Patient: I have an almost 5 month old baby. He is currently getting over a cold, and refuses to eat. He will take 2 ounces when he would normally take 5-6. He will take 2 ounces and then arch his back and cry. I am formula feeding, and wondering if it could be from the cold, which he only has a small cough left, or if it is the type of formula as he gets quite a bit of gas after each feeding. I know he is teething for the last little while as there is drool everywhere, and he puts everything in his mouth. However, the teething has been for a couple weeks now and never affected his eating. So, my question is if the lack of eating is due to the cold or possibly the formula. Also, could reflux be an issue starting at 5 months old?
Doctor: I do understand your concern over your child’s refusal to feed. It is always important to rule out any serious underlyin g pathology causing the symptoms. In your child’s cause, the refusal to feed could certainly be due to the ongoing flu. However gastroesophageal reflux could also cause similar symptoms. Gastroesophageal reflux is common in infants and is usually not pathological. Regurgitation is present in 50 to 70 percent of all infants, peaks at age 4 months, and typically resolves by 1 year. A small minority of infants with GERD develop other symptoms, including feeding refusal, irritability, hematemesis, anemia, and failure to thrive.If the symptoms worsen, I would advise that you take your son to see a pediatrician to determine the cause of poor feeding. Your doctor may also try an empiric trial of acid suppression as a diagnostic test to rule out reflux in your son. I hope the information helps.