dr Nemecheck, I’m reading your book and about to start the protocol for my 8 year old who regressed aged 2-4. He has acid reflux and severe hunger – eats non stop. Fortunately, he likes healthy food and has never had fizzy drinks or junk food. But still, the reflux persists (amongst other issues). I’m currently looking at ketogenic diet with a professional. One question I have asked every Dr and never had an answer – my son has spider veins around his CNS areas (cheeks, behind ears, base skull, spine, low back)…these have gotten worse as he’s got… Read more »

Ellie
Ellie

I’d be so happy if this comment was read! I really need some pointers here,, it’s scary going through this stuff… I’ve been dealing with acid reflux for the past two months. I’ve never had this before, so it’s scary… I had an endoscopy done and it came back showing lesions and swelling from acid. After that, I decided to try any natural methods to curing it. About two weeks ago, I started having breathing and sinus problems. Acid still coming up to my throat. I got put on Raniditine, recommended by my doctor, an allergist, and the person who… Read more »

Anonymous
Anonymous

I get really bad heart burn

Polly martin
Polly martin

When my son who is 9, goes to his dads, hies dad feeds him whatever junk food he likes himself. My son has had gerd for 3-4 years now. I can control his symptoms with the diet I feed him. But he returns from his dads bloated, experiencing symptoms of reflux and etc. his dad says I’m making him up to be sick just cuz I want something to grip about and etc. etc. Can u write him a customized note, explaining the importance of diet and the consequences of him feeding him donuts, sodas, fried foods and etc. maybe… Read more »

Parveen
Parveen

I just bought the PDF version of the book and have begun reading it. I realised belatedly that I did not specify that my son is not autistic. I came upon this article because I was trying to comprehend the source of his heartburn and digestive issues. Just to clarify: CBI applies across the board to all children and adults, doesn’t it? Many thanks and apologies for the bother.

Parveen
Parveen

Thank you so much and God bless you.

Parveen
Parveen

Dear Dr Nemechek, Thank you and God bless you for all you are doing for adults and children alike. The article was very informative and useful. My ten year old son gets acid reflux usually after a spicy meal and now that you mention it, when his carb intake is moderate or higher. He’d been diagnosed with acid reflux when he was five and took Lanzoprazole for a couple of years. By observation, we reduced or eliminated foods that we thought aggravated his system and he didn’t need the PPI thereafter. Unfortunately, he’s been given several doses of antibiotics till… Read more »

Melanie de
Melanie de

My 2 children have suffered from reflux since they were infants. They are both very small in size and are very picky reluctant eaters. We’ve tried everything under the sun trying to get to the bottom of it. We recently tried your nemcheck protocol and had great success for almost 2 weeks – all of their reflux symptoms disappeared and they were asking for food which the never do (unless they’ve had a round of antibiotics and we get the same result) and they were also much happier more content children! Unfortunately they have both regressed and are back to… Read more »

Pina
Pina

Hello – what an interesting article.
My 12 year old daughter has been having tummy problems for a number of years now. She is an anxious easily angered child who just never stops talking. She complains about tummy pain above her belly button; burning in her throat and tummy(doctor claims acid reflux) and feels like she always has to vomit. She is constantly constipated and we just recently found out she has a dairy abd allergy. Would the above recommendations be well suited for her to try as well. Our doctor also believes she has ibs.

Amber
Amber

My daughter is 10 and for awhile now while we’re eating, she will beat on her chest and say it’s burning. She’s a tiny thing (only 50lbs) she complains of stomach pains ALOT and doesn’t go to the bathroom more then normal. I’ve always told her, her stomach hurts bc she needs to go to the bathroom, or she needs to eat more. After last nights episode I thought I’d look into what could be going on with her. I’m wondering if this is could be what it is.

Nicole Yard
Nicole Yard

Hi. My son is almost 7 years old and has had acid reflux since he was an infant. He even had an endoscopy done at 3 months old. Was told it was fine, he just had reflux and would hopefully outgrow it someday. Well, he hasn’t. He has bad bouts of it that flare up and cause him to have what he calls “water come up in his throat.” He also is constantly congested and/or has runny nose. He also gets the stomach aches at times also. I really do not want to put him on acid medication. He was… Read more »

Lynda
Lynda

Hi, my 11 year old daughter has suddenly started getting acid in her throat and is becoming extremely anxious about it. She only drinks water. She has been eating biscuits quite a lot before this started. She is extremely thin and worryingly because of the acid hurting her throat and her phobia of being sick she is eating very little. I did wonder if she was dairy and gluten intolerant so have replaced her normal cereal with gluten free and almond milk. She had this for breakfast then 2 slices of turkey and a few rice cakes. That is all… Read more »

Ava
Ava

Hi, I am 12 years old and have had nagging symptoms like the ones on here. I have had heartburn, burning in my abdomen, and I have had anxiety ever since I was little. I excercise almost everyday but I don’t eat that well. I have a lot of carbohydrates. Also, could my anxiety be a part of this too. I’ve told my parents and we went to the doctor. I have acid reflux. I’ve been doing everything the doctor said and I still get it at night. Any help?

elaine
elaine

Hi
My teenager daughter has been suffering from nausea, heartburn symptoms, bad breath wind, urine urgency, and diarrhea for the past year , Had all bloods done all ok. Was on Nexium for a while, it did help. Her doctor decided to treat her for the hyplori bacteria even though he reckoned she didn’t have it, but was very nauseous on the meds so discontinued after one day, Decided to have the breath test 13c done .It came back negative. Now I am wondering should she be tested for SBIO.
Many Thanks
Elaine

Dee
Dee

My 11 year old daughter has been suffering chest pain and also she has mentioned that her stomach has been acting weird she also has been getting headaches. Could that be heart burn and if it is should I take her too see the docter

Steve
Steve

A few years ago around the time that my daughter had roughly 9 antibiotocs in a 14 month period due ear infections ..we then had her get tubes.she started to get bad acid reflux..she did have it as a baby but grew out of it. I had her take colic calm instead of prevacid. It worked. We took her to a gastro dr after her taking prevavid which didnt work. During the time we waited for the apppintment i gave her prunes with every meal. I noticed that she didnt get reflux unless she ate something greasy or drank too… Read more »

Steve
Steve

What is your opinion that inulin will allow bad bacteria to grow also?

Maree Jones
Maree Jones

Hi, my son is 4 and 1/2 years and has had GERD since a newborn baby. He was born 6 weeks prematurely by emergency C-section, with no other complications other than the GERD. He was on omeprazole for the first year of life, and since has been on it and off it. It does help his appetite but I believe he suffers a lot of side effects from it. I’m currently weaning him off it. He has had an endoscopy and there was no physical reason causing the heartburn. I find this article fascinating as we live in New Zealand… Read more »

Nikita
Nikita

I there, I’m 24 and have been experiencing acid reflux, heart burn and severe constipation since i was a toddler, it wasn’t until the past year and a half that things have gotten a lot worse. I’m having constant upper middle abdominal pain, as well as issues with digestion, usually painfully bloated even after small meals (sometimes will throw-up after) and all the way down i can feel the pressure and pain also have very yellow stool and am usually slightly constipated. I have been in and out of the hospital a few times with little diagnostic success, blanket IBS… Read more »

Diana
Diana

My daughter is 2 years old, and I believe she’s had heart burn since she was a baby. She wakes up several times at times at night crying, and I can feel/see she has wet burps. We took her to a stomach specialist who told us she was fine and it was a behavioral issue. We have tried changing her diet, including replacing milk with non-dairy alternatives. I am in the process of taking her to a different pediatrician, but would love to hear your thoughts.

Olivia
Olivia

Im only 12 and i get heartburn at night i have water and pop(just Orange)i have bad memory, sleeping disorder, and absent minded. One question is the bad memory,sleeping disorder,and absent minded bad for a 12 year old? If it is should i tell my mom?

Zoe
Zoe

Hi. I really need your help. I’m fourteen and for about three days I have had upper left or center abdmonial pain. It has a stabbing sensation and then it goes away and then comes back. Also, i’ve realized I might have heartburn. The left part of my chest also has a stabbing sensation that comes and goes. I’m really concerned about this but my parents won’t let me go to the doctor. My BMI is 25 so I think I’m overweight. Is this a cause? Also, I’v tried to lose weight(exercise, eat less) for the past week. However I… Read more »

Anonymous
Anonymous

My son gets it after he eats spicy food.

Patty
Patty

Hi Dr. N – I saw a comment from you posted Jan 27, 2016 2:51 pm about autism and heartburn – where can I find that post? This heart burn article was a good read – helps me to understand why my son has developed all these new health issues since being given to his abuser in 2014. Thank you.

Elise Bower
Elise Bower

I remember all the way back in elementary school (I’m in high school now) that there was a boy in my class named Gavin. I sat by him in class and, because I was an observant child, noticed a sudden look of shock that would occur with him ever so often. He had no disabilities, but he never ate lunch, every day, because he claimed that it made his stomach feel “weird.” He’d suddenly stand up ever so often, breathing heavily and looking away. Finally, one day, I asked him what was wrong. “Elise, I have heartburn,” he said. Being… Read more »

nicola cohen
nicola cohen

one of my 7yr old twins has heartburn, you mentioned a Damaged Nervous System Functioning, could this lead to motor ticks which she has she has had them now on and off for the past year.

Paul B.
Paul B.

My 5 year old daughter has recently been complaining about “spicy juice” that comes up into her throat, sometimes accompanied with a burp. Also we’ve noticed that she’s been constipated quite frequently lately as well. After reading this I believe that I may be getting closer to the explanation as to what is happening. I too suffer from very bad acid reflux. It affects me about once a month really badly. Our 12 yr. old daughter has diabetes as well. I’m beginning to wonder if any of this could be related in any way perhaps within their genetics? I suppose… Read more »

MDhillon
MDhillon

Hi there , my 5 yr old has been complaining of wet burps frequently throughout the day for several months now,this went away for about 3 wks in September but then returned. I am puzzled as to why and what the cause could be.He has a pretty well balanced diet and never had any issues from birth til 4 yrs. He doesn’t have constipation ,only had heartburn once or twice over the past year. Any suggestions ?

Jennifer
Jennifer

Is the Inulin just the plain one in the orange bottle?

Kris Rutkowski
Kris Rutkowski

Wow, very interesting information. My daughter recently began having reflux feelings, squeezing of her throat, burning and some itching in her throat, which I am guessing is all heartburn. She is just at the border on the growth chart of normal/overweight and really lives on carbs as she is so picky. She also had an intracranial hemorrhage when she was younger, so she already has a neurologic history. We have tried Prilosec and so far no help. Her symptoms are mainly at night, but she is still going to school fine and doing her Karate 4 days a week without… Read more »

Courtney Stevens
Courtney Stevens

I enjoyed this article, thank you for it. My daughter age 10 has heartburn. She is about 10 pounds underweight, and eats a sandwich for lunch–the only carbs she has during the day would be at night when we have potatoes or rice. We make everything from scratch at our house. If she eats carbohydrates from the store (like store-bought bread) then her ears ring and she gets a headache. I think there may be a little more to children’s heartburn than eliminating carbs. I think we might need to go further in introducing more roughage to their diet, since… Read more »

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