Acid Reflux Alternative Treatment Options

There are many acid reflux alternative treatment options. It's literally an OCEAN of choices. Hard to know what works and fits into your values as a family.

WE GET IT!

We believe in treating with very safe medications but want to offer you as much information so you can decide for yourself what you want for your baby.

Every baby is different. If you find something that works, stick with it!

little GERD baby
If you need to contact Our Support Team we're available to you or your medical provider team if you have any questions regarding your options below. We're here to support you or answer questions regardless of whether you work with our doctor that specialize in infant reflux or not!

We do not advocate or discourage the use of the acid reflux alternative treatment options below. We 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 Customer Support Team.

Join our Facebook group to connect with families that have happy babies because of their choices in treatment.

 Antacids

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

Read More Details About Dosing and General Antacid Information Here.

Buffers (Natural Approach)

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 PPIs which, have shown to deplete or reduce the absorption of these important elements.

If you are using the right buffer combination it

  • can make an immediate release formulation for a PPI compound which means you don't have to time around feeding
  • can be MSPI and FPIES allergen friendly with no soy, corn, dairy protein and is non-GMO
  • can offer a very cost effective way of treatment
  • AND can taste like vanilla ice cream. 

Connect with our specialty care team for information on what pharmacies use our recommended blend of buffers.


Yes! There are a lot of choices and it can be VERY confusing trying to figure out acid reflux alternative treatments. Sometimes it's best just to connect with a doctor that specializes in treating baby reflux.


Erythromycin

The use of Erythromycin for infant acid reflux. Tolerance and what happens in a placebo test will SURPRISE you! Read this important information about why it isn't the best treatment option for your baby's reflux.

Occasionally we will get a parent in our Facebook support group requesting information about the efficacy and effects of this drug, which has been prescribed for the use in treating infant GERD.  The theory behind its use is it stimulates the stomach to empty. It stimulates a motility receptor (called Motilin).

Read more on Erythromycin here on this 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. They have NO EFFECT ON ACID PRODUCTION.

The generic name of the active ingredient in gas drops is SIMETHICONE (sye-meth-i-kone). Some brand names include:

  • Little Tummys®
  • Little Remedy's®
  • Mylicon®

WebMD stated that there are little to no side effects with using gas drops.

Gripe Water (Natural Approach)

Gripe water is a home remedy and although ingredients do vary from each manufacturer, ingredients include:

  • Alcohol (which can irritate the mucosal tissue that is more than likely irritated by reflux)
  • Bicarbonate (can cause extreme gas)
  • 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 health care 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 known versions:

  • Babies and Bliss®
  • Mommy's Bliss®
  • Colic Calm®
  • Little Tummys®
  • Woodwards®

H2 Blockers

H2 Blockers can be useful for short term use as tolerance is rapidly developed in infants. Here is an article that explains why.
Some examples of what is available on the market today are:

  • Ranitidine (Zantac®)
  • Famotidine (Pepcid®)
  • Cimetidine (Tagament®)
  • Nizatidine (Axid®)

Read More Here On The H2 Blockers Detailed Information Page.

Lip Tie and Tongue Tie Revision

Lip & tongue tie revisions are both irreversible procedures and a painful process that permanently alters the natural anatomy of your child’s mouth.

They are supposedly related to ability to latch on to a nipple. But the actual number of infants that benefit from a lip and tongue tie procedure is so very low. Less than 1/2 of a percent of all infants receiving the procedure show signs of relief from reflux symptoms and there are no studies to show that the lip & tongue tie revision is the resolution to any symptoms.  Only in extreme situations is this an acid reflux alternative treatment to consider.

For more details about lip tie and tongue tie revisions read this page.

Nissen Fundoplication

Nissen Fundoplication is another surgery done on both adults and children in an attempt to control acid reflux. The larger nodule of the stomach is wrapped around the esophagus and sewn together to create tension around the esophagus in hopes that this will keep the stomach contents and in some cases the acid that's refluxing up into the throat, down in the stomach.  Patients are often back on PPIs in a year or have too tight of a wrap making it hard for food items to pass into the stomach from the esophagus.

In our opinion, only in extreme situations is this an acid reflux alternative treatment to consider.

For more information on Nissen Fundoplication click here.

Non-Acidic Foods

Changing what foods you give your baby can be helpful especially if your baby has mild reflux. Sometimes a simple fix like a change of diet or introducing foods that are less acidic when starting them on solid foods is super helpful.

This page can help you navigate which foods to choose and which to avoid.

Probiotics

Probiotics can be a very important part of your treatment plan for your baby.

It’s important that your probiotic choice include an essential strain called Bifidobacterium infantis.

B. Infantis (the abbreviate name for Bifidobaceterium infantis also:

  • Thrives in most healthy infant intestines and helps to break down lactic acid in human breast milk.
  • It produces vitamin B-12 and pyridoxin
  • It produces biotin
  • Temporarily colonizes (Probiotics rarely colonize permanently)
  • Has shown good results in medical trials for IBS, pouchitis, ulcerative colitis, active IBD and travelers diarrhea.

More information on Probiotics and infant acid reflux.

Pro-motility Drugs or Prokinetics (Use Warning Indicated)

  • Cisapride (Propulsid®)
  • Bethanechol
  • Erythromycin (Eryped®)
  • Doperidone
  • 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.
They do carry some of the following side effects.

  • Abdominal Gas & Bloating
  • Chronic Constipation
  • Difficulty Gaining Weight
  • 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 can also induce a seizure-like incident called acute dystonic reaction.

FDA BlackBox Warning applied to Metoclopramide

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

PPIs 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.

Of course it's pretty clear by our site that we know if the dose and times per day the PPI is administered is going to GREATLY determine the efficacy of treatment. Based on the study, MarciKids.

Proton Pump Inhibitor Detailed Information Page.

Special Feeding Formulas


Sucralfate

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 cannot be used with any Antacids, H2 blockers or PPIs. It is effective in treating ulcers resulting from reflux but cannot control infant acid reflux itself. It has few side effects because it acts topically and is minimally absorbed into the bloodstream.

Total Elimination Diets (TED)

Total elimination diets (TED) is an all natural acid reflux alternative treatment which can add to a treatment using medications.

In many cases it can put a lot of stress on the mother (especially if breast feeding) to get the necessary nutrition, not only for herself but for her baby as well.

Some typical examples are eliminations of

  • Dairy
  • Soy
  • Grains
  • Gluten

We'd like to point out that sometimes eliminating certain foods that are causing food allergen reactions can be a very important part of treatment but it doesn't address the acid production issue.

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