Acid Reflux In Infants

Babies often bring up milk during or shortly after feeding – this is known as possetting or reflux. Certain factors also may contribute to GERD, including obesity , overeating, eating spicy or fried foods, drinking caffeine , carbonation, and specific medications There also appears to be an inherited component to GERD, as it is more common in some families than in others. Spitting up and vomiting are the main symptoms that you read this can actually see with infant reflux As long as your baby is healthy, happy, and growing well, the reflux is normal and natural and not a cause for concern. Your child will likely just outgrow it. While your little one may act fussy or seem to be uncomfortable, it is very unusual for the stomach contents to be acidic enough to cause the extensive damage to the esophagus or throat seen with more serious forms of acid reflux.

In breastfed babies, removing immunogenic foods, such as cow’s milk and eggs, from the mother’s diet may improve symptoms. Surgical procedures for infant GERD may only be considered in severe cases. If medications are unsuccessful or there are serious complications, surgery may be an option. GER is uncomplicated, and infants with this type of reflux are often called “happy spitters.” Infants with GER may sometimes experience frequent vomiting, irritability, prolonged or refused feeding, or back arching. Certain foods may be causing acid reflux, depending on your infant’s age. For example, citrus fruits and tomato products increase acid production in the stomach. Foods like chocolate, peppermint, and high-fat foods can keep the LES open longer, causing the contents of the stomach to reflux.

Although more common in adults, GER can develop into gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This condition may cause more troublesome symptoms and complications. Symptoms include slow weight gain, irritability, unexplained crying, and sleep disturbances. GERD requires treatment to avoid tissue damage to the lining of the food pipe. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause the muscles in your esophagus to relax more frequently. A growing fetus can also place pressure on your stomach. This can increase the risk of stomach acid entering your esophagus.

Researchers aren’t sure whether decreasing stomach acid lessens reflux in infants. Medications that might be prescribed include H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). These medications ease symptoms of GERD by lowering acid production in the stomach and can help heal the lining of the food pipe. H2 blockers are usually used for short-term or on-demand relief and PPIs are often used for long-term GERD treatment. Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) in infants. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Accessed Aug. 23, 2018.

If your doctor suspects you might have GERD, they’ll conduct a physical exam and ask about any symptoms you’ve been experiencing. It’s natural to worry something is wrong with your baby if they’re bringing up their feeds. But reflux is very common and will usually pass by the time your baby is a year old. Surgery isn’t often needed to treat acid reflux in babies and kids. When it is necessary, a fundoplication is the most often performed surgery. During this procedure, the top part of the stomach is wrapped around the esophagus forming a cuff that contracts and closes off the esophagus whenever the stomach contracts – preventing reflux.

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