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What is reflux??? Need clarification

(29 Posts)
TearingMyHairOut Fri 29-Sep-06 08:11:21

My ds1 has been diagnosed with reflux by my gp and has been given an array if medication which doesn't seem to be helping. Another mum I know took her baby to a different doctor with same symptoms and was told it wasn't reflux! WHAT exactly is reflux and what kind of symptoms/ behaviour would you expect to see?

Gedders Fri 29-Sep-06 09:01:48

My son had reflux diagnosed by the hospital. We had taken him to A&E because he had projectile vomited. The main symptoms of his reflux were not being able to keep his milk down and only taking small amounts of milk at one time, leading to us having to offer him milk more often. We were given some Gaviscon powder to mix with water before he had his milk, and to be honest it didn't really help. Time and patience were the only things that helped. I used to fret constantly about him not getting enough food and worry that he'd be on milk and baby mush forever. But he now loves his grub and is a healthy happy 2 year old.

TearingMyHairOut Fri 29-Sep-06 09:15:19

At what age do you think he started to improve. We are also using the gaviscon which doesn't do much but he isn' often sick, sometimes possets little and isn't in any pain when he actuallyh throws up.

Gedders Fri 29-Sep-06 09:24:44

I think he was about 10 months. The main problem was posseting and he also didn't seem to be in pain when he brought his milk back up. I remember having to constantly leave him with a bib on. It also made weaning more difficult than it should have been, but be patient, because it did get better.

albatros Fri 29-Sep-06 09:32:31

DD2 projectile vomitted at least once a day until about 11 months she was never diagnoised with reflux, though the HV said she probably had a weak reflux valve and this would get stronger as she grew.
It's hard work isn't it. Besides the worry of them not gainning enough weight etc the constant cleaning up sick and wondering if the next spoonful of food will be the one that triggers being sick is such hard work. I would feed her surrounded by towels and hated eating out, though it never happened in a big way whilst we were out. You have my sympathies.

TearingMyHairOut Fri 29-Sep-06 09:35:10

So is this just a sicky foody thing or would this be the cause of constant crying, fretfulness, screaming as soon as the bottle is put to his mouth, constipation etc etc. he is very unhappy about something

albatros Fri 29-Sep-06 09:37:53

I am sure someone on here will know more about it than me, dd2 had a weak reflux valve but was never in pain etc she would sit / lay drinking her bottle and then puke out of the blue. I have seen threads about reflux where babies are in pain, hopefully someone who has been in this situation can advise you more

Gedders Fri 29-Sep-06 09:38:50

Can only say what my son did, but he did get upset when we were weaning him, he would tantrum and just did not want to eat. It was horrid and I used to get very upset and anxious that he wasn't getting enough to eat. He has had to be on Lactulose and Movicol for his constipation as that was a problem for a long time too.

CantSleepWontSleep Fri 29-Sep-06 09:49:10

Constant crying, fretfulness and screaming could be reflux, or could be milk intolerance. Not sure if constipation is related to either or not - with my DD's intolerance she had the opposite for 4 months before diagnosis.

There is also silent reflux (which my DD also has), whereby there isn't so much actually throwing up, but the acid runs up to their throat and then back down again, burning in both directions.

Hold on and I'll find you a link to a really helpful site...

CantSleepWontSleep Fri 29-Sep-06 09:54:50

Here's the silent reflux description .

Lots of info on that site about all types of reflux.

TearingMyHairOut Fri 29-Sep-06 10:09:30

I did query the possibilty of intolerance but they said he'd have to have diarrehoea.

prince Fri 29-Sep-06 10:16:08

Usually reflux improves at 12 - 18 months of age. I've taken care of loads of babies with this. Small frequent feed or thickened feeds work well with the majority of children (there is something called thick n easy which we use on the wards) Sometimes it is because babies are being fed too much therefore the stomach cannot hold the size of the feed, ask your health visitor to work out what feeds baby should be having.Sleeping with the head raised works well (do not use pillow but raise one end of cot) because lying prone (on back ) makes it worse.There are numerous medications and some work better for some than others, ranitidene is quite a common one (that is not to say whatever you have been prescribed is wrong) sometimes it becomes trial and error and medication is you know what you have been prescribed?

prince Fri 29-Sep-06 10:24:36

Sorry you asked for symptons . In babies these can be
spitting up, regurgitation or vomiting (sometimes forceful)
Excessive crying, irritability, arching of the back, stiffening
Weight loss, failure to thrive
Respiratory problems (cough, wheeze, stridor, gagging, choking at end of feeding)
Haemtemesis - means bood (old or new) in vomit looks sometimes like coffee grounds
Melena - dark coloured stools, tarry due to old blood being passed in motions

TearingMyHairOut Fri 29-Sep-06 10:27:16

12-18 months...ahhh he's only 11 weeks and I'm already going mad! That medication you just mentioned beginning with r that's what he's got. Also on gaviscon. Also now giving lactolose every morning as doc recommended yesterday. none of medication seems to do much and I just feel like stopping it altogether in case it's causing more problems than it's solving. My dh won't let me do thius because he says we could be helping make the pain a bit better but not obvious to us. OMG-I could have months more of this

TearingMyHairOut Fri 29-Sep-06 10:29:16

Ths strange thing is that although he doesn't eat a lot, i.e this last week has refused lots of feeds or been finishing just half, he is still puttin gon around 1/2 lb a week. It's the only thing that keeps me going, as I know however much pain he's in he's still putting on weight...although he went to the loo yesterday having ot been since saturday so half that weight could be gone now!!!!

CantSleepWontSleep Fri 29-Sep-06 10:32:36

tmho - I agree that it probably isn't intolerance as I wouldn't expect constipation with that, but if you really are tearing your hair out then try going dairy free for 1-2 weeks and see if it makes any diff at all. If not then at least you tried!

The paed that DD saw said that quite often they grow out of reflux by 9 months, so advised us to try easing off the gaviscon at that point and see how she reacts.

Gaviscon takes a while to build up in the system btw, so it may be too early for you to see a diff yet?

CantSleepWontSleep Fri 29-Sep-06 10:33:14

Oh, just realised you're ff not bf, so you going dairy free won't make any diff - sorry!

CantSleepWontSleep Fri 29-Sep-06 10:34:54

The weight gain is good. My GP dismissed the very thought of DD having anything at all wrong with her because she was still gaining tonnes of weight. Although 'failure to thrive' is a common symptom of both CMPI and reflux, not all babies have this symptom!

TearingMyHairOut Fri 29-Sep-06 10:38:16

what's cmpi?

CantSleepWontSleep Fri 29-Sep-06 10:54:22

cows milk protein intolerance!

prince Fri 29-Sep-06 11:06:45

lactulose is a stool bulker which is an aid to prevent constipation. What milk feed are you giving baby?

TearingMyHairOut Fri 29-Sep-06 11:10:33

He has been on aptamil since about 5 weeks, after trying sma and omneo comfort.

prince Fri 29-Sep-06 11:18:22

all the ones with prebiotics ar best as they are closer to breastmilk. do you think any improvement in any of these?

danceswithbaby Fri 29-Sep-06 11:31:06

Your poor baby. Symptoms do sound like relux except for the constipation and infant gaviscon can cause that. My little girl was pretty bad ,occasionally projectile vomiting but not that often. She used to pull of the boob screaming then cry to go back on until I was raw. We were perscribed gaviscon when she was 6 weeks but it seemed to cause more trauma getting it into her so we stopped after once or twice. Anyway, constipation is apparently a common side effect and I thought she had enough to be going on with. I found the only thing I could do was keep her upright as much as possible, She'd scream if I lay her flat anytway. Sometimes I held her for 16 hours a day. I sold the pram and bought a sling, then as well as being upright she had mummy-comfort which can only help! I tried to offer her small, frequent feeds. She used to try and overfeed because breastmilk is a natural antacid apparently so she put on plenty of weight. Things settled a bit from about three months. Then seemed to get worse again from 4.5 - 6ish months although the screaming during/after feeding never really returned. She just puked and coughed more which doesn't make for a good nights sleep. She is 7.5 months now and it has settled down quite a bit although she still suffers and it wakes her frequently in the night. I reckon patience is the key, also
I'm not a great fan of drugs. Hang in there and good luck.

poppiesinaline Fri 29-Sep-06 11:32:30

I really really feel for you TearingMyHairOut. My DS1 had silent reflux and it was awful. (he wasnt diagnosed until he was 13 weeks) and we went through hell. He was then put on medication which helped but he also turned out to be dairy intolerant (didnt discover this until he was just over 2 ) I am told now, that apparently reflux and dairy intolerance often goes hand in hand He didnt have diarrhoea. His poo was very very sticky and smelt really awful.

I hope you get this sorted soon.

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