Acid Reflux (GER & GERD) in Infants
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In infants, gastroesophageal reflux (GER) happens when stomach contents come back up into the esophagus, which can cause regurgitation and spitting up. GERD is a more severe and long-lasting condition in which GER causes repeated symptoms that are bothersome or lead to complications.
In infants, gastroesophageal reflux (GER) commonly causes regurgitation and spitting up. Infants with GERD may have additional symptoms such as irritability, loss of appetite, or vomiting. GERD is more common in premature infants and infants with certain health conditions.
Doctors often diagnose gastroesophageal reflux (GER) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in infants by reviewing their symptoms and medical history. If symptoms don’t improve with lifestyle changes, doctors may recommend medical tests.
Most infants with GER do not need treatment. Depending on an infant’s age and symptoms, doctors may recommend lifestyle changes to treat GER or GERD symptoms. In some cases, doctors may recommend medicines or surgery to treat GERD.
Depending on an infant’s age and symptoms, a doctor may recommend you change an infant’s diet to treat GER or GERD symptoms. Changes may include avoiding overfeeding, thickening an infant’s food, or removing cow’s milk protein from an infant’s diet.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conduct and support basic and clinical research into many digestive disorders.
Related Conditions & Diseases
The digestive system is made up of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract—also called the digestive tract—and the liver, pancreas, and the gallbladder. The GI tract is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus.
This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
(NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.
The NIDDK would like to thank:
Carlo Di Lorenzo, M.D., Nationwide Children's Hospital