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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Acid Reflux Drugs for Babies

Did you know this was a growing Problem? I didn't.

Hey folks,

I'm being dead serious here. You know I follow all things Health. You know I bring to you this Segment EVERY Sunday. Most of the time I have some knowledge of the Conversation that we have. I have researched it in the Past. I have lived it. I know others that have. ETC. But THIS? Did you know this was a growing Problem? I didn't.

What I'm talking about is Acid Reflux Drugs for Babies. Yup. I said Acid Reflux Drugs for Babies. Apparently, not only is this occurring more and more, it is OVER occurring and most of the time, COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY.

Now many of you know that I have a Baby Eli. My friends Steven and Laura just had a Baby Boy, Riley. I am raising my oldest Son Joshua. I helped raise my Niece. I KNOW Babies. I really do. I have been through more than some {Joshua's Torticollis and Plagiocephaly}, not as much as others. But I never knew this was even possible, let alone becoming a Problem. Joshua spit up. We changed his Formula, he was fine. Eli spits up from time to time, but seems, other than needing constant attention, perfectly fine. However, if I brought any of them to the Wrong Doctor, they may have been diagnosed with GERD and given Acid Reflux Drugs. BABIES?!?!

Well? According to WebMD - Are Too Many Babies Getting Acid Reflux Drugs?

Pediatrician Suggests Many Healthy Infants Are Prescribed GERD Drugs Unnecessarily By Cari Nierenberg WebMD Health News Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Oct. 20, 2011 -- Babies may spit up and cry and fuss for seemingly no reason. But one children's health expert has noticed an alarming increase in the number of infants being prescribed acid-suppressing drugs to reduce unexplained crying and spitting up.

In a commentary published in The Journal of Pediatrics, Eric Hassell, MD, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation in San Francisco, warns that the use of acid-suppressing medications to babies under 1 year old has skyrocketed. One large study in the U.S. found a 16-fold increase in the number of prescriptions for a kid-friendly liquid form of acid-suppressing drugs between 1999 and 2004.

Despite this recent spike in prescriptions, Hassell argues that the vast majority of infants don't have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is what these drugs are meant to treat.

"There was no good medical reason" for this huge jump in acid-reflux drug use in infants, he says. "There was no sudden epidemic of reflux disease."
So of course, why is it happening would be the question. Could Big Drug be making out pretty good here? Or is it REALLY the Parents Fault? This Doctor seems to think so.

Pressure to Prescribe

Hassell suggests that a baby's inconsolable crying and spitting up, which are separate symptoms, have become combined into a diagnosis of acid-reflux disease by some pediatricians. But this spitting up likely isn't "acid reflux" because infants have frequent feedings that tend to buffer stomach acid.

Most reflux is physiological, Hassell tells WebMD. In most cases, it's not the spitting up that should be treated, he says. The real issue is the unexplained crying.

To be sure, having your little bundle of joy morph into a little one who is wailing, bawling, and red-faced is nerve-wracking for frazzled parents. And some moms and dads put a lot of pressure on pediatricians to "do something" to help their hard-to-soothe infants.

"Parents are demanding treatment and demanding higher doses of drugs," suggests Hassell.

It's sometimes easier and quicker for a doctor to write a prescription instead of taking the time to explain what parents can try in place of drugs. He suspects that both parents and pediatricians are unaware of the extent to which acid-reducing drugs are being overprescribed or of their potential side effects if used long-term.
So Parents Dick and Jane hear from there friends Lucy and Bob, "Hey, our Baby Lob was crying all the time and having the same Spit Up as yours. Our Doctor said it was GERD, and Prescribed Drug XYZ for Acid Reflux, he is GREAT now." So Dick and Jane go to their Doctor and tells their Doctor what their friends said, and DEMAND that they get the same treatment. But Baby Spit up is NORMAL.

Spitting Up in Babies

We like to say that "spit happens" in babies, says Esther Israel, MD, a pediatric gastroenterologist at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston. "Gastroesophageal reflux is not a disease in infants. It's a normal physiological response that babies often outgrow."

Israel admits there is a lot we don't know about why babies are irritable. Still, she notices that more and more kids are coming in to see her who are already on acid-suppressing drugs. And there is a concern that we are overmedicating these infants.

She says that before turning to medications, there are a lot of things that can be done from a behavioral perspective. These include soothing-type activities, such as rocking or patting the newborn in a quiet place. Dietary approaches such as switching from a milk protein-containing formula to a soy-based or hydrolyzed one may also make a difference. If a mother is breastfeeding, she can try eliminating milk products from her diet to see how her baby responds.

If colic is a concern, infants usually outgrow it in their first three to four months of life. And "there is no proof that unexplained crying in otherwise healthy infants is caused by pain in the abdomen or any other body part," writes Hassell in his commentary.

"The use of acid-suppressing medications in infants should be reserved for those children for whom behavioral methods and changes in formula don't work," Israel tells WebMD. And when those drugs are tried, she'll begin with a two-week trial to see if it calms a baby down.
Here are some more tips to sooth a Crying Baby. I didn't like this part of this Piece: "both Parents and Pediatricians are unaware of the extent to which acid-reducing drugs are being overprescribed or of their potential side effects if used long-term." So why would you WANT to put this into your Child's Body? Take the time to check out the tips for Crying Babies. I hope it helps you. You know what I always say when discussing anything Medical. When in doubt, go see your Doctor. If you do not like what your Doctor tells you, get a second opinion. How much more cautious should you be when dealing with your Child? Much more. Their Bodies are still growing and developing. You do not what ANYTHING to alter or hinder that in any way.

WebMD - Are Too Many Babies Getting Acid Reflux Drugs?

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