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Spit ups can be avoided with more physical activity


Heartburn and acidity are the oft-repeated complaints at any given point of time, which is only precipitated by today's food intake and other sedentary lifestyle. But what is worrisome is that though infants would not have any such influences they still continue to suffer from the reflux disease and thereby spit ups. It is not unnatural for an infant to regurgitate and bring out some feed once in a while but if it seems to occur at least twice a day either immediately or a while after a meal, it suggests that the child could be suffering from the reflux disease.

The ingested food either milk or cereal passes through the throat into the stomach through the oesophagus. At the lower end of the oesophagus at the opening of the stomach is a valve that tightens when the contents have passed down and remains so to prevent any regurgitation of the feed backwards. But for some reason in infants the valve does not function on some occasions allowing the food contents to pass backwards into the mouth and the child brings it out and is termed as a spit up. Another reason could be that the digestion in the stomach is delayed and the contents remaining for a longer time seem to regurgitate backwards. The smooth muscles fibres of the stomach wall are sluggish on occasions thereby retaining the feed for a longer time with a threat always of going backwards which also contributes to the condition.

If the spit ups are unabated the infant's nutrition is affected and thereby the physical growth which could have an impact on the mental growth too. The regurgitated food into the oesophagus and the throat could trickle down into the respiratory tract and such infants are known to have breathing problems too. They seem to be more prone to colds and cough. Colic can occur too.

Spit-ups, frequent or recurrent vomiting is the usual symptom of reflux condition in a child less than a year of age. If the child has difficulty eating like choking or gagging it could refer to such an underlying condition. Frequent crying and fussiness in a child without any other apparent reason also lets a parent suspect. Frequent colds and coughs despite better care taken and exposure avoided too does not help the child such a cause needs to be looked at.


Most infants and children outgrow this gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. Certain precautions like elevating the baby's crib after a meal, holding the baby upright for about half an hour after a meal are very essential to prevent reflux. Older children between the ages of three and seven are encouraged to play more outdoor games, eat food at regular intervals and limit the intake of carbonated drinks which can worsen the condition. In spite of these, if there is not much of an improvement in the symptoms, homoeopathic medicine would be of help. Aethusa cynapium is a remedy that is of utmost value primarily in infants with spit ups and is known to help most of them. Ipeac, Antim tart are others which help in preventing the nausea and vomiting common during reflux. Ferrum met, Ferrum phos, Hydrastis improve the motility of the stomach wall so that precursor for regurgitation is at check. Nux vomica, Lycopodium etc. help in improving the digestion. Mag carb, Rheum, Anacardium help in reducing the increased acid production of the stomach wall.


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