Babies often bring up milk during or shortly after feeding – this is known as possetting or reflux. If parents find any of these symptoms in their infant, it would be advisable to take the child to the doctor. In normal cases, the doctor diagnoses acid reflux just by knowing the symptoms. However, some infants may have to go through tests, to determine the severity of their condition. Some of the tests that are commonly administrated to determine acid reflux or GERD in children are X-ray, pathological tests, esophageal pH monitoring and upper endoscopy. Avoid tight clothing, particularly clothing that is tight around your baby’s stomach, as it can make reflux worse by increasing pressure on the lower oesophageal sphincter.
Sometimes, acid reflux can also give rise to respiratory problems and the infant may frequently be found with a runny nose, noisy breathing, sinus or ear infections, pneumonia, wheezing, asthma, bronchitis, etc. Due to the discomfort caused by the acid reflux, they may become ill-tempered, fussy and constantly cling to their parents. Try to keep as still as possible and have quiet time after feed. Formula fed babies may require longer periods to settle because formula is digested at a slower rate than breastmilk.
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 best site result of reflux. Barium swallow or upper GI series. This is a special X-ray test. Your child will drink a chalky substance to highlight his esophagus, stomach, and upper part of his small intestine. It can show if anything is blocking or narrowing these areas.
Now that you know that reflux medication is best avoided for infants, here are some simple tips to soothe your baby’s reflux and help your little one calm down. It’s important to understand that most reflux is buffered by frequent feeds in infants and seldom is of acid pH – a fact that seems to be largely ignored by doctors. In fact, studies show that a PPI is no better than a placebo for symptoms purported to be those of GERD in infants – namely irritability and spitting up. It’s not uncommon for your pediatrician to misdiagnose your baby with acid reflux. This is largely due to the fact that conclusive testing is a rather invasive procedure and is avoided by most medical practitioners, unless symptoms are very severe or intractable with baby losing weight consistently with chronic forceful vomiting or chronic cough.