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Is it necessary to get a milk scan done for GERD?

Q: My 5.5 months old daughter has been suffering with severe congestion and heavy breathing for the last month. The doctor gave her antibiotics and told us to use Nebulizer, but it gave no relief. So, we consulted another doctor. He told us that it was a case of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and asked us to do a milk scan and barium test. Apart from the tests, he asked us to stop lactogen milk and start giving some mashed solid food instead. I am worried because the milk scan test is intrusive and might be very uncomfortable for the baby. Is it necessary to get these tests done? Can we wait for a few weeks, see how she responds to the changed diet and then perform these tests? Is there any alternative medicine that can be used for this treatment?

A:It appears from your description that your child has wheezing, fast breathing and chest congestion for last one month. This could be due to many factors and GERD is one of them. Scan to rule out or confirm GERD is not a fool proof test. You can get it done, it may not be a good idea to do the scan while baby is going through this episode, let him recover a bit and then it can be performed. If your paediatrician very strongly feels about GERD, then some medications can be prescribed to see the response. Nebulized medicines are fine for the treatment of these kind of disorders. However, if the child is not improving further detailed evaluation is required.

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