GERD in Children
Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It is common for infants to spit up after a meal, but frequent vomiting among infants may be caused by gastro-esophageal reflux disease.  Dr. Edward Hill explains more in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Gastric reflux in infants is usually caused by a poorly coordinated gastrointestinal tract. Reflux occurs when stomach contents move up into the esophagus and sometimes even into the mouth.

Some infants with reflux have conditions affecting their nerves, brain or muscles. Most infants with the condition are healthy.

In older children, the causes of reflux are often the same as those seen in adults. Anything that causes the muscular valve between the stomach and esophagus to relax can cause reflux.

Certain factors also may contribute to reflux, including obesity, overeating, certain foods, some beverages and specific medications. There also appears to be an inherited component to reflux, as it is more common in certain families.

The most common symptoms are:

∑ Frequent or recurrent vomiting

∑ Frequent or persistent cough

∑ Heartburn, gas or abdominal pain, and

∑ Regurgitation and re-swallowing

Reflux in infants and older children can usually be managed by avoiding foods or behaviors that trigger it and

taking medication. Surgery is used only rarely in children.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.