Thursday, June 18, 2009

Allergies. Thick-It? And reflux...again.

*Warning - I am attempting to type this while Dora plays, quite loudly, on our TV in the background. (I've tried many times to turn down the volume, but Cassidy insists that she can't hear it.) I am also suffering from 'serious cloudy head' as I have finally broken down and taken something for my allergies. In other words, this post may not make any sense.


The other day when Dylan's OT was here, we attempted to use the Honey Bear Cup. See, I had noticed this before, but it was especially obvious this time with the cup, that Dylan has a really difficult time managing thin liquids. It's as if he swallows way too quickly, which then startles him and makes him gag and choke. His OT recommended that we start using Thick-It in his liquids so that he is able to manage the fluid more successfully. Does anyone have any experience with this? I hadn't heard of it before, so I'm not entirely sure what the deal is with this stuff. I think I'm willing to try it, though, as one of our goals right now is to help Dylan learn how to drink from...something. Anything. Ahem.


I also have another quick question about reflux. Ah, reflux. You may remember that we are currently on reflux med #3. We started with Zantac, then Prevacid, now Axid. I am bummed to say that Dylan is definitely spitting up more now than ever before. Very frustrating. So, I guess my question is - are these reflux meds suppose to stop the spitting up issues? Or are they just suppose to ease the discomfort of the acid? Maybe I'm just expecting too much from a medicine? I don't know. But obviously this one is, by far, the least effective. I put a call into Dylan's GI doctor two days ago, but naturally haven't heard back. What should I expect from a reflux med? I'm tired of spit-up. I really am. Blech.

Thank you for reading. I'm going back into my allergy medicine induced cloud now.


Tricia said...

First on the reflux front. We had G on zantac way back when she was under a year and then we switched her to prevacid. I've always thought the prevacid works better, however, it is NOT supposed to make LESS spit up (unfortunately) it is only supposed to neutralize the acid so that it is not so painful when it comes up. I SO hear your pain on this because we have gone through times when the spit up is downright....absolutely disgusting. Constant bibs, changes of clothes, the whole thing. Georgia still has reflux and still spits up, but the only thing (sad to say) that has really made much of a difference is that she started walking. Being upright has helped a LOT. That said, we recently talked to the Dr. at the DS clinic about it who said there are motility drugs that might help. These somehow help the actual physical structure keep food down--don't know names, don't know how it works as we are going to look into this after G's surgery. Honestly, we'll look into it, but if there are lots of side effects we'll live with the spit up instead. We DO notice that G spits up more when she does something like bend over or squat down too soon after eating.

As for the thick-it. We never used it, though I have heard of it. A friend of ours uses it for the same reasons. Georgia had (sometimes still has) the same problem with thin liquids, but rather than use thick it we just add a bit of baby cereal to her thinner liquids. It worked GREAT! (And was MUCH less expensive.) I've been meaning to say by the way, holy heck, I couldn't believe the price on the honey bear either!!! Thankfully our OT gave us one. But, I mean, it's a honey bottle with a cap!!!!!!!

Hope the allergies go away for you. What are you using? G takes Zyrtec every day and doesn't seem to be bothered by it at all.

Sorry for the long answer!

Tricia said...

P.S. Rainer was on Axid when he was first born. I agree that it didn't seem to do much.

Katie said...

Hi Laurie,
I have had experience with Thick-it. Although this is with adults, as I primarily treat adults with swallowing problems being a speech-language pathologist. Has Dylan seen the Speech-language Pathologist yet? I work with a Speech-language Pathologist in the Lowell-area who has extensive experience with infant and pediatric swallowing problems. Please let me know if you are interested and I can give you more info and her name and contact info.

Good luck,

Anonymous said...

Hey there Laurie,
I have used thick it. it definitely helps with swallowing problems. although I have used it in older adults, the concept of why your OT is suggesting it is the same. It is just a substance that thickens liquids so that you don't choke on them. As Katie said, it does help!! She would know best!!
Hope this helps!!
Erica (Gagnon) Ramos

ewh said...

laurie, we have used thick it with jb for months. mixed w/ a milk product he is fine with it but hates it with water. we just ordered some simply thick today which is supposed to have better taste and texture. i also tried something all natural called xanthen gum but you do have to use a blender which is an extra step. i will let you know how the simply thick goes

Michelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle said...

Aaron used thick it at BCH and for about 4-5 months after his TEF repair. It helped him tremendously. You can buy it at CVS...very inexpensive. It's near the pharmacy to ???? you'd think I would rememeber...I know where it is, shall I grab some for you?

Jen said...

I've never used Thick-It, but our ST recommended starting with smoothies or milkshakes when learning the straw.

Evan used to spit-up a good bit, but never enough to put him on medication, since it didn't seem to bother him. He did outgrow it though, sometime shortly after his first birthday. He will only do it now maybe once every two or three months, and it's always if he's drunk something too fast, or had oatmeal for breakfast. Don't know what it is about that oatmeal, but it happens almost every time.

Shelli said...

Tawni is now on her 4th reflux meds, she is on Zegerid, she has been on it about 4 months now and it really seems to help. She only spits up now maybe once a week.
You might want to check into it.

Tim and Kelli said...

I have used Thick It and Simply Thick with adults and it does help. What consistency was recommended for Dylan?
As far as the reflux goes I feel your pain. Lindsey doesn't take any meds because it doesn't seem to give her anydiscomfort but the spit up-OH MY. As soon as I get her changed I pick her up off the changing table and BAM she get me and herself all over again-argh.

Monica Crumley said...

My little guy got the hang of the straw one hot day while we were enjoying a smoothie. We pushed some up into the straw and he liked it so much, he started sucking. Luckily, it's thick and moves slowly. For thin liquids, we used a thinner straw that we found at the grocery store. Juice box straws are nice and thin, too, just not very long.

Loren Stow said...

I feel you on the reflux thing! Malakai had reflux that just went from bad to worse, and finaly the meds he was given started giving him spasm-type movements as well!
I don't know if you have it the US, but I'm now using pepermint flavoured Gaviscon (usually used by pregnant women for heartburn). It works wonders for Kai! After every bottle (3 X a day) I give it to him, not only little bit of reflux... nothing! And now he's more mobile than ever! It has made such a difference to his gross motor skills!
Good luck with finding a solution for Dylan.

Lisa said...

We used Simply Thick with Bridget when she was little (and her swallow was not fully developed). It is easy to mix in, and has no taste (no nutritional content, either). It worked very well for us...the trick is getting the right consistency. We used the "nectar" consistency.

The thickened liquids may actually help his reflux, too.

Bethany said...

I've only ever heard of thick it being used for kids who aspirate. Have you considered having a swallow study done on him (if you haven't already)? I think we did Payton's first one at 10 mos.

Angela said...

Benjamin has never been on reflux medicine. His spit up got much worse once he started eating solids a lot b/c they couldn't get through his intestinal obstruction that we didn't even know about.

Laila said...

Zantac is amazing... relieves my lil cupcakes heartburn, hope I can also take it to relieve my heartache! LOL Got it online at

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