What is acid reflux?
Acid reflux is a condition where the content in the stomach, including acid, gets pushed up through the esophagus to the mouth. This condition is technically referred to as gastro-esophageal reflux disease or GERD for short. Acid reflux is a more common problem for adults, but it can also affect children and sometimes even infants.
What are the symptoms of acid reflux?
Heartburn is the most common symptom of acid reflux. Throat irritation and vomiting are also sometimes symptoms of acid reflux. If an infant has problems with acid reflux, they may have trouble eating or keeping food down. They may spit up more frequently than is normal, cough while attempting to eat, lose weight, or fail to gain weight when they should.
If an adult has acid reflux, it can eat away at their teeth, cause severe pain, and permanently damage the esophagus.
What causes acid reflux?
Acid reflux does run in families, so in some cases a child will have a genetic predisposition to the disease. In infants it is sometimes caused by a poorly developed gastrointestinal system. This means that as the child continues to grow, they may also grow out of the acid reflux.
Adults and older children can experience problems with acid reflux because of obesity, eating too much or eating too fast, consuming carbonated beverages, consuming caffeine, or eating fatty or spicy foods.
What should you do if you think someone in your family has acid reflux?
If you think that you or your child has acid reflux, it is important to see a doctor quickly. This is especially important for infants since losing weight or failing to gain it when needed can contribute to other health problems and development issues. If your child is showing signs of acid reflux, schedule an appointment with a pediatric specialist as soon as possible.
If you’d like to learn more about acid reflux, contact the Sahara Medical Institute.