Acid Reflux Across the Pond 2 - Questions about Food Allergy and Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is not limited to the United States. Parents and support groups from around the world contact us with questions about acid reflux. In England, there is a website and support group for U.K. parents called Babyreflux (babyreflux.co.uk). Here, parents can discover acid reflux products that are available to help them care for babies with acid reflux.
This is the second SharePost providing answers to questions from the site's founder. These questions were submitted by parents of children with acid reflux. As you will see, the experiences of families living with acid reflux in England are shared by many of us. Read the first SharePost here.
Q 1: Our daughter is now 8 months old and still regularly vomits her
milk/solids despite having every medicine available for her, wedges for sleeping, supports for her car seat/buggy and all the usual techniques to avoid promoting the sicking up. At what point should we be seeing a change in the amount of fluids she brings back? We've been told 1 year old and the pediatrician wants her to just 'outgrow' the medicine doses, rather than increase them as she grows.
Q 2: I would normally be looking to reduce the milk feeds with my baby as she approaches a year old, however with acid reflux bringing up most of her milk I am still giving her four bottles a day and her solids three times a day. She is very sick. Should I continue with the milk to make sure she gets nutrients? I'm not sure how to balance her food intake solids/milk.
Food Allergy and Acid Reflux
There are infants and children who suffer from acid reflux that is non-allergy-related and then there are children who have acid reflux caused by food allergies. When a child is allergic to a food, her body overreacts to one or more of the proteins in the food. If the gastrointestinal system is the "contact organ" or the part of the body that "shows" the allergic reaction, acid reflux or reflux-like symptoms may be the result. Either an allergist who is familiar with acid reflux or a registered dietitian can ensure that the child with acid reflux is receiving optimal nutrition to promote normal growth and development while not exacerbating the condition.
An elimination diet and specialty formula may be part of the care plan for a child who has acid reflux due to food allergies. The children mentioned in the questions above are drinking milk as part of their diets. Dairy allergy is one of the most common allergies that cause allergic reactions in children. The parents of these children may benefit from talking to their health care providers about substituting a hypo-allergenic formula or rice milk for any dairy in their diet. Unfortunately, the first or second formula choice may not improve the condition, even if the child does have allergy-related acid reflux. Sometimes it can take several tries to find a diet your child can eventually tolerate. This process can create frustrations and hardships for families. Patience and understanding is going to be needed from everyone.
Acid Reflux in Infants and Children contains two chapters on food allergies and reflux. One chapter is written by Michele Innes, a registered dietician. Susan Bauer, a registered nurse, wrote the other. Each of these chapters may be a starting place for a conversation with your doctors about ruling out allergy-related-reflux through an elimination diet.