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Oct 27, 2008
Catherine, 24-weeker, released from NICU on Zantac. Soon had NG tube due to FTT and GERD. Increasing oral defensiveness, now 100% tube fed after 4mths at home. Currently on breastmilk only, and still puking all the time. Mom just started Dr. Sears Elimination Diet.
Elimination Diet - How to Know....

....when it is time to quit? I've been eating the restricted diet for a week now, and I think I can handle going on for a while, although I am really tired of pears! But it's putting extra work on my DH's shoulders, as he ends up preparing meals for himself and our older daughter pretty much every night. It's getting to him.

Catherine has not shown much improvement as yet. Some of that can be attributed to the antibiotics she just finished for the double ear infection. And some of it can be attributed to the ear infections, too.

DH says he's willing to say the special diet is helping if there is less puking overall and the reduction in puking lasts over a period of time. He doesn't expect the puking to stop altogether, and neither do I.

For those moms out there who have used elimination diets for their bfing refluxers, what improvements did you see? When did you decide to add a new food? When did you decide to stop?

Oct 27, 2008
Kathryn, Pager Volunteer and mommy to Emily Mia 02/04/07. 3 years old with GERD. 30mg Prevacid and Pepcid AC. Mylanta needed for flares. Failed prilosec med switch. Tried and failed many med weans but GERD and pain are well controlled. Functional constipation. Reoccurring SBBO. Suspected IBD or autoimmune disease. Resolved issues: MSPI, CSID (acquired), Stage 2 kidney reflux, Chronic diarrhea.
Audrey Meadow 06/20/08. born 34/35 weeks. Still b/f and eats everything! ftt and chronic constipation.
i must be a gluten for punishment cause i kept it up for 5 months, even though it never worked for emily. I mean she wouldn't throw up but there was NO decrease in the amount of crying or discomfort.

anyway from what i read you should stick to the Elim Diet for about 2-3 weeks to see full results. There are quite a few moms on here the elimination diet did wonders for their little ones. It just takes a little while for the bad proteins to exit your body (about 7-10 days) then a little bit longer for them to exit your babies (about 7 days after they leave yours)

check out and they will give you a guide on how to do the elim diet
Oct 27, 2008
Lorenzo b.4/25/07 1 week in NICU w/ aspirate pneumonia from a reflux episode; diagnosed GERD at 9weeks; Used Zantac for 5months. Currently using Chinese Medicine and Craniosacral Therapy. GERD, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Sensory Processing Disorder. Ask me about breastfeeding a refluxer! Pic: day 5 in the NICU.
There are typically two approaches to the elimination diet. One suggests that you begin by eliminating practically everything and slowly add foods back into your diet. The other suggests eliminating the most common culprits only to begin with, and then paring down from there is needed. Obviously the paring down method is easier, but it can also take longer to be sure that it is, or is not, working.

I did the total elimination approach with my son because he was so miserable and I was desperate to make it better. It did help quite a bit, especially with gassiness, which was a real trigger for reflux for him. So what I saw right away was a decrease in his gas and stomach discomfort. I spent about 4-5 months experimenting with adding and deleting things from my diet, trying to always give at least a week to see changes. Nothing about my diet or his ever did anything to change the frequency of his refluxing.

One of the big challenges with elimination diets, as you point out, is that there are so many other things at play it can be extremely difficult to be sure what is, or is not, helping. Teething, earaches, diaper rashes, growing pains...there is just so much that can cause troubles for our little one's. There's also the fact that, as their digestive systems mature, they are sometimes able to handle things they couldn't before, so it's very tricky the juggling act of eliminating and re-introducing. I always suggest that people try the elimination diet for a couple of months, since it is one of those 'not likely to hurt, might help' things -- but know that it's just another tool in the box which may or may not really make a difference....

BTW, I just want to commend you on continuing to provide your daughter with breastmilk, in spite of all the challenges you have both been through!

Oct 28, 2008
Catherine, 24-weeker, released from NICU on Zantac. Soon had NG tube due to FTT and GERD. Increasing oral defensiveness, now 100% tube fed after 4mths at home. Currently on breastmilk only, and still puking all the time. Mom just started Dr. Sears Elimination Diet.

Yes, did look at the information on Dr. Sears's site. That's the approach I am using, the total elimination way. I had been trying to cut out just milk and chocolate, but was starting to suspect soy, and I figured this might get the answer faster, whether there is a food intolerance issue here.

And, it is in part an act of desperation. Some small area of my daughter's life which I can try to control.

I was wanting to know what specific improvements the other moms saw. Like, was it just less puking, or were there other symptoms that diminished? DD often has a stuffy nose in the morning, which leads to at least a couple throw-ups full of mucous with the first awake feeding. I have a theory that this is from a food allergy, although I also know it could just be from the reflux in general.

When did you decide to add a new food? I know that the Sears's website says to do it every 4-7 days. But that's addressing a colicky baby, not necessarily a refluxer. So the first question about improvements kind of links into this one: Did you decide that you weren't likely to see any more improvement after the first 3 weeks, and so you just as well move on? Or did things get so remarkably better that you KNEW with no doubt it was safe to add something new.

And, of course, every child is different. But since this is a kind of scientific experiment, I would like to have some parameters to go by in terms of what others have experienced.

BTW, I don't think I could bear to have DD on strictly formula, after reading the labels (milk, corn, soy, safflower, etc.). I can live with using Neocate or whatever to supplement when my milk isn't enough, but I haven't been willing to budge on the breastfeeding issue. It might be the death of me, as I don't get much sleep at night because of pumping, but then, I would have to be awake to feed DD anyway, so I had just as well use the time productively!

Oct 28, 2008
Cooper was born 12/19/07. Birth weight: 7lbs10oz. Weight as of 2/11: 8lbs9oz. 6/23: 14lbs12oz! Struggling again 12mo: 18lbs. Breast Fed exclusively, on strict elimination diet until Dec 08. MSPI as well as other food intolerances Diagnosed w/ GER at 5 days following barium swallow. Choking with apnea spells. Ftt. dx w/ Laryngomalacia following brochoscopy 1/29. Aspiration. apnea monitor until 5mo. pH probe 1/29 showed severe reflux. Sandifers Syndrome. lbrady and tackycardia. echo and EKG 2/18: Came back normal! Swallow study 2/29: some NG reflux. Unexplained seizure 4/1. Negative CF sweat test 4/4! EGD 11/19: reflux damage in esophagus. pH probe 11/19, reflux improved. Safe foods: pears, apples, peas, rice, small amounts of chicken, potatoes, and carrots.
Currently drinking Elecare vanilla 30cal/oz and breastmilk.
Meds: Nexium 10mg 2x daily. Carafate as needed, miralaxx as needed, probiotics daily
The biggest difference we saw was in Cooper's stools. He also began to gain weight b/c he wasn't have constant diahreah. For us, it worked well, though he still needs a high dose of reflux meds and still has bouts of reflux. He never threw up really, so I am not sure about that. I still have a hard time adding new foods, mostly b/c I don't want to do anything to mess up what we fixed. I felt the same about formula. It was just a personal choice. And in my opinion, if the diet isn't making a huge difference, you may just be dealing with a reflux issue, not so much of an allergy issue, so I don't see how formula could help that anyway. If you have a strong desire to keep nursing/feeding breastmilk, hang in there. It can be very tough. I know all too well. I really hope you see a difference. I too commend you. Best of luck!
Check with your
doctor first!