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Excessive vomiting in 11-month old

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
My 11-month old has been vomiting a lot lately and now it's getting worse--more frequent and more violent. Ten days ago he had a high fever and vomiting, then cold symptoms came (fever went away), then he had an ear infection. We started antibiotics for the ear infection; he seemed to be getting better but the vomiting started up again, with a vengeance, so we thought maybe he was having a reaction to the antibiotics. The doctor said to stop them and just let him know if there were more ear symptoms and he would call in a new antibiotic. It has been two days since he has had antibiotics but he is still vomiting. It's projectile at times, it is obviously painful for him, and scares him. After the vomiting is over he cries for up to ten minutes, and the last time his cry sounded different. He's not dehydrated--after the vomiting he usually then nurses and falls asleep.

I don't know what to think. I think if it were the antibiotic that had caused the vomiting to become so bad, it would be getting better now that he's not taking it. I'm so frustrated by the laundry (that sounds so petty, I know, but it's creating mountains of laundry) but mostly worried about my baby. I don't know what to do for him!

When he was a newborn he had diagnosed-by-me reflux that was helped with an elimination diet and dietary changes, but it took several months. He hasn't had reflux-type symptoms since then until now--can reflux begin again at this age? Maybe I'm eating something with corn in it (he's allergic to corn) and don't know it? I can't think of something new that I've been consistently eating lately, so I doubt that's it.

I am going to take him back to the doctor tomorrow but I wanted to get a feel for what other moms think.
post #2 of 18
Is the vomit ever bright yellow or dark green (unless he has just eaten something those colors)? If so, it is an emergency. Stop reading this email, go straight to the nearest children's emergency room, do not pass go, do not let anyone, even your pedi, tell you otherwise. If that is the issue, it could be an intestinal blockage.

If not, it may still be serious, but you have time and don't need to rush.

If not, there are still lots of possibilities for this much vomiting. If the pedi isn't helping, I would insist on a referral to a pediatric gastroenterologist. Sadly, I have had TONS of experience with vomit, more in the past five years than most people have in a lifetime. Two pregancies with full scale hyperemesis for the entire pregnancies, two babies with reflux that included daily projectile vomiting for months or years, and my second dd with twisted intestines requiring surgery. Throw in a few stomach viruses and such and there has been plenty of vomit here.

In your son's case, this may be no big deal. But I think it is a good idea to rule out possible more serious issues.

In my humble opinion, and based on my own extensive vomit experience, but no medical background whatsoever, if vomiting has gone on that long, it is a matter for serious concern and he needs to be evaluated by a specialist. Sometimes a specialist will figure things out in a matter of minutes problems that took the regular pedi months of unsuccessful visits to figure out. Avoid the ph probe test unless you are totally persuaded that it will make a difference in treatment. One of the issues with that much vomiting is erosion of the esophagus, etc., etc., so sometimes special medications are prescribed.

Please post an update and let us know how Joe is doing. Again, this may be no big deal, but you need to rule out some of the big possible issues.
post #3 of 18
Could there be any other allergies besides corn? Is he eating solids? In our son, projectile vomiting and silent reflux are symptoms of an allergic reaction.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
inezyv--Thank you for your suggestions. The vomit is NOT bright yellow or dark green; I did some research on obstructions earlier today and was relieved to know that one would cause a different color. If he's recently nursed it looks like breastmilk and mucous; if he hasn't recently nursed it's watery stuff and mucous.

Missy--From doing an elimination diet when he was a newborn, I discovered that he is allergic to corn and nuts, but there could be something I missed, or maybe even something that he didn't show a reaction to in breastmilk but maybe would when eating it himself. Since he hasn't been feeling well he hasn't eaten much lately, but he has had some tiny bites of pasta and bread, so maybe there's a wheat issue? I don't know, I don't feel like the few tiny bites he has had--not even every day--could be causing so much ongoing vomiting.

uh oh, there he goes again.
post #5 of 18
I'm glad it's not bright yellow or dark green, Deb.

I hope your pedi will give you a referral to a pedi GI. Mine was very defensive about it, for some odd reason, and so was my dd's surgeon. But ya know, hey, if they didn't want to deal with mothers advocating for their babies' health they should not have gone into pediatrics, kwim?

If he is vomiting this much, he really needs to be seen by a specialist. There are so many causes for vomiting. Once the underlying cause is determined, you can work to heal your sweet baby boy.
post #6 of 18
It could be that the antibiotics don't agree with him, or that he has picked up another stomach virus at the ped's when you took him in.

If he continues to vomit, as for an xray to rule out anything. My dd2 was once vomiting streaks of blood. She has severe reflux so vomiting by itself isn't abnormal for her, but the blood was, and she had a high fever. I took her to ER and she was xrayed and was constipated all the way up even though she'd been having loose stools the last few days. The loose matter was going around the solid matter. As soon as she was given an enima she got better.

With the stomach virus, I would try laying off any solids he might be giving and just nurse him and push the fluids for 24 hours to let his body relax and get rid of the virus, if that's what he has. Also give him some live probiotics if you can manage to.

If he's running a fever, take him in to rule out aspiration pnemonia.

Yes, reflux can come back if he's having any kind of stomach irriation, such as from antibiotics. Anbiotics kill the good bacteria in the gut and make it hard to digest food for awhile, and some people just can't tolerate them at all, even if they don't have reflux. My dd's reflux has always made her an easy vomiter.

Hope he gets better soon!
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
USAmma--How long would you say the vomiting could continue if it was a result of the antibiotics?

The doctor said that in the absence of other symptoms that would indicate something serious happening inside Joe that he wants to give it a few more days. He thinks that maybe it's coughing that's causing it or some drainage or another virus or something, but I'm not convinced. He has even lost weight--two pounds (he was 27 to start with, so it's not like he's wasting away). Plus, he doesn't <i>act</i> like he's ill; he's happy and cheerful and charming, but when I nurse him he vomits. If he's not better by Friday I'm supposed to bring him in again, or if he starts running a fever or another symptom pops up. All morning I was hopeful because he was so pleasant and funny and there was no vomit, BUT there wasn't much nursing, either, because we were at the doctor's and then at the park. As soon as we got home he nursed for about ten minutes then vomited it up and is now playing. At what point does a baby losing weight due to vomiting start to become a concern? He gave me a prescription for a reflux medicine that I'm thinking about using. I don't know. I am doing a modified elimination diet. I've become lax about wheat and dairy, maybe those are causing this, I don't know.
post #8 of 18
With some people, they can get used to them after a few days. With other people who may be allergic or more sensitive to them, the vomiting can continue even after the meds are stopped, until the gut regrows the good bacteria.

Watch carefully for signs of dehydration. 2 pounds is a lot of weight to lose. I seriously would start looking around for a second opinion. It doesn't sound like the doctor is taking your concerns seriously.

What medicine is it? Is it Reglan by chance? Nothing can really stop reflux except surgery or outgrowing it. There are two main types of meds: one lessens acid production so the reflux won't burn as much. The other med, reglan, causes the stomach to empty faster and can help to calm vomiting. It also has some side effects that can be concerning so if that's what you have, here is some info about it: http://www.gihealth.com/html/educati...gs/reglan.html

Try nursing just a little bit, but frequently if you can. Don't limit total intake, just try to slow it down to see if a smaller feeding might help with the vomiting.If he does have a virus or is having a bad reaction to the antibiotics, letting him nurse "half as much, twice as often" may help.

If he's *still* vomiting after that, or this goes on for too much longer I would definitely take him to ER. Going to ER bypasses the doctor and if they think it's serious enough, they will have him seen by a specialist. That's how I finally got good help for my dd when she was having problems that the ped was blowing off. If you do take him in, be sure to tell everything and don't hold back or minimize the vomiting and weight loss.

Please check in again soon, okay? I'm worried about your little guy.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
I am not going to fill the rx for the reflux meds; I really don't think that's going to help. I called back this afternoon, after my chiropractor told me that there is a suppository which will help stop vomiting, giving the body a chance to heal. It's waiting for me at the pharmacy, so as soon as Joe wakes up from his nap I will go pick it up. The doctor I saw today (not my regular doc, his schedule was full) said that if this suppository doesn't help that I should come back tomorrow to see our regular doctor. I think that he was tired of me second-guessing his recommendations, but I don't care. He didn't think that two pounds was a lot of weight to lose--or maybe he just thought that it wasn't an unusual amount to lose with all this vomiting.

Thanks for all the support and suggestions. I will keep you updated.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Oh, and I have been trying to get baby acidopholus into him, but my usual route of mixing it in applesauce won't work. He doesn't want food at all, just nursing. My other kids would take it right off of my finger but Joe doesn't like that. I'll keep trying to get it in and take a bunch myself in hopes that it will travel through breastmilk.
post #11 of 18
I'm so glad you have someone else who can help you! I have used those suppositories on both kids during harsh stomach flus and they work wonders.
post #12 of 18

I think your son needs to be seen by a pediatric GI. I think all of the other stuff is reassuring, but you still don't have enough information about the underlying cause of the vomiting.

It is very common for regular pediatricians to have no clue about vomiting and give poor advice on the subject.

Darshani is also a vomit expert!
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
inezyv--I agree, if it continues for several more days, I will have him seen by a specialist.
post #14 of 18
Originally Posted by inezyv

It is very common for regular pediatricians to have no clue about vomiting and give poor advice on the subject.
I agree! In the back of my mind I'm thinking Pyloric Stenosis if it doesn't stop soon.

post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Isn't pyloric stenosis usually seen in newborns or younger infants? Joe is 11 months old. He doesn't have that "olive" rolling, either.

Last night was much better; he didn't throw up at all. This morning he did once, but he had a coughing fit first and then it came up, so I'm attributing that one to coughing. Heck, maybe all of these have been from coughing and I just haven't noticed! The suppository was a waste of money. The pharmacist said he was only supposed to have 1/4 of it and to cut it length-wise--have you ever tried to cut a suppository into fourths? While it's cold? (They have to be refrigerated). It just flakes away into tiny white bits. I called the pharmacist who said to pile it up into four piles and use one of them. Obviously he's never inserted a suppository. This would be like trying to get a pile of shredded cheese into him. So I cut one into fourth widthwise, inserted it, and it was pooped out within three minutes, almost the same size as when it went in. At that point I gave up. I don't know if he's getting better or if he absorbed enough of that to help him not throw up during the night, but it was nice to not have to change the sheets at 3 a.m.!

I have a good feeling that things are turning the other direction now. Desperate optimism? I guess I'll find out as the day goes on.
post #16 of 18
I hope he gets better soon. Please keep us updated.
post #17 of 18
Pyloric Stenoisis can develop later, but yeah it's usually in newborns. Nitara had two endscopies looking for this b/c it can't always be detected by feeling. Anyway, it sounds like he is making a turn for the better, I HOPE!! This has been going on for a long time.

I can't believe they want you to cut it into fourths?! Obviously they've never tried to stick one one in a squirming baby before! My kids got the pediatric ones. For infants they say just cut it in half and for over age 1 use the whole thing. Maybe they just had adult ones so they gave you those to cut into fourths?
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Joe is almost better! He is only throwing up a few times a day, always right after a coughing fit. I think his body is conditioned to vomit now, any time stress is put on the stomach area. I'm still sleeping with a towel, but it's much easier to deal with a few times a day that ALL day. Thanks to everyone for your suggestions and support!
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