What causes colic and how to best treat it

Pediatrician Dan Thomas, MD Head of the Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, shares advice for parents on the causes of colic and what can be done to treat your baby with colic, from medications to natural alternatives and ways for parents to deal with the stress of colic.
How to Treat Colic in Babies
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What causes colic and how to best treat it

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As I sit here, I wish I could tell parents -- especially the ones that I'm having to work with and console them about having a child with infantile colic -- that there's a magic bullet. That there's a remedy that I know will be 100 percent effective. That's not the case. There isn't one. That's because we don't know the cause. We don't know the cause. I would recommend, for a parent, if they are they are the only caregiver for that child, to get help. Find two or three hours of rest and to help take care of that child. It is a very frustrating and upsetting. Other things that can be considered, is I recommend giving a liquid antacid, about half a teaspoon, three or four times a day, of course, with the child's pediatrician's approval. This takes away some of the gas and pain and helps them poop a lot better. A lot of these kids strain at pooping. This is only necessary for several weeks and is a nice, achievable accessible remedy. Another thing that might be on the horizon, is the use of probiotics. We only have two, high-quality studies, that we know seem to show effectiveness of probiotics. It might be way of confirmation of that study, by way of other studies, to tell us that feeding a child probiotics with their food or giving a probiotic, that this might change or make the colic a lot easier for the child to handle on a day-to-day basis. Do the normal things. Avoid overfeeding the child, burp the child before and after feedings, and please don't change the formula multiple times. Definitely don't stop breastfeeding the child because someone told you that you need to change to a high-powered formula that is hypoallergenic. That's not going to work.

Pediatrician Dan Thomas, MD Head of the Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, shares advice for parents on the causes of colic and what can be done to treat your baby with colic, from medications to natural alternatives and ways for parents to deal with the stress of colic.

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Dan Thomas, MD

Pediatrician, Gastroenterology & Nutrition, Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Dan Thomas is the Head of the Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, and Medical Director of Liver and Small Bowel Transplantation at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Thomas presently serves on the Editorial Review Board of Pediatrics in Review and is on the Committee on Nutrition of the American Academy of Pediatrics. His primary clinical and academic interests include the care and study of children with congenital or acquired intestinal, pancreatic and hepatobiliary disorders.

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