Why does your baby cough repeatedly

What is gastroesophageal reflux cough
As we all know, food is swallowed into the esophagus through the mouth, then into the stomach through the esophagus, and then digested into the intestine. Gastroesophageal reflux, as the name suggests, refers to the “reverse” of food and acid in the stomach, that is, flowing from the stomach into the esophagus. Therefore, gastroesophageal reflux disease refers to a series of uncomfortable symptoms and complications caused by reflux of gastric fluid and food to the esophagus. Gastroesophageal reflux cough is when some reflux enters the airway to stimulate the airway mucosa and cause a cough. This cough mostly occurs at night and after eating. Due to repeated vomiting, the child’s growth and development may be retarded or delayed when the condition is severe.

Due to gastric acid reflux, the esophagus is in an acidic environment for a long time, and the esophagus mucosa lacks defense against gastric acids and digestive enzymes. Esophagitis, esophageal ulcers, esophageal strictures can occur, and children will have vomiting, epigastric pain, chest pain, abdominal distension, pharynx Foreign body sensation, swallowing pain, difficulty in swallowing, burning sensation in the stomach, etc .; Reflux inhaled into the trachea or even the lungs can cause recurrent bronchitis, pneumonia, and atelectasis. Babies will develop stubborn chronic cough, sore throat, Asthma, etc., even severe asphyxia and sudden death.

Babies are prone to gastroesophageal reflux
Gastroesophageal reflux can be divided into two types: physiological and pathological. Most infants with gastroesophageal reflux are physiological, because the sphincter of the lower end of the esophagus is immature, or the nerves and muscles are poorly coordinated. When the baby is crying, swallowing, sucking, flatulence, etc., the lower sphincter of the esophagus is loose. Make the food in the stomach enter the esophagus or the excessive gas in the stomach is expelled from the body through the esophagus. Physiological gastroesophageal reflux is often not severe, and it is mainly seen during meals and after meals. As the age increases, the orthostatic time and solid food gradually increase, and the degree of reflux will gradually decrease. Most infants have reflux Symptoms can be relieved naturally around the age of two, and some children’s symptoms may persist beyond the age of four. Physiological gastroesophageal reflux generally does not cause adverse consequences and does not affect growth and development.

A small number of infants with gastroesophageal reflux are pathological. They are caused by sphincter dysfunction or abnormal tissue structure at the lower end of the esophagus, which often occurs in the sleeping supine position and on an empty stomach. Reflux is more serious. Gastric acid and digestive enzymes in the reflux stimulate the site, causing a series of internal and external symptoms and complications of the esophagus. Long-term repeated reflux may cause reflux esophagitis and esophageal bleeding; reflux of gastric acid It also stimulates the respiratory tract, causes bronchitis, pulmonary complications, etc., and even affects the growth and development of children, that is, gastroesophageal reflux disease, which require timely intervention and treatment.

What are the characteristics of gastroesophageal reflux in babies?
● Milk spill or vomiting: This is the most prominent symptom of gastroesophageal reflux in infants, which can be seen in more than 90% of children. Symptoms can appear in the first week after birth, as a result of breast milk, mild vomiting, or jet vomiting. Vomiting is more stubborn.

● No weight gain or loss: Because reflux esophagitis can cause insufficient food intake for infants, more than 80% of children with disease do not gain weight, suffer from malnutrition, and have stunted growth.

● Gastrointestinal bleeding and anemia: Frequent gastroesophageal reflux can cause esophagitis, irritability or refusal to feed. In severe cases, esophageal erosion or ulcers may occur, causing vomiting, blood in the stool, and even iron deficiency anemia.

● Pulmonary complications: caused by vomitus being inhaled into the respiratory tract by mistake, vomitus causing infant cough, nocturnal spasm, recurrent tracheitis, aspiration pneumonia, atelectasis, etc. Some babies may have vomiting that is not obvious, and night coughing is the only manifestation.

How to determine if your baby has a gastroesophageal reflux cough
Gastroesophageal reflux is an important cause of recurrent respiratory inflammation or persistent inflammation of the lungs in infants and young children. If the child repeatedly coughs, and mainly attacks at night and after eating, with weight loss, take the child to the hospital for esophageal barium meal imaging, esophageal pH dynamic monitoring, B-ultrasound, esophageal endoscopy, gastroscopy and other comprehensive examinations. In addition, some special tests need to be completed to determine whether the baby has the possibility of congenital defects or deformities, such as tracheoesophageal fistula, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, congenital small stomach, cleft lip and palate, and heart deformity.

Treatment of gastroesophageal reflux cough

If your baby has recurrent vomiting of unknown cause, difficulty swallowing, recurrent chronic respiratory infections, refractory asthma, stunted growth, or even apnea, etc., you must go to a pediatrician for treatment and effects of gastroesophageal reflux disease Depends on the cause and severity of the condition. If there are no other comorbidities, most children, especially small babies, can be treated first with position and diet.

● Positive treatment: Mild children should stay in the upright position for 1 hour after eating, and severe children should be treated continuously for 24 hours. When sleeping, tilt the crib at 30 degrees, fix it with a strap, and take the left side to lie in the stomach to promote gastric emptying, reduce the probability of reflux, and inhale the reflux into the trachea. Pay attention to the breathing status of the child when lying down.

● Dietary treatment: increase the viscosity of food, can be given to children with special dairy products or add appropriate amount of cereals to milk, or use 3% rice milk powder, mainly high-protein low-fat foods; feeding a small number of times, increasing the frequency of feeding and reducing The amount of each feeding; avoid oversaturated sleep before eating; avoid irritating condiments.

● Medication: This method is used for children with comorbidities or older. Drug treatment is needed under the guidance of a specialist to promote gastrointestinal motility, reduce gastric acid secretion, and protect the gastrointestinal mucosa. A few patients with severe illness or congenital malformations require surgery.