Gagging

by Amy
(Trinity, NC)

My daughter has a very strong gag reflex to the point of throwing up at times. Typically it is triggered by the site of certain foods, the site of food on a person/child's face, or the smell of foods. Is there anyone else that has experienced this? What can I do to help my daughter overcome this? She is currently undergoing Occupational Therapy for all of her sensory issues. We have not progressed to therapy where her oral issues are concerned....yet. Can anyone explain to me what exactly happens during therapy and how it has changed your child where gagging is concerned?


Thank you,
Amy

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Aug 01, 2016
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Possible treatments that can help gagging
by: Lynn

My child has had problems with gagging, and here are a few things that helped us. Before I begin, I want to say that I'm not giving medical advice, and that I'm just sharing things that have helped in our situation.

1. Prayer- God does answer prayer.

2. Going to a GOOD chiropractor has kept my son eating. All chiropractors are not created equal. You need to get a referral from someone you trust. Dr. Joseph Dennis has helped my son. He is located in Plano, TX.

3. Essential oils- We use an organic therapeutic grade. I use Young Living. There are many good brands out there, but it's important to research how to use them. Different people react differently to different oils. There are oils to help digestion. Go to www.oil-testimonials.com to do a basic search on nausea and vomiting to find out what oils may help. You have to log in with your email and set up a password. You also have to choose the brand of oil because the testimonials are brand specific. I use lemongrass to help get rid of spider veins and oregano to help get rid of moles. You never know what ailments you will find answers for on that website. Yes, my spider veins and moles are fading, and my son is helped with other essential oils for gagging.

3. We recently read about and tried having our son drinking a small amount of fresh squeezed lemon juice (through a straw to protect the enamel on their teeth) and water mixture about 15 minutes before a meal, it has helped. We use about 1 teaspoon of lemon juice in about 8 oz. water.

4. Apple cider vinegar (Bragg's organic "with the mother") can help (Mix 2 tbsp. frozen raspberries, 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon, approx. 1 tsp. honey to sweeten, mash and mix together, and then fill the cup (8 oz.) the rest of the way up with water. Blend it in the blender if you have to, but I don't. The raspberries help to mask the apple cider vinegar taste. You can use other berries besides raspberries. Consider getting the Bragg's Book on how to use Apple Cider Vinegar. There are so many uses. They have other recipes in their book too.

5. Probiotics have helped. Gut bacteria is so important for digestion, and actually affects many different problems in the body. Research leaky gut and probiotics on the internet. Check out Dr. Josh Axe's website.

6. Eating fermented foods or drinking fermented drinks for the probiotics has helped my son.

7. We also went to a Chinese doctor for acupressure for a short period. It's expensive ($100 a visit although insurance actually did pay for some of it). We saw the greatest improvement in eating and gagging from going to this doctor. We plateaued after a few months, so I decided to just continue with the chiropractor. If you try acupressure, consider going to a Chinese doctor that learned in China with many years of experience. Also, as a Christian I was a bit leery of the Eastern religion aspect of it. Prayerfully decide if this is the right course to take. The Lord did show me that He wanted me to quit.

8. Look up gastroparesis to see if your childs symptoms are similar. My son was initially diagnosed with that by a gastroenterologist based on his symptoms. There is a woman with a book called "Living Well with Gastroparesis," if that is a potential diagnosis. The author's name is Crystal Zaborowski.

9. Ginger also helped his with nausea. Gin, Gins are a brand I have bought at Whole Foods before. They are like a chewy ginger candy. A little goes a long way. We cut them up because they are too spicy hot to eat a whole piece.

10. Consider having food sensitivity testing done. It's amazing to find out what kids are reacting to these days. I had no idea my son had trouble with white potatoes until I took them away for over a month. When I tried to reintroduce it, he couldn't even eat it because he got an upset stomach and he had diarrhea at night. I went to a functional medicine doctor to have these tests done. Conventional doctors do a different type of allergy testing.

Well, those are my top 10 helps. I came on this website to see if I could figure out why my son gags when he has chocolate, and after reading all the comments, and not seeing any solutions I thought I better throw some ideas out there. Praying some of these tips may help you.

Jul 28, 2016
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Gagging
by: Ashley

My 3 1/2 old son gags at the smell of any food to the point of throwing up but is not the least bit bothered by gross smells like his baby brothers dirty diapers! It seems like the gagging is getting worse! Help!

Jun 19, 2016
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Gagging
by: By Gwen

My daughter will be 21 this month and the gagging is causes her to not finish her meals. She always cleaned her plate! The docs are frustrating me with no answers! One says post nasal drip take Claritin . Next one (GI doc) says acid reflux take Nexium. Then a swallowing study! Nothing!! Help! Poor kid taking all this stuff in liqiud form cause she has oral delay and is non verbal so she can't tell me what's happening except to point to her throat. Ugh! Should we try sp and language therapist?? She has begun to loss weight and is under 100 pounds at 5'6 .

Anybody?

Jun 18, 2016
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20 month old eating yogurt
by: Anonymous

Reply to gagging at 20 months and only eating yogurt- I would suggest seeing a speech therapist and see if it may have any correlation to textures of the foods that she is avoiding. We started with Speech therapy for my five year old with gagging issues but ours is more visual and auditory sensitivity so we are using a occupational therapist for sensory integration and going well.

This process has been very frustrating for us too. Hope you find something that helps!

Jun 18, 2016
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20 month has gag problem
by: Anonymous

My daughter is 20 months and will only eat yogurt (only with the distraction of books) please can someone help me with this! she gags and vomits at least once a day... often with no warning but also gags on any other food! she was meant to be switching to a new formula but just gags when I give it to her!! she also suffers with reflux and is on omeprazole and ranitidine. I have been unable to return to work and have literally dedicated my life to meal times, reading these comments posted previously it doesn't seem that anyone solves the problem!

May 20, 2016
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Gagging when watching people eat
by: Concerned mom

My 5 year old girl had had problems with watching people eat "big bites", or messy eaters that have food on their faces, or eating in restaurants or in front of other people for the past two years.

We have learned to distract with the TV, music, set timers, etc Really all of these strategies help "cope" but not "fix". We started Occupational Therapy for sensory integration. The therapist Believes she is highly sensitive to oral And auditory stimulus. She is noticing that she may have some vestibular sensitivity too. All other sensory areas she tested normal. We just started And will be attending 1 x/ week for the duration of the summer to see if it will help her to stop throwing up at the lunch table when watching other kids eat. And hopefully getting us back to eating out with the family and friends at a restaurants:)

has anyone found anything in the Occupational or Speech Therapy realm that has worked really well? We have just started.

May 12, 2016
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Experience from of the gaging
by: College student

24 Female in collage
Officially diagnosed autism+ SPD

Certain smells and tastes are so overwhelming my body forcibly rejects. it is really embarrassing.

as soon as I met my College roommate i called my mom and told her " I don't like my roommates sent, she dose not stink- I just don't like her smell" my mom told me "deal with it"

when she dose shower the humidity and steam amplify her sent. The humid air wafts through the Crack under the door and I physically cannot go near. When I go past the area I hold my breath like Im in a portable toilet. It's hard to speak because you can't take a breath your lungs won't let in any "bad" air. sometimes the smell makes my stomach roll- HS

In HSchool I took a a sing step outside my house me when the street was being repaved----promptly turned green and Puked

I made everyone in the family through the door in the garage so the house wouldn't be contaminated

Apr 07, 2016
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A constang gagger
by: highly confused

Not in a mean way, but I certainly am relieved to come across this page. I am completely at a loss presently because of my 10-year old son's gagging problem. He is losing weight and doesn't look like a tween at all. He gags at any kind of food very easily, especially rice and beans and anything which is too dry, even a PB&J sandwich. It is sometimes very unpredictable. i have tried various methods of cooking and have also tried out different cuisines but no luck at all. Any suggestions are welcome. I am going to take him to a regular physician instead of a pediatrician and see if there is any cure. He is otherwise a very active and healthy child, but is seriously challenged physical growth wise. :(

Feb 17, 2016
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concerned
by: Anonymous

My son is 4 and has been getting worse with the gagging over smells and food...he is a picky eater also. I'm starting to get concerned. Me and my husband hide when we eat or he will throw up his food. He is normal development with no other issues.

Jan 14, 2016
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Gagging a sight of people eating certain foods
by: Kim

My story sounds identical to Amy. I have a 5 year old now and she has been having problems off and on since 8 months old when I would shake and bottle to mix the formula. Over the years she has learned distractions and coping mechanisms to get her self through a meal when something triggers the gagging and vommiting. Or she will get up and walk away from the table, unable to go back without throwing up. She can make it through a meal no problem if the tv is on and she can watch it, but that is not real life and not able to carry that over to resturaunts or the pre k cafeteria. She had a good long run over the past six months but now watching me eat cereal or daddy eat spagettie or a crowded room of people eating hot dogs are all triggering the gagging.

She is set up with an Occupational therapist next week who specializes in sensory integration so wish us luck that she can stop having to eat with her lunch box in front of her face at the cafeteria.

Nov 18, 2015
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Daughter gags and vomits
by: AManda

My daughter does the same thing. She gags and often vomits due to certain smells, stains on clothes, others' messy faces, or perceived things on herself (like if she gets something on her hand that she doesn't know what it is). She is currently in preschool and it hasn't caused problems at school so far. But I'm worried for next year when she has to eat lunch at school. She is always experiencing some social anxiety issues. I want to help her overcome all of these things! Help!!

Nov 16, 2015
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kindergarten cafeteria troubles
by: Anonymous

Hi I am desperately searching for help for my six year old daughter. She has had gagging/vomiting issues from the sight and smell of certain foods since she was about 18 months old. We started trying to get her used to the school cafeteria concept by enrolling her in preschool starting at age 3 because we knew it would be a problem. Two years of preschool and one year of pre-k and she was never able to sit and eat with the other children without getting sick. Kindergarten started this fall and it has been a nightmare as far as lunch is concerned. The school initially agreed she could eat alone in a different office but after about a week informed us she would have to begin eating in the cafeteria. I have to go sit with her every single day or she ends up sick in the nurses office. Even with me there most days she ends up gagging and crying and we sit in the hall alone until lunch is over. I'm lost I have no idea how to help her. I hate that she now has horrible anxiety about school. I'm questioning if we should try homeschool until we can overcome this hurdle. Any tips or advice would be amazing. Thank you.

Oct 10, 2014
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gag
by: Anonymous

My three year old does the same things. He can not see a baby taking a bottle without throwing up. He eats good and almost anything . The one thing that was not mentioned by any one is that his breath makes me gag it is bad. We brush and floss still a really bad smell. Anyone eles

Nov 26, 2013
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W
by: Ms. Kemp

My son is about to be 18. he's been gagging his entire life. He was never diagnosed with sensory issues but I know he has them he is an Aspergers Syndrome child. I ended up home schooling him,and I use that term loosely, from 2nd grade on and he just recently passed his GED with flying colors and is now taking college level classes and doing incredibly well. to this day if we go to Ivar's and have fish and chips he ends up losing it before we can get back out to the car. Certain necklines certain fabrics all cause him to gag. now that he's older he tells me it happens when he eats too fast. I guess my point is these kids are unique they are just the way they are. but they manage and my son is a very productive very incredible young man. I wish you luck with your children

Nov 15, 2013
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Gagging at lunch
by: Worried mom

My daughter is 5 & just started kindergarten. she has a hyper gag reflex, which we knew, but now since the first of September when she vomited 3rimes in the cafeteria at school. She refuses to go back I. There. To the point of having a panic attack. We have been bringing her home daily for lunch. The principal let her eat in the office and classroom with is for a bit , until she decided to tell my 5 year old that SHE WILL return to the cafeteria. Now the anxiety is worse. The principal and others think this is just control. It also happens at home and at grandma sometimes also. I have read the above comments and notice familiar things, such as not eating when we go out. Please help! I need to convince the principal this is real! We have just started counseling, but she said she won't talk to the schoo. So I need advice to educate this dumb principal and teachers who have scared my daughter to death.

Aug 09, 2013
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sight and smell always an issue
by: Anonymous

I just found this sight and it was never a concern to any doctor that my now- nineteen -year old could have this disorder. She will loudly and repeatedly gag from certain smells and perceived sights. For example, when she was little she saw chocolate on her finger and assumed it was feces. She cannot eat jellies or smell old ketchup. Her reactions would just draw laughter from her siblings and I, but I've never known anyone else who does this/has this. She allspice has multiple allergies to random chemicals and foods. I would like to know what the tie is between this disorder and speech the previous posts mention as she gets tonguetied a lot. We just laugh because it has all been what we see as cute quirkinesses that her doctors deemed normal behavior.

Aug 14, 2012
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gagging help
by: Anonymous

my 6 yr old son has been diAgnosed with sensory issues . he has been gagging since he wAs a few months old . He will gag at anything that grosses him out , food , bad breath , the sight of dog poop , really anything . He has thrown up msny times . He has been secluded many times at lunch in school for the gagging , which came with a big fight from me saying he cant help it . i always calm my son by making him smell a baby wipe , it usually calms hi along with me distracting w
him from the grossness that started the whole episode to begin with . good luck

Jan 12, 2012
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gagging
by: mike

At 10mon old my son started coughing at night and gagging during meals. We have had a lot of test done, with now answers in sight. the only thing that has helped with the cough and eating is taking 30mg of prevacid. 15mg the normal amount for my sons size was not strong enough. He gags at the site of some foods. The foods are usually thick consistency, like pudding, bananas... I hear of people talking about speach therapy and preparing foods that work for him. What about the cough that starts within 3 days of being of the medicine? The cough is so bad, over 1,000 coughs during the night. Help please.

Jun 17, 2011
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Mints
by: Anonymous

My son has not been officially diagnosed with SPD but he has many of the symptoms (we noticed since 8mos). We've been slowly trying to integrate different sensory stimulants to him. Gagging has been one of his stronger issues since 10mos old. When he was in kindergarten we gave him tic tacs to pop in his mouth during lunch time and we also packed his food for him that way he wouldn't be overstimulated by going down the food line. We no longer go to buffets because the sight of too many foods overstimulated his visual sensory and also his sense of smell. This became too powerful for him that he would start to gag and eventually throw up.

Whenever we go out to eat, we make sure that he is comfortable with long sleeves (due to air condition being too cold) and we also keep him distracted with his DS (game). He can do well around food if he's distracted and not too many stimulants around him. Sometimes he doesn't want to eat and that's okay with us, we just bring his food home. The important thing with us is that we continue to integrate him with the things that he has issues with so that he knows that he is capable of facing them head on. We still us mints and mint flavor gum for him as well. He's is now 10 years old and it's still a struggle for us. He's come a long way but we're still working with him. One day we'll have him see an Occupational Therapist when we get a chance. But sites like this really help us out. Hope this helps somehow.

Mar 30, 2011
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Gagging
by: Amy

Erica, I do not worry so much about what she eats or forcing her to try and eat foods she doesn't like. My concern falls more about when she is around others and gags to the point of throwing up because of what they are eating or the smell of their food, or because a child has food on their face. She will begin Kindergarten in the fall and the cafeteria will become a daily part of her expected routine. I can only imagine how this will go.

We do not see a speech therapist. She was screened and the therapist said she had no speech problems to work with and sent us on our way. The OT we are seeing does work alot with oral issues, so we will be addressing these things once she gains my daughters trust more. Just wondering if there are others that experience or have experienced this with their child and how they have helped them overcome.

Mar 30, 2011
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gagging
by: Ericka

Hi,
my son has lots of food issues. He will gag and spit out food if it is something he doesn't like. Personally, I have never forced him to eat foods he doesn't like. I make sure he gets his vitamins in other ways (tried gummi kids vitamins, he wouldn't take them). Fortunately, i wouldn't allow him to have candy during the first years of his life, so he doesn't eat candy! the only exception to that is one brand of bubble gum.

Anyway, does your child see a speech therapist? They are often good at helping kids with any type of oral issues. When my son was seeing his fantastic speech therapist, she offered to address his food/swallowing issues. At the time, he had other issues more urgent.

I guess my approach has been to Not fuss over what he eats. I have seen too many problems created from kids being forced to eat things they cannot tolerate! jmho, Ericka

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