Conditions Associated with Infant Reflux Disease

There are several conditions that are frequently associated with Infant Reflux Disease

Sleep apnea
Chronic bronchitis and pneumonia

MSPI or MSPA – milk and soy protein intolerance or allergy – can have similar symptoms and/or aggravate reflux.  If breastfeeding, dietary changes can help alleviate symptoms.  A formula change to a hypoallergenic formula can significantly improve an infants symptoms. 

Laryngomalacia is the most frequent cause of stridor or noisy breathing in infants. A high pitched or squeaky intermittent sound is heard during inspiration.  It is typically noticed the most when the infant is lying on his/her back, crying, feeding, or when an infant is sick.  It is due to immature development of the larynx – but it can be aggravated by reflux.
It can get worst up to at 3-6 months and then it will gradually improve as the rigidity of the cartilage strengthens.  Most children are symptom free within 6-12 months.

Gastroparesis (DGE) delayed gastric emptying – a condition in which the stomach takes longer to usual to empty.  The is typically a result of an immature digestive system. 

Dysphagia – difficulty swallowing… This usually due to immature coordination of the neuron-muscular process or can be aggravated by inflammation and swelling caused by reflux. 
Sensory integration disorder or sensory processing – issues can be common in children with severe GERD. This is said to be due to the constant pain their bodies are subjected to can sometimes mess up their sensory processing abilities.

Conditions With Similar Symptoms As Reflux:

Pyloric stenosis – a condition causing a baby to vomit forcefully.  
It is a thickening of the pylorus, the lower part of the stomach where food and other stomach contents pass to enter the small intestine.  The muscles in the pylorus become enlarged/thicken over a period of weeks and eventually cause a blockage, thus preventing contents from emptying out of the stomach.  Infants will begin spitting up and eventually the spitting up will become more forceful until the infant is projectile vomiting.  Infants will end up vomiting after every feeding.  Surgery is needed to correct this condition.

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