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Infant Reflux – Overview

October 28, 2021


It’s important to know that every baby has reflux and that for the vast majority, this is not dangerous in the least. For some, you may not even notice. But for every person, there’s a ring of muscle at the bottom of your esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter or the LES. This keeps food and other fluids in your stomach. It’s why if you do a handstand, if you can do a handstand, it doesn’t just come out in a geyser of things. In babies, however, and small children, that ring will intermittently relax when it shouldn’t. And so every so often, instead of being tight and closed, it’ll just open up and we don’t know why, but if you combine this with gas, yelling, crying, pressure on the stomach or anything else like that, the things in the stomach, they come on up. For some kids, this happens a lot more than others.

We’re not really sure why, but what we have noticed is that the vast majority of the time, it does not cause a major issue. And it’s also very different from what happens in adults, which is called GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease. And this is different primarily because the makeup of what’s in the stomach of babies is a lot different. You don’t have nearly as much acid, you’re constantly drinking milk, and you end up with not seeing any damage to the esophagus. So we don’t see what we call the reflux disease. We just see reflux. So we call it GER or gastroesophageal reflux, and it’s considered standard in all babies.

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