It is a matter of worry for a new mom if the baby spits up milk. Acid reflux in babies is absolutely normal and every baby has this during the early months. If the baby is taking his/her feed properly, gaining weight, and reaching all the required growth and development milestones, nothing to worry about. In such conditions, acid reflux is not a matter of concern at all. Generally, babies stop having reflux around 1 year of age. If a child continues to have symptoms for acid reflux for long, he/she may need to check it with a paediatrician.
We have often experienced a burning sensation in the chest after eating something very spicy. Like that only, infants also suffer from the same condition but the reason may not be the same as that of adults. There are some common symptoms for acid reflux that can be seen in babies and kids. However, lets first understand what exactly acid reflux is ?
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What is GERD?
GERD is Gastroesophageal reflux disease which causes upward movement of stomach content. It includes acid into the esophagus (the muscular tube that connects the mouth and stomach) or sometimes into or out of the mouth. Poor coordination with the gastrointestinal tract is the main cause of reflex in babies. Infants with GERD are otherwise healthy, but some may develop problems that affect their nerves, brain or muscles.
According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearing house, A child’s immature digestive system is responsible for it and most infants come out of this condition as they complete one year of age. 5% of older children are at risk of having GERD, if he/she experienced it as a baby. Causes of GERD in older children are the same as seen in adults. Some factors that are responsible for having GERD in kids are overeating, spicy fried junk foods, carbonation, obesity or sometimes any specific medication. It can also be hereditary.
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What are the symptoms for acid reflux?
- Frequent vomiting
- Persistent cough or wheezing
- Difficulty in eating, refusing to eat, not gaining weight
- Colicky behavior, cry and fussiness, abdominal pain (while feeding or immediate after)
- Sour taste in mouth in morning (stomach acid in throat)
- Re- swallowing
- Frequent ear infection
Tips to ease acid reflux in babies and kids
- Elevate the head of the baby crib or child’s bed
- Hold the baby upright for 30 minutes after feeding. For kids keep them upright for two hours after eating
- Burp your baby after feed
- Make the baby or kid sleep on left side
- Feed smaller quantities of breast milk to the baby, more frequently. Same like this serve small meals to kids throughout the day in spite of three larger meal
- Make sure that child is not overeating
- Limited high fat, oily and spicy junk, carbonation and caffeine
- Avoid tight waist clothing
- Involving your child is some regular exercises.
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Foods to avoid
Brussel sprouts, Broccoli, corn, cucumber, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic and onions are some foods that cause gas and can worsen symptoms for acid reflux. Some more foods that can trigger reflex are whole milk, sausage, bacon and pineapple. You have to pay attention to your kid’s diet and the foods he/she eats to observe the cause of reflux. There can be any other food that may trigger reflex in a child.
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Foods that can help in acid reflux
Fiber rich foods
Overeating is one of the main causes of acid reflux. Fiber rich foods make you feel full and reduce the chances of overeating. Oatmeal, brown rice, root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, and beets, are some foods that are high in fiber and can help to control reflex.
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Foods that have low pH are more likely to cause reflux. Alkaline foods have high pH and help to offset strong stomach acid. Bananas, apples, melon, fennel, nuts are some foods that can help to fix acid reflux.
Water base foods
Foods that contain lots of water are the right choice to treat acid reflux. Water easily gets diluted, weakens stomach acid and prevents reflex. Cucumber, water melon, broth based soup can help in acid reflux.
Ginger is alkaline in nature. It has some great medicinal properties that makes it one of the best digestive aids. Its anti- inflammatory properties help to ease irritation in the digestive tract. Ginger juice mixed with honey can help to fix acid reflux in kids. Sipping ginger tea can be a good option for adults to ease heartburn.
Apple Cider Vinegar of stomach (APC)
Small amount of APC (1 tbsp) diluted with warm water can relieve acid reflux. It is a popular remedy for acid reflux. It helps to balance the stomach acid and maintain stomach pH.
Aloe Vera Juice
A 2015 study found that aloe vera juice is effective in reducing symptoms of acid reflux. It acts as an anti- inflammatory agent and soothes the stomach by reducing acid production.
Coconut water helps to fix acid reflux as it has electrolytes (potassium) that promotes better pH balance in body. It has cleansing properties that can help to flush out toxins from body and also helps with regular bowel movements.
cold low fat milk
Low fat milk is another way to control reflux. It absorbs acid formation in the stomach. Having a plain glass of cold milk without sugar or any additives can stop acid reflux. Cow milk should be avoided as it is difficult to digest it. Plant based milk like almond milk is alkaline in nature. It can help to neutralize stomach acid and relieve acid reflux. Soy milk is also a good choice as it contains low fat.
Buttermilk and curd
Natural bacteria in buttermilk and curd do not allow acid formation and can help to prevent reflux. They maintain gut health and keep the digestive system healthy. having curd or buttermilk after meal is an excellent way to avoid the chances of having acid reflux.
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