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And the Cause of Colic is . . . (Some Doctors Now Think They Might Actually Know)

Colicky baby

A real cause might mean a real cure

If you have one baby with colic then you probably have 19 people telling you what’s causing it (and another 14 telling you how to cure it).

The bad news is that they’re all probably wrong. But the good news is that the real cause might have been recently uncovered, and by people with more medical training than the person next to you squeezing melons in the produce section of the supermarket.

This month’s edition of Archive of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine published the findings of a study that quite possibly points to the cause of colic. Hint: It has nothing to do with an “intense temperament” or an “immature nervous system.”

According to BabyCenter.com, Dr. Abdelrazak Manour Ali from Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, evaluated infants diagnosed with colic (which is defined as otherwise healthy babies crying for more than three hours per day, more than three days per week for at least three weeks) and found a bacteria called Helicobacter Pylori (H.pylori) lining the stomach walls in the majority of the subjects.

The bacterium is “known to be associated with more than 80 percent of gastric and duodenal ulcers.” The findings could indicate that, “the flora of our gut may determine if we become symptomatic from H.pylori. Infants with colic may not have the immune response to counteract the virulence of H.pylori.”

Dr. Ali also notes: “Helicobacter pylori infections may be considered the etiologic pathogenic organism of infantile colic.”

One possible way to treat intestinal bacteria is with probiotics, would could help relieve the symptoms of colic by promoting a more healthy gut — although any treatment should obviously be discussed with a doctor.

Probiotics or an alternative treatment — either way, the findings of the study just might mean there is a concrete solution on the horizon for babies experiencing serious discomfort so early in life if this is the actual cause of colic. And for parents who can’t figure out why their little ones are crying and how to help them, there just might not be any better news.

Does this study give you hope that there might be relief in sight for your colicky baby?

Photo credit: iStock

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