In most cases a baby will be born with some degree of reflux problems. This is because the valve that closes to keep food in the stomach is not fully developed yet therefore it does not close properly and the food comes back up into the esophagus.
This is the reason why many infants often spit up their food. It is usually something that is fairly harmless and the baby will usually outgrow it quickly.
However, they can be complications at times. Complications occur when acid comes up from the stomach along with the food. The problem is that the stomach has lining that protects from itself from the acid but the esophagus does not.
When the acid comes up from the stomach it can be very painful for the baby. If a baby is crying and in pain when spitting up food, then it could be a case of silent reflux.
However, the baby that has silent reflux does a lot of spitting but does not actually spit food out. The acid will enter the esophagus but the food will go back down, which can be even more damaging, because the acid is not spit out and is left there to burn the esophagus going up and coming back down.
Silent reflux can also be hard to diagnose because a baby will often continue to eat a lot just like adults tend to eat a lot for comfort when something is wrong.
It is very important to diagnose it quickly though because the acid can cause severe and permanent damage to the esophagus over time.
Some of the most major symptoms of silent reflux include pain, poor sleeping, arching the back when eating, frequent and aggressive hiccups, refusing food or wanting too eat to much for comfort, constant ear infections, drooling excessively, sinus infections, apnea, respiratory problems, gagging, weight gain, and bad breath.
There are some things that can help the infant cope with the problem. It is important to keep the infant elevated for at least 20 minutes after eating and to elevate the bed as well. When feeding the baby with formula it should be thickened with cereal or some kind of commercial thickener though this can sometimes have a counter effect.
It is important to see a pediatrician in any case because there are a number of medications that can be recommended to treat the reflux. The reflux may also be caused by a primary condition such as food allergies or motility problems.
It is important to see a doctor that will be able to diagnose the baby’s problem instead of playing guessing games at home.