Definition:Colic is a form of pain which starts and stops abruptly.
Spasmodic pain in the adomen in infants,accompained by irritability or crying. Colic also refers to condition of gas or the digestive irritability in infants up to three months old. It is often due to alkaline, high-sodium internal conditions, but can also be caused by overfeedin, awallowing of air, or emotional upset.
Infant colic (also known as baby colic and three month colic) is a condition in which an otherwise healthy baby cries or screams frequently and for extended periods, without any discernible reason……………….CLICK & SEE
The condition typically appears within the first two weeks of life and almost invariably disappears, often very suddenly, before the baby is three to four months old . It is more common in bottle-fed babies, but also occurs in breast-fed infants. The crying frequently occurs during a specific period of the day, often in the early evening.
Since the cause is not conclusively established and the amount of crying differs between babies, there is no general consensus on the definition of “colic”. Having ruled out other causes of crying, a common rule of thumb is to consider a baby “colicky” if it cries intensely more than three days a week, for more than three hours, for more than three weeks in a month.
From the age of about 3 weeks, many babies start to cry vigorously at approximately the same time each day, usually in the evening. This crying sounds different from crying at other times, and the baby may also draw up his or her legs. During these episodes, the baby will usually not respond to any form of comfort, such as feeding or holding, for more than a few minutes. the baby may continue crying for up to 3 hours.
Although the may appear to be in pain, colic is not due to an illness, and the crying does not cause permanent harm. However, parents may find the condition distressing. Episodes of crying that do not have this pattern are not called colic. The cause of colic is unknown, and it is thought to be due to abdominal pain or gas. however, crying may be worsened by tiredness, an unsettled environment, or a babyâ€™s temperament.
There is no commonly accepted explanation for colic. Traditionally, colic was ascribed to abdominal pain resulting from trapped gas in the digestive tract. This theory is not yet discredited, and some recent scientific evidence seems to support it, yet it is no longer universally accepted as the general cause.
There is solid and mounting evidence that the causes are related to gut flora, from multiple studies which have shown that colicky babies have different gut flora patterns, which includes a lack of Lactobacillus acidophilus. Some of these studies suggest the administering of a probiotic, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, will improve the condition. Probiotics have been shown to improve other conditions associated with colic, such as lactose intolerance, necrotizing enterocolitis, and gastric inflammation. In addition to that probiotics have been shown to generally improve the health of children who take them.
Some doctors claim that it is a combination of a baby’s sensitive temperament, the environment, and its immature nervous system which makes him/her cry easily and without control. Others believe that it originates in problems in the baby’s digestive system, specifically because of the buildup of gas which cannot be released. New studies at the Colic Clinic at Brown University demonstrate that nearly half of babies with colic have mild gastroesophageal reflux. Some cases may be the result of lactose intolerance.
Recent research raises a number of hypotheses including the onset of melatonin production by the pineal gland (which does not begin until 12 weeks of age, about the time colic seems to disappear), circadian rhythms,and smoking and stress of the mother in the third trimester.
Because of the links between prenatal stress, birth trauma, maternal stress etc, and colic, it has also been suggested that some ‘colic’, or excessive crying may actually be a healthy stress release requiring support and facilitation rather than suppression or ‘cure’.
There is currently no generally-accepted medical treatment for colic, and the approach taken by medical professionals varies substantially from country to country and indeed from doctor to doctor. Many believe that the condition is currently untreatable, and is best left to run its course. Other doctors prescribe simethicone, which treats trapped gas; some parents report that this is effective, but for many others it is not, and research suggests that it is not useful.
One study showed a moderate success when infants with colic were treated with dicyclomine, an anti-spasmotic drug commonly found in some anti-diarrheal medications.
Other studies have found success with probiotics such as Lactobacillus reuteri, which were intended to reduce gas.
Gripe water is believed by some to relieve the symptoms associated with baby colic, teething and baby’s gas.
In addition to herbal teas it is believed that the organoleptic effects of certain herbs can help calm and relieve colic symptoms.
Scientists warn that further studies are necessary before any specific cure should be recommended.
There is general agreement that soothing measures, such as pacifiers, listening to white noise and rocking, are often effective in calming the baby during crying periods. Also known as the “cuddle cure”, the five S’s are known as Swaddling, placing the baby on their Side or Stomach, Swinging the baby, making a Shhh sound in the baby’s ear, and giving the baby something to Suck on. Some parents take turns holding the baby upright (which may reduce the pain and crying) to enable the other parent to catch up on sleep. Babies with lactose intolerance or reflux cry harder and longer when left to lie on their backs, but parents are not advised to put the baby to sleep on their front as it is considered a risk factor for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Various tactics, such as changes in diet or routine, an increase in fresh air or certain herbal teas, are popularly believed to cure colic. There is also the theory that rubbing warm olive oil on the hands and feet, then rubbing the stomach with olive oil in a clockwise motion will cure colic. While some of these may help in certain cases, none of them is known to be universally effective. The widespread belief in them may be partly due to the suddenness with which colic naturally resolves itself. Many parents keep trying different approaches until the colic suddenly stops, at which point they presume that the last thing they tried was the cure.
Some breastfed babies have problems digesting milk proteins, or have a milk protein sensitivity(milk allergy) due to the mother’s diet. The proteins from cow’s milk are able to pass through the mother’s milk to the baby. Because baby’s intestines are still developing this sensitivity causes gas that is extremely painful. It can also cause the excessive spitting up and reflux. It can be helped with reflux medication, but not cured. The only cure is to have the mother completely avoid all milk products, even foods with traces of milk. Although this has been documented, it is still under debate. This is because La Leche League experts agree that there is already enough stress on a new breastfeeding relationship without having to deal with radical diet changes as well, and blaming the mother’s milk for baby’s malady puts pressure on mother to wean unnecessarily. Formula may actually be more harmful than helpful in this situation, and will not cure the colic.
In cases where ‘colic’ or excessive crying is possibly the infants innate healing mechanism helping them to recover from birth trauma or other past or current stress, appropriate holding and facilitation techniques may be able to increase the effectiveness of the release process and reduce the overall amount of crying time needed. In any case parents may benefit from learning these techniques, as this can help them to cope better psychologically with their child’s distress, and to feel more empowered in the midst of an extremely trying situation.
What might be done?
You should try to arrange your day so you can comfort your baby when he or she is crying. If you have problems coping and require advice and support, consult your babyâ€™s doctor. You should also consult the doctor if your baby develops additional symptoms, such as fever, which may indicate an underlying infection. the doctor will examine your baby and exclude other causes of the crying. Occasionally, he or she may suggest that you try giving your baby an over-the-counter remedy to relieve the colic. however, the treatment is only helpful in some cases. Colic disappears suddenly, on its own, usually when a baby reaches about 3 months of age.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.
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