11) Esophageal reflux
Esophageal reflux occurs when the valve that separates the esophagus and stomach (lower esophageal sphincter) opens spontaneously. This is frequent in certain cases, and may or may not be associated with feeding. In infants and children with reflux, the lower esophageal sphincter opens inappropriately, although there is no swallowing and allows the passage of substances such as food and stomach acids into the esophagus. When this symptom is present, whether moderate or intense after consuming milk, the intervention of a specialist is necessary and people tend to believe that the infant suffers from lactose intolerance. Thus, this symptom is especially important to detect congenital lactose intolerance in newborns and infants.
However, according to specialists, in newborns it is normal that, during the maturation of the gastrointestinal tract, two to three regurgitation events occur during the first six months. This reflux is known as physiological and there’s no problem about it. If they are children who generally sleep well, eat and gain weight normally, there should be no cause for concern. In many cases, poor feeding technique, intestinal malformations, infections, or allergies are the leading causes of reflux. These and other inflammatory conditions in turn inflame the digestive tract, causing esophageal reflux symptoms.