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Hypersensitive gag reflex and constant vomiting Lock Rss

Hi mums,
It is so nice to know you are not alone in this isn't it. It is such a rare problem and I know I felt so alone as I personally know no one who has gone through anything similar to this.

I wanted to update you on our progress in the hope that possibly it may help one of you too. After multiple hospitalisations with no answers (just diagnosed with failure to thrive) we saw a private eating specialist called lively eaters. We found this very helpful in a lot of respects, we also went to feeding program's weekly through the women's and children's hospital. But it was only after much persistence on our part that we saw an ENT specialist regarding our sons tonsils. At every appointment we were told that they were large but not overly large and therefore could not say that was the problem and the issue was put aside. Well we were at our wits end after trying every other avenue and nothing working we needed answers. The ENT specialist we saw confirmed he had grade 4 tonsils (the largest I believe) and agreed to take them out, even regarding the small risk of surgery due to his size. We decided to go ahead with the surgery (he also had his adenoids out as he snored badly so this fixed that problem too - she said snoring in children burns calories while they are sleeping and here we are trying to get him to put on weight!) even though I was 38 weeks pregnant at the time, we felt we had no choice and she pulled strings to get us in straight away.

Well unfortunately he had the rare complication of a post op bleed on day 7 requiring more surgery which was tough, but the end result now all is done and we are in the clear, is amazing.

He no longer vomits AT ALL!!

He no longer spits out food!

And he has started putting on weight. He is slowly but surely eating more and more foods, quite happily. He is still very delayed in his chewing skills and I am still limited with WHAT he will eat, but he IS eating!

So for us, this has made such an impact on our lives and it has really helped our son.

We knew there were no guarantees with the surgery and even our ENT told us she has seen kids with grade 4 tonsils that touch and yet they still chow down on steak no problem, so there is no hard and fast rules when it comes to tonsils, but she also said she is amazed how many times that it really does make a difference with kids eating post surgery.

So for you mums at your wits end feeling like you have tried absolutely everything, perhaps look into this. It may or may not be your answer but if you are like we were, we were willing to try just about anything, and we were constantly wondering if the large tonsils were his problem. We thought if nothing else, after the surgery we will at least know 'no it wasn't the tonsils' and keep trying with the speech paths and food groups etc...

Good luck to you all, I really feel your pain!
Hi all. It is sad that this is happening to so many with very little if any answers.
At least we found light at the end of the tunnel so hopefully you all will too.
Our bubs has gone through so much since birth like your little ones. He is now 2 and eats well. Still vomits but only occasionally.
We did Chinese herbs to strengthen digestive system from Chinese herbalist in Orlando fl.
This helped a lot but not on its own
We also took him to intensive fussy feeding program in Adelaide sth Australia. This was perfect for us. His vomiting reduced overnight.
Not saying this will work for everyone but hope you can find what will work for you soon.
Also, I never took any medications so don't blame yourself for meds during pregnancy. It could have happened anyway just like me.
Best of luck
Interesting read, we have a 15 month boy that is having a consultation with a Pediatrician for this today.
He is on puréed food only, vomits on thick purée, small lumps, chunks or finger food.
Not sure what options are available in NZ
Wow, I think this is the most replies I've received in as many days! It's comforting to know that there are other Mums out there who understand & sympathise with what I've been suffering through, alone it seemed for so many years. I do not rejoice in the pain & suffering you are experiencing with your own children but I breathe a sigh of relief that you can all relate to what I've been experiencing with my two girls as I've never received any support or compassion from health professionals, family or friends.

Thank you for your concern Heather regarding having my daughters tested for allergies or abnormalities. My eldest did undergo a scan when she was 4 months old which yielded normal results. She was due to undergo a gastroscopy, I think it was, when she was 3, but fell ill before the procedure & it was cancelled & never rescheduled because my husband had 2nd thoughts about her being under anaesthesia. In answer to your question about having taken any medication during pregnancy, no I never took anything other than iron supplements. So that rules out your theory about them being the cause of the vomiting.


The girls are now 4.5 & almost 3.5 years of age. I am very pleased to announce to all you long suffering Mums of vomiters, that the gagging & vomiting with eating have almost ceased! The youngest was finally able to be weaned off pureed food when she started day care in May. Both girls are now able to consume most types of food, provided it is cut up into bite size pieces. There is the occasional vomit if they have not chewed their food properly but it is rare. Unfortunately, there are still copious amounts of vomit whenever they cough, cry or laugh excessively & with physical exertion, however this I can cope with as it does not occur on a daily basis like with the eating.

It was a very long, slow & painful journey to get to this point. There was no overnight solution or magical cure & like the medical professionals predicted, the girls just simply "outgrew" the vomiting in their own time. We have only just begun to attend playgroup for the very 1st time this year as I can now bear to be around other toddlers who eat well. Previously, other well meaning Mums, relatives & friends would just irk the hell out of me with their misguided advice about how "They'll eat when they're hungry" & "Just let them be!!!"

I thank my lucky stars that despite the daily bouts of vomiting for so many years, my 2 girls continued to thrive, were healthy & never hospitalised. This was the reason though that no one really took their condition seriously & brushed my concerns aside.

I sincerely wish you all the best of luck with your children & hope you achieve the same results I did sooner rather than later.
De Ja Vu.
my nearly 18 month old has been projectile vomiting since he was 10 months or thereabout. He vomited some before that but since about 10 months the vomiting increased to sometimes 4 times a day at its worse. The Paed has put it down to asthma. He does settle down on prednisone, but the longest time he has been vomit free has been two weeks. We have him off dairy, soy, eggs and almond milk but I do wonder if it is allergies as was suggested by the doctor. And the vomiting has continued regardless of removing these foods.

He is a fussy eater but he will eat things like porridge, soft fruit and even chew rice crackers by himself. However, sometimes all it takes is a slight gag and he will projectile vomit the last three meals. He will also start coughing at night and vomit everything out.

I get super worried that it is a brain tumour that is undiagnosed as I have ready that some children have vomited on and off for a year before being diagnosed. Does anyone know anything about this? If it was a brain tumour, would it settle down with prednisone?

As he is a good weight (all the formula), none of the doctors seem worried, but I am on the verge of demanding an MRI to rule out anything serious. can anyone offer any comments?
Hi ladies. I have a son that's 10 months old and is going through the same exact thing! Constant gagging and vomiting. We have had so many tests done. Everything is clear. Now on feeding tube. Failure to thrive. He's going to be 1 in November and is just reaching 15 lbs. He is on 2 medications for acid reflux. Has been to several specialists. He is constantly gagging!!!! Sometimes I can distract him and help him keep down food. But most likely he is determined to get it out! I'm so stressed and frustrated. I have read all your post. And I see that I'm not the only one! I will call doctor to check tonsils. At this point I'm willing to go in any direction to determine the issue!!! Why can't I find answers!!!!! Thank you for posting !!! It helps to know I'm not alone. Jasmin.
I've been through the same thing. My health care provider gave me this simple tips, it may not work for everyone, but still its worth a try rather than doing nothing. Often, no feeding changes are needed for infants who spit up but are growing well and seem otherwise content.

1. Burp the baby after drinking 1 to 2 ounces of formula, or after feeding on each side if breastfeeding.
2. Add 1 tablespoon of rice cereal to 2 ounces of formula, milk, or expressed breast milk. If needed, change the nipple size or cut a small x in the nipple.
3. Hold the baby upright for 20 - 30 minutes after feeding.
4. Raise the head of the crib. However, your infant should still sleep on the back, unless your healthcare provider suggests otherwise.

When the infant begins to eat solid food, feeding thickened foods may help.

They say: most infants outgrow this condition. So stay positive and I hope you get through it well =)
Dede874 I joined this forum just to talk to you!!!! My daughter turned 3 in October and she has the most sensative gag reflex I have ever seen. Do your daughters throw up when you give them medicines? My daughter currently has a cold and can't take the meds the doc prescribed. She can not take any medicines when she has a fever. Yes we have resorted to fever all. ???? Anyway textures are a major issue for her. She's been a puker her since birth. She is a very picky eater and still eats nothing crunchy.....it is a true struggle with her. We literally sleep with towels at the foot of the bed cause when she has a Cold or any drainage she can't keep anything down. I just feel great not being alone. Like I thought I had the only child in the world like this. Message me and I can give you my e mail. This maybe a really old post I have no idea.
Hi Ladies
This post will most probably be way to late as a response to the above posts, but my husband found this blog after another terrible week. Our son, now 2.5 years old, has exactly the same as most of your kids and we sleep with a bucket above our bed and him still in our bed. We feel so terribly sorry for him as he often vomits in his sleep and wake up shocked and bewildered. There after it continues during the day and he is now at the point where he doesn't want to eat, because then he vomits.
As with most of you, we've been to so many doctors and he was hospitalised 6 months ago, with no relevant diagnosis.
Then a friend of mine (a professional nurse) told us this is most likely linked to a form of silent reflux where the valve muscle that leads to the stomach is still a bit weak. Any- and everything thus makes him vomit and we've now noticed that he gets heartburn too.
The stomach acid then burns the oesophagus which becomes inflamed and irritable. Every and anything which mildly irritates the oesophagus then results in vomiting.
She suggested Nexiam and we got a prescription from our house doctor. He takes a sachet on an empty stomach every morning. This helps as an anti-inflammatory to calm the oesophagus and it really works!
He now vomits once a week or so, which is much better. We also give him paediatric magnesium milk which is like Gaviscon. We found a pharmacist who makes his own mixture which includes, the magnesium milk, ginger extract and gripe water. We give this to him before bedtime at night or after he has vomited or had heartburn. The combo seems to work for him.
As I said, this might be too late for the above posts, but maybe it will help for future moms who go through the same thing.
We hope and pray that our little one will outgrow this 'condition', all the best to all the other parents and babes going through the same!
xxxx
Hi everyone,

I'm so glad I found this post. My LO is 13mo and has the same extreme vomiting condition many of you have described. Sometimes we'd be in the shower most of the day because of the projectile vomiting! It's so mentally, physically and emotionally draining. The feeding and re-feeding. Explaining to people that the vomiting is not because she's over fed or in need of more frequent burping. Trying to get medical professionals to take this seriously. Dealing with a baby who is too traumatised to eat. The never ending laundry. It goes on and on...

She's on Losec and a feeding tube now. And finally putting on weight because of it. Going for an endoscopy soon, which will hopefully shed some light on why this is happening.

There are some great tips on this thread. Thank you all for sharing smile
Hi, I wanted to share my story in hopes of helping someone. My child was born with an undiagnosed posterior tongue tie and an upper lip tie. He took in copious amounts of air breast feeding, which resulted in acid relux, excessive burping, and frequent nursing. From a bottle he did fine. When he started eating he has a very sensitive gag relux. Gagging spitting up while eating very often. around 8 months old, as we tried to transition from purees to more soft chunks of food he began vomiting up to 7 times a day. After months we realized it was a combination of behavioral and bc his esophagus was sensitive from all the vomiting. He commonly put his fingers in his throat. We stopped responding to his vomits as much as we could and overnight they decreased dramatically. He continues to gag and spit up his food. He is now 22 months old. At every meal we provide an opportunity for small soft finger foods and some purees for nutritional value. We eat with him, focus on chewing, small bites etc. we never force him and try to keep meal times fun. the only thing we have found that helps is distraction of reading singing or a cartoon while he eats. A definite catch 22 as I dont think this is good overall to watch cartoons at this age, let alone when he needs to learn how to eat better. He gets slowly better then when he catches a cold we go back to square one. After a bout of extreme food poisoning he could not lay flat without puking for one full month. He has stayed in the percentile of weight he was born in but I spend so much time feeding him...im loosing my mind. It is so so hard. The doctors are unconcerned bc he is still gaining weight, but its all I do. We see an eating specialist next month.
New here and stumble down upon this forum! First off, I am a mom of 2 and also a pediatric occupational therapist for 5 years and now have started working with adults and seniors in hospital based setting so a little different but wanted to offer some input wink Reading about your babes feeding issues, automatically makes me think sensory aversion/tactile aversion which is all related to sensory processing difficulties. Has anyone ever mentioned sensory processing disorder to you all? Don’t freak out because we all have sensory quirks and sensitivities and issues but it’s important to notice when they affect our every day life, such as feeding and a child’s ability to enjoy meal time. Look this up and see if your child has any other signs or symptoms of sensory problems and then we can go from there. I highly recommend desensitization techniques to start with your babes during feeding but before you even have them eat different textures, let them play in it first so dive into the mud, play doy, Add some rice into slime, make a nasty yucky strange crazy lumpy mess to play with their hands and arms first before going straight to the mouth. Sometimes our oral/taste system is hypersensitive and often aversive to strange textures (tactile sensitivity) and some kids not only have feeding sensitivity, but also hate hate hate wearing certain clothes bc of texture or may be sensitive to tags inclothes or even never wear pants bc they don’t like things touching their legs. I can recommend a lot of things to you to try if this may sound like something your child can benefit from. Like I said, every person has different sensory issues (some minor, some big) but if it doesn’t negatively impact your everyday life, then it’s not a big deal and we all learn to live with it and adjust our lifestyle to it. When it does impact your or your child’s everyday life activities (also called occupations- dressing, feeding, grooming, bathing, playing, etc.) it becomes bigger than a sensory quirk. An occupational therapist specialized in sensory integration can help you tremendously! And yes my son gags and vomited tonight for the first time at15 months old while trying cornbread for first time. He had bilateral mucoceles in his mouth (right at corner of mouth) to where they were huge and hanging out mouth and he’d bite them when he tried to eat and chew sooooo we had to have surgery after he made a year old- but it still caused him to have some chewing/oral motor delays bc he refused to chew for a few months. Anyway, he does pretty well but has his sensitivies and hyperactive gag response in my opinion... that’s how I stumbled upon this thread. Hoping we can continue doing what we do, introducing new foods, playing with different textures, encouraging self feeding, vibrating tooth brush has done wonders waking his mouth up and great stimulation to mouth muscles to prepare for chewing.
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