Infants can have what is called infantile reflux or esophageal reflux disease (GERD). When this happens they are constantly vomiting back up their food which makes it difficult to gain weight. When this happens it is referred to as “failure to thrive”. Gaining weight is something an 8-10 lb baby NEEDS to do and can be dangerous if they do not. If your baby or a baby you know is exhibiting these symptoms, consult your pediatrician. Among other things discussed in this post, they can be lactose intolerant causing the reflux. It’s especially important to keep all of your baby’s practitioners informed when something like this happens so they can work together to help find a common cause.

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Infantile Reflux (GERD)

GERD can come with other symptoms besides the reflux. Babies with infantile reflux can also have colic and breastfeeding problems. According to the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) they can also have hematemesis, anemia, persistent cough, persistent ear infections, and torticollis. In the US, about 18% will be diagnosed with GERD. This number is rising but we cannot be sure if it’s getting worse or if cases were just not reported in the past.

The infant is not truly diagnosed with the disease even with the reflux until the acid reflux becomes symptomatic or causes pathological consequences to the baby according to Spitz et al. What is thought to be causing the reflux in the first place is the relaxation of the lower sphincter in the esophagus. This sphincter is what separates the esophagus from the stomach. If this fails to close then the contents of the stomach will reflux back up to the mouth of the baby. Another reason for the reflux is the inability of the sphincter to adequately adapt to pressure changes in the abdominal cavity.

Medical Approach

When consulting a pediatrician on your infants GERD, they will most likely prescribe medicine. This may help but most likely will not solve the issue. Usually they will give you Zoloft or Prevacid for the GERD. In many cases this does not help. What do you do then?

Chiropractic Approach

What we have found is causing the GERD in your infant is interference to those organs from the vertebral subluxations in their spine. These subluxations or misalignments cause stress on their nervous system and don’t allow them to work properly, causing the GERD. This is the reason why those medications didnt work if you tried them in the past. If they helped then we are happy you found relief for your infant!

A study published in 2018 in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research showed just that. An infant with GERD took medications that had no effect. The baby along with the GERD had colic and breastfeeding difficulties. After only 8 visits all symptoms were completely cleared! The baby was back to functioning normally. All of these things are connected as the subluxations can have multiple possible symptoms depending on where in the nervous system the stress is. Once you take away that stress, the body is able to heal itself and be back to normal.

If you have a baby with any of these symptoms especially infantile reflux, please schedule an assessment for them immediately in the link below!

Click HERE to schedule your assessment!


Yours in Health

Dr. Alex Willard

Awaken Chiropractic

[email protected]


6208 E Pine Ln, Parker, CO 80138

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