On this page I’m going to attempt to pull together all of the information we have on diet, allergy, intolerances and gastric reflux disease. Some infants presenting with signs of gastric reflux may have their symptoms relieved entirely by changing their diet but, the majority will still need medications to control their gastric reflux. However, it is my experience that if there is a food allergy present, it is impossible to gain good control of gastric reflux disease with medication alone.
If there is a history of any allergy (including hay fever) in either parent there is an increased risk that their children will have allergies and if both parents have allergies this is further increased to 50-60%. Even in a non-allergic family there is a 5-15% risk of allergies.
Studies have shown that about one third of infants with gastric reflux disease will have a cow’s milk protein allergy or intolerance.1 Skin prick or blood RAST testing will often not pick up this “gastrointestinal” food allergy as it may be a delayed reaction, and is best diagnosed by an elimination diet and challenge. This involves removing dairy from the mother’s diet if breastfed or a trial of a non-cow’s milk based formula. A trial of a dairy free diet is in fact the first recommendation on our treatment guidelines: GORD and Managing Uncomplicated Reflux. Some parents have found that unproven forms of testing such as Kinesiology have helped them to remove offending foods. GRSNNZ doesn’t endorse these and would recommend that limited diets also be supervised by a dietician, that a medically qualified health professional (paediatrician, allergist, immunologist etc) be involved and if appropriate the foods be challenged after a suitable time lapse.
Cow’s milk protein allergy should not be confused with lactose intolerance. Breast milk always contains lactose even if the mother is on a strict dairy free, lactose free diet so a baby who responds to a change in their mother’s diet, does not have a lactose intolerance. Lactose Intolerance vs Milk Protein Allergy
Solids should be introduced around six months of age.2 In addition to this we recommend that gluten not be introduced into the diet until around one year of age. See Gluten can cause gastro-oesophageal reflux disease! for more information on gluten. Good first foods that are less likely to cause a reaction include plain baby rice, kumara and pumpkin. Taking the introduction of solids slowly should allow you to work out which foods cause problems.
If you have further questions try our site search or contact us.
Allergy Today Spring 2006 ( page 48 )
Crying Over Spilt Milk Survey December 2006
Allergy Today Summer 2006/07 ( page 8 )
1 Gastroesophageal reflux and cow’s milk allergy in infants: A prospective study. URL:http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=3022081. Accessed: 2010-08-21. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5sA3Q7aKH )
2 Ministry of Health. Starting Solids. URL: http://www.healthed.govt.nz/uploads/docs/HE6014.pdf Accessed:21/08/2010
Written by Roslyn Ballantyne (RN), National Coordinator for © Crying Over Spilt Milk Gastric Reflux Support Network New Zealand for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust December 2006. Last updated August 2013.
Page may be printed or reproduced for personal use of families, as long as copyright and Crying Over Spilt Milk‘s URL are included. It may not be copied to other websites or publications without permission and acknowledgement.
Hi there, just wanted to say that this page and your website has been a huge help! It has provided ideas, helping me and my 8 week old son cope with his reflux. He was diagnosed @ 4 weeks old, and has been on gaviscon since. I have also gone dairy free, not sure if it's helping but he's definitely settled over the weeks. Hopefully he 'grows out of it' as the Dr says, grateful for all tips and advice from other parents experiencing the same...'I'm not alone'....this is a photo of our son in his Happy Place, where he goes from crying to smiling straight away!
Hi, Just wondering if you could help me with a question please. I got given Losec Suspension today. Since it's in suspension form and not the granules how long before a feeding should I give it to my baby or can it be given at the same time?
My baby has been diagnosed with reflux, her dr prescribed her ranitidine 150 mg/10 ml. It says 1 ml 3x a day, shes 5.7 kgs, does this sound right? That seems alot to me...
Hi there. I've been reading your website and Facebook page with interest over the past few months and it's been really helpful. My daughter is coming up 4 months old and her reflux seems to be improving. We tried gaviscon but it didn't make much difference. Main thing for us has been that I cut dairy out of my diet. I now have food with dairy in it but just don't do the core basics like cheese, yoghurt, milk etc and although she still spills often, the associated pain seems to be almost gone. Am hoping she's growing out of it but the dairy still seems to have a bit of an effect. Anyway, in two months time I have to go back to part-time work and will need to start using a formula on those days. I usually used karicare gold with my kids but have no idea what options would be best for my reflux baby. Can you make some suggestions? I'd like to try some out to see how she reacts etc before I go back to work but don't know what brands to try. Thanks.
Hi, I have a wee girl Matilda, 3.5 months, who has been diagnosed with gerd and is currently on Ranitidine and Domperidone. We have tried Losec and gaviscon infant too, and after trying pepti jnr and neocate we are now on elecare formula. Also have done the usual, raise cot, chiro, upright after feeds etc. We don't seem to be making much progress and its really heart-breaking to try all these medications on such a wee person! We do seem to have 3-4 great days when she is happy and contented but then have 3-4 terrible days with constant crying, not much drinking, so much vomit and terribly unsettled, not much sleeping etc; my question is, is this 'normal' ?! Is gerd cyclonic? Thanks, Amanda :)
My four month old son has recently been diagnosed with reflux after his feeding has become worse and worse over the last month. He will cry before and during a feed and constantly turns his head from side to side. It takes alot of coaxing to get him to drink. He has also started waking almost hourly through the night. We have tried gaviscon which gave him terrible constipation and now ranitidine. After reading the dosages on the spilt milk site we realized the dose we were given was far too low so have now been on a high ish dose for a week with little change. How long should it take to see a change? We also have a script for omeprazole so can try that next. Anyone else with a reflux baby also had these sleeping issues? Any tips welcome, we have raised the bed and keep him upright after feeds. Thanks in advance
Anyone recommend a good paediatrician in Auckland, son has reflux and looking to get some help!
How can I give my omeprazole granules to a 5 month old? I have been putting in pear puree but now want to introduce food and think this is putting her off wanting to eat!
Our membership form is now working again. Sorry for the delay. We are looking forward to meeting some new members. http://www.reflux.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/grsnnz.../ Joining Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust gives access to our Newsletters and Private Local and National Support Networks. Membership is free, and this gives you opportunities to discuss gastric reflux related issues with others in a safe and confidential setting.
hi i have a nearly 8 month old girl, she is on ''Kari-care anti reflux AR'' now they say by six months the reflux or spewing up heaps of milk should be fine now. but im scared to put her on normal kari care cause she use to vomit like crazy, what formula should i be going on? thanks :)
Advice sought please. My bf 11mo has reflux which is basically under control with restricted diet (no dairy, no soy and query gluten intolerance too, so no gluten) for us both and 10mg omeprazole daily. Gaviscon as required. Acid symptoms generally improved. However still no sleep due to wind/tummy pain etc. and we are exhausted (waking hourly to 2-hourly in discomfort/wanting to feed). Found this remarkable thread re windy toddlers (err see first comment for link) which totally resonated. Wondered if any GERD families on here had wind issues and perhaps tried low FODMAP diet? Or had other tips to share re calming the entire GI tract, top to bottom? Thanks.