When your baby has been diagnosed with colic, did you know that the cause might be an imbalance of bacteria in the baby's stomach? Some doctors will discuss specific probiotics recommended for infants with you if you ask about which priobiotics are meant for infants.
There may be too much E-coli compared to good bacteria such as that found in certain probiotics cultures. See the abstract of a 2007 study, published in the journal, Pediatrics, "Lactobacillus reuteri (American Type Culture Collection Strain 55730) Versus Simethicone in the Treatment of Infantile Colic: A Prospective Randomized Study."
When Your Baby is Diagnosed with Colic
Colic is diagnosed when your baby has bouts of prolonged crying with no specific cause. The stomach pain may last for hours each day. Make sure your baby is really suffering from colic. A newborn infant has a digestive system that has never processed food directly and is just learning.
Researchers have studied allergies, exposure to tobacco smoke, mothers with anxiety, or abnormal intestinal functions. But what all this research over the past four decades points to is an imbalance in the bacteria in the baby's intestinal tract. Babies as well as adults have good and bad bacteria. There has to be a balance of the probiotic (good) bacteria to keep the E-coli (bad bacteria) in check. Friendly bacteria also is called lacobacilli and bifidobacteria. The good bacteria is referred to as probiotics.
Are E-coli bacteria overrunning your baby's stomach?
If too much E-coli bacteria starts to overrun the baby's stomach and intestines, there may not be enough probiotics to keep the various types of bacteria in a balanced state. You need to have a good balance between the good and bad bacteria. Otherwise diarrhea, stomach pain, and other symptoms increase, and the baby cries from the pain of colic.
The infection may be enough to cause the baby to cry for hours. So many pediatricians suggest restoring the balance with probiotic bacteria in a form suitable for infants with colic. Read today's Sacramento Bee article on this topic under the section, "Integrative Medicine." The print edition of the article is "Imbalance of good, bad bacteria in tummy may be the colic cause."
Infant colic is only due in part to an overgrowth of E-coli
There are other causes of colic as well. And the other causes also are being researched. One other cause may be inflammation. When the bad bacteria is out of balance with the good bacteria, inflammation results, causing stomach pain.
Check out the 2007 colic study referred to with your own pediatrician. Also see the website, BioGaia Probiotic Drops for Babies with Colic. BioGaia contains L. reuteri Protectis, a natural lactobacilli that has been tested in numerous clinical trials and proven effective as well as safe for children.* [1-39].
Drs. Kay Judge and Maxine Barish-Wreden are medical directors of the Sutter Downtown Integrative Medicine Program in Sacramento who write an excellent column in the Sacramento Bee newspaper. Their column covers integrative and alternative medicine. The doctor's column back on September 5, 2010 offered information helpful for infant colic.
Is there a nutrition-based solution to infantile colic--emphasizing probiotics?
The online edition of the current doctors' article is, "Integrative Medicine: Colic in babies appears to be a bad gut feeling." According to this article, "studies have suggested that probiotics modulate immune function and restore healthy gut function, and they may also play a role in treating several other illnesses in children and adults, including other intestinal infections, allergies, dermatitis and depression." The idea is to find out which probiotics work with infants. One study mentioned the probiotic, L. reurteri.
See the website for a list of medical studies mentioned. Also see the Pediatrics site, Lactobacillus reuteri (American Type Culture Collection Strain. According to that site, The goal was to test the hypothesis that oral administration of Lactobacillus reuteri in a prospective randomized study would improve symptoms of infantile colic.
According to the abstract of that study published in Pediatrics, Volume 119 No. 1 January 2007, pp. e124-e130, ninety breastfed colicky infants were assigned randomly to receive either the probiotic L reuteri (108 live bacteria per day) or simethicone (60 mg/day) each day for 28 days. The mothers avoided cow's milk in their diet. Parents monitored daily crying times and adverse effects by using a questionnaire.
The results of that study, according to its abstract, noted that eighty-three infants completed the trial: 41 in the probiotic group and 42 in the simethicone group. The infants were similar regarding gestational age, birth weight, gender, and crying time at baseline.
Daily median crying times in the probiotic and simethicone groups were 159 minutes/day and 177 minutes/day, respectively, on the seventh day and 51 minutes/day and 145 minutes/day on the 28th day. On day 28, 39 patients (95%) were responders in the probiotic group and 3 patients (7%) were responders in the simethicone group. No adverse effects were reported, according to the study's abstract.
The findings emphasized that in the study, L reuteri improved colicky symptoms in breastfed infants within 1 week of treatment, compared with simethicone, which suggests that probiotics may have a role in the treatment of infantile colic, according to that 2007 study.
Check out the study or read the abstract in the journal, Pediatrics, "Lactobacillus reuteri (American Type Culture Collection Strain 55730) Versus Simethicone in the Treatment of Infantile Colic: A Prospective Randomized Study." Could it be that a nutrition-related solution to colic works in infants as with adults also who need to balance the 'good' and 'bad' bacteria in their stomachs?
Sometimes with adults, antibiotics or other issues might wipe out too much of the good bacteria with the bad. In numerous cases, probiotics works. Adults can find probiotics in health food stores. But only you and your health care professional can decide whether probiotics will help your own baby.
Don't feed your infant yogurt or kefir, but for adults, there may be a small amount of good priobiotic bacteria in some types of yogurt or kefir. But be aware also that some types of yogurt may not have enough cultures to be effective for adults. Check out what you buy. See the site, Health Benefits of Probiotics (Active Culture). Some types of yogurt don't have enough cultures to be useful. For further information (for adults) see the site, Probiotics.
For infants, check with your pediatrician. And only use specific probiotics recommended for infants, if your doctor tells you that the cause of your baby's colic is related to an imbalance.