Colic

What is Colic?

Colic is a term used for infants to describe intense, inconsolable crying for more than 3 hours per day, more than 3 days per week, and for more than 3 weeks. While the cause of colic is a bit of a mystery, it is believed the crying is due to severe pain in the abdomen caused by intestinal gas or obstruction in the intestines.

Signs and Symptoms

  • predictable crying episodes: Your baby will cry at similar times every day

  • inconsolable crying: Your baby will not respond very well to rocking or shushing.

  • crying for no reason: Crying for a dirty diaper or hunger is normal, but neither will be the case in colic 

  • posture changes: Curled up legs, clenched fists, and tense abdominal muscles. 

The Medical Approach 

The medical community believes that the cause of colic is unknown and can offer little help other than to eliminate worry of serious illness causing the inconsolable crying. It has been shown in research that babies of women who smoke during pregnancy of after delivery have a higher risk of developing colic. "Wait until your baby is 3 months old and they will grow out of it" is the standard medical treatment for colic. 

The Non-Medical Approach 

  • Formula vs. breastfeeding: Although the medical community does not claim that formula-fed babies have a higher risk for colic, many natural remedies will suggest breastfeeding over formula

  • Mother's diet: avoid foods that may be causing the baby's digestive distress. These foods can be identified using a food dairy. 

  • "Gripe Water": A mixture of dill seed oil, sodium bicarbonate, and alcohol, among other substances dependent upon brand is a common unverified form of colic treatment, believed to soothe the baby because of alcohol content

The Chiropractic Approach 

The chiropractic adjustment has been shown to be one of the safest and most effective standard treatments for colic. By taking pressure off of the nerve roots that feed into the digestive organs, the result is a nerve that functions as intended, and a digestive system that functions without the pain or spams of colicky episodes. Where the medical system claims colic has no known cause, the chiropractic community claims that the cause of colic is vertebral subluxation, and following the reduction of subluxation, infants have shown significantly improvement in numerous cases. In one study, an infant with severe colic was adjusted nine times over the course of 11 months which slowly first improved bowel improvements, then crying episodes, then sleeping patterns until eventually the colic symptoms had completely resolved. 

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