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GER and GERD Causes

When these symptoms occur in the life of families, it can be a very challenging time. No parent wants to see their child suffer for any reason. Your first desire is to do all that you can to make difficult times better and right.

Infants with GER are a reflection of their immature nervous system. In most infants the junction between the esophagus and stomach is “closed” opening only to allow passage of formula or breast milk into the stomach or to allow the escape of swallowed air via burping.

Personal Testimony:

When I was an infant, my family always talked about what a pukey baby I was. My mother and grandmother are both living in heaven, so I could not call them and ask questions, so I called my father and asked him if he could remember the first year of my life? He immediately started laughing! He said: “when you would give me my bottle of formula, I took it in, and then it all came back up, just like turning on the faucet. It was not a little bit; it was the whole amount I took in! I was a mess, my mom was a mess, and then I was crying, my mom was crying.” My life was like this for my whole first year of life. My great grandmother came to my rescue, and with her patience, she took care of me, pretty much my first year of life. My father said; “she prayed over me daily, and by the time I was a year old, my symptom was under control.” I am 60 years old today, and I just had an EGD scope of my esophagus, for; I have been having problems with a chronic cough, for the last two years. They found a hiatus hernia just above the diaphragm in my esophagus and the doctor stated: “It probably has been there since birth.” So now the light comes on, and this hiatus hernia was probably my problem as a baby also.

During episodes of reflux, this junction is continuously open allowing a backward flow of stomach contents into the esophagus, which a hiatus hernia just above the diaphragm could cause. Infant GER occurs in over 50% of healthy infants with a peak incidence (65%) at approximately 4 months of age. Most episodes resolve by twelve months of age. So with these static; you can see where the finding of the actual hiatus hernia could have gone undiagnosed, which in my case did. Back in 1955; a procedure called an EGD scope was not even a medical practice, let alone invented yet.

Since the fundamental issue for infants with GER is “tincture of time” most infants need no specific therapy. Lifestyle adjustments which have been helpful for some infants include:

  • Mild elevation of the head of the crib mattress
  • Maintaining an upright position for the first 20 to 30 minutes of feeding
  • Thickening of the formula with rice cereal
  • Utilization of an “elemental” formula (for example, Alimentum)
  • Introduction of solid foods at the safe and appropriate age

I want to share two more testimonies with you from mothers dealing with their children and problems with GER and GERD. Therefore; you can clearly see that getting to the root of the problem and obtaining a diagnosis is still a very difficult process.

Personal Testimonies:

My 3-year-old son was always difficult to feed, right from birth. He vomited constantly, which was heartbreaking after spending an hour trying to nurse him. In the last year or two, he has begun to make little burping sounds all the time but he is, in fact, vomiting into his mouth and re-swallowing. My husband has had GERD for as long as he can remember (as in, he doesn’t EVER remember not having heartburn). Even having his 35 years of experience with GERD, we were still slow to realize that it was likely the cause of a whole host of problems with our son. Our family doctor prescribed Ranitidine with no success. He was still burping and puking, so we’ve taken him off the drugs. We are currently waiting to see the GI specialist at our nearest children’s hospital and hoping for an answer. I’m anxious for the day when my little boy isn’t in pain or smelling like puke. Hopefully, it’s sooner rather than later.

My son is 10 weeks old and has been having these GERD symptoms since birth; he was started on Zantac, and so far he seems to be doing better; he isn’t projectile vomiting, gasping for air or choking, he doesn’t cry with feedings anymore; seems more relaxed during feeds. He is still crying erratically, though; he needs my arms almost all day. BUT he sleeps all night! My daughter has had GERD symptoms since birth. It started with foamy spit up, severe gagging, and choking at night and with feedings. She has been on Zantac twice a day, but it doesn’t seem to be enough. She is still making gulping sounds and stays congested with rattled breathing and cough. She is also on Singulair and after EGD and PH probe she is on EleCare and Nexium and is possibly suffering from food allergies. This is my fourth child and none of my other children went through this. It is very scary.

So even today with modern methods GER and GERD is a very serious issue for children and families that are dealing with it.