The key to successfully managing colic reflux is to figure out whether your child has a serious problem which needs medication or whether their reflux is simply a part of the general colic syndrome.
Baby reflux (also termed infant gastro- oesophageal reflux/GOR) occurs when food and stomach acid moved back up into the oesophagus after being ingested. While the exact cause of acid reflux in babies is not known, contributing factors include:
- Abdominal bloating which puts upward pressure on the diaphragm (this is the BIG one and where Colic Release Technique can really make a huge difference)
- An immature digestive system
- Certain hereditary traits
- Food sensitivity
- Medical issues that result in the weakening of the valve between stomach and oesophagus.
Environmental stressors also play a role. Reflux can be exacerbated by, amongst other factors:
- Hot, humid weather
- A sudden change in routine
- Colds, infection and teething
Reflux symptoms in babies do not always cause problems and may simply be a nuisance until the child grows out of it. On the other hand, prior to diagnosis and proper treatment, it could cause significant strain in the household, especially when the reflux causes complications or long term problems, in which case it is termed gastro-oesophageal reflux disease/GORD. In these severe cases it is often necessary that the child be examined by a healthcare professional and be given the proper treatment.
So, how do you know if your baby’s discomfort is due to baby reflux from the colic baby syndrome or whether your child has potentially severe gastro-oesophageal reflux?
Severe gastro-oesophageal reflux disease – see your paediatrician for medication:
- Severe irritability and crying
- Appearing to be in pain when vomiting/regurgitating/posseting
- Violent and repeated hiccups – clearly causing
- Feeding issues, such as gagging/spluttering/screaming/arching the back during or after feeds
- A general failure to thrive
- Repeated ear-, nose- or sinus infections
Normal Reflux Linked to the Colic Syndrome – Do Colic Release Technique (CRT) Exercises
- Mild irritability and crying
- No or minor discomfort when vomiting/regurgitating/positing
- May have frequent hiccups but without crying or real discomfort
- No serious discomfort during or after feeding
The vast majority of reflux cases are simply part of the colic syndrome. Gas is trapped in the abdominal cavity and exerts upward pressure on the stomach and diaphragm. Once this is released, the reflux disappears. A less common cause may be spinal nerve irritation which we see more frequently in babies born via caesarian or forceps delivery. Our CRT exercises are designed to relax and release most general cases of spinal tension but a chiropractor may be required if they do not respond.
Because our CRT exercises work so well, you should expect to see relief within 10 days. If there is no change, please consult your pediatrician.