Infant GERD and Acid Reflux in Babies

Nichols, Hannah. “What’s to know about acid reflux in infants?.” Medical News Today.

H2 blockers. H2 blockers decrease acid production. They provide short-term or on-demand relief for infants with GERD symptoms. They can also help heal the esophagus.

Infants who required medications during the first few months of life generally “outgrow” their medication during the end of the first year of life. The diagnosis of GER is based upon characteristic historical facts reported by the infant’s parents coupled with an elimination of pathological conditions by a normal physical exam. It is very rare to need laboratory studies to establish or support the diagnosis. Part of the evaluation of an infant who may have GER is to rule out pyloric stenosis.

But spitting up is not due to an infant’s inability to handle acid; hence, it is not acid reflux disease. Still, parents come into pediatricians’ offices claiming that their child has acid reflux, and doctors willingly prescribe an acid-suppressing medicine, Hassall wrote. Spitting up and crying have “long been observed in otherwise healthy, thriving infants,” with as many as 40 percent to 70 percent of infants spitting up on a daily basis, Hassall wrote.

MediLexicon, Intl., 3 Feb. 2017. Web.

Very rarely do infants have severe gastroesophageal reflux that prevents them from growing or that causes breathing problems. It is rare for infants to require surgery for gastroesophageal reflux. If surgery is necessary, your baby’s doctor or nurse can discuss treatment options with you.

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. Here’s how you can tell the difference between normal spitting up in babies and GERD. Peppermint, caffeine, and certain asthma medications can make the lower esophageal sphincter relax and allow stomach contents to reflux back into the esophagus.

It’s common for infants to spit up after a meal. That little spit is called gastroesophogeal reflux or GER. But frequent vomiting associated with discomfort and difficulty feeding or weight loss may be caused by something more serious known as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Both GER and GERD can cause the upward movement of stomach content, including acid, into the esophagus and sometimes into or out of the mouth.

Health & Parenting Guide

Most babies who are born at full term will have complete resolution of symptoms by the time they are 9 to 12 months old. Heartburn Foods SlidesLearn the symptoms of heartburn and which foods cause heartburn or GERD. Discover home remedies and which foods may provide treatment for heartburn relief. EndoscopyEndoscopy is a broad term used to described examining the inside of the body using an lighted, flexible instrument called an endoscope.

While rare, the condition does require diagnosis and treatment from a doctor. Practice the right after-feeding etiquette. Burp baby frequently, and avoid bouncing baby right after feedings to help alleviate symptoms of GERD.

Children who experience GERD symptoms also have a favorable prognosis though it may require longer use of medications and utilization of life style changes for many months. It is important to note that classic “heartburn” symptoms may resolve, but more subtle evidence of reflux (for example, persisting cough, especially when laying face up [supine]) may develop. Your child’s pediatrician is a valuable asset to help monitor for these less obvious presentations of GERD. Pediatricians diagnosis GERD in infants and children by taking a thorough history supported by a complete physical examination enabling the elimination of other conditions that might cause similar symptoms. While rare, studies may be necessary either to establish/support the diagnosis of GERD or to determine the extent of damage caused by the repeated reflux events.

This reflux is normal, not gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD). Infants are sometimes treated for gastroesophageal reflux with acid-suppressing medicines, but a new study suggests that they may increase the risk for bone fracture later in childhood. Infants are often given acid-suppressing medicines to treat gastroesophageal reflux, but the drugs may affect the bones. Effectiveness and safety of proton pump inhibitors in infantile gastroesophageal reflux disease. Are lifestyle measures effective in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease?

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