From my own research and from the doctor’s explanation, we were potentially facing 2 main issues:
1. Silent reflux
2. Cow’s milk protein intolerance
The difficulty with diagnosis, the doctor said, was that both have very similar presentation. Reflux can exist on its own for a number of reasons: an immature valve separating the oesophagus from the stomach; a problem with the formation of this valve; the production of too much acid in the stomach or the possibility that the stomach produces too much acid to compensate for the body’s inability to break down proteins.
Now comes the reasoning behind this blog: treatment!
The doctor told us that as the problems can be down to immaturity, often no treatment is offered until much later (if at all). Clearly if it is indeed reflux existing alone, at 6 months when babies sit, roll and eat solids, many of the symptoms will disappear. This may not be the case in the instance of an intolerance.
Intolerance should not be confused with allergy, he told us. In the case of allergy, the immune system reacts to the milk, often causing vomiting, diarrhoea, rashes, swelling etc immediately after consumption. In the case of intolerance, the digestive system reacts to the milk. Here, we see a different presentation of symptoms: from diarrhoea to constipation; sickness to extreme hunger; stomach pain (however babies can’t tell us!) and many more which can be linked to reflux such as distress, crying, restlessness to name but a few!
We decided on the treatment of both conditions as we were aware that the time taken for Emelie to show improvement would give an indication of the issue. I wasn’t about to begin the trial and error process whereby my daughter suffered from one hospital appointment to another!
In the end I was glad for my persistence, as I’ve read so many stories of babies not improving until 5 and 6 months!
Neocate (our life saver!) is an amino based formula where the proteins are broken down to their smallest form (every child will respond we were told), the pepti formulas however, are ‘partially’ broken and we were told around 80% of children would respond…not worth the aggravation I thought!
Please feel free to comment with your experiences, or use my twitter (mammybear84) to get in touch! This is us…3rd bottle pain-free!!!