Spitting up in babies can be associated with gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) which is usually a temporary mechanical hitch. In fact, it can be worse for you as a parent than it is for your baby.
With babies, if his stomach is full or his position is changed abruptly, especially after a feeding, the stomach contents—food mixed with stomach acid—press against the valve at the top of the stomach called the lower esophageal sphincter.
This ring of muscle normally relaxes to let food pass from the esophagus into the stomach and then tightens again to keep the food there.
When it is not fully developed or it opens at the wrong time, the stomach contents move back (or reflux) into the esophagus.
In babies, gastro-esophageal reflux rarely causes symptoms or distress and usually disappears as the upper digestive tract functionally matures.
Reflux is mainly a messy problem, not a serious one. But, in older children, the condition can be very uncomfortable and need medical attention.
Pediatric gastroenterologist, Ivor Hill, MD, is medical director of the Celiac Disease Center at Nationwide Children's and one of the leading clinicians and researchers in childhood celiac disease. Dr. Hill joins Melanie Cole, MS, to discuss what you can do to help treat GERD in your child, as well as how best to eat healthy in order to prevent those heartburn attacks in the first place.