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Children's Health

When to Request a Referral to a Ped GI MD?

06/21/2010

Question:

Our son is five and has struggled with GERD for most of his life. He took Prevacid as a baby and then when he was around a year old he seemed asymptomatic, so we discontinued it. When he was about 2 years old he developed severe asthma (to the point that he had to be LifeFlighted to the Children`s Hospital in the major metro area in our state).It took a while to get his asthma symptoms stabilized after that. The final medication that got those symptoms finally under control was Prevacid. We`ve tried twice to take him off Prevacid and each time, he starts to have symptoms or actually complain of symptoms. Each time we`ve talked with our pediatrician and the asthma specialist about possibly needing to see a pediatric gastroenterologist, they haven`t been enthusiastic. My husband is reluctant since he doesn`t want to subject our son to anesthesia and it`s risk (we`re assuming that a pediatric GI would want to at least scope him). Should we consult a pediatric GI? Is there risk that, even with the Prevacid, that his GERD is severe enough it is causing damage??

Answer:

In short, a pediatric GI consult may be a great benefit.

1. Possibly, another medication may better control symptoms.
2. A Ph probe (with or without anesthetic) may be helpful.
3.) An Upper GI may be useful in documenting whether or not there is damage to the esophagus despite reflux medication.

Also, has your child been evaluated for eosinophilic esophagitis?

For more information see the web link Below: 

The persistence of symptoms peaks my curiosity.

Related Resources:

Eosinophilic Disorders

For more information:

Go to the Children's Health health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Sarah Sauntry, RN, MS, CPNP-PC
Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati