Your baby may gag or choke when stomach contents flow back into their esophagus. The position of your baby’s body during feeding can make it worse. GERD is also common in younger infants. Many 4-month-olds have it. But by their first birthday, only 10 percent of babies still have GERD. The esophagus is the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. If your baby has reflux, his or her stomach contents come back up into the esophagus. Another name for reflux is gastroesophageal reflux (GER). In most cases, a doctor diagnoses reflux by reviewing your baby’s symptoms and medical history. If the symptoms do not get better with feeding changes and anti-reflux medicines, your baby may need testing.
Speak to your baby’s pediatrician if you’re interested in using natural remedies to treat your child’s reflux. You will want to make sure you are choosing both safe and proven remedies. Most infants with the condition are healthy – it’s just that parts of their digestive systems aren’t fully mature yet. They usually grow out of GERD by the time they are 1 year old. Avoid overfeeding; give your baby the amount of formula or breast milk recommended. Upper GI endoscopy. This test uses a thin, flexible, lighted tube and camera that allows the doctor to look directly inside the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the small intestine.
This is one of the most common signs of acid reflux in older children and adults, but it may be hard to recognize 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. 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.
Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) in infants. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Accessed Aug. 23, 2018. Infant reflux usually clears up by itself without causing problems for your baby. Add rice cereal to your baby’s bottle of formula or breastmilk. Check with the doctor about how much to add. If the mixture is too thick, you can change the nipple size or cut a little “x” in the nipple are speaking to make the opening larger. Most of the time, reflux in babies is due to a poorly coordinated gastrointestinal tract. Many infants with GERD are otherwise healthy; however, some infants can have problems affecting their nerves, brain , or muscles. According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, a child’s immature digestive system is usually to blame and most infants grow out of the condition by the their first birthday.
pH probe. Your child will swallow a long, thin tube with a probe at the tip, which will stay in his esophagus for 24 hours. The tip measures levels of acids in his stomach. If your child has breathing problems, this test also can help the doctor tell if they’re the result of reflux. There is a muscle (the lower esophageal sphincter) that acts as a valve between the esophagus and stomach. When your baby swallows, this muscle relaxes to let food pass from the esophagus to the stomach. This muscle normally stays closed, so the stomach contents don’t flow back into the esophagus.