Complementary Medicine - Cam
About This Condition
Calm your fussy baby’s colic by getting to the root of the cause. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
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.
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.
Healthy Lifestyle Tips
All infants, particularly those with colic, need to be fed on demand and not by a specific clock schedule. Often a baby’s cry is triggered by discomfort caused by low blood sugar . Unlike adults, infants do not have a carefully regulated ability to maintain healthy blood sugar levels in the absence of food. This physiological shortcoming of infants can be solved only by feeding on demand.
In one trial, parents were taught not to let babies cry unnecessarily but rather to attempt feeding right away in response to the infant’s cry.1 If that failed, parents were taught to try to respond to the cry in other ways, such as holding the infant or providing the opportunity to sleep. These parents were also given the solid medical advice that overfeeding is never caused by feeding on demand nor will the baby be “spoiled” by such an approach. As a result of this intervention, colic was dramatically (and statistically significantly) reduced, compared with a group of mothers given different instructions.
The symptoms of colic may be linked to mild biomechanical disturbances of the spinal joints and may respond to manipulation. A large, preliminary study of infants treated by chiropractic manipulation for colic reported marked improvement, often after one treatment.2 This echoed an earlier study in which questionnaires sent to parents of 132 infants under chiropractic care revealed that 91% of the respondents observed improvement in their babies’ symptoms after two to three manipulations.3 In a controlled trial, infants were treated daily for two weeks either with a placebo medication or with a series of three to five treatments using gentle “fingertip” spinal manipulations.4 Those treated with manipulation experienced a 67% reduction in daily hours of colic, compared with only a 38% reduction in infants on medication.
The right diet is the key to managing many diseases and to improving general quality of life. For this condition, scientific research has found benefit in the following healthy eating tips.
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Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.
For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.
3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.
1. Taubman B. Clinical trial of the treatment of colic by modification of parent-infant interaction. Pediatr 1984;74:998–1003.
2. 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.
3. Nilsson N. Infant colic and chiropractic. Eur J Chir 1985;33:264–5.
4. 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.
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11. Evans RW, Fergusson DM, Allardyce RA, et al. Maternal diet and infantile colic in breast-fed infants. Lancet 1981;49:1340–2.
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13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
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19. 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.
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21. Schilcher H. Phytotherapy in Paediatrics. Stuttgart: Medpharm Scientific Publishers, 1997, 80.
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Last Review: 02-05-2013
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The information presented in Aisle7 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 June 2014.
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