Reflux in Babies

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Emilia E. Gomez, MD, FAAP
Pediatrics of Queen Creek
April 2017

Reflux in Babies

Many times, parents come to the office worried about how much their babies are spitting up. It is verycommon, a study found that at least half of all babies between 0 and 3 months will have reflux. The shocking part for most parents is that this is normal! Yes, most babies will have stomach contents coming up to their mouth and that is a normal process that our body can do (gastroesophageal reflux).

Having reflux is not an illness. Then, we have reflux that is causing pain (from inflammation of the esophagus), that is affecting their weight gain or causing respiratory complications. That is no longer normal, that becomes Gastroesophageal Reflux DISEASE.

Reflux that is not the disease can happen up to 30 times in a day, it may be very interesting to note that reflux does not always show up as spitting up, sometimes it does not even get to the mouth. It is more common around 4 months of age. Reflux– like the one my daughter had, who would spit up until she was 12 months old, followed by a big smile, great weight gain and no other symptoms– is not a disease (we call these babies “happy spitters”). In cases like this, there is no need for any treatment! We continue to monitor, as most babies will completely resolve it by the age of 18 months, although there is some rare cases that can go on for years. It is recommended, if possible, to have a specialist re-evaluate any child whose symptoms do not resolve after 24 months of age. It also is very important to keep close monitoring and make sure no other signs in the physical exam or symptoms appear, as reflux can be a sign of something else. But again, in most cases, reassurance and monitoring is all that is needed.

When do we treat reflux? When it becomes reflux disease, meaning when symptoms of pain or poor weight gain are present. Pain in babies shows as refusing to eat, arching their back, or even choking when spitting up. To diagnose reflux disease, the best and safest way to do so is with empiric treatment: relying on the doctor’s observation and experience; treating with medication and diet modification to see if symptoms improve. To diagnose reflux with specific tests is something veryinvasive to do. It will require putting a tube with a camera (endoscopy) or placing a probe through the nose and measuring the acid content in the esophagus in a 24-hour period. These tests are left for very specific situations that don’t fit the “normal” signs and symptoms.

Some of the first modifications to be made will be milk and soy milk avoidance. In a breast-fed baby, this is achieved with having the mother avoid milk, soy and beef. In formula-fed babies, we first can try thickening the feeds (formula) with infant cereal or, if that is unsuccessful, changing to a special formula, also, keeping babies upright for 30 minutes after each feed. And, making sure that babies are kept away from cigarette smoking. If, after trying all of the above, symptoms don’t improve, medications can be considered. Make sure to speak to your pediatrician if you suspect reflux disease in your baby.

admin (8047 Posts)


Facebooktwitterby feather
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Additional Stories

    Free virtual diabetes prevention program

    October 15th, 2022
    by

      One in three adults are estimated to have prediabetes, and most do not know it. In Arizona, this means […]


    Pinal County Election Updates: new Elections Director hired

    August 8th, 2022
    by

      The primary election for Pinal County held on Aug. 2, 2022, has been fraught with one major “human error” […]


    Plan for paving operations on State Route 77 near Oracle Junction and near Oracle/Mammoth beginning August 1

    August 7th, 2022
    by

      The Arizona Department of Transportation will begin paving work on State Route 77 in two separate areas on Aug. […]


    Central Arizona College now accepting nominations for outstanding alumni

    August 7th, 2022
    by

    PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. – Central Arizona College is now accepting nominations of outstanding alumni. The alum selected will be honored, […]


  • Additional Stories

    APS offering grants to Arizona teachers through ‘Supply My Class’ program; K-12 Title 1 Arizona public, charter schoolteachers can apply for $500 grant

    August 7th, 2022
    by

    PHOENIX – Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) is helping local teachers get ready for the upcoming academic year with grants […]


    Pinal Board of Supervisors approve election for transportation tax

    July 13th, 2022
    by

      The Pinal County Board of Supervisors voted last week to approve calling an election to allow the voters of […]


    Sen. Kelly touts funding for public safety in Pinal County with law enforcement, local officials; Kelly secures $187,000 for Pinal County Operations Center in this year’s federal funding bill

    July 13th, 2022
    by

        Last week, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly visited the Pinal County Emergency Operations Center which will receive $187,000 from […]


    Rudy G. Lujan running for Copper Corridor Justice of the Peace

    July 13th, 2022
    by

      Rudy Lujan is a native Arizonan, growing up in Tucson, AZ and attending Santa Cruz Catholic Elementary School and […]


  • Copperarea

  • Southeast Valley Ledger