News Headlines Article

Labeling a health problem a disease creates trouble
San Francisco Chronicle

As any parent knows, babies spit up. It’s gastroesophageal reflux, a pediatrician will explain – milk leaking backward from the stomach. When I was a pediatrics resident, my hospital constructed foam wedges for infants to sleep on. The thinking was that infants who were sleeping at an angle would be less likely to have milk come back up.

The wedges cost about $150. They didn’t work.

Wedges aren’t the only fix that doctors have tried. We’ve tried to construct special infant seats to prevent reflux. We’ve tried thickening foods.