I will more than likely have to do this in 2 or 3 parts as MedHelp has only an 8000 character limit.
I want to discuss Colic and it's symptoms. And I do want to remind all of you that as our child's advocate, as our child's voice...it is very much okay to seek more than one opinion, whether from a different pediatrician, family doctor or even a specialist.
For generations doctors have been diagnosing babies with colic, however there is no real known reason what causes it. Most of the time when something is relevant in a patient, and a disease or disorder is diagnosed, the doctors can explain the history and origin of what the patient has, but colic is completely different. Doctors cannot explain colic, they cannot tell us worried and exhausted parents anything, except to just let our babies cry for hours a day and for months. The inability for ANY doctor to explain colic to me, has left me with a lot of distrust. And after 4 children, all who suffered from "colic" that distrust grew, and led me on a journey to help other parents be better advocates for their tiny bundles of joy.
"Colic" can be caused by a number of issues, some which are obvious to the eye, and some that lie deeply within your baby's body. A recent study of infants with colic has shown, that some of these babies do not have enough good bacteria in their GI tract, gas has also been linked to colic, but what if I told you that your baby could suffer for the rest of his/her life if colic is diagnosed, and nothing further is done to rule out other possibilities? What if I told you, that your baby could develop cancer later in life due to the lack of treatment, and the lack of ruling out other possible causes for the hours upon hours of screaming that your baby does? I am in no way trying to scare anyone, but this is the harsh reality that some parents are, will, and have faced due to the simple diagnosis of colic. I and my 6yr old son are one of those facing the harsh reality of what can happen if we do not use our voices to speak for our babies.
*A piece of history on doctors and colic* Did you know that back in the 40's, mothers were prescribed valium and other medications when they brought their colicky babies in to see the doctor. It's true, do a bit of research and find it for yourself.
Colic and other disorders
For the past 5 years or so, it has been discovered that babies(50%) suffering from colic are actually suffering from (GER) or (GERD) Gastroesophageal Reflux, and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. Undiagnosed and untreated reflux can lead into other medical problems that can taunt your child for the rest of his or her life. Esophagitis is one, it is the inflammation of the lining of the esophagus. If left untreated this condition can become very uncomfortable, causing difficulty in swallowing, ulcers or scarring of the esophagus. Barret's esophagus is a complication of acid reflux, it is a risk factor for cancer of the esophagus.
Acid reflux can be diagnosed by symptoms alone, or by some non invasive or invasive procedures. (I have a wonderful forum just for children with reflux, which will be posted in the *links* sticky).
MSPI- Milk Soy Protein Intolerance. It is exactly what it says. It is an intolerance to both milk and soy proteins. This condition is also explained and talked about in the reflux forums.
Food allergies- Some babies can be allergic or intolerant to milk or soy proteins found in formula's or even mothers breast milk. Some other allergies being found in children recently is corn, and corn products. This would explain why certain formula's made for colic and or food allergies would not help or show significant results in your infant. Most formula's made for colic do not contain soy or lactose, but are made with corn products.
Gassiness- It is very well possible that your baby is just suffering from gassiness and or tummy upset. If this is the cause the type of formula you are using or the foods you are eating(if breast feeding) should be looked at. Don't rule out possible allergies even if you suspect gassiness is the cause for your babies discomfort. A lot of the powdered formula's are harder on baby's tummy than the ready to feed formula's. I have experienced that recently in my 3 week old daughter.
All 4 of my children have suffered from "colic" as I said before. But a little bit of trial and error got us on the right track a lot faster than just going to the doctors over and over to hear the same thing repeated. My 6yr old son had undiagnosed and untreated reflux for his whole infancy and childhood. Reflux can be caused by food allergies, and little did I know my son was suffering from reflux in association with a milk protein intolerance. He thankfully outgrew the intolerance, but due to the untreated reflux, he suffers from Esophagitis, and has issues swallowing because of the scar tissue left behind. My 4yr old son also suffered from reflux in association to a milk allergy, but instead of calling my doctor I switched his formula to Soy, and he was a changed baby. My 2yr old son however had reflux with no association with any allergies. It went untreated and undiagnosed until I walked into the local ER and demanded answers, and I refused to leave until I got some. After over 14hrs and several x-rays my son was transfered to children's hospital where an upper GI/Barium swallow test was done, and he was diagnosed with reflux. All it took was a simple prescription of Zantac and Prevacid, and my baby no longer suffered from any pain or prolonged periods of crying.
My 3 week old daughter however is a different story. A negative upper GI showed no reflux, but she would projectile vomit so bad she would quit breathing until she was the color of death. I spent 3 weeks watching over her like a hawk, scared that I would fall asleep and wake up having to prepare my daughters funeral. I scheduled one last appointment with my family doctor to tell him that if he did not do any more tests to find what was wrong with her, I was switching providers...but I didn't have to even open my mouth, as my daughter had one of her choking episodes and quit breathing in the doctors office. He didn't say a word....He only asked what pharmacy I would like her reflux meds to go to.
We as parents need to step up and be our children's voices. I am a sole believer that babies don't cry just to cry or for no reasons at all. A baby's way of communication is by crying, and if your child is crying for hours upon hours...she is trying to tell you something, and it is up to you as her parent to find out what she is saying. Don't take colic as a sole diagnosis for your baby, because it could lead into so much more.
*Acid Reflux History*- It has been found that SIDS is linked to reflux in infants. Take my daughters situation for example...a baby has little control over his head, if he vomits forcefully he cannot move his head to the side or sit up to keep from choking on his own vomit, which can lead to death.