What are the Symptoms of Colic?
It is fairly common for babies to go through periods when they appear abnormally irritable, fussy, or seem to cry for no reason. Some babies are fussier than others and may even be described as “colicky.” Colic can be defined as excessive crying or fussiness, usually in the late afternoon. It starts around 2 weeks and generally resolves or is resolving by 12 weeks. Rarely does it endure past six months of age. Pediatricians often use Wessel’s criteria, referred to as the rule of 3s, to define colic: inconsolable crying for 3 hours per day, at least 3 times a week for at least 3 weeks, though in practice, colic may be more loosely defined. About 25 percent of babies worldwide meet the official “Rule of Threes” criteria for medical diagnosis of colic.
Some associated symptoms of colic may be clenching of the fists, arching of the back, or tensing of the abdomen. Bouts tend to come on suddenly and end suddenly, and the cry may sound more intense to parents. Colicky babies may be extremely difficult to console. If you suspect your baby is suffering from colic, compare your child’s symptoms with the list below. Our poll of thousands of parents illustrates the frequency of nine common signs in infants meeting at least two of the Wessel criteria for colic. Overall, 84% reported at least 5 of the signs below.
Parents may describe their baby’s cry as more piercing, painful or intense compared to his normal cry. Parents often think of colicky pain as an acute abdominal pain, but since colicky babies cannot describe exactly what distresses them, it is hard for parents to know the precise cause of their distress.
What Treatment Options are Available to Relieve Baby Colic?
Colic, and the months of distress and sleeplessness that it brings to both infants and parents, can leave you feeling frantic, frustrated, worried, exhausted, confused, guilty and inadequate. Foremost, it is essential to build and maintain a loving bond with your infant. If your baby experiences colic that does not appear to dissipate, you will probably be looking for a safe, natural and effective colic remedy to ease your baby’s suffering. There are several treatments available for baby colic. As always, you should consult your pediatrician first before giving baby any medications, remedies or supplements.
Homeopathic remedies can be an excellent choice for treating infant colic symptoms. Homeopathy uses small doses of natural substances and has a long track record of safe use in children. There is only one such liquid formula on the market. Colic Calm Gripe Water is available at leading pharmacies, online and in select health food stores and health practitioners’ offices. Many parents and caretakers have been relieved to find a remedy with natural active ingredients. The unique homeopathic formula works within minutes, so it is only given on an “as needed” basis. Thousands of satisfied customers have also reported that it works wonders for bloating, pressure, stomach cramps, hiccups, teething and even acid reflux. It is also extremely effective on gas created during introduction of new foods into babies’ delicate digestive tracts. A combination of homeopathic ingredients is used to treat the multiple symptoms of colic as depicted below.
Colic Calm is an over-the-counter homeopathic medicine and as such must be FDA listed, must be manufactured according to stringent Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for pharmaceuticals and the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States (HPUS). All other gripe waters on the market are “dietary supplements”. As such, Good Manufacturing Practices are only voluntary and significantly less stringent if they are applied at all. Generally, the main ingredients of the other gripe waters brands include:
Sodium Bicarbonate (a.k.a. Baking Soda). Sodium bicarbonate is an alkali (antacid) which alters the naturally occurring pH of a baby’s stomach acid. It may counteract some discomfort caused by natural acidity in a baby’s tummy. However, stomach acid serves a useful purpose because it helps the body digest food and protects the gut from infections. Disrupting the stomach’s natural acidity has led to concerns about risk for infection and malabsorption of nutrients like calcium, magnesium, B12, and iron. For this reason, sodium bicarbonate-containing products are not to be consumed by “children under 5 years of age”, as stated clearly on antacid and baking soda boxes. Antacids always warn against extended use: “Do not use for more than 2 weeks.” According to some doctors, sodium bicarbonate can cause an imbalance in babies’ electrolytes, which can also lead to serious problems.Please note that antacids do interact with or prevent the absorption of many medications. According to Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine, antacids (e.g. sodium bicarbonate) “should not be given to young children (up to 6 years of age) unless prescribed by their doctor.” Since children often cannot describe their symptoms well, doctor visits are advisable before giving any antacids to children. The condition may require other treatment. In such cases, not only will antacids not help, they may actually lead to unwanted side effects and/ or worsening of condition.Medline also warns against taking large doses of sodium bicarbonate with large amounts of milk or milk products. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.
Essential Oils and extracts (dill oil, clove oil, fennel extract, ginger extract, etc) are used by all other gripe water brands. Fennel in particular (also contained in Colic Calm though not in essential oil form) has been shown effective in at least one clinical study. However, there are known safety issues with some herbal oils and extract preparations.
If you are sure your infant is suffering from colic, there are concrete steps you can take to relieve the symptoms of your colicky baby. Therapies include changing your baby’s environment and diet to direct internal treatment. As always, consult your pediatrician about the range of alternative treatments available. There are safe, natural and effective alternatives to pharmaceuticals and artificial chemicals. Homeopathy has been used for more than 200 years to safely treat a variety of nervous and digestive disorders including colic.
Remember that babies are just getting accustomed to this world and, as they grow older, their colic will eventually subside. Their digestive systems will learn how to function well. In the first three months of life, babies are not well-equipped to calm themselves. Self-calming is a skill that develops slowly over time and at different rates in children. Babies this young are not expected to self soothe, and you can’t spoil them by helping them soothe. Thanks: coliccalm.com