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Q&A:
When will my 10-month-old outgrow projectile vomiting?

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Question


My 10-month-old usually projectile vomits at least once every other day or so. As I've had Crohn's disease for nine years, should I be worried that something is wrong? I am ready to demand some tests, and am tired of hearing that he will outgrow it -- when?

Answer


I can understand the frustration you experience and the extra laundry you have to do, as well as the worry that his doctor may be dismissing something that might be serious.I assume that your baby is gaining weight, growing and developing normally, that the vomiting is not associated with pain, abdominal distension, or diarrhea, and that he is well and happy between bouts. If this is the case, the most likely cause for this occasional episode is gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, probably the most common chronic pediatric digestive problem. It can vary from merely burping and spitting up to constant vomiting. Babies who are severely affected may fail to thrive or gain weight properly, come down with recurrent pneumonia, or even suffer from apnea -- an interruption of breathing. Most babies with GERD, however, have it to a mild degree, as it seems your child does. In general, children are free of this condition by age 2. The available tests for GERD are at best unpleasant and sometimes require anesthesia, which is not appropriate if your child is not suffering growth failure or other consequences. Medicines can help, but many pediatricians (myself included) feel that committing an infant to medication for a problem that will go away on its own is not worth the risk of side effects. On the other hand, you may be especially apprehensive because of your own gastrointestinal disease. If you cannot relax about this, ask your pediatrician to refer you to a gastroenterologist who specializes in infants and children for further reassurance.  
 
 
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