Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is caused by an incompetent lower esophageal sphincter, pyloric stenosis, or motility disorder. Acid reflux in infants causes the backflow of gastric and duodenal contents into the esophagus. This reflux exposes the esophageal mucosa to gastric contents that gradually breaks down the esopahageal mucosa due to the highly acidic property of the gastric contents. Other acid reflux in infants causes are the following:
- Displacement of the angle of the gastroesophageal junction.
- Incompetent lower esophageal sphincter.
- Alteration in the innervation of the pressure zone in the region of the gastroesophageal sphincter.
Symptoms Of Acid Reflux In Infants
- Pyrosis or commonly known as heartburn is an uncomfortable burning sensation in the lower chest caused by the acid flowing back into the lower end of the esophagus.
- Dyspepsia is a condition of impaired or painful digestion from failure of the normal digestive process.
- Regurgitation: Undigested or partially digested food flows up from the stomach to the mouth.
- Pain and difficulty in swallowing: Pain in GERD is described as a burning sensation that moves up and down. If the condition is severe, pain may radiate to the back, neck, and jaw.
- Hypersalivation: Due to the acidity of the gastric content that increases salivation and sometimes progress to water brash or the release of salty secretions in the mouth.
Acid Reflux In Infants Remedies
- Restrict the diet to small frequent feedings to decrease the amount of food in the stomach. Feed the infant at least four to six times a day.
- Drink adequate fluids to facilitate passage of baby food.
- Avoid feeding 3 hours prior to sleeping to prevent nocturnal reflux.
- Elevate the head while sleeping to at least 6 to 8 inches.