Looking for Advice on Acid Reflux

Updated on December 28, 2005
J.K. asks from Plano, TX
24 answers

My son was diagnosed with Acid Reflux at 5 weeks old. He is now 3 months old and he still has SO many bad days. He is on 2 different meds, Prevacid AND Zantac. I hate constantly medicating him. I am not sure if his Pediatrician is really doing enough or the right thing. Does anyone have a great doctor that helped them? or does anyone have and advice??

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M.T.

answers from Dallas on

I take my kids to centennial pediatrics and they really helped me with this problem. Both of my boys suffered from reflux. They were both on zantac and both had to be on special formulas. I also gave them .5 mil of liquid mylanta on really bad days to counteract the acid. The formula that really helped us was Nutramigen by Enfamil. Also a little rice cereal before each bottle was a lifesaver. My second son had it so bad and he cried constantly until we found this. This is such a hard problem. My sons grew out of it and stopped spitting up around 9-10 months. When they get a little older they don't cry as much. Good luck.

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C.

answers from Dallas on

have you ever go to the about.com website? go to this website http://babyparenting.about.com/ and on the left hand side , very bottom, join there Parenting forum. You will get a lot of help there. Hope this will help. Good luck.

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K.

answers from Dallas on

J.,
I live in Houston and will be moving to the McKinney area in less than a month. I, personally, can not offer advice. I havea 13, 8 and 4 yr old. I have refulx myself and can only imagine how it is for a little one! But my neighbor here could give you plenty of advice. She has a 2 1/2 yr. old and a 5 week old. Both have /had reflux. I can ask her if you are interested and she can email you. She can't offer doctor referrals but could help with suggestions and the day to day life with a child who has reflux. Let me know.
Hoping for things to get better!
Kris

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D.W.

answers from Dallas on

Hi J.,
I am the mom of 4 kids and also a pediatric RN. I have worked in an office for 13 years and do phone triage.
The biggest medical problem w/ reflux is that babies spit so much they don't gain weight. IF that is the case they really do need the meds.
If they are doing meds just to decrease spitting I am not a huge fan- nor is the Pedi I work for.
My second daughter was nick named Mt Vesuvius b/c she spit up so much. I carried like 3 extra outfits at all times. I never bothered to medicate b/c she was fairly happy and she gained weight. By 6 months she was improved and by a year it was all over.
If you have any specific questions please feel free to e-mail me!
D.
[email protected]____.com

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A.A.

answers from Dallas on

Many speech therapists specialize in helping children overcome Acid Reflux.

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K.M.

answers from Dallas on

My son has had many problems with adic reflux. Our pediatrician is Dr. Chris Straughn at Forest Lane Pediatrics, and I've been very pleased (he's in MamaSource directory). He's provided much advice on adjustments to my diet (I'm breastfeeding) and formula which has been helpful. I also used a lactation consultant (Judy Eastburn) who was helpful with diet recommendations. The most common offenders in mom's diet are dairy (and most bread contains dairy). My son is 10 months now, and he's still on meds. I went to a GI specialist recently, and it seems things commonly get worse before better. I also buy acidopholus (natural) at Royal Abrams pharmacy. I just started, so I'm not sure at what age this is safe, but the pharmacy has one in powder form that can be mixed with food or milk. Hang in there! I know it's tough on the little guy, and on you. Email me at [email protected]____.com to chat anytime.

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H.Q.

answers from Dallas on

We went through the same thing with my son, who is now almost 3. Only we didn't get any medicine until 3 mos., so he SCREAMED all the time for his first three months.

We were put on Prevacid and a special formula, Neocate. I did not breastfeed at all, so I can't help from that angle. The Neocate was very expensive and had to be special ordered through the pharmacy (not covered by ins.), and we had to stay on it for a month or two. Then we went to soy.

The Prevacid made a huge difference for us. Are you giving it to him when he is empty - not after he eats, right?

We were able to get this under control with our pediatrician, but I know there are ped. gastroenterologists. When we started trying things - at about 5 weeks - my ped. told me "there is always a next step. We won't give up until we get this under control." So if it's not working, keep knocking on doors until you find someone willing to help.

It is pure hell. I've been there. It DOES get better. We tapered off the Prevacid after our son's first birthday, and he hasn't had any troubles.

H.

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N.

answers from Dallas on

My oldest daughter had bad reflux her entire first year and I thought I would lose my mind! We tried many different medications, but no one thing in particular was the solution. Allimentum was the formula we had the best luck with. The more I have learned about antacid medications, the more concerned I have become about how they benefit/or even hurt our kids. These products have not been tested on children and Reglan in particular has been know to cause irreversible brain damage in people (I know someone whose son was affected by this drug). Many doctors are not even aware of the potential side effects of these medications. We have had good success using more natural remedies/techniques. In Frisco we have a great health food store staffed with 2 certified nutritionists who heave training in natural remedies that are safe and less invasive. They also have a handout on a massage technique you can do to help strengthen the muscle that connects to the stomach to help keep it closed. The store is called the Family Health Market. Look them up on the internet and ask for Randy. Good luck!

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S.

answers from Dallas on

Hi J.,
You are NOT alone!! My son was diagnosed w/ acid reflux when he was 8 or 9 weeks old (he's now 17 months old). We first had him on Zantac alone...which seemed to provide a little relief but not much. Then we added Bethanacol (sp?) to the Zantac which again was an improvement but by no means took care of the issue. We then changed the Zantac to Prevacid. This was the best mixture of medication but both my son and I were constantly covered in puke. (I'm sure you understand!!)

I felt much like you do and kept asking my doctor if there was something else we could be doing. He just kept telling me that my son basically had a weak valve/flap that allowed his milk to come back up his throat. I even changed ped. and they kept telling me the same thing. She promised that most kids "grow out" of this around a year old! Sure enough, around 13 months, it just dissapeared. I no longer had bottles of carpet cleaner all over my house! hahaha

In our experience, there was a point where I know my son was in pain with the acid reflux. He would arch his back and cry; hungerly want the bottle, take a few sips and then pull away. Which I'm told, were all classic symptoms. After we found the right mix of medication, he never seemed in pain anymore. He'd just puke up his milk and move on. It didn't seem to bother him anymore.

I'd love to say that I have a doctor that made a huge difference but it just took time for my son. I wish you luck in whatever you decide to do. Feel free to email me with any questions you may have...even though I just wrote a book here! I completely understand your situation and how you are feeling.

Good luck!

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L.

answers from Dallas on

J.,
My husband is a chiropractor who sees many small children and babies. we have a one year old who has been adjusted since the day he was born and never been sick. I would recommend getting your baby adjusted. I know it will help him get off the medication. Those medications are not meant for someone so little. www.trintyfamilychiropractic.com
Dr. Kevin Smith, ###-###-####

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J.

answers from Dallas on

J.,
My little one also had reflux starting at 5 weeks old. We had a terrible time with it until we got her on the right meds, routine, food (soy), and bottles. Ugh! The right doctor can make all the difference in the world. I highly recommend enlisting the help of a pediatric gastro specialist. Here is the one we used and he was wonderful.
Digestive Health Associates of Texas
Offices at Medical City Hospital.
Dr Kendall Brown, Dr Annette Whitney, Dr Eric Argao, Dr Jack An

We used Dr. An but they are all great. Since they specialize in infants and small children, they see a lot of reflux and got us on the road to recovery quickly. Another great resource I highly recommend is www.infantreflux.org. I learned more from the women there (message boards) than from anywhere else. Good luck and keep us posted!
J.

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M.F.

answers from Dallas on

Make sure the dose is the right amount. Young babies grow so quickly that you need to adjust the medication pretty often. The good thing is that he should be happier once he learns to sit up. Laying down is hard on babies with reflux. You might look into other things that could be causing fussiness. Maybe switch to a lactose-free baby formula. Or, if you're nursing, be mindful of things in your diet. Also, though it's against the "rules" you may see if he would be happier sleeping on his tummy. If he's uncomfortable and not sleeping well, over tiredness might be a lot of the problem. Good luck!

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E.

answers from Dallas on

Did he or she check the phalynx (sp?) valve? My son had this and threw up daily if not more. Sometimes it seemed like a gallon of milk thrown 6 feet forward. If your doctor did not check for that I would recommend a second opinion. If they did, know that when he or she starts to sit up it will magically go away. Good luck.

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K.M.

answers from Dallas on

J.,
My daughter was diag. at 2 months after she had several test done (she had her nose and throat scoped and several barium swallows) she is now 19 mo old and is doing better. My pediatrician put her on prevacid. Once it was in her system I could see a difference. Once the meds started to work my pediatrician sent us to a GI doc (Dr John Baker in Carrolton) when she was a year old. He said he wouldn't be able to tell if the reflux is gone till he takes her off the meds and he doesn't want to do that during the cold season. He also wanted to wait till she had been walking for several months. He said most children outgrow this problem. We were suppose to have a follow-up this month but I scheduled it for next month. Dr Baker is a pediatric GI doc and really seems to know his stuff. If you want his info let me know. I will eventually get better! Does you son have any other problems like colic, or lactose problems?
K.

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M.A.

answers from Dallas on

Hi J.,
I am an RN and I use to work in the NICU. Reflux is very common. And I can tell you that the medications your baby is receiving are standard and appropriate for his diagnosis. Have you also been told to prop him up while he eats as well as after feedings? There are also slant pillows that we use in the hospital that allow the baby to be propped up while sleeping. (I'm sorry I don't know where you can purchase those special pillows b/c I only worked with them in the hospital). Usually as babies grow and develop they grow out of this problem. Best wishes to you and your baby.

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K.

answers from Dallas on

My son was born in February 2005 and is now nine months old. For the first four months of life, most days were bad days. He was had colic and acid reflux. He took Zantac and Bethanechol multiple times per day. I hated giving my son the medications also, and I tried several times during those first few months to remove him from the medications slowly. He got MUCH worse when I tried to do that, so I realized they were helping. I am a 3rd year medical student, about to be a doctor in a year and I will tell you that your doctor is doing the appropriate thing right now. If his symptoms worsen, your child may have to have something called a relux sonogram which tells the doctor how much reflux your child is having and if there are any other structural problems. This is a difficult time but the very good news is that at around 3 or 4 months, when your child develops and has better musculature, this problem will go away. My son was like a new child when he turned 4 months old. Now, he is happy, playful and I have all but forgotten those awful first few months. My son stayed on a small amount of the medications until he was about 5 months old and now he is off of them completely. Hang in there. It will get better!

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M.T.

answers from Dallas on

I don't know if my experience will help you but my son had severe Reflux. My doctor is very conservative and recomended that we hold off on medication unless I felt like I couldn't handle it anymore. He was certain that when he was able to sit up we would see an improvement in the reflux. He didn't feel medicine would greatly improve the problem because there their little body still needed the time to develope, and the medicine was not going to help with that. He was right! By the time he was sitting up his problem was reduced dramatically! My son is now 8 months and where he occasionally spits up it is no where near the problems he had as an infant. And let me tell you it was bad.
So I understand where you are coming from, I wish I could give you some advice other than, it will eventually get better -but good luck with whatever you choose to do. Let me know how it goes for you guys.

Kim

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C.

answers from Dallas on

my baby also had reflux--it was related to milk-soy protein allergy and completely went away once we got rid of dairy/soy in my diet. I am exclusively breast-feeding, so that means I had to cut our all dairy and soy products from my diet..this is quite difficult, so sometimes I cheat..even the smallest bit of dairy causes the reflux symptoms to increase in my baby....maybe you shoudl try to cut out dairy if you are breastfeeding or ask your doctor about changing formula if your baby is taking it ....hope this helps!!

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N.B.

answers from Dallas on

You may wish to consult my pediatrician for a second opinion. He is very proactive and does not believe in medicating children, unless it is a NECESSITY. His name is Norman Minsky of Plano and the number is ###-###-####. His wife, Gail, is the staff RN and she would be happy to speak with you on the matter over the phone. Good luck to you!

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K.

answers from Dallas on

Hi J.. My son was diagnosed w/acid reflux at 8 weeks. He was put on zantac, then prevacid a couple of weeks later. The combo showed small improvements, but we were having problems w/weight gain so at 3 1/2 months, I started putting cereal in his bottles. I'd read that it helps them to keep the milk down because it gives it a little weight. He got so much better at that point! It led to feeding him formula only, which was hard for me because I had breastfed my older son for 10 months, but he takes a bottle much better so he was happier. He's doing so great now, at 6 months. He's so happy! which is a surprise everyday because he used to scream so much! The spit-up has decreased a lot in the last month (using lacto free similac and cannot change!), I've taken him off prevacid in the last week and plan to take him off zantac soon. So, I did not like having to give him so many meds initially, but he responded so well w/the combo and putting cereal in the bottles, and it's only gotten better since. It's hard for me to even remember the bad days now! I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me if you have anymore questions. I wish you the best!

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S.

answers from Dallas on

My doctor is Dr. Albert Karam. He is awesome! Not only is he a super pediatrician (he's been voted Best in Dallas, and one of the top in the country), but he's also Dad to six of his own - so he understands both sides of all issues.

Our daughter had GIRD. I can't recommend him strongly enough. He is located in Dallas, next to Medical City. The number is ###-###-####.

Good luck,
S.

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K.D.

answers from Dallas on

My 7.5month son Bodi also has GERD badly. I noticed he arched and spit up alot even at 1 month but because he gained weight at the time, the current Dr did nothing. At 3 months old his appetite went way down and I switched Drs as the first one still did nothing. At 4 months she declared him failing to thrive as he would not eat enough to gain weight. It still took until 6 months old to get him to a hospital for testing. It took almost 2 months of pushing for it.

Thus, I suggest being a squeaky wheel, ask for a GI referral, and maybe occupational therapy if you think he/she is not eating well.

Our Dr is Kendall Brown, Digestive Health Assoc, Medical City, ###-###-####. He is pretty traditional - has Bodi on Prilosec and no breat feeding. You may want to go to an Osteopathic Dr first for alternatives. I have read that Silica and Camomilla homeopathy work for some. A coworker goes to this teacher at Childrens Hospital:
Charles Goebel, Plano, ###-###-####.

Please keep in touch - I am interested in hearing what you find out too!
K.

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C.T.

answers from Dallas on

J.,

I had have a son who had digestive problems. After taking acid reflux medications we found out that it was a milk allergy. Maybe that's your problem. This has occurred for many of my friends. It appears that milk is sometime hard on the baby's system. This includes milk that is ingested from a breastfeeding mom. Our allergiest is Dr. VanWagonner in Plano. He completed his residency in pediatric allergies. You may want to check him out. Good luck and let me know if I can help. I hope my info so far has.

- C.

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K.D.

answers from Dallas on

Hi J.,
I have 4 children the youngest is 2, he had terrible acid reflux also. We are from London, so I gave him gripe water and it seemed to help better than the meds. I would also recommend finding a pediatric gastroentrioligist I think he needs to be evaluated more extensively. Look up your insurance info and see if you can find a specialist listed and take him in.
I hope this adviser helps.
Good Luck,
K.

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