Natural Remedies & Treatments For Acid Reflux | Natural Remedy For GERD

Acid Reflux in Infants:
How to PROTECT Your Baby


The food that we eat enters the stomach through a tube called the oesophagus. A ring of muscles known as the lower oesophageal sphincter opens to allow food to enter the stomach. It normally opens to release gases after a meal. In case of infants the contents reflux out of the mouth and cause vomiting or regurgitation. Acid reflux is common in infants and occurs during the first three months of age. Usually, the symptoms disappear by the time the child is 18 months old. However, at times the symptoms of acid reflux are severe requiring medical evaluation and treatment.


Acid Reflux In Infants

Symptoms of acid reflux in infants are:

         Frequent spitting or vomiting.

         Refusing food or eating only small quantities.

         Irritability.

         Constant crying.

         Frequent hiccups or coughing.

         Poor sleep habits.

         Bad breath.

         Difficulty in swallowing due to frequent sore throat, plus respiratory problems and sometimes spells of paused breathing.

         Excessive drooling.

 

If the infant is healthy, content, and growing well, no diagnostic tests or treatment are necessary as the symptoms may resolve with time. However, if the doctor suspects an underlying serious condition, then blood and urine tests, oesophageal pH monitoring, upper GI series, etc. may be recommended. In rare cases an endoscopy may be done to rule out the possibility of narrowing or inflammation of the oesophagus.

 

Treatment of acid reflux in infants depends on the severity of the problem. For most babies, the symptoms disappear as the baby grows older. If the symptoms are severe or if acid reflux is diagnosed, the doctor may prescribe over-the-counter medications such as antacids, acid suppressors or acid blockers. However, these medications have several side effects such as poor digestion, diarrhoea, bloating, decreased absorption of various nutrients, increased risk of gastrointestinal infections, electrolyte imbalance, increased risk of rickets, and impaired kidney function. Medications should be given only if they are absolutely necessary.

 

Making some lifestyle changes will definitely help reduce the symptoms of acid reflux. But, it is better to consult a doctor before making any major changes in sleeping positions, feeding etc.

 

         Keep the infant upright during feeding and at least for 30 minutes after feeding.

         At night, position the infant on his back and elevate the head of the bed to 30 degrees.

        Smaller, frequent feedings work best. Overfeeding increases abdominal pressure and may lead to acid reflux.

         Thickening the feeds with rice cereal is also useful.

         Breast fed babies have fewer episodes of acid reflux. Breast milk is more easily digested than formula milk and is less irritating to the digestive tract. Breast-feeding mothers, however, must avoid garlic, chocolate, caffeine and other foods that may promote reflux.

         Burp the infant several times during feedings. This helps minimize gastric pressure and reflux. Burping infant on a full stomach increases the chances of regurgitation.

         Avoid elastic or tight clothes around the baby's waist.

         Avoid giving citrus juices and caffeinated beverages to infants.

 

Generally, these measures go a long way in not only relieving the symptoms but also preventing the condition from becoming chronic as the infant grows older. Unlike OTC drugs, they do not have side effects and can be incorporated as lifestyle changes. But in majority of cases, the infants outgrow the spitting up or acid reflux by the time they reach their first birthday. If the symptoms persist even after that, then the best recourse would be to opt for the holistic treatment which is a natural cure for acid reflux by tackling its multi-factorial nature. It is also perfectly safe as there are no side effects associated with it. In the long run, it can ensure a PERMANENT acid-reflux-free life for your baby.

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