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  1. #1
    Sparklydreamer's Avatar
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    Default Swallowing disorders

    My almost 2 year old has trouble swallowing food. Most of what he eats gets chewed and spat back out again. He also suffers reflux so very little food stays down as it is.

    His paediatrician says he has unusually large tonsils and they may be causing the problem. He chews, tries to swallow, chokes and gags and then spits it out (usually all over the floor). His paed is not concerned and thinks he'll outgrow it. In the meantime he survives on prescription formula (neocate) because he also has allergy and intolerance issues. He needs to drink his milk every few hours and has several bottles a night because he's always hungry due to not actually eating anything. I'm getting 3-4hrs sleep a night and am exhausted, as is he, poor thing.

    Has anyone else experienced a problem like this? Removing his tonsils may help, but the paed is not convinced this is the problem, just that it *may* be.

    He's absolutely tiny, weighing only 10.4kg at 23 months of age. Again, the paed is not concerned because he's always been small, is growing okay on his own curve and is very bright, happy and developmentally advanced. But I'm worried he's just not getting enough nutrition to grow properly and am worried about him being teased due to his size.

    Now he's older he can tell me he tries to swallow but just can't do it. Could it be related to his reflux? I'm not just sure what to try, or what to do given his paed is happy to continue as is.

    Its really worrying me and starting to wear me down.

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    I couldn't read and not reply, big hugs to you hun.

    I can only imagine how it would feel to be constantly tired and stressed the way you have been. I say trust your instincts and get a second opinion so you can try to get a solution to this.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. His paed is lovely and has been there since his birth and has been wonderful with all his other issues but I don't think this is an area she's experienced in. I think I'll have to ask our GP about other specialist options. This issue has been on the backburner while other things were dealt with but the time has come to get it investigated because its just not resolving itself as the paed hoped it would.

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    I would get a second opinion as well. Or even get your GP or cyh nurse to refer you to a child speech therapist or speech pathologist who may be able to help or assess his gag reflex and other issues. Poor thing must be starving. I think it sounds odd that your aped is not too concerned. Not saying she doesn't have her heart in the right place, but I would be looking for someone a little more proactive. Especially if she only "thinks" it may be the problem. What if it isn't, and he doesn't grow out of it??

    I hope you get some rest soon too. 23 months of little sleep. You need a break

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    local children's hospital start again

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    Can you tell the pead you want an ENT referral?

    I'm thinking they aren't to worried because clearly he *can* swallow because he's drinking bottles. Must be something to do with the more solid stuff. What's he like with yoghurt/custard type foods?

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    I know what it's like to have a child with multiple issues that a paed is trying to sort through and I understand how things sometimes get put into the background for a while during a time when you're dealing with more important things. It can be frustrating can't it?

    My ds had bad reflux and also had swallowing issues. He gagged on anything but the smoothest of purees. I couldn't succeed at making homemade purees - they were all too thick/lumpy despite my attempts. He could tolerate yoghurt, custard (tinned), purees in jars/tins meant for 4 month+ olds. I found it distressing to be giving my 11 month old food that was *meant* for 4 - 6 month olds. My paed, like yours, was unconcerned. He said that it was within normal limits and we just had to wait. We finally progressed to thicker/lumpier purees at about 11 months and slowly onto more complex foods in the months after that. My recollection is that my ds's paed had said that he wouldn't be concerned unless he wasn't swallowing more than thin purees by 12 months. So, I think that 23 months is not normal for just swallowing milk.

    The good news is that my ds is a good, clean eater. He's a slow eater (not a bad thing - stops him eating too much), but he eats normal food quite happily. He's not a child that shoves heaps of food into his mouth and then speaks with his mouth full .

    My recommendation is that you speak to the paed about a referral to a GI (gastro-intestinal) paediatrician to investigate the swallowing.

  8. #8
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    I think I'll ask for a referral to an ENT or a GI specialist and see what they say. He *can* swallow some foods sometimes - a bite or two of a sandwich may go down okay, and occasionally a couple of bits of pasta. Sometimes he'll be okay with cut up meat. Mashes or purees he gags on and chokes. Its very hit and miss and some days he'll seem to be swallowing some food okay and other days the same foods will be gagged on and spat out. The pead thinks the large tonsils may be blocking the path of food but couldn't be sure.

    He has always had intermittant problems with aspirating milk and water too.

    He recently had routine surgery and his paed had wanted to wait til after that to address the eating issues. We just had our follow up visit last week, which is why I'm starting to really want progress on this now. That's when she mentioned the tonsils and left it at 'wait and see' which the more I think about it the less I'm happy with.

    Anyway, thanks for listening, I'll get on to my GP for another referral asap.


 

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