"GERD cannot be cured, but it can be treated," Moon said.
Dunstan's son, now 9, has controlled his GERD through a careful diet, she said. He avoids dairy products and spicy foods, and, fortunately, doesn't like tomatoes.
In her exhaustive efforts to find out what was causing her baby so much pain, Dunstan, an accomplished musician and opera singer with a photographic memory for sound, was able to identify patterns in her son's crying that led her to link his screaming to his eating habits and to uncover his gastric problems.
That led to more research on her part and to her discovery of what she claims are the five initial sounds that young children make before beginning to cry hysterically. Distinguishing these sounds allows a parent to anticipate the baby's needs, which both helps a troubled child and dramatically improves the bonding between a parent and child, Dunstan claims.
The Pediatric/Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux Association explains more about pediatric GERD.
SOURCES: Priscilla Dunstan, director, Priscilla Dunstan Research Center, Balmain, Australia; Aeri Moon, M.D., assistant professor, pediatrics, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City
All rights reserved