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Pediatrics/Acid reflux?


I have a 17 month old daughter.  She has always been an excellent eater and sleeper and is generally a happy little girl.  For the past couple of months, she has been burping up a lot.  She always spit up some when she was consuming formula, but it lessened greatly when we started her on milk at 1 year.  Now, though she burps up from morning till night.  She has even burped up when I first changed her diaper in the morning before she had consumed anything.  Usually she keeps her mouth closed and swallows it, but there is typically some curdled milk or other debris from previous meals left in her mouth.    I have asked her pediatrician about it, and she agreed it was probably an acid reflux problem, and that I should cut back on the amount of fluids I give her.  Right now I am basically giving her between 9 and 16oz milk each day and maybe a few sips of water, and she is still burping up!  The problem hasn't seemed to disrupt her sleep, and she doesn't seem bothered by the problem, but I am!

With regards to food she eats . . . I prepare all her food and freeze it in ice cube treys.  Currently she eats a small amount of oatmeal with a little fresh banana each morning; lunch consists of an egg cooked in the microwave, green peas and fruit (apple, grapes…) that she eats with her hands; and dinner is a protein (chicken, meatball…) three vegetables (varies . . . eggplant, carrots, broccoli, beans, cauliflower, sweet potato, squash…) and a fruit (usually either applesauce or pear-sauce).  Again, all the veggies, meats and fruit-sauces are pre-measured into ice cube treys).  She doesn't eat any processed foods yet, and I make homemade yogurt that she sometimes eats with her egg.

This problem hasn't seemed to disrupt her sleep, and she doesn't seem bothered by the burping up, but I am!  Family members tell me not to worry about it and she will outgrow it, but I have this problem and it doesn't go away unless treated.  I am concerned for her esophagus and tooth enamel

Do you have any suggestions of things I can try to elevate this problem?

Hi, Renee,

9 to 16 oz of milk a day is generally not enough, unless you are giving a lot of non-milk dairy products.  Kids should be encouraged to drink all the liquids they can.  

She is getting a diet that most mothers would only dream about!  Excellent.

I think in the last sentence of your question you meant alleviate.  I think.

She has GER, which is asymptomatic movement of stomach contents from the stomach to the esophagus and above.  This is technically not GERD, which is gastroesphogeal reflux DISEASE.  Disease implies adverse symptoms.  

Try this website, and check into some of the non-medicine tips to help. If this doesn't work, it might be reasonable to have a theraputic trial of ranitidine twice a day to see if this helps the symptoms, especially if there is a strong FMH of GERD in other members.  It is possible that GER in this age can slowly due some damage that may be clinically undetected at this point in time.

Good luck, Dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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