GERD and Pyloric Stenosis

Dr. Alan Greene answers the question, What are the symptoms of GERD and pyloric stenosis?

Question

What can you tell me about GERD or pyloric stenosis?

Answer

In pyloric stenosis, the valve at the bottom of the stomach grows too tight so that liquid comes shooting back up. It is far less common than GERD. The classic thing with pyloric stenosis is projectile vomiting, where it also shoots out away from the body, but not all kids with pyloric stenosis have this (or vice versa). But the one thing most of these kids have in common is that the vomiting is progressive. It occurs more and more often over time, usually immediately after a feeding, but not necessarily after all feedings. It usually starts after 3 weeks of age, but can begin anywhere up to 5 months. It is most common in firstborns, especially firstborn boys.

There are some nonmedical solutions that some people try, such as sitting the baby up at a 45-degree angle or thickening the formula, but these solutions have not been proven and have not been adequately studied. Giving smaller, more frequent feedings makes good sense and is reported by many doctors and parents to have made a difference, but there has not been a good study of this yet, either.

An AR formula is an easy thing to try. Enfamil AR adds some rice without changing the number of calories kids get. It goes down thin then thickens in the stomach. Carnation Good Start, with its partially hydrolyzed proteins, has been able to show that the formula goes through the stomach quicker (improved gastric emptying time) but they have not done the studies to show decreased reflux.

 

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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