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Other related illnesses

In some cases reflux can be a secondary problem to another illness. Some of these problems are listed below together with some links which may prove helpful.


Many families are also dealing with asthma. There is much evidence to suggest that asthma is often misdiagnosed for reflux and vice versa.

National Asthma Campaign

Cerebral palsy

Many people with Cerebral Palsy also have reflux, because Cerebral Palsy affects the tone of the muscles. For example, reflux commonly results from a problem with the lower esophageal sphincter, a muscle at the top of the stomach that is supposed to stay shut when not eating or drinking. When this muscle isn't firm enough it flaps open allowing the stomach contents to wash back up into the oesophagus. We have quite a few adult and children refluxers here with cerebral palsy.

Cerebral Palsy


Reflux and Sandifer's Syndrome is also seen in many patients with CdLs. The de Lange Syndrome is most commonly referred to as the Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) but is also known as the Brachmann-de Lange syndrome.

Reflux and CdLS

Delayed Gastric Emptying (Gastroparesis)

This is most commonly found in people that have either type one or type two diabetes or people whose stomach nerves have become damaged or stop working. If the vagus nerve is damaged, the muscles of the stomach and intestines do not work normally, and the movement of food is slowed or stopped.

Signs and symptoms of gastroparesis are

  • heartburn
  • nausea
  • vomiting of undigested food
  • an early feeling of fullness when eating
  • weight loss
  • abdominal bloating
  • erratic blood glucose levels
  • lack of appetite
  • gastro-oesophageal reflux
  • spasms of the stomach wall
These symptoms may be mild or severe, depending on the person.

Gastroparesis and diabetes

Down Syndrome

As children with Down Syndrome have lower muscle tone, they may also be affected with reflux

Reflux and Down Syndrome

Eosinophilic Enteropathy

A digestive system disorder in which eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, are found in above normal amounts in one or more specific places anywhere in the digestive system.

Eosinophilic Enteropathy

Ehlers - Danlos

Many people with this condition have reflux. Fibromyalgia - Reflux is one of many symptoms of this condition.

Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation

Fibromyalgia - Reflux is one of many symptoms of this condition.

Glue Ear In Children

According to two articles that I read at the Lancet's website, (sorry have to be a member there to view the article so can't post link), there is a lot of evidence that glue ear may be caused by reflux in a majority of cases. They most certainly found evidence in a trial that they carried out.

This link explains as to what glue ear is, sadly it doesn't say anything about a link but I will try and find a site somewhere that I can post a link for.

Glue Ear


A high percentage of people with hypermobility also have fibromyalgia, where reflux is one of many symptoms. Plus some people with hypermobility have reflux without having fibromyalgia.

Hypermobility Syndrome Association


Interstitial Lung Disease This is a term used to cover 130 chronic lung diseases of the lung Kacey (Kiddo's daughter has this)has ILD



Hannah (Mandie's daughter) suffered from these causing all her breathing/blueness problems when little.

Laryngiomalacia - This is where the windpipe is immature and floppy and a cause of stridor . Can contribute to Laryngospasm when the acid rises, spasms the windpipe and causes it to collapse like a wet paper straw, sticking together = stops breathing. Usually better by 2ys, can last for 3-4 years.

Pyloric stenosis (forceful vomiting)

Forceful vomitting in a baby can be a sign of Pyloric stenosis. This is a a disorder in which the pylorus, the valve between the stomach and the small intestine becomes so thick with muscle that it blocks the flow of food. About one in 500 babies develops this condition in the first few weeks to months of life. In these children the valve snaps shut so violently that it spits some of the food backward up the Oesophagus and out.

They are constantly hungry and dehydrated, they loose weight. Usually the baby will eagerly start to feed only to become anxious and fretful prior to the vomiting. You may notice something called a peristaltic wave, a bump the size of a golf ball in your baby's abdomen that rolls underneath the skin, from the left side of the stomach to the middle.

Pyloric stenosis

If you suspect your baby has Pyloric stenosis contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Sandifer's Syndrome

this is very closely linked to reflux and is often commonly mistaken for seizures. It is thought to occur in less than 1% of children with reflux. It is also linked with Cerebral Palsy.

The child will show bizarre posture for approx 1-3 minutes and quite often happens shortly after feeding. The child may have a sudden rotation of the head and neck to one side and the legs to the opposite side with a stretched out appearance. The child may also present with Torticollis (a rheumatic etc disease of the muscles of the neck, causing twisting and stiffness)

Whilst this is happening they may become very quiet or, less commonly, be very fussy. Fussiness is observed most commonly after the posture abates.

Sandifer syndrome in older children may be associated with mental impairment.

Sandifer's Syndrome(pending)

Sleep Disorders

Many of us have reported sleeping problems, this link takes you to a site totally devoted to sleep disorders, including apnea

Celiac Disease (sprue)

Celiacs disease is where people can not tolerate a protein called gluten, which is found in wheat, rye and barley.

This is a digestive disease the can over time damage the small intestine and will make absorption of nutrients from food difficult.

Gluten is found in many foods but also in many products we use everyday for instance shampoo stamps envelope adhesive, medicines and in vitamin tablets. celiacs disease usually means a total in tolerance of gluten and any contact can make a person very poorly.

Here is a web site/support group who are wonderful and can offer loads advice on celiacs

Written by Tracey (LWR manager)

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