In Part I of this blog, I wrote about treating a baby or child for pain from a global perspective. This blog was in response to parents who shared with me their hesitancy about giving their babies medication for reflux. In this part of the blog, I want to narrow the focus down from the global perspective, and emphasize the importance of treating your own baby or child for acid reflux. Part II addresses the physical standpoint, and Part III on the topic will include a consideration of the emotional reasons for effectively managing your baby’s reflux.
Reflux in babies is generally not a threat to long-term health. However, if the reflux goes untreated, it can lead to serious physical conditions and future health complications. Some of the obvious results of not treating reflux in babies and children include poor weight gain, irritability, chest pain and respiratory difficulties.
Unfortunately, there are other, more serious health effects which can occur in the child’s future if the reflux is not adequately managed. For example, there are research indications that chronic acid reflux in young patients may evolve into adult gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Some of the experts have also suggested that untreated reflux which includes inflammation of the esophagus may result in a hypersensitive esophagus in adulthood. And not to be dramatic, but some believe that the length of time a person has reflux is related to Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma, two extremely serious conditions.
Management of pain must be considered an important component of reflux care for your baby or child regardless of their age or the severity of the illness. All persons have a right to a good quality of life, even infants and children.
Published On: May 23, 2007