Diagnosis and Treatment of Gastroesophageal Reflux in Infants and Children

In many cases, diet and lifestyle changes can help to ease GERD. Talk with your child’s healthcare provider about changes you can make. Here are some tips to better manage GERD symptoms.

As infants digest their feedings, the LES may open and allow the stomach contents to go back up into the esophagus. Sometimes, the stomach contents go all the way up the esophagus and the baby vomits. Other times, the stomach contents only go part of the way up the esophagus, causing heartburn, breathing problems, or, possibly, no symptoms at all.

In addition, normal development, including improved head control and being able to sit up, as well as the introduction of solid food, will help improve GER symptoms. GER usually begins at approximately 2 to 3 weeks of life and peaks between 4 to 5 months. Most babies who are born at full term will have complete resolution of symptoms by the time they are 9 to 12 months old.

Overfeeding can increase abdominal pressure, which can lead to gastric reflux. Using nipples with smaller holes may also help by reducing the amount of air the baby takes in and therefore, how distended her abdomen becomes (which, in turn, increases reflux).

Some babies with reflux have other conditions that make them tired, such as congenital heart disease or prematurity. In addition to having reflux, these babies may not be able to drink very much without becoming sleepy. Other babies are not able to tolerate a normal amount of formula in the stomach without vomiting, and would do better if a small amount of milk was given continuously. In both of these cases, tube feedings may be recommended. Formula or breast milk is given through a tube that is placed in the nose, guided through the esophagus, and into the stomach (nasogastric tube).

This may happen when baby feeds very quickly or aggressively, or when mom’s breasts are overfull. The amount of spitup typically appears to be much more than it really is. If baby is very distractible (pulling off the breast to look around) or fussy at the breast, he may swallow air and spit up more often. Some babies spit up more when they are teething, starting to crawl, or starting solid foods. Spitting up, sometimes called physiological or uncomplicated reflux, is common in babies and is usually (but not always) normal.

Your doctor may also ask other questions, for example, whether your baby is around someone who smokes, or whether he’s had any medication recently (Rosen et al 2018) . It can be tempting to put your baby down to sleep on his side or front, but always check with your GP or health visitor before trying this.

The x-ray technician takes several x-rays as the contrast moves through the GI tract. The technician or radiologist will often change the position of the infant to get the best view of the GI tract. The barium shows up on the x-ray and can help find problems related to GERD. Feed your baby in an upright position.

Please review the Terms of Use before using this site. Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by the Terms of Use. I have a 6week old and I’m a new mom, I have been to see my GP about my baby’s feeding, as it has become a problem Togo to the toilet and also she suffers from severe colic. My GP has given her both laxative and gaviscon as prescription and I have changed from breastmilk to aptamil anti colic and constipation.

www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130401104403.htm (accessed September 23, 2019). University of Michigan Health System. “Over-diagnosis of reflux in infants leads to needless medication, research finds.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 April 2013.

Reflux is when a baby brings up milk, or is sick, during or shortly after feeding. It’s very common and usually gets better on its own. Acid reflux can lead to heartburn and difficulty eating but it can also result in a sore throat. Find out more about the link between acid reflux and sore throat, what causes it, how to treat it or relieve symptoms at home, how it can affect children, and how to distinguish this from other types of sore throat.

For several days afterward, the infant may have white or light-colored stools from the barium. A health care professional will give you specific instructions about the infant’s feeding and drinking after the procedure. An intravenous (IV) needle is placed into one of the veins in the infant’s arms, hands, or feet to give him or her medicines to keep him or her relaxed during the endoscopy procedure. The infant will receive extra oxygen throughout the procedure. The health care professional carefully feeds the endoscope down the infant’s esophagus and into the stomach and duodenum.

“And his screaming seemed to indicate really acute pain.” Parks’ experience is a classic case of silent reflux, says Catherine Pound, a paediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa. “An infant’s symptoms could include a hoarse voice, a chronic cough, pauses in his or her breathing, or asthma-like symptoms.” Other telltale signs are gagging and choking, throat irritation, sour breath, a constant runny nose and wheezing. Severe reflux that continues for more than a few months can cause damage to the infant’s esophagus, stomach and throat.

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