Dr. Thomas A Kruzel, ND

Colic is a condition often encountered in infants, especially in the first few weeks of life. Colic is thought to be caused by a distention of the small bowel in response to a build up of gas produced by certain bacteria, irregular peristaltic activity, or due to a dysregulated autonomic nervous system function. Infants, but also older children and some adults, are unable to compensate adequately resulting in a distention of the bowel and pain.

Colicky infants typically eat and gain weight well but encounter problems shortly after feeding. They may also seem to eat excessively and want to frequently suck on teethers. The resulting pain leads to crying, irritability and at times incessant crying which results in aerophagia or an excess of swallowed air. This results in abdominal distention that exacerbates the condition. The onset of colic is often predictable during the day or more often in the evening or at night and can lead to a considerable disruption of family life.

Illness such as a fever may lead to irritability and some infants who cry incessantly may be doing so because they are not getting enough to eat. This will be reflected by a slower or lack of weight gain.

In mothers who are breastfeeding, colic may ensue due to some irritating food in her diet. An example of this may be the excessive intake of spicy foods. Usually the infant will not want to breastfeed or will not remain attached for very long if an offending food is being consumed. Some infants who are being formula fed may also have problems with colic due to a substance in the formula or if being given cows milk, may have already developed and allergy to it.

Gas or “passing wind” is often a component of colic and is a result of incomplete digestion. Gut bacteria act upon incompletely digested foods such as carbohydrates, fats and proteins, releasing by-products of their digestion such as methane or other gasses. This condition may occur periodically and follow eating certain foods such as beans, milk or wheat and is associated with poor enzyme production or a food intolerance.

If a correlation can be made with the type of food that is causing the flatulence, then its elimination is in order to correct the problem. Flatulence associated with diarrhea may signal a pathologic process which must be evaluated by a physician.

WHAT TO DO UNTIL THE DOCTOR IS SEEN

  1. Administer one or several of the following treatments and monitor the baby’s response. If after 15 to 30 minutes there is no change, try another option.
  2. Note their bowel function; has it changed any within the last 24 hours. Is there gas and bloating associated with the colic? Is there a fever? If so, monitor their temperature.
  3. Are they teething? If so, then try some homeopathic Chamomille. If already using teething tablets that have Chamomille in them, and they do not seem to be working, a higher potency is often needed.
  4. Note any pattern that there may be to the bouts of colic. This information may be of benefit to your physician if further treatment is needed.
  5. If there is a response to the homeopathic medicine you have selected, administer as often as needed when symptoms return.

Case Management Suggestions

An acidophilus/probiotic supplement will help restore the normal bowel flora and is especially indicated during and after antibiotic use. If breastfeeding, a little can be applied to the nipple so it is consumed with feeding.

Homeopathic Medicines such as Carbo vegetabilis, Chamomile, China, Lycopodium, Magnesia carbonica, { XE Magnesia carbonica:Flatulence }Magnesia phosphorica, Raphanus and Sulphur { XE Sulphur: Flatulence }- are among the more common remedies needed and often provide quick relief.

Botanical Medicines such as Catnip, Chamomille, Fennel, Licorice and Mint can be made up as a tea or used in tincture form and given in water or juice.

Medicines from the Kitchen

Ground up caraway, fennel or dill seeds in some water taken orally will dispel gas.

Soda of bicarbonate can be given by putting a little on the breast with nursing to help dispel gas.

Diet & Nutrition

Decrease or eliminate milk, cabbage, garlic, onions, chocolate, and beans from moms diet as these have been found to contribute to colic.

1 tsp of apple cider vinegar to 8oz of water – offer 1 tsp at a time; if the baby takes it, then it probably means they are too alkaline.

This article is an excerpt from the
 Natural Medicine Pediatric Home Health Advisor


2014-05-09 08.27.43-1Thomas A. Kruzel N.D. is a naturopathic physician in private practice at the Rockwood Natural Medicine Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona. He received a BA in Biology from the California State University at Northridge and his Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine degree from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine. Dr. Kruzel is also a board certified Medical Technologist. He completed 2 years of Family Practice Medicine residency at the Portland Naturopathic Clinic where he was chief resident prior to entering private practice. He also completed a fellowship in Geriatric Medicine through the Oregon Geriatric Education Center and the Portland VA Medical Center.

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