Gastroesophageal Reflux in Infants

What causes GER?

The most important reason for doing a barium swallow is to make sure there is normal anatomy, and not a hiatal hernia or some other anatomic cause predisposing to gastroesophageal reflux. However, the barium study is a poor test for reflux itself.

The first are drugs such as ranitidine (Zantac), famotidine (Pepcid), and lansoprazole (Prevacid), which reduce acid in the stomach. However, research suggests acid is not a major factor in infant reflux and use of antacid in infants can lead to increased risk for infection. The second type is called reglan or metoclopramide, which has a black box warning for the risk of causing permanent damage to child’s brain leading to movement disorders.

Burp bottle-fed infants after every one to two ounces. Burp breastfed babies any right time they pull off the nipple. IPEG guidelines for the surgical treatment of pediatric gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

The team of clinicians in our Aerodigestive Center also specializes in the evaluation and treatment of children with intractable GERD who have undergone previous surgical procedures to control the reflux (fundoplication) and continue to have problems after surgery.

When it is not developed or it opens at the wrong time fully, the stomach contents move or reflux into the esophagus back. See Why Babies Spit Up for more information on this. Without getting technical too, spit-up (also called reflux, gastroesophageal reflux, or GER) is the movement of stomach contents into the esophagus, and sometimes through the mouth and nose.

Antacids, such as Gaviscon. Antacids neutralize stomach acid and relieve heartburn. You can buy these without a prescription.

To find out if a child has reflux, . a doctor shall do a physical examination and ask about symptoms. . A baby who is growing and healthy may not need any tests. If a teen is having symptoms, . the doctor might want to see if medicines help before doing tests. If stomach acid goes to the throat or into the airways up, . a young child may get hoarse or have a lasting cough.}.

How is GER diagnosed?

Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis. Children younger than age 12 will have different GERD symptoms.

Check if your baby has reflux

When reflux happens within several minutes of other more dangerous symptoms such as drop in heart rate, apnea, gagging or coughing, arching of the back, incessant crying, and wheezing, physicians may suspect gastric reflux disease, or GERD. The most common cause of GERD in infants is similar to that of GERD in older children and adults―the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) fails to prevent reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus. LES pressure may transiently decrease spontaneously (inappropriate relaxation), which is the most common cause of reflux, or after exposure to cigarette smoke and caffeine (in beverages or breast milk).

The technician or radiologist will often change the position of the infant to get the best view of the GI tract. The barium shows up on the x-ray and can help find problems related to GERD. An intravenous (IV) needle is placed into one of the veins in the infant’s arms, hands, or feet to give him or her medicines to keep him or her relaxed during the endoscopy procedure. The infant will receive extra oxygen throughout the procedure. The health care professional carefully feeds the endoscope down the infant’s esophagus and into the stomach and duodenum.

tests for gerd in infants

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