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Symptom Of Acid Reflux In Infant: Getting the Right Diagnosis

Jun 12, 2008
Symptoms of acid reflux are the almost similar in infants and adults. Although different individuals have varying degrees of the condition, there are common symptoms that are noticeable especially in children. Symptoms usually start out very mild, however, they can become severe if left untreated. This is why diagnosing any symptom of acid reflux in infant is an important step to take. This article talks about the diagnosis of acid reflux symptoms.

Symptoms Of Acid Reflux In Infants

Symptom of acid reflux in infant would include chronic spitting, constant refusal to feed, vomiting and difficulty swallowing. However, these symptoms can mimic the symptoms of other health problems like metabolic dysfunction, esophageal atresia, and allergies. To be certain, visit your doctor and have a diagnosis.

If symptoms are left untreated, they may progress and cause complications. The warning signs of severe symptom of acid reflux in infant include esophagitis, lung disease, and poor weight gain. Esophagitis develops when acids from the stomach reaches the esophagus and eventually damage the inner lining of the esophagus. As a result the esophagus becomes inflamed, causing the infant to spit up blood or experience pain while swallowing.

Other Complications - On the other hand, lung disease may develop when the child constantly chokes while feeding (due to reflux), which in turn causes persistent coughing, pneumonia, and wheezing. Eventually, the child will find it difficult to feed and this results in poor weight gain.

Diagnosis Of Acid Reflux In Infants

The Right Diagnosis - Before symptoms become severe, you should have your child diagnosed as soon as you suspect acid reflux symptoms. There are several ways to screen and diagnose acid reflux in infants. Generally, a doctor will base the diagnosis on your child's symptoms and the results from a physical exam. Diagnosis may include blood and urine tests, esophageal pH monitoring, upper endoscopy, upper endoscopy, and upper GI series.

Undergoing Tests - If your doctor thinks your baby has severe acid reflux, then he or she may order blood and urine tests, which are often used to rule out poor weight gain and recurring vomiting. Esophageal pH monitoring involves measuring the reflux of acid from the stomach to the esophagus and is mainly used to determine which medication will be effective in treating acid reflux. Upper endoscopy involves inserting a narrow tube with a camera and light into your child's esophagus. This test can reveal stricture and inflammation in the esophagus. Finally an upper GI and small bowel series is a group of x-rays that enables the doctor to analyze the esophagus, stomach and intestine. With this test your child will first need to swallow barium to enhance x-ray results.

Preparation

Take note of all the symptoms your child is experiencing before seeing your doctor. Keep a diary and include peculiar behavior, signs of distress, duration of symptoms and when symptoms happen. This will help your doctor diagnose your child faster. You may also write down questions you want to ask and don't hesitate to discuss all your concerns with your doctor. For instance, ask about how a diagnosis will be made, how long treatment will last and if there alternative treatment options.
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Prevent acid reflux in baby before it gets worse. Discover more about symptom of acid reflux in infant.
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