This is a chronic digestive disorder that is caused by the abnormal flow of gastric acid from the stomach into the esophagus. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is very common in infants, it can occur at any age. it is the most common cause of vomiting during infancy.
What causes GERD?
GERD is often the result of conditions that affect the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES, a muscle located at the bottom of the esophagus, opens to let food into the stomach and closes to keep food in the stomach. When this muscle relaxes too often or for too long, acid refluxes back into the esophagus, causing vomiting or heartburn
Some foods seem to affect the muscle tone of the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing the 1 last update 03 Aug 2020 it to stay open longer than normal. These include, but are not limited to, the followingSome foods seem to affect the muscle tone of the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing it to stay open longer than normal. These include, but are not limited to, the following
- high-fat foods
Other foods increase acid production in the stomach, including
- citrus foods
- tomatoes and tomato sauces
Why is GERD a concern?
Some infants and children who have GER may not vomit, but may still have stomach contents move up the esophagus and spill over into the windpipe, which can cause asthma and/or pneumonia. Infants and children with GERD who vomit frequently may not gain weight and grow normally. These can be painful and also may bleed, leading to anemia. Esophageal narrowing and Barrett''s age, overall health, and medical history extent of the disease the expectations for the course of the disease your opinion or preference
In many cases, GERD can be relieved through diet and lifestyle changes. Some ways to better manage GERD symptoms include the following
- ask your child''s doctor may prescribe medications to help with reflux. There are medications that help decrease the amount of acid the stomach makes, which, in turn, will cut down on the heartburn associated with reflux. One group of this type of medication is called H2-blockers. Medications in this category include cimetidine (Tagamet) and ranitidine (Zantac). Another group of medications is called proton-pump inhibitors. Medications in this category include omeprazole (Prilosec) and lansoprazole (Prevacid). These medications are taken daily to prevent excess acid secretion in the stomach.
Another type of medicine your child''s doctor may recommend the following:
Tube feedings. Some babies with reflux have other conditions that make them tired, such as congenital heart disease or prematurity. In addition to having reflux, these babies may not be able to eat or drink very much without becoming sleepy. Other babies are not able to tolerate a normal amount of formula in the stomach without vomiting, and would do better if a small amount of milk was given continuously. In both of these cases, tube feedings may be recommended. Formula or breast milk is given through a tube that is placed in the nose, guided through the esophagus, and into the stomach (nasogastric tube). Nasogastric tube feedings can be given in addition to or instead of what a baby takes from a bottle. Nasoduodenal tubes can also be used to bypass the stomach. Surgery. In severe cases of reflux, a surgical procedure called fundoplication may be performed. Your doctor may recommend this operation if your child is not gaining weight due to vomiting, has frequent respiratory problems, or has severe irritation in the esophagus. This procedure is usually done laparoscopically, which means that pain in minimized and the recovery time is faster after surgery. Small incisions are made in the abdomen, and a small tube with a camera on the end is placed into one of the incisions to look inside. The surgical instruments are placed through the other incisions while the surgeon looks at a video monitor to see the stomach and other organs. The top portion of the stomach is wrapped around the esophagus, creating a tight band that reinforces the lower esophageal sphincter and greatly decreases reflux.
- Adding rice cereal to baby formula
- Providing your infant with more calories by adding a prescribed supplement (such as Polycose or Moducal) to formula or breast milk to make the milk higher in calories than normal
- Change formula to milk- or soy-free formula if allergy is suspected
What is the long-term outlook for a child with GERD?
Many infants who vomit will "" by the time they are about a year old, as the lower esophageal sphincter becomes stronger. For others, medications, lifestyle, and diet changes can minimize reflux, vomiting, and heartburn.