Gastroesophageal Reflux in Infants


Posted On Oct 17 2009 by

Medication may still be the best option for infants with severe symptoms. During episodes of reflux, this junction is continuously open allowing a backwards flow of stomach contents into the esophagus. This reverse flow may occur as a consequence of a relatively large volume of fluid relative to a smaller stomach volume, pressure on the abdominal cavity (for example, placed face down [prone] following a feeding), or overfeeding.

Infants may fail to gain weight or appropriately, less often, lose weight. Complications of GERD are due mainly to irritation caused by stomach acid and to caloric deficit caused by the frequent regurgitation of food. Anthony Porto, MD, MPH, FAAP is a board certified board and pediatrician certified pediatric gastroenterologist.

Spitting up is a normal occurrence for young infants. As long as your child is growing well and not developing other problems, such as breathing difficulties, the condition needs no treatment and will typically resolve on its own with time.

tests for gerd in infants
tests for gerd in infants

They may bleed also. This can lead to anemia.

Acid reflux occurs when acidic stomach contents flow back into the esophagus, the swallowing tube that leads from the back of the throat to the stomach. The symptoms of GER and GERD can vary from “spitting up” to severe difficulties with vomiting, esophageal inflammation, lung and pain problems.

Gastro-oesophageal reflux is more common in babies who are born prematurely and also in those who have a very low birth weight. It is also more common in babies or children who have some impairment of their muscles and nerves (for example, those with cerebral palsy) or those with cow’s milk allergy. Gastro-oesophageal reflux is common extremely.

Proton pump inhibitors are reasonable treatment options for GERD in older children and adolescents, but their use in infants is questionable because of a lack of proven effectiveness. receptor antagonists are an option for acid suppression therapy in children and infants with GERD.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in Children

Smoking and obesity increase a person’s risk of GERD. It

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. A more forceful expulsion of stomach contents than do infants and children with GER.

Another type of medication speeds up the rate at which feed passes from the stomach into the duodenum and intestines. All these medications take some time to work but can be very helpful for the majority of children. The head of their cot can also be raised by placing the legs on wooden blocks – do not use pillows to raise a child’s head as this can increase the risk of cot death – it is safer to tilt the entire cot. Other options include switching feed formula to types less likely to cause reflux and adding thickening agents to feeds so they are less likely to flow back up the oesophagus.

Most cases of regurgitation or reflux resolve within the baby’s first year and require no treatment. Refusing to feed, difficulty swallowing, and frequent vomiting might be symptoms of GERD in infants. If the muscle does not entirely close, liquid flows back into the food pipe from the stomach. This sequence occurs in all people, but it happens more frequently in infants under the age of 1 year.

When reflux is associated with other symptoms, or if it persists beyond infancy, it is considered a disease and is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. Heartburn Causes, Symptoms and RemediesHeartburn is a symptom of acid reflux that causes chest pain when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. Heartburn symptoms may mimic chest pain that occurs during a heart attack. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may produce other symptoms. Treatment for GER and GERD in infants and children include mild elevation of the infant for 15-30 minutes following a feeding, serving smaller but more frequent feedings and thickening of formula or pumped breast milk with rice cereal.

Whether GER becomes clinically significant depends on both the quality (eg, degree of acidity) and quantity of reflux3 , 4 as well as potential injury to the esophageal mucosa. GER is a common diagnosis in the NICU; however, there is as much as a 13-fold variation in its treatment and diagnosis across sites.5 , 6 Preterm infants who are diagnosed with GER have longer hospital stays and higher hospital costs than infants without GER,5 , 7 , 8 making it an important clinical phenomenon in the NICU. Although more common in adults, GER can develop into gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Early studies appeared to demonstrate a link between gastroesophageal reflux and obstructive apnea (including an association with apparent life-threatening events [ALTEs]); however, recent investigations now suggest only a weak relationship between these disorders. In 1892, Osler first postulated a relationship between asthma and gastroesophageal reflux, manifested by a bidirectional cause-and-effect presentation. Accordingly, although gastroesophageal reflux may be involved in the progression and etiology of reactive airway disease, the asthmatic condition (in addition to antiasthmatic medications) may play a role in exacerbation of gastroesophageal reflux.

Last Updated on: September 26th, 2019 at 4:03 pm, by


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