Surely you've heard of baby acid reflux, heck your kid probably has it. That's just the way it goes these days -ask any relatively new parent and they'll tell you their kid has been treated for reflux. Ask any parent whose kids are at least 15 years old and they'll tell you 'no one had reflux back then - it was colic.' Well, it's not like there's some new surge in reflux, it's just that it's being diagnosed and treated far more now - in some cases probably just to shut the parents up.
I have to admit, I'm guilty. When my now 3 year daughter was an infant she was cranky - or at least what I considered cranky. I all-but begged her pediatrician for a solution to stop the cranky pants. He put her on Zantac - the most common acid reflux med for babies. I didn't see a difference and she eventually outgrew it. Now did she outgrow the crankies or the reflux?
I only ask myself this now because my 4 month old son has legit reflux. His pediatrician (a new one since we've moved) forced me to wait 6 agonizing weeks before treating my son's reflux - despite having every classic symptom. He threw up (a lot), he projectile vomited (a lot), he screamed bloody murder when he spit up, threw up, and gagged, he had hiccups after nearly every feeding, he often was cranky while trying to nurse, and at times I swear he threw up half of what he just ate.
When the doc did finally put him on Zantac I didn't notice much of a difference. Beside myself that I couldn't take away his obvious pain and on the verge of giving up breastfeeding after less than 2 months (I nursed my daughter for a full year and intended to do the same with my son) I took him back to the doctor. They put him on an additional medication called Prevacaid. He was to get Zantac in the am and the Prevacaid at night. Please forgive the totally non-medical explanation, but each of these reflux meds shuts down different acid producers in the stomach. It's the stomach acid - hence acid reflux - that causes the pain when it comes back up the esphagus.
After a week or so on both meds my son was like a new baby. My doctor warned me however that he would continue to spit up - it just shouldn't be painful. Now I have a happy spitter who despite making me change my clothes, his clothes, and wipe up the floor more times than I care to count each day is no longer in pain.
Now, excuse me I'm off to do another load of reflux laundry.