Causes of Acid Reflux in Children
The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2011, nearly 17,000 new cases of esophageal cancer were diagnosed in the U.S. and almost 15,000 Americans died of the disease. Along with heartburn, a defining symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is acid reflux, which occurs when stomach contents leak backward into the esophagus. About 1 in 5 Reflux Patients Had Symptoms Resolve on Their Own In Jensen's study, the number of people reporting any acid reflux symptoms rose by 30%, and the prevalence of the most severe symptoms rose by 24%. Among the other findings: Among women, new cases of acid reflux symptoms rose with age. Women younger than 40 were least likely to report acid reflux symptoms. Older men and women were equally likely to report new cases of acid reflux symptoms. About 1 in 5 patients had their symptoms resolve on their own, independent of medication.
GER is usually outgrown by a childs first birthday. If the reflux continues after your child turns a year old, it may be GERD. A diagnosis of GERD is often missed in children, because of the variety of common symptoms, and other issues, that often occur along with it. For instance, your childs doctor might think its just asthma, laryngitis or pneumonia, rather than realizing that those illnesses are a result of GERD. Certain behavior could indicate that your child does have GERD, such as arching her back or being irritable during or immediately after eating. If your infant isnt growing properly, or refuses to eat, that could also indicate GERD. Causes of Reflux Usually, infants and children get acid reflux due to a gastrointestinal tract thats not optimally coordinated, and a sphincter that relaxes instead of closing tightly to keep food and acid down. This sphincter is called the LES, or lower esophageal sphincter, and its the muscular valve between the esophagus and the stomach.