This is a spasmodic type of pain, which is self limiting and paroxysmal in nature, usually occurs towards evening, also termed “evening colic”. Infantile colic is defined as per the rule of three: “The period of crying lasts for 3 hours or more, lasting for 3 or more days per week for a minimum of 3 months.” It is self-limiting in most of infants until age six months, because physical activity increases by the age of six months (sitting, crawling, standing etc.)
- There is not a definite cause for infantile colic but many theories are proposed to explain it. Air trapping in stomach, cow’s milk protein intolerance, food allergy, hormones which affect intestinal peristalsis and psychological causes.
- Psychological causes include attention seeking in babies, fear and fright, mother-infant relationship and inter-parent relationships are equally important to address when making a diagnosis of infantile colic.
Usually infantile colic is a self limiting pain which improves gradually with age and increased physical activity of the infant. The first thing in management is to reassure the parents and caregivers.
Some rubrics related to infantile colic.
If colic develops after emotional disturbance in the mother, the following rubrics can be taken:
Remedies for infantile colic
A remedy should be selected on the basis of peculiar symptom as per each case. How is the infant reacting? Aggravating and ameliorating factors should be examined carefully.
Pain comes and goes suddenly. Episodes of screaming. Periodical pain. Pain in afternoon, around 3 pm.
- Nux vomica
Indicated especially when pain is ameliorated by flatus (carbo veg). Child is very irritable and cranky in nature.
Specially indicated due to time modality. Distention of abdomen with flatulence. Infant passes much flatus.
Pain especially in the evening. An otherwise calm and yielding child irritable during pain. Generalised amelioration in open air.
Well known remedy for very irritable child. Crying relived by only rocking, and starts crying again if rocking is stopped.
Colic is consequence of mothers mental state. Suppressed anger in mother. Indignation, mortification etc. Pain relived by pressure on abdomen.
Like Colocynthis and Staphysagria Ipecac is also a very good remedy for colic originating from mothers mental state. Mortification. Thirstless, colic associated with vomiting and nausea.
When the child is “good” all day, but screams and is restless all night.
The child cries terribly, and seems full of incarcerated flatus; it even turns blue all over during its caries. Sometimes it has frequent and bloody stools.
The child’s colic is relieved by pressing firmly upon its abdomen. When it is crying with colic, relief is obtained at once by carrying it with its abdomen resting upon the point of the nurse’s shoulder.
- Veratrum album-
Terrible colic with coldness of the forehead. Very cold feet with the colic. The sufferings cause a cold sweat to stand upon the surface, particularly upon the forehead.
- HUTCHISON’S Pediatrics, 2nd edition
- complete dynamics by Dr. Roger von Zandvoort.