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What Are The Symptoms of Infant Acid Reflux

Aug 17, 2007
Medical conditions strike often without regard to age, gender, or nationality. Young and old alike often suffer from the same ailments. Acid reflux disease, medically termed Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) seems to be one of those holds no discrimination for age. The lower end of the esophagus is protected by a flap or valve that is referred to as the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES). This valve opens in order to allow food to flow from the esophagus into the stomach. It should then close in order to keep the stomach acids from 'boiling over' into the lining of the esophagus.

There are several conditions that hinder the valve from operating properly and allow the contents of the stomach to enter the esophagus. Very much like adults, infants occasionally suffer from the pains of heartburn. In infants, heartburn is often the result of their essentially liquid diets that are high in dairy proteins. The sad things for the little ones is that unlike adults, they can't exactly tell you they have heartburn so GERD isn't exactly easy to diagnose.

Infant GERD is often the combination of many factors than the sole responsibility of one indicator. Most of the factors that would contribute to acid reflux are aggravated because infants spend much of their days lying down in addition to the fact that their diets are almost entirely liquid. There are however, physical reasons that infants much sometimes endure the suffering that this brings about. These could be any of the following: improper or incomplete development of the lower esophageal sphincter while developing, food allergies, poor diet, and being overweight. There are other factors but these are some of the most common.

Since infants can't complain about their symptoms like adults can, it is important to watch for certain clues that may indicate a problem. If you notice any of the following symptoms, it is wise to consult your pediatrician and have a closer examination: trouble sleeping, weight loss, frequently spitting up, coughing, excessive crying, an apparent sore throat or chest pain, bad breath, and unusual crankiness.

GERD can also cause respiratory problems such as pneumonia, malnourishment, and strictures or ulcerations on the esophageal wall. These signs may or may not indicate GERD but definitely warrant a visit to your pediatrician.

Keeping your child upright for a good portion of the day, particularly after feeding is one of the best things you can do for him or her in order to minimize the risk of acid reflux, also be sure to watch for signs of chest pain and any of the other symptoms listed above. Prevention is always the best cure, but if you notice symptoms, see a doctor immediately.
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