My 6 month old started to have tremors 3 weeks ago. They started while in a relaxed state, after a bottle, eyes closed almost asleep. The first 3 episodes started in the hands and lasted only a few seconds. The last two were in the same conditions, started with the hands and went up to the head lasting longer at 20-30 seconds. Each episode was days a part. His eyes are usually closed and his color was ok until the last episode when his color turned gray. I don't believe that you could stop the tremors. It seems like they have to run it's course. He usually falls into a deep sleep after each one but then he normally falls asleep after a bottle so I am not sure if this is anything or not.
Here's his history: born premature at 36 weeks, in NICU for 4 weeks, Apnea/Bradycardia spells came home on Apnea monitor, bleeding of intestines due to protein allergy tried all special formulas and only one that stopped the bleeding was Neocate, had jaundice and diagnosed with reflux. Since he's come home from NICU he has thrived and met all his milestones before he was suppose to. His weight and height are in the 90th percentile. He has not had any fevers or illness. His stomach issues are ok except he has the reflux, spits up throughout the day, and sometimes has constipation.
Type of Baby: He is an extremely active baby, highly stimulated, very responsive. He plays hard for 1 to 2 hours at a time and doesn't sleep much during the day. He constantly moves. He uses both hands and legs the same and doesn't seem to favor any hand more than the other. He does not fuss or cry and is easily consoled if he does get upset.
The only new thing introduced to him in the last month has been rice cereal.
The tremors he gets are just that, tremors -- more like a parkinson's shaking -- not a convulsive type movement but they are getting stronger and longer in duration. He's had an EEG and CAT with normal results. He is scheduled with a Neurologist at Vanderbilt in two weeks. My question is could this be related to his gastro issues? What questions or tests should I ask the doctor to do or explain? Any help is much appreciated. Thanks.
Sounds Like sandifers syndrome. I copied and pasted the below from infantrefluxdisease.com
WHAT IS SANDIFER'S SYNDROME?
Sandifer's Syndrome is described as spastic ¹torticollis and ²dystonic body movements found in infants and children and associated with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. Sandifer's syndrome is commonly mistaken for seizures but thankfully, has no neurological basis whatsoever. Usually you can tell the difference between Sandifer's and seizures as Sandifer's syndrome symptoms will generally appear after feeding time.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF SANDIFER'S SYNDROME?
Nodding and rotation of the limbs
Writhing movements of the limbs
Seizure like appearance and apparent altered mental state
The child may have a sudden rotation of the head and neck to one side and the legs to the other with a stretched out appearance. Typically, the back is arched backwards with hyperextension of the spine. Elbows may be flexed and held backwards with hyperextended hips. During the posture, the infant may become quiet and fussiness will generally start as the posture lessens.
True Sandifer's syndrome is not to be confused with the regular type of back arching that is common in babies with reflux and GERD. It is quite common for babies with reflux to arch their necks and backs in a backward position but this type of back arching is quite different than true Sandifer's syndrome as it doesn't include the above mentioned postures as well.
WHAT CAUSES SANDIFER'S SYNDROME?
It is thought to be somewhat of a defense mechanism some babies develop in effort to cope with the pain of repeated acid reflux. It's been suggested that tilting the head to one side is an unconscious effort to reduce reflux episodes or simply provide relief from discomfort. Esophageal manometry has also shown improvements in peristalsis (gastric contractions) when the head is tilted. It's also thought that this posturing may help to clear acid from the bottom of the esophagus.
HOW IS SANDIFER'S SYNDROME DIAGNOSED?
Parental report of symptoms may be enough to diagnose Sandifer's. Some parents report taking video tapes of their child's posturing to their doctor and receiving a diagnosis in this manner. If seizures are suspected an EEG and/or CT-scan may be performed to rule out the possibility of seizures or other neurological abnormalities. As well, a ph-probe may be conducted to positively identify acid exposure to the esophagus.
HOW IS SANDIFER'S SYNDROME TREATED?
Treating Sandifer's syndrome must be done by treating the underlying cause, the baby's reflux or GERD. Once a successful treatment regimen is put into place for the child's GER, and the baby begins to feel relief from the discomfort and pain of acid in the esophagus, the symptoms and thus, syndrome will diminish with no long term side effects.
¹ a twisting of the neck to one side that results in abnormal carriage of the head and is usually caused by muscle spasms -- called also wryneck
² disordered muscle tone
³ low muscle tone
I also have a 6 month old who just had his tremor today. I was sooo freaked out by it i was ready to call 911. I thought he had a seizure. I havent gone to the doctor yet bc they were all closed.
I also started feeding him rice cereal one month ago, but im not sure if one has anything to do with the other, and it happened right as i was feeding him and putting him to sleep. So I guess it isnt too uncommon.
My mother in law said both my husband and her brother did the same thing when they were babies and eventually outgrew it.
I hope you find out whats going on, & i know its super scarry!
I have twin boys who are 7 months old. Recently, while bottle feeding them, as they are just about sleep, they begin to shake, and/or tremor nonstop for about 10-30 seconds. I was so very scared when it first happened, I took out the bottle and called his name and tried to "snap him out of it." From what I am reading it seems to happen to all of our babies when they are almost in a state of sleep. It has only happened about 3 times, and I assumed that it had to do with their central nervous system...kind of like how they used to do the "preemie grunt" during sleep for the first few months when they came home from the NICU. I am going to keep watch and ask the doctor and physical therapist at our next appointment, but it is comforting to know this is somewhat common...not that I wish tremors on any baby...but I feel better knowing that this seems to be a common issue with preemies.
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