Colic is one of the remaining mysteries of life. What is it? And, more importantly, how do you fix it?
Doctors think that somewhere around 20 percent of all babies have colic (though some anthropologists claim that it doesn’t exist in many cultures). If you’re one of the families who wound up with a colicky baby, you don’t care about statistics or what mothers in collectivist cultures do, you just want a remedy … now.
Here’s the problem: there still isn’t a cure for colic.
Though there are products on the market that claim to cure colic, a new study concludes that most don’t work. The ones that do? Well, they’re curing something besides colic, such as gastric reflux or protein allergies.
A review of 15 studies on curing colic shows that folk remedies not only don’t cure colic, but, because they’re not regulated, may be putting the baby at risk.
Researchers from the University of Exeter in England published their findings online in the latest edition of The Journal of Pediatrics. Overall, 1,000 infants were treated with various alternative treatments, massage, and chiropractic techniques that had been advertised as able to reduce or eliminate colic.
The meta-study found these other studies weren’t rigorously conducted and had enough limitations to be inconclusive. It was also difficult to know whether it was a remedy that worked or time, the only thing that cured colic 100 percent of the time.
A few remedies showed a bit of promise, though the authors of the larger study said they would need further testing in order to conclude efficacy. Those remedies included fennel extract, herbal teas and sugar water.
Books and doctors often promise colic goes away by 4 months of age, some parents report colic into their baby’s 9th month.
Photo: xzordroyd via flickr