According to different statistics (Florida Hospital System, 2013) more than 60 million adults experience some degrees of acid reflux each month in United States. More than 65% people of middle age (aged around 40 years and older) suffer from acid reflux. About 20% of the acid reflux patient will develop gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Acid reflux is not a disease of the adults only, the infants also suffer from this reflux. The disease condition and symptoms are quite different for adult and infants. Some steps involving treatment of acid reflux in infants is discussed here.
Steps involve in treatment of acid reflux in infants
Some basic conservative measure in gastroesophageal reflux include upright positioning after feeding, prone positioning (infants aged more than six months), shifting up the pillow or the head of the bed and small but frequent feeding. In more severe cases, certain food diet can followed by the suggestion of the pediatrician, pharmacologic intervention directed at reducing gastric acid secretion can be employed.
Before starting the treatment you need to diagnose acid reflux properly in your baby. Generally medical therapies will give you a long term and better response and will leads to elimination of antisecretory medications (when prescribed) during infancy. This is mainly, because normal development of GI motility includes resolution of physiologic gastroesophageal reflux by age 1 year (in most cases around 6 months). About two third of the infants who are otherwise healthy may spit up. This is kind of psychological and called “Happy spitters”. These infant groups have simple gastroesophageal reflux (GER) rather than the disease gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition suggested a guideline that, infants with physiologic GER should be treated with modest life style change rather than medications. Medication is only applicable if GERD is detected. The most aggressive treatments including surgery, should be done in case of intractable symptoms or presence of risk factors for life threating complications.
Surgery is required in a very small minority of patients with GER. With the fast growing of pharmacotherapy, the necessity for surgical therapy has remarkably decreased. Nevertheless, anti-reflux surgery still a most common surgical procedures performed during infancy and early childhood.
Patients who fail medical therapy continuous intragastric administration of feeds alone via nasogastric tube. It is an alternative of surgery. This method is often used in infants who have a significant risk of surgery. In this case a proper diet plan with adequate nutritional management and appropriate medical therapy will outgrow the risk of influx and optimize the growth of the infants also with weight gain.
Some pediatrician treating GERD may also refer to pulmonary consultation to reduce respiratory complications. If medical treatment is not successful, then surgical consultation may be require.
This are the steps of treatment of acid reflux in infants. After the detection of the level of severity proper medication will be suggest by pediatrician.