Gastroesophageal Reflux in Babies and Children

Although some parents view this surgery as too invasive, it can be a good option for those with severe reflux symptoms, such as poor weight gain, weight loss, choking and breathing problems or frequent irritability. Keep in mind that Zantac is the only acid reflux medication that is FDA approved to treat reflux in infants.

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. Infants with GER generally have no symptoms other than the obvious reflux of fluid out the mouth. As mentioned previously, they do not appear to have any discomfort associated with their reflux.

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Gravity helps keep the contents of the stomach down. It’s best to keep your infant in an upright position for at least 30 minutes after feeding them to prevent food or milk from coming back up.

Even if your child has reflux, it is better for them to fall asleep in their own bed on a firm, flat mattress. Most recently, a study of 800,000 children published by JAMA Pediatrics found that infants treated with acid-suppressing medications, either histamine-2 receptor antagonists or proton pump inhibitors, had a significantly higher risk of later developing allergies, especially food allergies. Approximately 8% of infants have received a prescription for acid-suppressive therapy. The FDA found an 11-fold increase in new PPI prescriptions between 2002-2009.

Then we just waited. We said, “Okay, that doesn’t work.” We went on to liver, which she loved. Then we went back to egg yolks about a month later, and she had no problem then, and still has no problem with them. So sometimes kids are sensitive to foods initially. Things like eggs, dairy-all of the ones that we look for as adults are also likely to aggravate kids, in some cases.

When this mixing occurs, the band of muscles at the lower end of the esophagus becomes tight, sealing off the food from coming back up. 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.

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So far, I don’t think you can get the same outcome with formula that you can get from breastfeeding. Once again, there are a lot of women out there who want to breastfeed but can’t, for any number of reasons. This is not something to feel guilty about. There’s still a lot you can do to make sure that your baby’s getting what he or she needs. I’m more, again, addressing when we have a choice, when there’s a choice to breastfeed or feed formula.

So some studies have found that it doesn’t, some studies have found that it does. Overall, the review papers suggest that probiotics are beneficial. One of the ones that I’ve recommended before on the show is Ther-Biotic Infant, which is Bifidobacterium infantis. It’s a probiotic that’s appropriate for kids under two years of age.

One product is called Galactomune, from Klaire Laboratories. It has galactooligosaccharides and beta-glucans. Galactooligosaccharides are in breast milk, but additional galactooligosaccharides may be helpful for increasing beneficial gut bacteria in babies that are having trouble. So you can lightly dust the nipple, or you can take some out of the container and put it on your finger, and just put your finger in the baby’s mouth.

LES strength takes time to develop over the first year, so many infants naturally spit up often.

But that’s what’s been determined to be optimal, even by groups like the World Health Organization. While symptoms tend to subside by month 6, in some cases baby’s acid reflux can last until age 1 or 2. The good news is almost all babies with GERD outgrow it – and once they do, it doesn’t recur. Only occasionally can reflux continue until adulthood. Choking – i.e. gagging – during feedings can be a sign of newborn acid reflux or GERD, since some of the contents of the stomach back up into the esophagus.

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