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10 Symptoms Of GERD In Babies That You Need To Know
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  • Editor’s Note: This article is intended for information purposes only. It does not substitute a doctor. It is vital to always consult a medically trained professional for advice that suits your needs best.

    In a recent episode in their family vlog, engaged celebrity couple Sophie Albert and Vin Abrenica said their baby daughter Avianna Celeste had GERD (read here). This revelation made a lot of parents wonder about the symptoms of GERD and worry if their babies have it, too.

    What is GERD?

    Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is, according to experts at Mayo Clinic, a medical problem that could be an allergy that causes a blockage in the digestive system. It affects all ages (read here). In babies, it usually starts with infant reflux.

    Maybe you've noticed your baby spit up when food from his or her stomach moves back up. No worries yet as, experts say, reflux, also called gastroesophageal reflux (GER), occurs in healthy infants several times a day. It usually becomes less common as babies get older.

    Causes of GERD

    In most cases, experts point out, infant reflux is not a serious condition. But when you notice something is unusual or amiss in your baby, then might as well consult his or her pediatrician, just like what Sophie and Vin did.

    In their vlog, Sophie recalled Baby Avianna's first few months were marked with bouts of prolonged crying spells, especially when she tries to put her daughter down. In less than five seconds, she said, the "fussy baby" would cry.

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    Then the new mom found out, presumably from the baby's doctor, that her daughter's "immature digestive system" had problems "digesting her milk" because of GERD.

    Experts think several factors lead to GER, before it becomes GERD in infants, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) under the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

    They explain that infants spend much of their time lying down in their first six months of life. Additionally, babies don't yet have a fully developed esophagus and lower esophageal sphincter. The newborns also eat meals that are primarily liquid and larger, relative to their body size, than older children or adults do.

    Experts further explain that those factors make it more likely for infants to have the contents in the stomach to come back up into the esophagus. But as infants start spending more time upright, eat more solid foods, and grow and develop, they typically experience less GER.

    There are other factors , though, leading for the condition to worsen and become GERD. These include being born prematurely and having other health problems that affect the lungs and nervous system.

    Symptoms of GERD

    Experts warn that there are other symptoms to watch for in your baby aside from spitting or regurgitation. It means the stomach contents coming back up through the esophagus and into the throat or mouth. These include:

    • Arching of the back and abnormal movements of the neck and chin
    • Choking, gagging, or problems swallowing
    • Being irritable, particularly when it occurs with regurgitation
    • Loss of appetite or refusing to eat
    • Not gaining enough weight
    • Coughing or wheezing
    • Vomiting
    • Spitting up blood or something else that looks like coffee grounds
    • Has blood in his or her stool
    • Difficulty breathing
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    When you spot those symptoms in your baby, even if you're not sure if it's GERD, expert strong suggest that you talk to your baby's doctor. They say if your child's health concern is not addressed, he or she might grow up inadequately and result in failure to thrive. It's always best to be vigilant in spotting symptoms of GERD.

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