Alternative Treatment Options
There are many acid reflux alternative treatment options besides our infant acid reflux products, TummyCare Max and BellyBuffers. We believe in our products but we want you to be aware of alternatives because knowledge is key to making the right decision for your baby's acid reflux treatment. Every baby is different and every parent has the right to make a choice they feel is the best choice for their baby, their family and for themselves.
The Infant Acid Reflux Solutions Team has a mission statement. That mission is to make babies and children with acid reflux feel better. Whatever treatment option or product you decide to use helps accomplish making your baby feel better, then that is the treatment and product we want to support you in using.
Our Support Team is also available to you or your medical provider team should you have any questions regarding your options below. We do not advocate or discourage the use of the acid reflux alternative treatment options below but simply offer the information available to us for you to determine the best treatment options for your infant or child. Furthermore we do not claim that this is all the information available and if you have information about an acid reflux alternative treatment that you feel should be posted here, please contact our Operations Team.
Most Anti-Reflux medications work by either neutralizing stomach acid or by preventing the production of acid altogether. Here on the Acid Reflux Alternative Treatment page you will be able to read an outline of information for each of your options, and if you would like to read a more detailed description we have provided a link to an alternate page. This page will included more expansive information and suggested or common use along with dosing recommendations if available. Most importantly we describe what NOT to do (contraindications) or what combination of treatments to avoid in addition to the foods to stay away from if you do decide to choose one of the acid reflux alternative treatments below.
The infant acid reflux alternative treatments listed here are in alphabetical order. You will also see notations in parentheses such as (Natural Approach) when indicated.
It is important that you review and discuss all infant acid reflux treatment intentions with your doctor and we encourage you to refer anybody in your care provider team to read this website and/or contact us
Antacids are chemical compounds that are able to raise the stomachs pH to above 3.5 pH in approximately 10 minutes. Antacids are commonly comprised of the following ingredients:
- Sodium Bicarbonate
- Calcium Bicarbonate
- Magnesium Hydroxide
- Aluminum Hydroxide
Antacids neutralize gastric acid. Gastric acid is hydrochloric acid or HCI and it consists of hydrogen and chloride ions. It is the hydrogen ions that give acid it's caustic and damaging properties. Antacids are able to attract and hold onto the hydrogen ions. Grabbing up the hydrogen makes the pH of the stomach less acidic.
Because antacids reduce excess acidity, they alleviate symptoms of heartburn and help allow the natural healing process to take place in any damaged areas. Many serve as a protective coating against further damage. However, antacids are a short term solution because they do not maintain a reduced level of acidity in the stomach.
Antacid Detailed Information Page.
Buffers (Natural Approach)
Also known as antacids. Using buffers is the simplest acid reflux alternative treatment and many families and medical care providers are familiar with buffers. They contribute calcium and magnesium to the body which is beneficial especially when using PPI's which have shown to deplete or reduce the absorption of these important elements.
TummyCare Max and BellyBuffers are two examples of buffers. Both work well to neutralize acid quickly and effectively and can be used independently from a proton pump inhibitor.
Our Products Detailed Information Page.
Gas Drops (Natural Approach)
Gas Drops are used to relieve symptoms of extra gas caused by air swallowing or gas associated with the consumption of certain foods such as baby formula. Gas drops also help break up gas bubbles in the digestive system, mainly the stomach.
The generic name of the active ingredient in gas drops is SIMETHICONE (sye-meth-i-kone). Some brand names include:
- Little Tummy's®
- Little Remedy's®
WebMD has stated that there are little to no side effects with using gas drops.
Gripe Water (Natural Approach)
According to Wikipedia, Gripe water is a home remedy for infants with colic, gastrointestinal discomfort, teething pain, infant acid reflux and other stomach ailments.
Although ingredients do vary from each manufacturer, ingredients include:
- Herbs: Ginger, Dill, Fennel, Chamomile and other herbs
Grip Water is administered with an eye dropper in liquid form. There no "clinical" evidence of the effectiveness of gripe water however, there is also no known negative, mild or serious, side effects either. Recommended by many pediatricians and alternative practitioners as a naturopathic treatment option and is regulated by the FDA. Discovered in England in the 1800's it has been used as a home remedy with confidence for over a century.
To name a few commonly know versions:
- Babies and Bliss®
- Mommy's Bliss®
- Colic Calm®
- Little Tummys®
H2 blockers block the messengers that tell the stomach to begin production of acid. Acid is produced by the parietal cells located in the stomach lining. These cells don't secrete acid until they receive a signal to begin. That signal is delivered by the messenger hormones called histamine. Histamine communicates with the cell by attaching to contact points located on the cell surface called receptors. The H2 blocker works by occupying the receptors so that histamine cannot bind and communicate to the parietal cell to start producing acid.
Some examples of what is available on the market today are:
- Ranitidine (Zantac®)
- Famotidine (Pepcid®)
- Cimetidine (Tagament®)
- Nizatidine (Axid®)
H2 blockers come in many dosage forms. Tablets, capsules, liquids and effervescent tablets and are available in over the counter and prescription form. It is recommended that you take H2 blockers about 1 to 2 hours before eating.
H2 Blockers Detailed Information Page.
Pro-motility Drugs or Prokinetics (Use Warning Indicated)
- Cisapride (Propulsid®)
- Erythromycin (Eryped®)
- Metoclopramide (Reglan®)
Are examples of Pro-mobility Drugs or pro-kinetic drugs which are more commonly referred to in the medical industry as "Delayed Gastric Emptying".
Metoclopramide and Cisapride are dopamine-receptor antagonists, which means they work on the nerves that control peristalsis. This is the wave like contractions that push food and fluids through the gastrointestinal tract.
Using Pro-mobility drugs as an infant acid reflux alternative treatment will increase the pace at which food passes through the stomach into the small intestine. This more efficient movement of food through the stomach reduces the pressure build up that may lead to refluxing the contents or the stomach back into the esophagus.
The best available medical studies and reviews reveal that the current available pro-mobility medications produce low efficacy for resolving infant acid reflux. They generally get prescribed in children that have not responded well to proton pump inhibitors however they do carry some of the following side effects.
- Abdominal Gas & Bloating
- Chronic Constipation
- Difficulty Gaining Weight
- Fullness After Eating
- Heart burn
- Irregular Blood Sugar Levels
- Lack of Appetite
- Feeling of Nausea
- Reflux and/or Vomiting
Cisapride is no longer available due to the side effect (heart arrhythmia). The FDA issued a warning in 2000 that Cisapride has caused fatal heart arrhythmia in children.
Metoclopramide has been known to cause irritability and tiredness and also induce a seizure-like incident called acute dystonic reaction.
FDA BlackBox Warning applied to Metoclopramide
PLEASE CONSIDER THE ABOVE WARNING PRIOR TO USING THIS ACID REFLUX ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT!
Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI)
The clinical description of a PPI is a chemical compound (a medicine) that irreversibly inactivates the pumps that produce stomach acid while the medication is in its effective stage. The effective stage is when the PPI has begun to take effect and the duration for which it is effective.
PPI's work within the parietal cell's surface where acid is secreting. PPI's reach the location of the parietal cell secretion point through the blood stream. The PPIs react to the cell in a way that inactivates, both the pumps from secreting acid and in turn inactivates the parietal cells from producing acid.
PPI's will inhibit acid production regardless of the stimulus. Meaning, no matter what you ingest or what reaction your body usually has that induces the secretion of acid, PPI products work against the acid producing pumps that trigger acid production.
The following have been approved by the FDA for pediatric use:
Proton Pump Inhibitor Detailed Information Page.
- Esomeprazole, found in Nexium®
- Omeprazole, found in Zegerid®, Prilosec® and generic forms
- Lansoprazole, found in Prevacid®
- Pantoprazole, found in Protonix®
Also review the Infant Acid Reflux Treatment
Simethicone Drops (Natural Approach)
See Gas Drops Above.
Or the brand name Carafate® is an aluminum containing sticky sugar that acts as an ulcer adherent paste, binding to open sores in the lining of the esophagus, stomach and small intestine. Think of it as a Band-Aide® specifically for ulcers.
Sucralfate offers local protection for ulcers and requires the presence of stomach acid to turn it into a paste that will bind to the ulcer. The paste helps promote healing by preventing more acid from seeping into the ulcer. It comes in tablet form or as a suspension but is only provided with a prescription.
Since sucralfate requires stomach acid to reach an active state it can not be used with any Antacids, H2 blockers or PPI's. It is effective in treating ulcers resulting from reflux but can not control infant acid reflux itself. It has few side effects because it acts topically and is minimally absorbed into the bloodstream.
Timed Feedings (Natural Approach)
There are many parents who are trying to accomplish effective treatments for their baby's acid reflux or GERD in a natural way. Timed feedings is one of those all natural acid reflux alternative treatments.
In many cases something as simple as adjusting your baby's feeding times, amounts and even the position your child is being held during feeding, can make a huge difference in your child's reaction to feeding and ultimately the cause of acid reflux or GERD.
- Keeping the baby upright after feeding
- Smaller and more frequent feedings
- Switching to a lactose free formula
All of the above timed feeding suggestions can be simple and effective acid reflux alternative treatments.
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from the Acid Reflux Alternative Treatment page.