Your doctor will start with a physical exam and questions about your baby’s symptoms. Most children outgrow their reflux symptoms by the time they are nine to 12 months old, although it sometimes lingers until 18 months. Spit up and babies go hand in hand. We are no strangers to the white, icky stuff splashed on our arms and dribbling down our backs, but when it causes other problems or is associated with other symptoms, it may be due to a disease called gastroesophageal reflux or GERD. With your pediatrician’s approval, adding a small amount of infant rice cereal to formula or breast milk may be an option to lessen spitting up. Thickening the food is thought to help stop stomach contents from sloshing up into the esophagus. This option has not been shown to decrease other reflux symptoms.
Let’s understand GERD or acid reflux in infants in greater detail, so that you are better equipped to choose the right diet and treatment plan to help your little one. The final thing you can try is avoiding tight elastic around your baby’s waist. You want to make it as easy as possible for your baby to breathe, eat, and digest their food. By making sure your infant’s clothes fit correctly and are not too tight, you can make a big difference in the way your baby’s body works. Make sure their diapers fit but aren’t too tight.
GERD. The reflux has enough acid to irritate and damage the lining of the esophagus. Infant reflux usually clears up by itself without causing problems for your baby. For someone whose acid reflux isn’t responding to standard medical treatment a doctor may recommend Nissen fundoplication surgery. El-Mahdy sites MA. Pharmacological management of gastroesophageal reflux disease in infants: Current opinions. Current Opinion in Pharmacology. 2017;37:112. With careful measures, reflux in infants can be treated using non-pharmacological approaches, which will do your baby a world of good in the long run.
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. If reflux continues after your child’s first birthday, or if your child is having symptoms such as lack of weight gain and breathing problems, you might be referred to a doctor who specializes in children’s digestive diseases (pediatric gastroenterologist).
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. In older children, the causes of GERD are different than for infants and adults. In many cases, it happens when the muscular valve between the stomach and esophagus relaxes or when pressure builds up below that valve.