Can Newborns Have Acid Reflux

What Causes Gerd In Babies And Children

How can I help my baby with acid reflux?

Most of the time, reflux in babies is due to a poorly coordinated gastrointestinal tract. Many infants with GERD are otherwise healthy however, some infants can have problems affecting their nerves, brain, or muscles. According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, a child’s immature digestive system is usually to blame and most infants grow out of the condition by their first birthday.

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 they experienced it as a baby. Anything that causes the muscular valve between the stomach and esophagus to relax, or anything that increases the pressure below the LES, can cause GERD.

Certain factors also may contribute to GERD, including obesity, overeating, eating spicy or fried foods, drinking caffeine, carbonation, and specific medications. There also appears to be an inherited component to GERD, as it is more common in some families than in others.

Use A Bottle That Reduces Reflux

Though it can be annoying to have to go out and buy a brand new set of bottles, getting the right bottle can often be the solution youre looking for to eliminate your babys reflux. You’ll want to look for bottles with a type of vent system that eliminates air bubbles in your baby’s breast milk or formula.

You can find some great anti-reflux bottle options here.

You may also see recommendations to use a special formula designed for reflux relief or to put rice cereal in your babys bottle to thicken your babys milk . But these two options should be done at the direction of your doctor. So, how do you know when its time to contact your pediatrician?

What Are The Symptoms Of Gerd

Heartburn, or acid indigestion, is the most common symptom of GERD. Heartburn is described as a burning chest pain. It begins behind the breastbone and moves up to the neck and throat. It can last as long as 2 hours. It is often worse after eating. Lying down or bending over after a meal can also lead to heartburn.

Children younger than age 12 will often have different GERD symptoms. They will have a dry cough, asthma symptoms, or trouble swallowing. They wont have classic heartburn.

Each child may have different symptoms. Common symptoms of GERD include:

  • Burping or belching
  • Having a rattling in the chest
  • Having a sore throat in the morning
  • Having a sour taste in the mouth
  • Having bad breath
  • Loss or decay of tooth enamel

GERD symptoms may seem like other health problems. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

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Can Needing To Burp Cause Shortness Of Breath

This increased pressure could encourage acid to leak into the esophagus. Sometimes, it may be difficult to tell whether a persons symptoms are the result of asthma or GERD. For instance, a 2015 case study notes that typical GERD symptoms, such as burping and shortness of breath, may sometimes be signs of asthma.

What Feeding Changes Can Help Treat My Infant’s Reflux Or Gerd

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Feeding changes may help your baby’s reflux and GERD:

  • Add rice cereal to your baby’s bottle of formula or breastmilk. Check with the doctor about how much to add. If the mixture is too thick, you can change the nipple size or cut a little “x” in the nipple to make the opening larger.
  • Burp your baby after every 1 to 2 ounces of formula. If you breastfeed, burp your baby after nursing from each breast.
  • Avoid overfeeding give your baby the amount of formula or breast milk recommended.
  • Hold your baby upright for 30 minutes after feedings.
  • If you use formula and your doctor thinks that your baby may be sensitive to milk protein, your doctor may suggest switching to a different type of formula. Do not change formulas without talking to the doctor.

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Treating Acid Reflux In Infants

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Food and Drug Administration requested that all forms of prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine be removed from the U.S. market. This recommendation was made because unacceptable levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine , a probable carcinogen , were found in some ranitidine products.

If youre prescribed ranitidine, talk with your doctor about safe alternative options before stopping the drug. If youre taking OTC ranitidine, stop taking the drug and talk with your healthcare provider about alternative options. Instead of taking unused ranitidine products to a drug take-back site, dispose of them according to the products instructions, discuss disposal with a pharmacist, or by following the FDAs guidance .

If you have a baby, you know that spitting up is very common and usually nothing to fret over. But sometimes it can be an indication of acid reflux, especially when accompanied by other symptoms.

Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux , is the backing up of stomach contents into the esophagus and throat. It isnt just an adult illness. Your little one can experience it, too. An infant with GER tends to spit up frequently or vomit.

If your baby is spitting up and exhibiting any of the following symptoms, it could be a sign of a more serious condition known as GERD .

Natural Remedies For Acid Reflux In Babies

If your baby is showing signs of reflux, consider these natural remedies for the digestive problem.

Breastfeed, if possible.Breastfeeding is best for a baby with reflux, since littles ones digest milk twice as fast as formula. If breastfeeding isn’t possible, talk to your doctor about which formula is best for your baby. Sometimes switching to a hypoallergenic or lactose-free option can help relieve symptoms.

Keep Baby upright after feeding. Keeping your baby in a sitting position during feedingsand for at least 20 minutes afterwardcan prevent food from traveling upward into the esophagus.

Give frequent but small feedings. This will be easier on Baby’s stomach and also decrease reflux because there is less to regurgitate. Some babies with reflux naturally prefer to eat this way others get cranky if they don’t get their full feeding right away. After a few days, though, your baby should adjust to this new schedule, so try to stick with it.

Burp often. You might want to stop feeding every two to three ounces to burp Baby. Burping will release gas and relieve the symptoms of reflux.

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What Are The Complications Of Gerd

Some babies and children who have GERD may not vomit. But their stomach contents may still move up the food pipe and spill over into the windpipe . This can cause asthma or pneumonia.

The vomiting that affects many babies and children with GERD can cause problems with weight gain and poor nutrition. Over time, when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, it can also lead to:

  • Inflammation of the esophagus, called esophagitis
  • Sores or ulcers in the esophagus, which can be painful and may bleed
  • A lack of red blood cells, from bleeding sores

Adults may also have long-term problems from inflammation of the esophagus. These include:

  • Narrowing, or stricture, of the esophagus
  • Barretts esophagus, a condition where there are abnormal cells in the esophageal lining

What Are The Signs Of Pyloric Stenosis

Infant acid reflux: how do you know if your baby has GORD, and how is it treated?

The first symptom of pyloric stenosis is usually projectile vomiting shortly after your baby eats. Unlike other reasons for vomiting, you may notice your baby is usually hungry again soon after throwing up and will want to eat. Because pyloric stenosis prevents fluids and nutrients from reaching the intestines, other symptoms may include dehydration, constipation and weight loss.

No matter the cause, when babies are vomiting more than they are keeping down, when they arent voiding much urine or when they are failing to gain weight from excessive vomiting, a parent should have their baby observed by their treating physician, Dr. Lacey said.

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Gerd And Pyloric Stenosis

If your baby projectile vomits in the first few weeks of life, keep an eye out for symptoms of pyloric stenosis, since it can sometimes be confused with GERD in infants.

From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

How Is It Treated

Most babies stop having reflux over time, so the doctor may just suggest that you follow some steps to help reduce the problem until it goes away. For example, it may help to:

  • Burp your baby a few times during each feeding.
  • Keep your baby upright for 30 minutes after each feeding. Avoid a “car seat position,” because sitting can make reflux worse in babies.
  • Avoid feeding too much at one time. Give your baby smaller meals more often.
  • Thicken your baby’s formula with a small amount of rice cereal if your doctor recommends it.
  • Keep your baby away from smoky areas.

For older children and teens, it may help to:

  • Avoid large meals before exercise.
  • Raise the head of your child’s bed 15 cm to 20 cm . Using extra pillows does not work.
  • Have your child stay upright for 2 to 3 hours after eating.
  • Serve 5 or 6 small meals instead of 2 or 3 big ones.
  • Limit foods that might make reflux worse. These include chocolate, sodas that have caffeine, spicy foods, fried foods, and high-acid foods such as oranges and tomatoes.
  • Keep your child away from smoky areas.

If these steps don’t work, the doctor may suggest medicine. Medicines that may be used include:

Before you give your child any over-the-counter medicine for reflux:

Children with reflux rarely need surgery. It may be an option for babies or children who have severe reflux that causes breathing problems or keeps them from growing.

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What Is Gerd In Children

GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a long-term digestive disorder. It happens when stomach contents flow back up into the food pipe and cause symptoms or problems.

GERD is a more serious and long-lasting form of gastroesophageal reflux .

GER is common in babies under 2 years old. Most babies spit up a few times a day during their first 3 months. GER does not cause any problems in babies. In most cases, babies outgrow this by the time they are 12 to 14 months old.

It is also common for children and teens ages 2 to 19 to have GER from time to time. This doesnt always mean they have GERD.

What Are The Symptoms Of Reflux In Babies

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Emily Parks, a Halifax mom, knows this first-hand. Initially, she and her husband thought they simply had a high-needs baby who cried a lot and never wanted to be set down. But Parks soon began to suspect something else was going on. I noticed he was making a lot of choking and gagging noises immediately after feeding, she says. 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 Childrens Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa. An infants 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 infants esophagus, stomach and throat.

Pound explains that babies are susceptible to refluxsilent or otherwisebecause they spend a lot of time lying down, their diet is mostly liquid and their muscle tone, including the muscle tone of the sphincter between the stomach and the esophagus, is less developed.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Reflux And Gerd

If you’re seeing any of the following symptoms in your baby before or after she’s eaten, she may have reflux :

  • Frequent vomiting or regurgitating

  • Being underweight or not gaining weight

  • Continuing to spit up after the first birthday.

These symptoms may get worse if, after eating, your baby is placed lying down or seated in a car seat.

Spitting Up And Vomiting

Spitting up is normal for infants. However, forceful spit-up may be a symptom of GERD. This is especially true if your infant is older than 12 months and still spitting up forcefully after meals.

Spitting up blood, green or yellow fluid, or a substance that looks like coffee grounds may also signify GERD or other more serious disorders.

Spitting up is normally painless. Your baby should still appear happy and healthy after spitting up. Forceful spitting up or vomiting is more painful and will be followed by crying and fussing.

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Recognizing Acid Reflux/gerd In Infants

Understanding acid reflux

Acid reflux happens when the contents of the stomach back up into the esophagus.

The esophagus is the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach. At the bottom of the esophagus where it joins the stomach is a ring of muscle that normally opens when you swallow. This ring of muscle is known as the lower esophageal sphincter .

When the LES doesnt close completely, stomach contents and digestive juices can come back up into the esophagus.

Frequent Coughing And Respiratory Diseases

Colic and Acid Reflux

Babies with acid reflux and GERD cough frequently due to food and acid moving up their esophagus. At times, the baby may choke and gag from the vomit. The vomited food can also be inhaled in a babys windpipe and lungs. If this happens, the baby is at risk of developing bacterial pneumonia. GERD is also known to cause difficulty breathing and asthma in babies.

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How Is Gastroesophageal Reflux Treated

Treatment for GER depends on the symptoms and how severe they are. In babies, doctors sometimes suggest thickening formula or breast milk with a little bit of oat or mixed grain infant cereal to reduce reflux. Making sure the baby is seated or held upright during and after feedings can also help.

Older kids often get relief by avoiding foods and drinks that trigger GER symptoms. Often, these include:

  • citrus fruits
  • food and drinks with caffeine
  • fatty and fried foods
  • tomato-based foods and sauces
  • peppermint

Doctors may recommend raising the head of a child’s bed 6 to 8 inches to help with reflux that happens at night. They also may look at other conditions that can contribute to GER symptoms, including obesity and some medicines. In teens, smoking or alcohol use can play a role in GER.

If symptoms continue, doctors might prescribe medicine, such as:

  • H2 blockers, which can help block the production of stomach acid
  • proton pump inhibitors, which reduce the amount of acid the stomach makes
  • prokinetics, which help the esophageal sphincter work better and the stomach empty faster. This can prevent reflux episodes.

Rarely, medical treatment alone doesn’t help and a child fails to grow well or has other problems. Then, a surgical procedure might be an option. In this surgery, called fundoplication , the doctor creates a valve at the top of the stomach by wrapping part of the stomach around the esophagus to strengthen the sphincter and prevent reflux.

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