REFLUX IN BABIES
Reflux in babies is the process of backing up of the stomach contents into the esophagus or food pipe (a tube that carries food from throat to stomach). All babies have some level of reflux. For some babies, the reflux may be more severe, or they may be more sensitive to the effects of reflux. Infants are more prone to reflux due to physical factors. Aethusa Cynapium, Chamomilla, and Natrum Phos are the top homeopathic remedies for reflux in babies.
Reflux happens in healthy infants many times a day. As long as your baby is healthy, content and growing well, reflux is not a cause for concern. Sometimes called gastroesophageal reflux (GER), the condition becomes less common as a baby gets older. It's unusual for infant reflux to continue after age 18 months.
CAUSES OF REFLUX IN BABIES
Infants are more prone to reflux. There are various contributing factors for reflux of stomach contents in babies as given below:
– Underdeveloped lower esophageal sphincter ( LES )
LES is a muscular ring at the junction of the lower end of esophagus and stomach. It opens when food has to enter the stomach from the throat. It remains closed at all other times to prevent the backflow of stomach contents into the food pipe. In babies, this LES is not entirely developed and can lead to a frequent backflow of stomach contents.
– A baby lying in a horizontal position during feeding or when placed horizontally soon after feeding is more prone to reflux since the muscles relax and make it easy for the contents in the stomach to reflux into the esophagus.
– Short Length of the Esophagus: Infants, being small, have a very short esophagus.
– Congenital Hiatal Hernia: a Hiatal hernia present at birth can cause gastric acid to reflux from the stomach into the esophagus. In a hiatal hernia, the upper part of the stomach bulges into the chest through the hiatus opening in the diaphragm.
– Overfeeding: Feeding the baby too much food in one go puts pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter.
– Certain foods including citrus fruits, tomato, fatty food may contribute to acid reflux
SYMPTOMS OF REFLUX IN BABIES
The most common symptoms of reflux in babies include:
-Spitting up or Throwing up / Vomiting.
– Refusal to take feed or eat anything.
– Difficulty swallowing with gagging or choking during feeding.
– Crying, irritability, fussiness or being uncomfortable soon after eating.
– Arching back after eating.
– Gas and colicky abdominal pains.
– Sour breath, burps, and hiccups.
– A frequent cough, breathing difficulties and wheezing.
– Poor or disturbed sleep.
HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT OF REFLUX IN BABIES
Homeopathy helps in treating acid reflux in babies in a safe, gentle manner. Medicines for reflux in babies prescribed in homeopathy are all of natural origin and babies tend to tolerate them well. These can help resolve the condition in a very mild and gentle manner without causing any side effects, which is often a point of concern when it comes to medicines for babies.
The top grade homeopathic medicines used to treat reflux in babies include the following:
Aethusa Cynapium – Homeopathic Medicine for Reflux in Infants who Vomit After Intake of Milk
Aethusa Cynapium works very well to treat reflux in babies. It is prepared from a plant commonly named ‘Fool’s Parsley’ belonging to the natural order Umbelliferae. Aethusa Cynapium is useful for treating vomiting in babies soon after taking milk. The child tends to throw up all the milk immediately after its intake forcibly. The character of vomiting is like curdled milk or cheesy matter, but may also look like frothy white matter. The child may get drowsy after vomiting. Another attending symptom is repeated hiccoughing.
Chamomilla – Natural Medicine for Reflux in Irritable and Restless Infants
Chamomilla is a natural homeopathic remedy prepared from the plant Matricaria Chamomilla. The natural order of this plant is Compositae. The child who needs Chamomilla has wind colic and regurgitation of food. Colic in babies causes pain in the stomach due to obstruction of wind in the intestines. The baby tends to vomit out whatever has been drunk or eaten, and this vomit is usually slimy and sour smelling. The abdomen is distended, full and tensed.
Along with these symptoms, hiccough and foul smelling belches may be present. The child becomes very irritable and restless and may be experiencing stomach problems. The child cries, screams, groans and asks to be carried around.
Natrum Phos – Homeopathic Remedy for Acid Reflux in Babies with Vomiting and Colic Abdomen
Homeopathic formulation Natrum Phos is highly beneficial for acid reflux in babies. This remedy works by neutralizing the stomach acid and promotes healthy digestion. It is indicated for children who vomit out curdled milk or cheesy masses. They may also experience abdominal colic. The child may experience several attacks of acid reflux during the day, along with vomiting. The abdominal colic is usually very intense and can lead to restless sleep. A characteristic yellow, creamy coating on the back of the roof of mouth and tongue usually indicates the need for this medicine.
Robinia – Homeopathic Treatment for Reflux in Babies that is Worse at Night
Robinia is prepared from a plant named Robinia Pseudacacia. This plant belongs to family Leguminosae. It is very helpful in treating acidity in babies. It is used for acid reflux in babies when there is a regurgitation of stomach acid with sour vomiting. The child tends to have a rancid odor all over the body. The symptoms get worse during the night time and disturb the child’s sleep. Abdominal distension is well noted, and burps may be present. Burping can bring temporary relief, but the child may cry with colic after eating.
Calcarea Carb – Natural Treatment for Gastric Reflux in Babies with Sour Smelling Vomiting
Calcarea Carb is used to treat reflux in babies. The key indication for the use of this remedy is sour smelling vomit. Whatever has been eaten gets vomited, and in some cases, curdled milk or milk in the form of cheese may also be vomited. Stomach cramps may appear along with vomiting. The abdomen is hard and tense, and there are frequent hiccoughs and belching. Calcarea Carb is also indicated for vomiting in infants during the teething period.
Carbo Veg – Natural Cure for Acid Reflux in Babies with Excessive Burping
Carbo Veg is indicated for acid reflux in babies with excessive burping. Violent belchings that are foul-smelling are a common symptom that indicates the need for this medicine. These offensive belchings occur after eating or drinking, along with gagging and vomiting. The child feels very uncomfortable after eating even the smallest amount of food. Pain in the abdomen may arise with much flatus. The stomach is distended and seems full to bursting with trapped wind. The release of gas brings comfort to the baby.
Sanicula Aqua – Effective Homeopathic Medicine for Reflux with Vomiting of Food or Milk Soon After Consumption
Sanicula Aqua works wonders in cases where the child vomits food or milk soon after its consumption. Vomiting of food arises shortly after eating. All the food comes up with a gush immediately after eating. The child usually tends to fall asleep after this. It is prominently indicated for vomiting of milk soon after nursing. The vomiting looks like large and tough curds. Abdominal bloatedness may be present with gurgling sounds.