They are growing well and their breathing is normal. In some instances, reflux can lead to complications. This is called gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).
It’s now proven that GER rarely causes colic. Babies with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) usually spit up a lot (see below). To help you sort it all out, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) answers common questions about typical digestive functioning and explains the differences between gastroesophageal reflux (GER) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In some children, the symptoms associated with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease disappear with or without treatment, usually by the age of two. However, in some children, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is more of a long-term condition and can have a serious effect on both the child and family’s quality of life.
Some people with GERD have a slow emptying of the stomach that may be contributing to the reflux of acid. During this test, your child drinks milk or eats food mixed with a radioactive chemical. This chemical is followed through the gastrointestinal tract using a special camera. Disorders that affect our ability to speak and swallow properly can have a tremendous impact on our lives and livelihoods. ENT specialists treat sore throat, infections, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), throat tumors, airway and vocal cord disorders, and more.
Reflux happens very commonly in babies, and many don’t show any symptoms. Children and adults who do not improve with medical treatment may require surgical intervention. Surgical treatment includes “fundoplication,” a procedure that tightens the lower esophageal muscle gateway (lower esophageal sphincter, or LES). Newer techniques allow this to be done in an endoscopic or minimally invasive manner. Another surgical option uses magnetic beads to tighten the LES.
What are the symptoms of GERD? Take the quiz to find out.
In most infants the junction between the esophagus and stomach is “closed,” opening only to allow passage of formula or breast milk into the stomach or to allow the escape of swallowed air via burping. Gastroesophogeal reflux (GER) is the upward flow of stomach contents from the stomach into the esophagus (“swallowing tube”). While not required by its definition, these contents may continue from the esophagus into the pharynx (throat) and may be expelled from the mouth, and in infants, through the nostrils.
Practice the right after-feeding etiquette. Burp baby frequently, and avoid bouncing baby right after feedings to help alleviate symptoms of GERD. Try offering a pacifier when you’re done feeding, since sucking can soothe infant reflux. But occasionally, frequent and persistent spitting up accompanied by other symptoms or poor weight gain can be an indication that your baby has acid reflux, or GERD.
Prognostic Values of Multichannel Intraluminal Impedance and pH Monitoring in Newborns with Symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
You should also keep a record of the time, type of food, and amount of food your child eats. Your child’s pH readings are checked. They are compared to your child’s activity for that time period.
When is spit-up or GER normal?
There is a high incidence of sleep disturbance among babies and children with reflux, and they may have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Some babies can be inconsistent with weight gain.
If you have strong let-down reflex, your baby may choke when latching on. If this occurs, some mothers pump for a moment before breastfeeding. If you are engorged when you begin feeding, your baby may have difficulty latching on and may swallow more air. Again, pumping for a short while before feedings may be helpful. Certain foods-such as caffeine, chocolate, and garlic-can promote reflux, so if you breastfeed your infant, you should consider cutting these foods out of your diet.
Nasal congestion can also be a symptom of infant GERD. Though experts aren’t sure exactly why the two are linked, stomach acids could reach the back of the nasal cavity in babies with GERD, causing inflammation (and therefore stuffiness) of the sinuses. Feed frequently. Instead of larger, less frequent feedings, offer smaller amounts of breast milk, formula or solid food more often, which can help combat newborn acid reflux.
Eighty percent of patients with GERD also have a hiatal hernia, and during the fundoplication procedure, the hernial sac may also be surgically fixed. The procedure can be done with laparotomy, thoracotomy, or laparoscopy. Could you have GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)?
GER in infants is not considered a disease and does not include a “D.” In fact, GER is considered normal. These infants are known as “happy spitters,” because they are not cranky and do not appear to be in a great deal of pain when spitting up. In fact, your baby may feel better after a good spit-up. Other symptoms of GER include mild feeding problems, such as occasional prolonged feeds or interrupted feeds. Always check with your baby’s provider before raising the head of the crib if he or she has been diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux.
IPEG guidelines for the surgical treatment of pediatric gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). During episodes of reflux, this junction is continuously open allowing a backwards flow of stomach contents into the esophagus. This reverse flow may occur as a consequence of a relatively large volume of fluid relative to a smaller stomach volume, pressure on the abdominal cavity (for example, placed face down [prone] following a feeding), or overfeeding. Infant GER occurs in over 50% of healthy infants with a peak incidence (65%) at approximately 4 months of age.