By Beta Dad | Last Updated: August 17th, 2017
Does my baby have silent reflux? Well, let me provide some context.
Acid reflux is the term used to describe the event when the stomach contents of the baby are brought up into the gullet or mouth of the baby.
This can be the mother’s milk, baby food containing acid.
It is fairly common for babies to experience multiple degrees of reflux, and all due to the muscular valves strength at the end of their food pipe.
This is yet to fully develop properly and often in a weakened state wherein it struggles to keep food in the stomach.
You need to consider that babies have small tummies and can’t really contain large volumes of milk and other food in combination anyway.
So, it’s fairly common for babies to have some form of reflux even when doing something as simple as burping.
In many cases, the reflux is so minuscule that no acid comes out, simply the excess amount of milk which the tummy doesn’t have the capacity to contain.
Reflux is really only problematic when a large amounts stomach acid comes out with the food.
This is when it causes the baby pain and nausea.
During their first year, newborns continuously develop their muscular valve.
As time passes, they will get stronger and will cope better with keeping food down.
In many cases abating the reflux itself.
As such, the chances and the intensity of refluxes gradually decreases.
NEED SOME PEACE OF MIND?
Around half of newborns will experience reflux of varying degrees of intensity during their first three months.
And It will only be a problem for a small portion of the babies.
By the time the baby has reached an age of 10 months, the chance of reflux drops to around 5%.
CHILD REFLUX SYMPTOMS TO LOOK OUT FOR
If your baby openly expresses discomfort while it’s being fed, or flat out refuses to feed with the addition of crying when attempting to feed it?
This is a strong sign of possible silent reflux.
Vomiting frequently and in volumes, get a second opinion!
No clear signs of a cold, but frequent coughing or throat irritations? Get a second opinion!
Here’s a short video with some interesting points too.
Other symptoms to keep an eye on too:
- Waking up at night often with no particular reason (at least to the eye)
- Confront feeding to help itself alleviate pain
- Poor weight gain or even weight loss
- Excessive irritability, crying or grunting during or after feeding
Instant reflux is usually not a sign of an underlying issue.
But the mentioned symptoms are, and as such, it is advised to seek medical attention.
If in doubt go gets the little one checked out, seriously!
SEEING A DOCTOR
When attending a doctor, he will do a physical exam and ask you questions about the symptoms.
If your baby is healthy, growing as expected and seems content, then further testing is usually not performed.
INFANT GERD TESTING POSSIBILITIES
Further testing can include:
This imaging test can detect pyloric stenosis.
- Lab tests:
Blood and urine tests can help identify the possibilities for frequent vomiting or poor weight gain.
- Esophageal pH monitoring:
This method is used to measure the acidity level in your baby’s esophagus.
it’s usually done with the insertion of a tube into the baby’s nose or mouth into the esophagus.
The same tube is attached to a device that monitors activity from which the doctor derives information.
The procedure might require your child stays in the hospital overnight for a complete screening.
This method of testing is used to detect abnormalities in the digestive system’s tract, such as an obstruction.
- Upper endoscopy:
A special tube equipped with a camera lens and light is passed through the mouth of your child and into the esophagus, stomach and the first part of the small intestine.
Tissue samples might be taken for deeper and more clear analysis.
This procedure is less scary than it sounds, but for children, it is usually done under the effect of general anesthesia.
Ask your doctor beforehand
OTHER SYMPTOMS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Look, I understand that putting your child through tests can be stressful and doing it without precise reason is ill advised.
That said, however, if there are causes for concerns or symptoms in line with the list below, then You should seek medical attention.
ASK YOURSELF THIS
Spits up forcefully on a regular basis with stomach acid easily visible in the vomited content
- Spits up green or yellow fluid
- Spits up blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
- Refuses food even though it’s obviously hungry and hasn’t been fed for a while
- Has blood in its stool
- Has a chronic cough (due to the acid irritation of the throat) and has difficulty breathing?
- Continues to chronically spit and vomit even though it’s 6 months old or older
- isn’t gaining weight for a prolonged period of time
These symptoms can be serious and indicate the possibility of a condition such as GERD or blockage in the digestive tract.
The good news is they are all treatable.
AVOIDABLE CAUSES OF SILENT REFLUX IN BABIES
Factors that contribute to infant reflux are very common and most of the time is unavoidable.
These include things such as:
Occasionally but rarely reflux is caused by more serious conditions such as:
- GERD: The reflux is intensive enough and contains an intensive amount of stomach acid to irritate and damage the lining of the esophagus.
- Pyloric stenosis: The valve between the stomach and the small intestine is narrowed, preventing stomach contents from freely and easily emptying into the small intestine.
- Food intolerance: The baby hasn’t yet adjusted to the diet, but a protein in cow’s milk is the most common trigger.
- Eosinophilic esophagitis: A buildup of a certain type of a white blood cell (called eosinophil) builds up and causes injury to the lining of the esophagus.
I know first-hand how miserable it can be all with an infant suffering from GERD/Reflux etc.
So, I hope this helped alleviate your concerns or at least spurred you into getting your child down to the doctors for that second opinion.
Thankfully all of this is easily treated.
So Good luck to you and your family!