It will also depend on how severe the condition is. GERD symptoms may seem like other health problems. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis. GERD is often caused by something that affects the LES, the lower esophageal sphincter. The LES is a muscle at the bottom of the food pipe (esophagus).
There are other ways to help your baby sleep, too. GERD and reflux can make it more difficult for your baby to sleep through the night. Your infant may cough frequently due to acid or food coming up into the back of the throat.
For us, reflux is usually caused by lifestyle choices, such as eating heavy, fatty foods, smoking or drinking too much coffee. In grownups, unmistakable symptoms like heartburn and burping are signs of acid reflux. Some foods may cause more reflux symptoms than others, so keep track of your child’s intake for a few days to identify specific food triggers. Also keep in mind that children with GERD shouldn’t have any food in the two to three hours before bedtime. Emily Parks, a Halifax mom, knows this first-hand.
This can be a symptom of acid reflux or, less commonly, GERD. Esophageal pH and impedance monitoring, which measures the amount of acid or liquid in your baby’s esophagus. A doctor or nurse places a thin flexible tube through your baby’s nose into the stomach. The end of the tube in the esophagus measures when and how much acid comes up into the esophagus. The other end of the tube attaches to a monitor that records the measurements.
Children younger than age 12 will often have different GERD symptoms. They will have a dry cough, asthma symptoms, or trouble swallowing. They wonâ€™t have classic heartburn.
What Are the Symptoms of GERD in Infants and Children?
Other potential causes for reflux can include an intolerance to cowâ€™s milk protein or other allergies (La Leche League 2017) . Feed your baby in an upright position. Also hold your baby in a sitting position for 30 minutes after feeding, if possible. Gravity can help stomach contents stay where they belong. Be careful not to jostle or jiggle your baby while the food is settling.
Please note this is a generic GOSH information sheet so should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. If you have specific questions about how this relates to your child, please ask your doctor. Medications may also be suggested – some form a barrier on top of the stomach contents to reduce the risk of them flowing backwards, while others damp down acid production in the stomach. 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.
She can help you decide if itâ€™s the right treatment for your child. Sometimes babies may have signs of reflux, but will not bring up milk or be sick. This is known as silent reflux. Changing nappies before feeding.
Lots of different medications have been trialled for reflux.
Treating Acid Reflux in Infants
A surgical procedure provides a cure of the condition. Your GP will only prescribe these if your baby has a sore food-pipe from the amount of stomach acid he’s bringing up. They’re not suitable if your baby has reflux, but no other symptoms (NICE 2015b, Rosen et al 2018) . If antacids don’t help, you could ask your doctor about treatment with another heartburn and indigestion medication, called ranitidine, or a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), such as omeprazole.
What is Infant Reflux? Is GERD the Same as Infant Reflux (GER)?
With excessive vomiting, babies can have difficulty gaining weight. Frequent regurgitation of stomach acid can occasionally cause trauma to the oesophagus. Some of the milk can wash into the trachea (windpipe), causing breathing difficulty or infection. The most common symptom of reflux is a small spill of milk after a feed. Sometimes when the milk mixes with stomach acid then washes back up the oesophagus, the resulting regurgitation causes pain.
Recurrent cough or (in rare cases) wheezing may be associated with GERD. In some circumstances radiology or other studies may be necessary. A consultation with a pediatric GI specialist (gastroenterologist) may be necessary. One particular concern with these medications is risk of infection. Stomach acid naturally protects the body from dangerous organisms that can be found in water and food.
Out of 219 babies hospitalized because of severe reflux, 33% had excessive vomiting and 30% were failing to gain weight but few had just excessive crying. Some symptoms of cows’ milk protein allergy can be similar to reflux symptoms, especially in babies who have eczema or asthma, or a family history of eczema or asthma. See other NICE guidance for details of our guidance on food allergy. If you see a healthcare professional about your baby’s regurgitation or vomiting, they will talk with you about your baby, their symptoms and their general health, and they may examine your baby. This is to make sure your child is well, and to check that there is nothing else that could be causing the problem.
In severe cases, a GP or gastroenterologist can prescribe medicines that might help with pain and discomfort (Tighe et al, 2014) . Surgery might also be recommended for a small number of babies who have underlying medical conditions, such as cerebral palsy (NICE, 2015; NHS, 2016) .