Problems with gastric reflux

Emma - posted on 01/13/2011 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My son is 9 months old and has unfortunately suffered with gastric reflux since he was born. Our doctor prescribed Gaviscon in every bottle which helped a bit for a while then started to wear off, then another doctor prescribed Ranitidine twice a day which helped no end to begin with and I thought we were coming to the end of it. Now it seems to have come back with a vengeance. He is sick most meal times, and if he gets the littlest bit stressed it can cause all what he has eaten/drank to come back out. He has also had a constant cough for about 3 months, although I'm not sure if this is related or not. Anyone else had this sort of problem and can offer some advice? The constant flow of sick is starting to get me down.

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Kristy - posted on 01/13/2011

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Both of my girls, 5 and 3, have Acid reflux. They have been on Zantac or generic name Ranitidine since they were both 1 month old. I give it to them twice a day every day. There is no long term side affects and if you miss doses it will cause the reflux to act up. Children with acid reflux have a higher chance of getting sick and also getting pneumonia. Their esophagus is always raw and sore even though they can't feel it and it makes them more susceptible to getting sick.

My advice is to keep him on the Zantac, consistently. Don't try to take him off of it until he is 3 years old. And if you try and see the same symptoms then put him back on it.

The girls go to a Gastrointestinal doctor for their acid reflux and he is the one that said to keep them on it cause it has no side affects. Plus if my 5 year old doesn't outgrow it by 7 years old she may have to have surgery on her throat (little flap that keeps food from coming up, cant remember name) in order for her to stop having issues with the reflux. You can also try to take him to a GI doctor in your town. Hope that helps!!



Also, my 3 years has an issue with digesting milk protein (she would always throw up and have diarrhea) so along with the zantac, I started her on soy and she does great!

Desarae - posted on 01/13/2011

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I can tell you my daughter would throw up ALL the time when she was a baby. All day, and in her sleep. You could almost set a clock to it. So we put her on soy formula, and it helped, but didn't stop. Around 1, she just kind of grew out of it. If she gets too upset now, she throws up, drinks too much milk, or cries at all, she does. But, at 3 years old we've just learned to deal with it, watch for her faceial expression she makes when she is about to get sick, and moniter what she eats.

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Emma - posted on 01/16/2011

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Thanks guys. Although I was secretly hoping for people to say it would die down after a year you've made me realise it doesn't and I need to push harder for a better opinion. I shall also take this info with me, not to get the doctors back up, as she is really nice, but more for back up so she can see why I'm so concerned.

Kristy - posted on 01/16/2011

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Yes, very true. It is hard to get in to see the Gastrointestinal doctor. BUT I would definitely try to get the process started. I had the same issue with my daughters GP when she was 3 weeks old. I finally did research to conclude it was acid reflux and convinced her to start the zantac. And behold I was right and unfortunatley my second daughter was born with it as well. AND yes they will be switching to a stronger medication soon. And just for some helpful info, I ran out of zantac this summer for two weeks (out of town) before I could get more and in that 2 week time frame my oldest got pneumonia. So if you believe it is acid reflux I would fight to keep the zantac. That way you can play around with formulas and milk to figure out if the other issues are allergies or protein issue. And like I said there are no long term side affects for any anti-acid medication. OH and I know it sounds gross but smell the breath after a reflux or throw up and if it smells REALLY strong and like acid, well then pass that info onto your doctor. It may help convince them to keep the medication. Good Luck!!!

Renae - posted on 01/15/2011

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That's the problem I found with GP's or family doctors or whatever they are called where you live. They dont know very much about reflux, often they dont know very much about babies in general! In Australia its a long process to get help. First you have to convince a GP to refer you to a paediatrician, then you have to convince the paed to refer you to a specialist, and it has to be done in that order, you cant just call up the specialist and book in - and then if they are good the first available appointment is 6 months away! I was lucky and a cancellation came up after 3 months, the receptionist called and asked if I could be there in 20 minutes and we dropped everything and raced there as fast we as could!

I think you need to see a pediatrician. You may have to demand a referral. The paed can then refer you to an allergist, or a gatroenterologist or immunologist or whoever it is your baby needs to see. Also have a chat with a good paediatric dietician (not a normal dietician for adults). I found that they see a lot of gastro type problems and are very experienced in picking up what is going on. If you find a private one they are someone you can just call up and go and see without a referral - might be worth a try, call a couple and see if they think they can help.

Emma - posted on 01/15/2011

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I've seen two doctors at my practice, both giving the same very relaxed attitude that he will 'grow out of it' and neither of them seem that bothered. My friend actually mentioned the other day an allergy test as her son has a number of allergies and she thinks it's something Zack could have too. I think it is something I'm going to have to keep going back complaining in order to get something done as this definitely isn't right, I am going to have to opt for another opinion, see if I get a better result elsewhere. I have spent over £40 on different baby milks this week to try alternatives, the soya milk came out even more than the normal milk, but he didn't like the comfort milk on it's own so I've had to go for an inbetween option & mix the c&g comfort milk (which is thicker and the woman in Boots told me Mums of baby's with gastric reflux tend to buy this milk) with his normal milk. We have had sick today, but not quite as much. See I wasn't even told to try changing his milk, that's how helpful doctors round here are! I shall make another appointment, with another doctor who may help. Thanks

Renae - posted on 01/15/2011

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PS, Zantac is not a very strong antacid, perhaps ask for a high dose of omeprazole. My baby was on 25mg of Losec or omeprazole at 7 months old (when we finally got into a paediatrician that helped with a high enough dose - after 8 family doctors, 4 paediatricians and a week at a children's hospital!!).

Renae - posted on 01/15/2011

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Take some small comfort in the fact that the throwing up is the biggest problem and its not the sort of reflux that leaves them screaming in burning pain after every meal/feed.

Are you sure it is 100% the reflux causing the spewing? Could there be some texture sensitivity or other issue like that going on? Have you seen a paediatric speech pathologist that specialises in feeding issues? Just a thought. Its what you said about it getting better then coming back with a vengence that immediately made me think texture sensitivity (a common "side-effect" that seems to follow on after reflux).

I also wonder if he needs an alergy test and/or a stronger medication? Have you sort a few different opinions from different paediatricians? I think that would be a good idea. I would definately rule out allergic reaction.

Christy - posted on 01/14/2011

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YES! I can relate. Both my kids had acid reflux and they were prescribed Prevacid 2 times a day, and also switched to Similac Alimentum formula (expensive, BTW). It worked out very well. The cough is common, it is probably fluid dripping into the lungs due to the reflux.

Emma - posted on 01/13/2011

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I've just had a new prescription for the Ranitidine, but my doctor said she wants to take him off it after this prescription! The only reason I got this was because I went and complained, saw a different doctor & refused to leave until he helped me. It did help for quite a while, but now seems to be wearing off. I will persevere with the doctor if she tries to take him off it, I don't think I can cope with any more sick than there already is! Doctors told me he should grow out of it by a year, from what you other ladies are saying it's not the case. I'm going to go into town today to see if I can get a soya based milk instead, although might have to travel out of town to get it as our supplies are quite shocking.

Emma - posted on 01/13/2011

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Thanks, think I will try changing his milk, either to Soya Milk or Lactose Free see if that makes any difference. I don't want to wish his babyness away at all, don't want him to grow up infact, just would like a lot less sick!

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