Unlike happy spitters, babies are diagnosed with GERD if the vomiting seems to be causing significant problems, such as:
- discomfort and pain (presumably heartburn due to the acid-filled stomach contents irritating the esophagus)
- breathing problems of any kind (gagging, choking, coughing, wheezing, and, worst-case scenario, pneumonia due to inhalation of the stomach contents into the lungs, called aspiration).
- poor growth (due to the loss of so much nutrition from vomiting).
If your baby has any of the above GERD symptoms, talk to your pediatrician, who can perform different tests to diagnosis and treat it correctly.
One misconception is that GERD is often due to an intolerance to the milk. But if you think about it, the milk has just entered the stomach and hasn't had time to be digested, much less be recognized as one type or another. So changing your baby's formula usually does not help.
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