Monday, July 16, 2007

Luke has GERD

Luke went for his 2 month check-up today. They diagnosed him with GERD/reflux and put him on 0.7 ml of ranitidine 3x a day! I knew all the crying and spitting up wasn't normal and hopefully this will help. The doc said that when he lays down it feels like he is drowning which is why he screams so violently when we lay him down on his back, so we have to keep him upright for 45-50 minutes after every basically he will be UPRIGHT all day, since he eats about every 2 hours! I cried in the van on the way to the pharmacy because I didn't realize that my baby was sick or in so much pain. She said that most babies outgrow GERD at about a year old, but that for some kids, GERD becomes a lifelong condition. The medicine tastes HORRIBLE and he isn't happy about taking it, but hopefully it will help.

So you ask, what is GERD? GERD stands for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease which is chronic symptoms or mucosal damage produced by abnormal reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus. Your stomach is filled with acid. Its purpose is to help digest the food you eat. Believe it or not, this acid is the same acidity as battery acid. Your stomach is built to handle the acid it produces. However, your esophagus isn’t. So when acid backs up into your esophagus, it can cause the burning sensation known as heartburn. Almost everyone has occasional heartburn. But if these symptoms occur two or more days a week for at least three months, you may have GERD, or acid reflux disease. Acid reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (the valve separating the esophagus and stomach) does not close properly, allowing acid to back up into the esophagus. GERD is a chronic condition and may lead to more serious medical conditions, but is treatable.

Other than that things went well. As the visit was drawing to a close, I was waiting for her to say "the nurse will be in with the shots" and I had prepared myself for the whole thing and instead she says "you don't immunize right? So I guess we are all done for today. Call me in 10 days and let me know if the meds are helping his reflux".....I bet my mouth was hanging open! I couldn't believe it. I hadn't even mentioned the immunizations outright at any previous visit, just politely told a nurse when she said something about a new vaccine in the schedule that "That's fine, I don't really need that information". The only other thing would be that Luke's record might show that we didn't do the hepB at the hospital, so that may have been another clue. I am so thrilled with my new pediatric practice choice!

Luke is growing, slow but steady. He weighes 12 lbs even and is 24 1/2 inches long...... 40% for weight, 80% for height...


Valerie said...

Oh, poor baby. Hopefully the meds will help. IF you could e-mail me what practice you are seeing, that would be great.

Karen said...

My daugher had GERD also - she's 10 and she probably outgrew it by the time she was one. She never could sleep lying down her whole first year. I don't know if there weren't medicines for the condition then or if my pediatrician didn't use them, but we made it through. Sending you hugs and kind thoughts.

Karen in Des Moines