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Health Condition

Colic

About This Condition

Colic is a common problem in infants in which the baby is healthy but has periods of inconsolable crying, apparently caused by abdominal pain. Colic usually develops within a few weeks of birth and disappears by the baby’s fourth month.

Symptoms

Colic may cause infants, typically less than four months old, to cry inconsolably. The attacks usually occur in the late afternoon and evening, sometimes lasting for hours. During a colicky period, babies may bring their knees up, clench their fists, grimace, hold their breath, and generally be more active.

Other Therapies

Treatment is directed toward providing comfort for the babies until they outgrow this difficult period. Feeding babies while they are sitting up, or burping them more frequently, may help prevent colic if too much air is being swallowed during feedings.

References

1. Saavedra JM, Abi-Hanna A, Moore N, Yolken RH. Long-term consumption of infant formulas containing live probiotic bacteria: tolerance and safety. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;79:261-7.

2. Savino F, Cordisco L, Tarasco V, et al. Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 in infantile colic: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Pediatrics 2010;126:e526-33.

3. Savino F, Pelle E, Palumeri E, et al R. Lactobacillus reuteri (American Type Culture Collection Strain 55730) versus simethicone in the treatment of infantile colic: a prospective randomized study. Pediatrics 2007;119(1):e124-30.

4. Kianifar H, Ahanchian H, Grover Z, et al. Synbiotic in the management of infantile colic: a randomised controlled trial. J Paediatr Child Health 2014;50:801-5.

5. Chau K, Lau E, Greenberg S, et al. Probiotics for infantile colic: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial investigating Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938. J Pediatr 2014 Oct 23 [Epub ahead of print].

6. Savino F, Ceratto S, Poggi E, et al. Preventive effects of oral probiotic on infantile colic: a prospective, randomised, blinded, controlled trial using Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938. Benef Microbes 2015;6:245–51.

7. Weizman Z, Alkrinawi S, Goldfarb D, et al. Efficacy of herbal tea preparation in infantile colic. J Pediatr 1993;122:650-2.

8. Weizman Z, Alkrinawi S, Goldfarb D, et al. Efficacy of herbal tea preparation in infantile colic. J Pediatr 1993;122:650-2.

9. Alexandrovich I, Rakovitskaya O, Kolmo E, et al. The effect of fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare) seed oil emulsion in infantile colic: a randomized, placebo-controlled study. Altern Ther Health Med 2003;9:58-61.

10. Bove M. An Encyclopedia of Natural Healing for Children and Infants. New Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing, 1996:106.

11. Schilcher H. Phytotherapy in Paediatrics. Stuttgart: Medpharm Scientific Publishers, 1997, 80.

12. Schilcher H. Phytotherapy in Paediatrics. Stuttgart: Medpharm Scientific Publishers, 1997, 80.

13. Schilcher H. Phytotherapy in Paediatrics. Stuttgart: Medpharm Scientific Publishers, 1997, 80.

14. Schilcher H. Phytotherapy in Paediatrics. Stuttgart: Medpharm Scientific Publishers, 1997, 80.

15. Schilcher H. Phytotherapy in Paediatrics. Stuttgart: Medpharm Scientific Publishers, 1997, 80.

16. Klugart N, Nilsson N, Jacobsen J. Infantile colic treated by chiropractors: a prospective study of 316 cases. J Manip Physiol Ther 1989;12:281-8.

17. Nilsson N. Infant colic and chiropractic. Eur J Chir 1985;33:264-5.

18. Wiberg JM, Nordsteen J, Nilsson N. The short term effect of spinal manipulation in the treatment of infantile colic: a randomized controlled clinical trial with a blinded observer. J Manip Physiol Ther 1999;22:517-22.

19. Sampson HA. Infantile colic and food allergy: fact or fiction? J Pediatr 1989;115:583-4.

20. Hill DJ, Hosking CS, Heine RG. Clinical spectrum of food allergy in children in Australia and South-East Asia: identification and targets for treatment. Ann Med 1999;31:272-81.

21. Lothe L, Lindberg T. Cow's milk whey protein elicits symptoms of infantile colic in colicky formula-fed infants: a double-blind crossover study. Pediatr 1989;83(2):262-6.

22. Lothe L, Lindberg T, Jakobsson I. Cow's milk formula as a cause of infantile colic: a double-blind study. Pediatr 1982;70(1):7-10.

23. Jakobsson I, Lindberg T. Cow's milk proteins cause infantile colic in breast-fed infants: a double-blind crossover study. Pediatr 1983;71(2):268-71.

24. Evans RW, Fergusson DM, Allardyce RA, et al. Maternal diet and infantile colic in breast-fed infants. Lancet 1981;49:1340-2.

25. Clyne PS, Kulczycki A. Human breast milk contains bovine IgG. Relationship to infant colic? Pediatr 1991;87:439-44.

26. Hill DJ, Hudson IL, Sheffield LJ, et al. A low allergen diet is a significant intervention in infantile colic: results of a community-based study. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1995;96:886-92.

27. Hill DJ, Heine RG, Cameron DJ, et al. Role of food protein intolerance in infants with persistent distress attributed to reflux esophagitis. J Pediatr 2000;136:641-7.

28. Taubman B. Clinical trial of the treatment of colic by modification of parent-infant interaction. Pediatr 1984;74:998-1003.

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2018.

Drugs used to treat COLIC. Select drug name to view medication information and pricing