This is day 2 of #BlogchatterA2Z. And I am excited to share detail information about another common disease condition starts from “B”.
As “B”, I am talking about baby colic? What is baby colic? What are the causes and symptoms? What are some important self-care measures to relive colic symptoms? And which are some important homeopathic remedies to treat colic condition in babies? Read the post to know more!
What is baby Colic?
As per definition, Colic is a frequent, prolonged and intense crying in otherwise healthy babies. Colic is one of the most common condition that affect large number of infants during 1 year of their lives. Colic is not a disease or diagnosed condition, it is more a kind of cranky behavior that involves continuous crying for long hours (at least 3 hours per days).
There are three important factors that confirm a diagnosis of “Colic in babies”.
- If baby is crying per day at least 3 or more hours.
- The crying cycle is present at least 3 days in a week.
- And the crying cycle is remained present with same frequency (3 hours per day at least 3 days in a week) for up to 3 weeks.
When a baby has these all “Three classic” symptoms, it confirms the diagnosis of “Colic”.
Though Colic is not a serious medical condition but it is upsetting for both parents and babies. Specially for new parents, it creates a state of frustration and helplessness.
As per NCBI, colic affects 20% of infants and it is one of the most common cause of doctor visit in first year of infant’s life. But on brighter side, colic condition resolves on its own, when a baby grows older. Usually, colic symptoms resolve up to age of 4-6 weeks in most of the babies.
Causes of Colic
There are no fixed causative factors that causes colic. Colic has been diagnosed in both bottle fed and breastfeed babies. Also, it has been observed in both pre-term and normal babies.
Scientific studies suggested few possibilities that could be considered as “Causative factors” for colic condition in babies.
- Cow milk protein allergy or intolerance: According to a scientific study from NCBI suggest that cow milk protein allergy or intolerance could be a primary cause of baby colic. It has been observed that bottle fed babies who consume cow milk protein formula-based milk and breastfeed babies whose mothers have a diet rich in cow milk protein are more susceptible to get colicky symptoms. In some cases, excluding cow’s milk protein from baby’s diet has shown improvement in colicky symptoms.
- Lactose intolerance: According to another theory, lactose intolerance (A condition where baby has an allergy or not enough capacity to digest lactose that present in mother’s milk or in lactose-based formula milk) is consider as another possible cause of colic in babies.
- In some cases, colic could be a symptom of other underlying serious systemic disease like GERD (gastro esophageal reflex disease) or bowl inflammation.
- Food sensitivity or allergy to certain type of food (if mother is consuming it) can also cause colic in some babies.
- Neurological and phycological factors: Neurological disease like infantile migraine and psychological factors like maternal depression, lack of bonding between mother-infant may cause colic in some babies. Though there is lack of scientific evidence to confirm this theory.
Symptoms of Colic
Image source: dadsadventure.com.
Here are some common symptoms of Colic.
- As mentioned before the “Continues crying for 3 hours (in a single day) for 3 days in a week, for up to 3 weeks is a classic symptom of colic. The crying in colic is little different than crying in normal babies. Colicky babies cry continuously (usually at the same time of day mostly in late afternoon or in evening) without any apparent reasons (like hunger, dirty diaper or sleep). Colicky babies cry on high pitch than normal and they are also hard to console.
- While crying babies pull their legs towards the chest and clinch their fist too.
- Colicky babies close their eyes or open widely while crying.
- Higher level of irritability.
- Colicky babies may have associated digestive symptoms like spitting after feeding, loose stool and pain in stomach.
- Sleeping and eating cycle may get disturbed due to continuous crying.
- Occasionally the symptoms of other underlying disease like GERD also present (if colic is caused by that disease)
Usually, the diagnosis is confirmed by doctor on the basis of clinical symptoms and physical examination. Presence of classical symptoms of continuous crying without apparent reasons, and other associated symptoms confirm the diagnosis of colic. In most of the cases, there is no need for any lab test or other diagnostic measures.
In some cases, doctor may ask to perform other tests, when he suspects the causes of colic is other underlying disease.
Primary home care measures
Here some primary home care measures that can be used by parents to deal with baby colic at home.
- Parents should educate themselves about colic condition in babies. This is the first step to deal with colic in babies.
- Switch the baby milk formula: many times, changing the baby milk formula relive the colic symptoms easily.
- Change in maternal diet: if baby is breastfed, maternal diet could be a reason of baby colic. Make changes in maternal diet (eliminate high protein and hard to digest substance from mother’s diet) and observe the changes in colicky symptoms.
- Burp baby properly after every feeding routine. Learn the proper way and hold the baby in upright position on shoulder for at least 10-15 minutes after feeding. This step helps in releasing gas and relive colic symptoms.
- Be patient while dealing with crying baby. Try to use different ways to calm the crying baby like use swing or repetitive motion, or give baby a bath, sing or talk with baby, take baby on a car ride etc.
- Apply hing paste or asafetida on baby’s tummy to release the gas. Many times, as soon as gas releases, baby’s colic symptoms improve and he stop crying.
- If crying cycle is continued for long hours, put the baby in a relaxing room (make sure place is comfortable with comfortable room temperature) and observe baby’s reaction. In same time, try to relax yourself.
- Take help of friends/family member, if you are excessively exhausted.
- Do not hesitate to take professional medical help, if baby’s colic symptoms get worse, even after using home care measures.
Baby colic is not a serious or life-threatening condition. It usually did not cause any serious complications. But in some cases, it may be seriously upsetting for parents and may cause symptoms of maternal postpartum depression too.
Also, in some cases, colic may cause “Shaken baby syndrome”. in this condition, angry parents shake their babies with force to stop the crying and this moment may results in brain or other serious injury to babies.
Here are some classic remedies that work great in treating colic symptoms.
Image source: distacart.com
This is one of the most effective and top-grade remedy for treating colic symptoms. When baby is highly irritable, angry and hard to console by any measures indicate the use of Chamomilla remedy. Also, when baby has a hypersensitivity to pain and wants to be rocked or carried, called the use of chamomilla remedy. As another symptom, baby demands for many things but when offered, he refused to take them and show higher level of irritability. The abdomen is distended with gas and stool has a green color and smells like rotten egg.
Dose: use 30 c patency, crushed 2-4 globules in 1-2 TSP of mother’s milk and give 4 times a day.
Image source: Homeomart.com
Nux Vomica is a great remedy for Colic when mother has a history of consuming spicy (or rich) food, smoking and alcohol consumption. Baby may be a bit constipated and do not want to be touched the tummy with higher level of irritability.
Dose: 30c patency, 4 globules. 4 times a day
Avoid using Nux vomica for long term period. And give one dose at night compulsory to get best results.
Image source: homeomart.com.
Aethusa is a great remedy for treating colic when baby has a symptom of “Lactose intolerance”. Along with colic, when there is a violent vomiting of “frothy milky substance” is present, Aethuja gives best result.
Dose: 30c patency, 4 globules, 4 times a day
Mag phos 30 and Colocynth 30
Image source: Homeomart.com.
Image source: Homeomart.com
Both are excellent anti-spasmodic homeopathic remedies and work great in treating colic symptoms. For making this combination, take a single vile (medicine container) of 30 ML. Mixed 15-15 Ml of both medicines (Mag phos 30+ colocynth 30) in single container. Use this combination medicine in treating baby colic symptoms.
Dose: 1 drop or 2-3 globules crushed in 1-2 TSP of mother milk, 4 times a day
Collikind tablet by Schwabe
Image source: Schwabeindia.com
Collkind is a great combination for treating colicky symptoms. It contains Argentum Nitricum 3X, Chamomilla 1X, Cinchona 3X, and many other indicated remedies for treating colic. Collikind has an antispasmodic effect on the gastro intestinal tract and works great in relieving colic symptoms like abdominal pain and flatulence. It can be given to the 3 month-5years of kids.
Dose: take 2-5 globules crush it, mixed it in 1 TSP of mother milk and give ½ hourly, when symptoms are acute. Later on, take 3 globules 3 times a day, when symptoms improve.
SBL’s Bio chemic combination no. 3
Image source: Homeomart.net
It contains Mag Phos 3x, Naturm phos 3X, Cal.phos. 3x, ferrum phos 3x. This combination can be used for treating colic caused by flatulence or due to constipation or colic happened during teething period.
Dose: give 2 tablets 4 times a day (crushed in mother’s milk)
How to give homeopathic medicines to infants?
Take 2-4 globules (or 1 drop) of indicated homeopathic medicine and crushed this in 1-2 TSP of mother milk. Use lower patency (like 30c) of homeopathic medicines for babies. You can give 4 doses of indicated medicines, 4 times in a day. And may repeat it more frequently in case of acute disease conditions.
So, this is all for now.
If you have any questions related to baby colic and homeopathic treatment, feel free to ask in comment section.
Tomorrow as “C”, we will talk about “Common childhood injuries and homeopathic treatment”. Stay tuned to learn more!
Read previous post of series here:
This post is a part of Blogchatter A2Z Challenge