Symptoms & Causes of GER & GERD in Children & Teens

Symptoms & Causes of GER & GERD in Children & Teens

GER in infants is not considered a disease and does not include a “D.” In fact, GER is considered normal. These infants are known as “happy spitters,” because they are not cranky and do not appear to be in a great deal of pain when spitting up. In fact, your baby may feel better after a good spit-up. Other symptoms of GER include mild feeding problems, such as occasional prolonged feeds or interrupted feeds. Tube feedings.

symptoms gerd toddlers

Surgery for GERD in Babies and Kids

As previously mentioned, children with neurodevelopmental disabilities, including cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and other heritable syndromes associated with developmental delay, have an increased prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux. When these disorders are associated with motor abnormalities (particularly spastic quadriplegia), medical gastroesophageal reflux management is often particularly difficult, and suck and/or swallow dysfunction is often present. Infants with neurologic dysfunction who manifest swallowing problems at age 4-6 months may have a very high likelihood of developing a long-term feeding disorder. The major mechanism in infants and children has now been demonstrated to involve increases in tLESRs.

The end of the tube in the esophagus measures when and how much acid comes back up into the esophagus. The other end of the tube attaches to a monitor that records the measurements.

How to Choose the Right GERD Diet

Your physician may refer you to a gastroenterologist for treatment of GERD if your symptoms are severe. Those who have completed training in these specialties are usually called either board- certified or board-eligible. Since small children have underdeveloped digestive systems, they are more likely to experience GERD and its consequences.

In refractory cases of gastroesophageal reflux or when complications related to reflux disease are identified (eg, stricture, aspiration, airway disease, Barrett esophagus), surgical treatment (fundoplication) is typically necessary. The prognosis with surgery is considered excellent. The surgical morbidity and mortality is higher in patients who have complex medical problems in addition to gastroesophageal reflux. Surgical intervention such as gastrostomy or fundoplication (see the image below) is required in only a very small minority of patients with gastroesophageal reflux (eg, when rigorous medical step-up therapy has failed or when the complications of gastroesophageal reflux pose a short- or long-term survival risk).

  • Stagnant food in the stomach can lead to increased gastric pressure and allow bile and stomach acid to back up into the esophagus.
  • If a child reports respiratory symptoms associated with GERD, consider a longer course of acid suppression therapy.
  • Currently, there are four large retrospective studies in the literature that compare the different laparoscopic fundoplication techniques in children.
  • It begins behind the breastbone and moves up to the neck and throat.
  • Data from a systematic review of randomized controlled trials do not support the use of proton pump inhibitors to decrease infant crying and irritability.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux is often diagnosed based on the patient’s symptoms.

They generally reserve it for treating cases in which they can’t control serious complications, such as esophageal bleeding or ulcers. If you already have diagnosed asthma, talk with your asthma physician (often an allergist/immunologist or a pulmonologist) about your symptoms.

symptoms gerd toddlers

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. The symptoms of GER and GERD can vary from “spitting up” to severe difficulties with vomiting, esophageal inflammation, pain and lung problems.

Your child’s pH readings are checked. They are compared to your child’s activity for that time period. 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).

Bile reflux

Here’s what you need to know. If you have heartburn and you’re tired of popping antacids, this gut advice can help you choose the right surgical treatment.

A pediatric gastroenterologist, a doctor who treats children who have digestive diseases, would do the surgery. Esophageal pH and impedance monitoring, which measures the amount of acid or liquid in your child’s esophagus. A doctor or nurse places a thin flexible tube through your child’s nose into the stomach.

symptoms gerd toddlers

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