Regurgitations are the effortless returns of gastric contents through the esophagus and out of the mouth. Gastro-esophageal reflux (GER) is defined as the passage of gastric content into the esophagus with or without regurgitation and vomiting1. This may cause acid exposure, at the origin of burning sensations.
In literature, the prevalence of regurgitations in infants younger than 12 months varies from 3 % to 87%2, this large range being probably due to differences across studies in their design, their setting, and the diagnosis criteria used. According to a recent study using the Rome IV criteria as definition for regurgitations, the reported prevalence was of 24.1%3. In a French cross-selectional study, the estimated prevalence of GER in infants aged from 0 to 23 months was 24.4%, and that in children aged from 2 to 11 years was 7.2%4.
Regurgitations can be physiologic and can be aggravated through several factors: lying position, abdominal compression, important volume of feeding, liquid foods. They can also be a symptom of another disease such as cow’s milk allergy5.
When GER leads to more severe symptoms that affect daily functioning and/or complications, it is called GER Disease (GERD). High volumes of regurgitations returned with force may lead to other important issues like feeding difficulties, growth disorders, etc1.
Experts recommend thickened feed for treating visible regurgitation/vomiting, including infants with GERD1.