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Gastroesophageal reflux in children


How to discover it, how to treat it

I am dedicating this book to all the children who suffered for years from gastroesophageal reflux and did not have the benefit of proper treatment, because “they grew well and looked healthy”.
The baby who often spits up curdled milk, has frequent hiccup, colic, doesn’t sleep well, has difficult feedings suffers from gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) by definition and in my opinion should always be treated, whether he/she grows well and looks healthy or not.
My book “Gastroesophageal Reflux in children” is an attempt to help parents to take better care of their babies with GERD, in order to give them a better quality of life and a lot more peace to themselves.
I am offering the PDF of this book in English free of charge for a few months, just to have some feedback from the English speaking people and see if the book is for them as useful as it has been for the Italian parents.
Please let me know your impressions by writing a message to this address:
Thank you,
Roberto Albani

You might wander why, among all the problems a pediatrician could talk about, I chose to write a book on gastroesophageal reflux. I have more than a few good reasons.
First of all gastroesophageal reflux is one of the most common problems afflicting human beings. Almost one in two babies has symptoms of this disorder and a few million American adults suffer daily the discomfort of heartburn. That adds up to a lot of people who need help.
Furthermore, having been there personally with a daughter who had a serious case of gastroesophageal reflux, I felt compelled to offer help to other parents going through the same ordeal.
In the Seventies, while I was training in New York as a pediatrician, gastroesophageal reflux had not been sufficiently explored and remedies were a long way off, so I couldn’t do much to alleviate my daughter’s suffering. The experience with her regurgitations, her colic, her (and ours!) sleeping problems, however, was very useful for my job. It allowed me to observe, day after day, what
happens to a child and, as a consequence, to his/her parents in the endless struggle with this problem. In particular it made me see a fundamental truth: gastroesophageal reflux usually does not threaten the health or the growth of a child. In most instances it can’t even be called a disease.
It is however very often the cause of profound discomfort. Therefore in the majority of cases the main purpose of treatment is not to protect the child from a risky illness, but to improve his/her quality of life. Furthermore, by following so many of my little patients from birth to adulthood, I realized that, contrary to what for a long time had been a well established belief, gastroesophageal reflux does not end in the first or second year of life. Most of the time it keeps on being a torment well into adulthood, disturbing sleep, dreams and consequently mood. This is why I believe it is always essential to recognize and treat this disorder as soon as possible, no matter how well nourished and in good health the child may appear.
My experience has also convinced me that in most cases the diagnosis can be made by just observing symptoms, without resorting to invasive tests, like esophageal ph monitoring or endoscopy.
I have treated children and young adults affected by gastroesophageal reflux for more than thirty five years. This has allowed me to maximize the effects of therapies usually prescribed. It has also fostered in me a more sympathetic attitude toward families that struggle with a reflux baby and from a doctor need above all a compassionate, understanding attitude.

Roberto Albani M.D.

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