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Recognizing Acid Reflux/GERD in Infants: 10 Common Signs

PPIs work by blocking the production of acid in the stomach (Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium fall into this category). The diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux and GERD should be based primarily on history and physical examination findings because other diagnostic tests have not shown superior accuracy. Another thing to consider is putting a little galactooligosaccharide in the baby’s diet. If you’re just breastfeeding, there are a few different options to get these things into your baby. You can lightly dust the nipple with Ther-Biotic Infant powder and also galactooligosaccharides.

This article explores the advantages and disadvantages of both forms of feeding. The prognosis for infants with GER is excellent. The majority of infants will have resolved their symptoms by 9 to 12 months of age.

infants acid reflux medication

The PPI suppress acid production almost to nothing, in some cases, if the dose is high enough. So if you don’t have any acid at all in your stomach and your sphincter is still opening inappropriately, you’re not going to experience heartburn and reflux, because there is no acid left to reflux into the esophagus. I just want to clarify that, because sometimes people say, “Well, if heartburn is not caused by too much stomach acid, how come taking an acid-suppressing drug works? ” That’s basically the answer.

What are the signs and symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux?

In some circumstances radiology or other studies may be necessary. A consultation with a pediatric GI specialist (gastroenterologist) may be necessary. As babies digest their food, the lower esophageal sphincter may open. This lets stomach contents go back up into your child’s esophagus. Sometimes the contents go all the way up.

If given regularly, gripe water can also create significant problems with an infant’s blood chemistry. Always put your baby to sleep on their back on a firm mattress. Make sure the crib or sleeping area is free of thick blankets, pillows, loose objects, or plush toys.

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The main function of these medications is to reduce stomach acid. Multiple studies have failed to show that these medications improve symptoms any better than no medication at all in many infants. To reduce the overuse of acid-suppressing medications, one place to start would be in stopping the routine use of words, such as GERD and acid reflux, in referring to infants.

The stomach acid is our first line of defense against these organisms entering through our mouth and when we swallow. As you might suspect, PPI use has been associated with an increased risk of infections of all types, but particularly gut infections and something like Clostridium difficile, which is a potentially fatal gut infection. Very serious. It’s a cause of concern. It’s been shown that there’s an increased risk of community-acquired pneumonia in people using PPIs.

  • In some, it can last longer than this.
  • In addition to pediatric gastroenterologic referral, pulmonary consultation may be required so that respiratory complications can be comanaged.
  • PPIs have been shown to increase the risk of SIBO.
  • That’s not surprising when you know that stomach acid is required to absorb those nutrients in the first place.
  • The research is abundantly clear, even in the conventional medical world now.

Sometimes, a more severe and long-lasting form of gastroesophageal reflux called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause infant reflux. Yes. Most babies outgrow reflux by age 1, with less than 5% continuing to have symptoms as toddlers.

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. In older children, the causes of GERD are often the same as those seen in adults. Also, an older child is at increased risk for GERD if he or she experienced it as a baby.

Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) happens when the contents of the stomach wash back into the baby’s food pipe. It is defined as reflux without trouble, and usually resolves itself. Another kind of acid reflux, which causes respiratory and laryngeal signs and symptoms, is called laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) or “extraesophageal reflux disease” (EERD). Unlike GERD, LPR rarely produces heartburn, and is sometimes called silent reflux.

Your baby will drink or eat a contrast liquid called barium. The barium is mixed in with a bottle or other food. The health care professional will take several x-rays of your baby to track the barium as it goes through the esophagus and stomach. There is a muscle (the lower esophageal sphincter) that acts as a valve between the esophagus and stomach. When your baby swallows, this muscle relaxes to let food pass from the esophagus to the stomach.

The parents can push a button for markers when the baby is having symptoms so the doctor can see if they correlate with reflux. The pH probe lasts for 18-24 hours. Gastroesophageal reflux can cause heartburn (esophagitis, inflammation of the esophagus) which may make the baby fussy.

The response is usually due to abdominal discomfort or esophageal irritation. Infants are more prone to acid reflux because their LES may be weak or underdeveloped. In fact, it’s estimated that more than half of all infants experience acid reflux to some degree. The esophagus is the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach.

They may also bleed. This can lead to anemia. This means too few red blood cells in the bloodstream.

3. Irritability

This causes your baby to vomit. Sometimes acid or material can pass into the windpipe (trachea) and cause coughing or infection. Other times, the contents may only go part of the way up the esophagus. This can cause heartburn or breathing problems.

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