Colic

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Colic is when a baby cries for more than three hours a day and three times a week without a clear cause.

A baby may cry inconsolably or scream, extend or pull up his or her legs, and pass gas. The baby’s stomach may be enlarged. Crying can happen anytime, although it often gets worse in the early evening. Colic usually starts between 2 and 4 weeks from birth. It will likely improve or disappear by 3 or 4 months after birth. Colic is a poorly understood phenomenon affecting up to 30% of babies.

Although infantile colic is considered to be a limiting and benign condition, it raises anxiousness and concern for parents and is a frequent reason for parents to seek medical help. The pathogenesis of infantile colic remains unknown, but the hypothesized that immaturity of the nervous or digestive system of the infants is interfere as a risk factor.

Laboratory tests and radiological examinations are unnecessary if the infant is gaining weight normally and has a normal physical examination. Dietary changes may be of some benefit for relief of crying in infantile colic. Treatment is limited and drug treatment has no role in management. Probiotics are now emerging as promising agents in the treatment of infantile colic. Alternative medicine (herbal tea, fennel, glucose and massage therapy) have not proved to be consistently helpful and some might even be dangerous. In conclusion infantile colic is a common cause of maternal distress and family disturbance, the cornerstone of management remains reassurance of parents regarding the benign and self-limiting nature of the illness.

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