Heartburn is more common in adults. In most of the cases, it happens after eating a spicy food. This happens when the stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, the tube connecting mouth to the stomach. Esophageal Sphincter, the muscle at the lower part of the esophagus prevents the entry of stomach acids into the esophagus. In some cases, this muscle will get relaxed excessively allowing the stomach acids to rise and enter into the esophagus irritating the delicate lining of the esophagus.
Although it happens more in adults, it is found in infants and children also. According to a recent survey, about 2% of children belong to 3-9 age group and about 5% of the children belong to 10-17 age group suffer from heartburn. This is a very uncomfortable situation for the infants and it is seen even in children who are below one year old.
In infants, the major cause for heartburn could be the immature digestive tract whereas, in grown-up children, passive smoking, consumption of spicy foods, overweight etc can also be the causes. The children with certain neurological conditions are more prone to it.
Symptoms of Heartburn in Infants and Children
Bending of back while feeding
- A cough
- Chest pain
- Hoarse voice
- Painful swallowing
- Eating less food
- A sore throat
Apart from the above, some children with heartburn may fail to gain proper weight also.
Diagnosis of Heartburn in Infants and Children
It is highly difficult to identify heartburn in infants and children as they may not be able to express the symptoms exactly. If you doubt heartburn in your children the first step should be to consult a pediatrician who certainly will guide you to a gastroenterologist. Nowadays you can see many exclusive medical centers such as Ananya Gastro which offer highly specialized treatment for gastro related diseases and conditions.
Endoscopy, Upper Gastrointestinal X-ray, Esophageal Ph probe and Gastric emptying testing are the most common types of tests suggested identifying heartburn in infants and children. These should be carried out using the modern technology and sophisticated equipment under
the strict supervision of an experienced gastroenterologist to get accurate results and to identify the issue.
Once, it is established, the treatment will start. Usually, this can be cured with proper medications such as H2 Blockers and Proton pump inhibitors. However, a delayed treatment may not provide the desired result so there should not be any delay in approaching a gastroenterologist when you find some of the symptoms of heartburn in your child. The institutions such as Ananya Gastro can offer the best diagnosis and treatment under a single roof to reduce the time consumption and also to help the patients from spending more money. It will be better to approach such hospitals which offer exclusive treatment for gastro related diseases and conditions.