Infant colic

This is a term used primarily to describe the discomfort felt by an infant and the screaming that occurs, usually in the evening and often between the ages of 1-5 months. It is unclear whether this is a real phenomenon or whether it is discomfort due to a maturity problem of the enzyme lactase so that a child has gas production due to malabsorption of the sugar in dairy produce, lactose. It is also unclear whether there is air swallowing which might account for some of the colic or indeed whether gastro-oesophageal reflux is the prime cause of this problem. There is evidence on both sides of the argument to suggest that there is no significant difference between the crying of infants who are said to have colic versus that which is perceived by the mothers of children who are not perceived to have colic. It is a difficult area but if there are any significant problems other than the crying with the child’s health then these should be investigated for problems such as gastro-oesophageal reflux.

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