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SIU School of Medicine Weekly Feature

Gastroesophogal reflux disease is a medical condition that is common in people of all ages, even babies and children.

Gastroesophogal reflux occurs when stomach contents reflux, or back up, into the esophagus during or after a meal. Dr. Terry Hatch, professor of pediatrics at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, says gastroesophogal reflux begins in infancy when most infants spit up after feeding.


Dr. Hatch says when reflux occurs frequently and is severe, it can develop into gastroesophogal reflux disease or GERD. In children, GERD can cause troublesome symptoms or complications such as failure to gain weight, bleeding, respiratory problems or tummy aches. He describes some GERD symptoms in children.


Dr. Hatch says infants and children with GERD can be helped first with feeding and lifestyle changes or possibly medication. If symptoms are severe or persist parents should contact their primary care physician or pediatrician.

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